Choosing Commercial Truck Driver GPS Systems


Choosing the right commercial truck driver GPS is an essential decision for anyone in the transportation business.

Unlike regular car GPS systems, a truck GPS should include extra features and abilities. As truck drivers rely so heavily on their GPS, having a high-quality GPS is essential.

In this guide, we’ll explore what you need to know about a commercial truck driver GPS and how to choose the right one.

What is a GPS Tracker?

A GPS tracker, or Global Positioning System tracker, is a device that determines and records the precise location of an object or person in real time. The GPS relies on satellites orbiting the Earth to provide accurate location data.

GPS trackers can be installed in cars, trucks, and other vehicles to monitor their location, speed, and route. This is often used for fleet management, ensuring driver safety, and preventing theft.

What Types of Commercial Vehicles Should Use Truck GPS Apps?

Truck GPS apps are designed to cater to the specific needs of commercial vehicles, huge trucks, and freight carriers.

These apps offer features and navigation tools tailored to the challenges faced by truck drivers. Here are some commercial vehicles that can benefit from using truck GPS apps.

Semi-Trucks and Tractor-Trailers

Long-haul and freight-carrying trucks that transport goods over long distances can benefit from truck GPS apps. These apps consider factors like truck weight, height, and length to provide routes suitable for large vehicles. This can be a major help for commercial truck drivers.

delivery trucks
Delivery Trucks

Vehicles used for local and regional deliveries, such as box trucks and delivery vans, often require precise navigation to reach various stops efficiently. This can help with custom truck routing for smoother deliveries.

Construction and Utility Vehicles

Vehicles used in construction, utility maintenance, and similar industries may need to navigate to remote job sites. Truck GPS apps can help in finding these locations.

Oversized and Specialty Vehicles

Vehicles with non-standard dimensions, such as oversized loads or those carrying hazardous materials, require GPS apps that consider these unique requirements when planning routes.

Again, customized truck routing for these vehicles can be extremely helpful.

gps screen
Fleet Vehicles

Businesses with a fleet of commercial vehicles can use GPS units to manage and track their vehicles, optimize routes, and monitor driver behavior for efficiency and safety.

How to Choose the Best GPS for Truck Drivers

Choosing the best truck GPS can be tricky, as there are many different factors that can go into these systems. Here are a few crucial considerations that truck drivers should make when choosing truck GPS units.

Screen Size

Opt for a GPS device with a large and clear screen that’s easy to read, especially while driving. A bigger screen makes it easier to view maps and instructions without distraction. This can help truck drivers avoid accidents on their truck routes.

Ease of Use

The GPS should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface, ensuring drivers can easily navigate menus, input destinations, and access essential functions.


The right truck GPS devices should be built to withstand the rigors of the road. Look for models that are robust and built to handle the vibrations and temperature variations commonly encountered in trucks.


Consider how the GPS is installed in the truck. Some may require professional installation, while others can be mounted easily on the dashboard or windshield.

Long-Term Support

Choose a GPS brand that offers ongoing software updates, ensuring that you have access to the latest features and map data.

Storage Space

Adequate internal storage or support for external memory cards is essential to accommodate large map files and other data.

Special Features for Trucking GPS

Regular GPS devices aren’t always suitable for commercial truck drivers. Here are a few specific features to look out for when choosing a truck GPS.

Up to Date Maps

Ensure the GPS device provides access to the latest map updates and can alert you when new maps are available for download. Maps should also show features like gas stations, truck-friendly parking, and rest stops.

Driver Safety

Look for features like driver fatigue warnings, alerts for speed limits, cautions for narrow roads, and lane departure warnings to enhance safety during long drives.

Drive Assist Features

Features like lane guidance, intersection view, and reality view can help truck drivers navigate complex roadways more easily.

Precision of Navigation Directions

The GPS should provide accurate and detailed turn-by-turn directions, including voice prompts and visual cues.

gps precision of navigation
Voice Navigation

Voice-guided directions can be invaluable, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road while receiving instructions.

Truck-Specific GPS Routing

Opt for a GPS that considers truck-specific parameters like weight, height, length, and hazardous materials restrictions when planning routes.

Real-Time Traffic Consideration

GPS devices that provide real-time traffic updates can help drivers avoid congestion and delays, saving time and fuel.

Road Restriction Monitoring

Ensure the GPS alerts you to road restrictions, such as low bridges or weight limits, and offers alternative routes.

