Omnitracs software engineers debate who's got the tougher job — Santa or truck drivers — in a new holiday-themed blog post.

Get toys to all the kids on Earth (or get through a truck driver's day)

Dec. 21, 2016
Urgh, now there's a logistics challenge: zip around bringing presents to all the children on the planet in a single night. But is that really any more daunting than the job truck drivers face every day?

Urgh, now there's a logistics challenge: zip around bringing presents to all the children on the planet in a single night. Sure, it's one of the longest nights of the year for the Northern Hemisphere, where lots of your deliveries will be, but that doesn't buy you much time so you'll still need to hustle along at about light speed or so.

Such is the formidable challenge for jolly old Saint Nick, but hang on. Is that really any more daunting than the job truck drivers face every day?

Fleet management systems provider Omnitracs is back at it with another holiday brain-teaser to help shed some light on truck drivers' key role in the day-to-day supply chain. And it's a good thing, too — people have come to expect that everything they need or want will be right where they go to buy it precisely whenever they choose to go, or else delivered to them exactly as scheduled with excellent visibility in the tracking.

Without truck drivers getting it done day-in and day-out, that all evaporates into thin air like a steamy-nostriled breath from Blitzen.

Omnitracs software engineers Art Kutsy, Matt Burroughs and Chad Flanders (left to right in the video) talk through the logistics of Santa's annual mission vs. the difficulties truck drivers face, concluding that Mr. Kringle may have it easy:

A few reasons why:

• No other Santas (or irate motorists) to have to contend with and manage
• Navigates through a "three-dimensional space" rather than congested roadways
• "Bad" clients get coal, simplifying the task at hand
• Same impeccably healthy/ reliable nine-member reindeer team apparently never breaks down
• Gets in and out while everyone's asleep — no dwell time
• Plenty of cookies means no need for meal breaks

Now, we did notice the Omnitracs guys didn't factor in that Santa's deliveries are different at each stop; after all, he makes a rather extensive list and purportedly checks that thing through multiple times. If you're delivering not the same gift or a few different ones but instead catering to millions and millions of individual wish lists, that's a mighty impressive item-requisitioning system you must have built into your TARDIS/Hermione Granger bag-esque magic sack of toys.

So maybe Santa's got the tougher task after all.

Oh, wait — wait, wait, wait. Let's not be too hasty. Santa just needs to tank up on elf magic and have at it, blasting away as quick as he can whilst blurring the lines of the space-time continuum. And anyway, he's been on that same one-night route for pretty much forever. Ought to be a cake walk by now.

And no indeed, Santa Claus doesn't have any Hours of Service regs telling him he's only got another 45 minutes of drive time before he needs to stop what he's doing and take a break.

And nobody pesters Santa about his BMI and oh, by the way, whether Obstructive Sleep Apnea or a laundry list of other conditions make him medically unfit to run that all-night delivery job, now that we're thinking about it. They're even trying to fatten the guy up with cookies, and everyone just says Santa's portly belly makes him jollier. Certainly no image problems to overcome there.

Okay, we agree, Omnitracs. Our snow hat's off to truck drivers for the tough job they get done every day with excellence. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

About the Author

Aaron Marsh

Before computerization had fully taken hold and automotive work took someone who speaks engine, Aaron grew up in Upstate New York taking cars apart and fixing and rewiring them, keeping more than a few great jalopies (classics) on the road that probably didn't deserve to be. He spent a decade inside the Beltway covering Congress and the intricacies of the health care system before a stint in local New England news, picking up awards for both pen and camera.

He wrote about you-name-it, from transportation and law and the courts to events of all kinds and telecommunications, and landed in trucking when he joined FleetOwner in July 2015. Long an editorial leader, he was a keeper of knowledge at FleetOwner ready to dive in on the technical and the topical inside and all-around trucking—and still turned a wrench or two. Or three. 

Aaron previously wrote for FleetOwner. 

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