The old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is a wise saying that has always been true in my experiences.  When trip planning, I'm tempted to get the truck in motion toward the destination immediately and worry about the details later.  However, it has always paid off for me to do a little "map reconnaissance" before leaving my origin.  While stopped in traffic on I-495 (a daily occurrence as many of you know) I happened to look over and see one of the Google camera vehicles whose job is to ride over every road in America and video map it.

I really appreciate their work, as the street view really makes our jobs easier.  For instance, you can't judge the elevation changes from a traditional bird's eye view. That can be very important when you're pulling a low clearance vehicle that can get stuck on an entrance or railroad crossing that most van and flatbed truckers wouldn't give a second thought.  I've even used it to check out posted overpass clearance signs that I'm unsure about on my route.   With the street view I can look at the actual sign that I will encounter later when I actually drive the route, but it's helpful to know in advance.  It can also be used to choose the best entrance to the shipper or receiver.  Sometimes you can find the signs that say "truck entrance" while using the street view function of Google maps. 

Driving 75' vehicles in large metropolitan areas is a challenge even for the most seasoned veteran.  Not all of us have dedicated routes and customers and encounter new shippers and receivers everyday.  Let's use technology to our advantage so we don't get ourselves in a situation that we don't want to be in.

Comments (3)

Joey Slaughter

Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. Joey has been in the trucking industry since 1992.

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Great take on a tech tool!!! I happen to think if many used half of the energy they use to complain about technology instead to use it, they would find it could actually make their life that much more efficient as a result! As I always say, "Google it"!

August 18, 2013 20:22:41 PM

I have seen these vehicles a couple of times and I am very thankful for the job that they do! We would be lost without them....

August 17, 2013 18:58:32 PM

Absolutely-USE every virtual tool available to make your real life easier

August 17, 2013 8:10:03 AM