The Internet Truck
But that doesn’t mean folks out there aren’t trying to change that. You’ve probably heard of The Internet of Things – and not just because we referenced it earlier. It’s the idea that everything, from the humble toaster to your home’s lighting system to self-driving cars to farm animals are all chipped and connected. That means that when you’re boiling the kettle to make a coffee, your fridge will alert you that you’re running low on milk. Which we think is pretty awesome.
So what has all this to do with trucking? Well, just like every other industry, ours is seriously starting to embrace the digital possibilities. And one of the pioneers of this is a chap you’ve probably never heard of: Andy Proctor.
Proctor is a trucker who’s had a major passion for electronics since he was a kid. He even worked as an electrician for a time. Makes sense, then, that he’s attempting to revolutionise the way we truck ‘n’ roll. The Ipswich-based trucker has hooked up his DAF to the internet using the credit card-sized Raspberry Pi computer, which is a cheap bit of kit designed to teach beginners how to code for computers. Calling it the iDataTruck, his vehicle uses a four-button system to email and tweet on Twitter.
Ok, we’re not talking about the usual banal tweets, like what flavour of crisps Stephen Fry’s eating, or another vacuous selfie from a reality TV ‘star’. The iDataTruck tweets departure and arrival times, confirmation of delivery details which have been emailed, and even the deliveries it’s picked up. The truck even tweets a welcome when Proctor begins his day, essentially clocking in without the driver having to do anything. Now that really is impressive!
And Proctor’s not done yet. In addition to rigging up his own barcode scanner to make life easier behind the wheel, he’s also developing an iPhone app, ‘Ask Simon’, which will offer drivers a way of finding out their driving hours regulations when on the long-haul. All this, and good ol’ Andy never even did a dedicated computing course after school.
You can check out Proctor’s iDataTruck website, where he offers up the codes he’s written for his computer program – perfect for anyone inspired by the digital future of trucking. With any luck, this affordable concept has the amazing potential to totally change the way drivers, trucks, companies and clients interact with each other – and it frees up time when it comes to making those all-important deliveries. It may be the first step, but what a step! It combines all those awesome and admirable factors that we respect – creativity, innovation, and, of course, trucking.
The crew here at FuelTek tip our hats to Andy and his project. As one of the industry’s leading suppliers of fuel storage tanks and management systems, we’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on how technology such as this evolves and changes the way we truck. And to get the scoop on what we do here, how we do it, and how we can help your business, simply contact us on 01254 291 391 and our dedicated and professional team will be delighted to assist with all of your enquiries.