Toll Road and Highway Bypass Options

Look for a GPS that allows you to choose whether to take toll roads and highways or opt for more cost-effective routes.

Fuel Consumption Management Features

Some GPS devices provide information on fuel-efficient routes and offer tools for monitoring and managing fuel consumption.

Data Handling – Trip Logging, Fleet Management

If you’re managing a fleet of trucks, consider GPS devices that offer data-handling features for trip logging, tracking, and fleet management.

Final Thoughts

By considering these factors and features, truck drivers can choose a GPS device that best suits their needs, enhances safety, and improves efficiency while on the road. It’s vital to assess the specific requirements of your trucking operation to find the ideal GPS solution.

A GPS is an essential piece of equipment for any commercial truck. While you could always get a free truck GPS app, investing in the right commercial GPS adds value to any truck driver.

Are you looking to purchase a semi-truck? Then get in touch with us at Mission Financial, where we can help you secure financing for your dream vehicle.

Is Idling Bad For Semi Trucks

Is Idling Bad For Semi-Trucks? (Care Guide)

Is Idling Bad For Semi Trucks

Hey there, truck drivers! We know you love your semi-trucks. But have you ever wondered, “Is idling bad for semi-trucks?”

Well, Mission Financial Services is here to answer that fuel-burning question. We’ll give you some top-notch tips for caring for your truck when it comes to idling. So, buckle up and grab a cup of coffee. Get ready to learn how to keep your big rig running smoothly without putting unnecessary wear and tear on it.

Is Idling Bad For Semi-Trucks?

Let’s face it. We’ve all heard the rumble of a semi-truck engine idling for consecutive hours in a parking lot, right? Whether to keep the truck warm in winter or power the air conditioning in the summer, idling has become common in the trucking industry. Many truckers do it! But the question is, is idling bad for semi-trucks?

The short answer: yes!

Long periods of truck idling can harm your semi-truck’s engine and other components, increasing maintenance costs and decreasing lifespan.

Knowing the various outcomes of truck idling is crucial for any conscientious truck driver. You must take the necessary steps to minimize its impact on your diesel engine.

7 Top Care Tips For Trucks

If you are one of those drivers that love to leave their engines running, here are our top tips for caring for your idling truck!

#1 Limit Idle Time

Limiting engine idle time is a simple and effective way to care for your semi-truck. Did you know a diesel truck can burn up to a gallon of fuel per hour while idling?

truck at dock

You could waste up to 1,040 gallons of diesel fuel a year! That’s bad for your money and the world.

Excessive truck idling can also add wear and tear to your truck’s engine, reducing the lifespan and increasing maintenance costs, and leading to the truck using more fuel. The next time you’re stuck in traffic or waiting for a delivery, turn off the truck engine. You’ll save some money while caring for your truck.

#2 Monitor Engine Idling Temperature

Keeping an eye on your engine idling temperature is crucial, especially during long truck idling periods. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Always make sure to check your temperature gauge often. Heat is bad for your diesel engine! It means your engine pushes out more carbon dioxide and becomes less efficient.

Overheating can cause significant damage to your engine. it can also damage other vital parts of your truck. Rather don’t risk it! Luckily, some newer trucks have an automatic shutdown feature when the engine gets too hot.

If your truck has this feature, ensure it’s activated and working correctly. In this case, prevention is excellent. A little monitoring can save you a lot of money and headaches down the road.

#3 Use Auxiliary Power Units (APUs)

An APU is an investment that can go a long way in caring for your truck. These units provide a range of benefits, including climate control and reducing the need for truck idling.

truck on road

Not only do they keep the temperature inside your cab cool or warm, but they also provide electrical power for your devices while your truck’s engine is off. APUs are particularly useful for drivers who regularly park their trucks for extended periods. By using an APU, you can save fuel and reduce engine idling wear and tear.

#4 Regular Maintenance

Keeping up with regular maintenance is vital to ensuring that your truck’s idling components function correctly. This includes regularly checking and changing your truck’s oil, coolant, air pressure, and air filters.

Inspecting your belts and hoses and replacing them as needed is also essential.

When you take your truck in for regular maintenance, make sure to ask your mechanic to inspect your truck’s components as well. This will help identify any potential issues before they become major problems.

Remember, regular maintenance helps keep your truck running smoothly. It can save you money by preventing costly repairs and keeping your truck fuel efficient.

#5 Consider Idle-Reduction Technologies

As technology advances, there are more and more ways to reduce truck idling time and save your vehicle from burning fuel. Automatic engine shutdown systems are becoming increasingly popular in most trucks.

These handy devices can turn off your engine after a specified period of idling. This can help prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your engine while lowering fuel consumption.

Another excellent, innovative technology to consider is a battery-powered HVAC system. This system can provide heating and cooling while your engine is off.

man maintaining truck

These systems can be particularly useful during rest breaks or overnight stays at a rest stop when there are extreme weather conditions. They allow truckers to maintain a comfortable ambient temperature in the cab without idling their engines.

We know these technologies may require an upfront investment. Still, they can ultimately save you money on fuel costs and reduce the wear and tear on your truck.

#6 Check Your Batteries

When your engine is idling, your truck’s batteries work hard to power the electrical systems. Keeping your batteries in good condition is essential to avoid unexpected breakdowns.

Regularly check the battery connections and keep them clean and tight.

Also, make sure to replace any old or weak batteries as soon as possible to prevent them from failing during idling periods.

A dead battery can mean a costly tow or repair bill, so keeping your batteries healthy is an integral part of idling care. A well-maintained battery will provide power to your truck for years to come.

#7 Use Idle-Free Zones

Using idle-free zones is another effective way to care for your diesel trucks and the environment. These zones have become more common as anti-idling laws take hold. You can often find them in truck stops, rest areas, and other locations.

By using idle-free zones, you not only help reduce wear and tear on your truck’s engine but also contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment. It’s one of the many reasons that truckers prefer spending more extended periods parked, waiting in idle-free zones.

load transportation

When you park in an idle-free zone, you’ll notice that the air quality is cleaner. Even the noise level is lower. This can provide a more comfortable and pleasant environment for you and other truck drivers around you.

Plus, you can save on fuel costs and reduce emissions by avoiding unnecessary truck idling.

So, look for idle-free zones whenever you’re on the road. Doing so allows you to care for your truck and the environment while enjoying a more peaceful and comfortable rest.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the answer to the question, “Is idling bad for semi-trucks?”

Taking care of your semi-truck is essential, especially when you’re starting a semi-truck business, and that includes managing its idling time. Not only can excessive idling waste fuel, but it can also cause wear and tear on your diesel truck’s engine, leading to expensive repairs.

By doing things like limiting the amount of time your truck is running, using extra power units, and doing regular repairs, you can make your truck last longer. You also end up saving money. With a well-maintained truck, you won’t have to deal with horrible outside temperatures, idling regulations, or uncomfortable night-long rests.

Remember, a happy truck means a happy driver. That’s what we all want. So take care of your truck, and it will take care of you! And if you need a semi-truck repair loan, be sure to call Mission Financial Services.

how to start semi truck with bad starter

How To Start A Semi Truck With A Bad Starter

how to start semi truck with bad starter
Hey there, truckers and gearheads! We all know how frustrating it can be when you’re ready to hit the road but your semi-truck starter decides to take a little vacation.

Don’t worry! We will walk you through some handy tips and tricks to get your big rig roaring back to life, even with a stubborn starter.

So, grab a cup of joe. Sit back, and let’s show you how to start a semi-truck with a bad starter.

What Does A Semi-Truck Starter Do?

A semi-truck starter is a crucial component of your vehicle’s ignition system. Its primary function is to turn the engine over and get it started.

When you turn the key in the ignition, the starter motor receives an electrical signal from the battery. It uses that power to crank the engine, which begins the combustion process.

The starter is composed of a motor, a solenoid, and a small gear called a pinion that engages with the engine’s flywheel to start it spinning. Once the engine is running, the starter disengages and the engine takes over, continuing to run under its own power.

So, the starter is responsible for getting the engine going, which is a pretty important job! If the starter malfunctions or fails, the engine won’t be able to start, leaving you stranded and needing some repair work.

How To Care For A Semi-Truck Starter

Here are some valuable tips for caring for your semi-truck starter and preventing potential issues down the road:

White truck with fire on top


  • Keep the battery in good condition: A healthy battery is vital for the proper functioning of the starter. Regularly inspect the battery terminals for corrosion or flimsy connections. Clean the battery as needed and ensure the fittings are tight. Monitor the battery’s charge level and have it tested regularly to ensure the battery delivers sufficient power to the starter.
  • Avoid overloading the electrical system: Excessive use of electrical accessories, such as lights, radios, or power-hungry devices, can strain the starter and the overall electrical system. Be mindful of your power consumption and avoid unnecessary loads that could impact the starter’s performance.
  • Practice good starting habits: When starting the engine, avoid holding the key in the start position for an extended period. This can cause unnecessary strain on the starter motor and lead to premature wear. Instead, start the engine smoothly, releasing the key as soon as it fires up.
  • Regularly service and maintain the starter: Include the starter in your routine truck maintenance schedule. Consult your vehicle’s manual or a trusted mechanic to determine the recommended maintenance intervals for the starter. This may involve cleaning, lubricating, or inspecting specific components to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
  • Address electrical issues promptly: If you notice any electrical problems, such as dimming headlights, flickering dashboard lights, or slow cranking when starting the engine, address them promptly. Ignoring these warning signs could put additional strain on the starter and lead to more severe issues.

truck on road

  • Protect the starter from moisture and debris: The starter is located in the engine compartment, where it’s exposed to moisture, dirt, and debris. Take measures to protect it by keeping the engine compartment clean and free from excessive grime. Consider using protective coverings or shields designed for starters to prevent water or debris from directly contacting the unit.
  • Perform regular inspections: Inspect the starter for any visible signs of damage or wear. Look for loose connections, frayed wires, or any physical damage. Address any issues promptly to prevent further complications.

Remember, a little preventive care goes a long way in keeping your starter healthy and your truck running smoothly.

How To Start A Semi-Truck With A Bad Starter

A bad starter is among the most common truck problems! If your starter is a bad starter, try any of these ways to start your semi-truck.

Give It A Gentle Tapping

Sometimes, all your starter needs is a little encouragement. No, we’re not suggesting you take a hammer and hit it! Instead, give the starter a few gentle taps with a wrench or a rubber mallet. This can help free up any stuck gears or brushes that might be causing the problem. Just be careful not to hit it too hard; we’re looking for persuasion, not destruction!

Try The Auxiliary Start System

Many semi-trucks have an auxiliary start system, also known as a ‘start assist’ or ‘jump start’ feature. This nifty little system can be a lifesaver when your starter is on the fritz.


Typically, you’ll find a dedicated button or switch labeled ‘auxiliary start’ somewhere in your truck’s cabin. Engage this switch, and it will bypass the primary starter, allowing you to start the engine using a secondary power source. It’s like having a backup plan for your backup plan!

Push-Start To The Rescue

Fear not if you find yourself stranded without the luxury of an auxiliary start system! Push-starting your semi-truck can be a viable option in certain situations. Here’s how to do it:

  • Gather a few strong, willing souls to help you out. Teamwork makes the dream work, after all!
  • Choose a flat or slightly downhill area with plenty of room to get rolling.
  • With your truck in neutral, have your helpers push the truck to a reasonable speed (about 5-10 mph).
  • Once you’ve gained enough momentum, quickly shift into a lower gear (typically second or third) and let out the clutch. This sudden engagement of the transmission can kick-start the engine.

If all goes well, your engine should roar back to life! Hooray for perseverance and good ol’ human power!

Seek Professional Assistance

If all else fails and your starter remains stubborn or uncooperative, it may be time to call the professionals. Reach out to a reliable mechanic or roadside assistance service to diagnose and fix the issue. They have the expertise and tools necessary to safely get your truck back on the road. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Final Thoughts

Starting a semi-truck with a bad starter might sound like a headache, but with the proper knowledge and a can-do attitude, you can overcome this obstacle.

Just remember, there’s no harm in seeking professional help.

If all else fails and it’s time for repairs, learn more about semi-truck repair loans, and ensure your rig stays in tip-top shape. Keep your spirits high, stay safe on the road, and happy trucking!

For the best advice on semi truck financing, head on over to Mission Financial Services.

Pros and Cons of Battery-Electric Trucks

Image Credit: Tesla

In today’s world, electric vehicles account for approximately two percent of auto sales, and that number only continues to grow. Now, electric semi-trucks and freight vehicles, or commercial battery-electric vehicles (CBEVs), are merging onto America’s roads and highways. Manufacturers have poured billions of dollars into developing CBEVs, and companies are slowly integrating the new technology into their fleets. And while the focus has mainly been on Class 8 trucks, automakers are introducing commercially available models in numerous classes.

So, what exactly does this electric revolution look like and who is responsible?

Who are the key creators of electric semi-trucks?

Very few automakers dared to venture into the world of EV manufacturing. However, those who did are now reaping the benefits of their investment. Currently, Volvo Trucks offers two tractor configurations for their electric Class 8 trucks, including a 4×2 and a 6×2. These trucks provide different ranges that are dependent on the amount of cargo you’re hauling and the overall size of your trailer. The manufacturer also sells an electric box truck model, which offers a range of 150 miles on a single charge. 

And in 2021, Volvo received its largest order from Quality Custom Distribution (QCD) for its VNR Electric model. The foodservice logistics supplier ordered a total of 14 electric trucks for their Southern California drivers. While the new EVs won’t significantly impact QCD’s original fleet of 700 fuel-powered trucks, it’s a step in the right direction. Daimler has also been a key player in the EV market with models like the Freightliner eM2 and Freightliner eCascadia. And while Volvo and Daimler have been innovators in the trucking industry’s EV movement, Tesla has recently unveiled what may be the new standard in trucking…

Check out the reveal of the new Tesla Semi

How will electric semi-trucks shape the future of trucking?

Experts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimate that battery-electric trucks will account for 31% of the industry or reach around 672 million vehicles by 2050. Undeniably, this would reshape the trucking industry and the world as we know it.

In a single day, a fuel-powered truck will be on the road for up to 11 hours, all while producing harmful emissions. And if a team of drivers runs the truck, it could be on the road even longer. But, if a company were to deploy just one EV, it would be equivalent to placing over a dozen electric sedans on the road, thus significantly reducing harmful emissions. 

The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) created Run on Less – Electric, a trucking demonstration that set out to determine the pros and cons of EVs. The run further confirmed that CO2 and particulate emissions would be significantly reduced by replacing traditional trucks with electric ones.

Electric trucks also reduce noise pollution and provide optimal safety through intuitive technology and design measures. For instance, the Tesla Semi is built with active safety features that help to prevent jackknifing. Volvo Trucks also attempts to provide enhanced safety through a new, patented safety feature called Active Grip Control. The feature “improves stability, acceleration, and braking in slippery conditions.”

What concerns come with battery-electric trucks?

While there are clear advantages to using BEVs, there are some concerns. 

The main concerns include:

  • The effects of extreme weather and temperatures on electric trucks.
  • Maintenance costs and schedules.
  • Availability of parts and services.
  • The overall safety of electric trucks.

Thankfully, some testing and trial runs have shed light on the above mentioned issues. The NACFE’s Run on Less – Electric found that extreme weather and temperatures don’t pose any serious threats to BEVs’ overall performance or vitality. 

RoL-E also proved that overall maintenance costs and failure rates are less than internal combustion vehicles. However, when the microchip and automotive technology shortage struck the nation in 2020, many EV manufacturers found themselves between a rock and a hard place. Automakers were not only unable to produce new electric models, but they weren’t able to make most of the necessary parts or components. This led many owner-operators to question whether or not moving to BEVs would be wise, considering the unpredictability of the future.

What should fleets keep in mind moving forward?

Before fleets commit to transitioning to BEVs, there are a few things that fleet managers and owner-operators should keep in mind, including:

  • How many miles are being driven?
  • How often would charging need to take place for each truck?
  • Will charging stations or at-home charging need to be installed?
  • How many BEVs would be needed?
  • Would a partial conversion make more sense than replacing the entire fleet? Or vise-versa.

Fleet managers must also consider a maintenance plan for their electrified fleet. Industry experts who’ve made the move recommend “[getting] your mechanics in there and [getting] them trained” in the new-age technology. Finally, if owner-operators choose to transition to CBEVs, they must implement proper safety protocol and invest in new safety equipment, including arc lash shields, dielectric boots/shoes, electrical safety gloves, insulated tools, etc.

More Like This:

Self-Driving Semis: The Future of the Trucking Industry

What Truckers Need to Know About Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous Vehicles: What Does it Really Mean?

Reducing Emissions with Electric Semi Trucks

Electric Semi-Trucks: The Future of Trucking

How Does Prop. 22 Affect App-Based Drivers?

Rideshare Employees vs Independent Contractors

In November of 2020, California passed Proposition 22, an initiative that would allow certain rideshare and delivery companies to classify their drivers as independent contractors. The statute overruled California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5), which was signed over a year prior in September of 2019. AB 5 instituted a three-factor test for acquiring independent contractor status. 

To be categorized as an independent contractor, the bill requires the person/employee to be: 

  • Free from a hiring entity’s control in regards to their performance and work completion
  • Performing tasks/work outside of the hiring entity’s usual course of operations
  • Engaged in an established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed

The passing of AB5 and its test led to an abundance of gig economy workers being labeled as employees instead of independent contractors. This classification change took a toll on benefits, wages, and other occupational aspects. So, what does Proposition 22 mean for rideshare and delivery employees?

What’s the Difference Between an Owner/Operator and an Independent Contractor?

How does Proposition 22 affect app-based drivers?

Proposition 22 was a California ballot initiative that responded to the state’s recently passed Assembly Bill 5. AB 5 codified the California Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles that required employers to classify workers as employees unless they met the qualifications of an independent contractor according to the bill’s “ABC test.” And while AB 5 included exemptions from the Dynamex test for certain occupations, app-based rideshare drivers were not among the list. Since the bill’s passing, rideshare companies and delivery services have faced numerous legal suits disputing driver classification. With Proposition 22, companies like DoorDash, Uber, and Lyft could continue classifying their California drivers as contractors. 

More specifically, the proposition allows these companies to label their drivers as independent contractors so long as they don’t:

  • Provide specific dates, times, or a minimum number of hours a driver must work
  • Require drivers to accept specific delivery requests
  • Prevent drivers from taking employment with other rideshares and/or delivery services or any other lawful business

In exchange for this allowance, the proposition requires these rideshare and delivery businesses to offer specific compensation and benefits for their drivers. The initiatives’ statement of purpose declares that it intends to enact labor policies specific to California rideshare companies and drivers. These policies will protect the legal rights of rideshare drivers and ensure that they are afforded employment protections and benefits, including minimum wage, healthcare subsidies, automobile accident insurance, and more.

Proposition 22 also states:

  1. Rideshare drivers are entitled to 120% of California’s mandated minimum wage for their engaged time (i.e., the time between accepting a service request and fulfilling/completing said request) in addition to 30¢ per engaged mile.
  2. Rideshare companies will provide drivers who average a minimum of 15 hours per week with a healthcare subsidy that is consistent with the requirements stated in the Affordable Care Act.
  3. Rideshare companies will provide occupational accident insurance (with at least $1 million in coverage) to drivers for medical expenses and lost income resulting from an injury sustained while active on the company’s app.
  4. Rideshare companies must obtain automobile liability insurance (with at least $1 million in coverage) to protect and compensate third parties that sustain any injuries and/or losses caused by a driver during their engaged time.

How the PRO Act Could Affect Owner/Operators

Why was Proposition 22 declared unconstitutional?

While companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash praised the passing of the ballot, others were not so enthused. Some even saw the proposition as unconstitutional, including Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch. In August of 2021, he ruled in favor of a lawsuit filed by the Service Employees International Union, calling the initiative “unenforceable.” He stated that multiple sections negated specific California laws, including a stipulation that required a seven-eighths majority for amendment approval, making any attempt at change nearly impossible. The judge also agreed that the proposition’s ban on workers’ rights to collective bargaining violated California ballot measures that limit single subject provisions.

Despite the judge’s ruling, the proposition remains in effect. The Protect App-Based Drivers & Services Coalition (PADS) and other committees and companies in favor of Proposition 22 plan to appeal the ruling to keep it in effect. However, other organizations, like the “No On Proposition 22” coalition, are fighting against those in favor and working to have copycat bills in other states overruled.

What are the pros and cons of Prop 22?

As previously mentioned, Proposition 22 would give rideshare companies the right to classify their employees/drivers as independent contractors and guarantee things like minimum wage, occupational benefits, and more. However, there are some concerns in regards to the effect this initiative could have on would-be employees.

The pros and cons of Proposition 22 include:

PRO: Drivers will have guaranteed minimum earnings, calculated at 120% of minimum wage.

CON: Earnings are based on a driver’s engaged time and do not cover the time spent waiting for a service request.

PRO: Drivers will receive a 30¢ reimbursement for engaged miles.

CON: Reimbursements will not be given for gas, maintenance, cleaning, or necessary PPE (i.e., disposable face masks, sanitizer, etc.).

PRO: Employers will subsidize 41% of healthcare at a weekly average of 15 hours (engaged time). At 25 hours or more, employers will subsidize 82%.

CON: On average, ⅓ of a driver’s time is spent waiting for a service request, meaning it could take at least 20 hours to reach the 15-hour requirement.

PRO: Rideshare companies are required to provide occupational accident insurance (with coverage equaling at least $1 million), automobile liability insurance (with coverage equaling at least $1 million), and disability payments. Accidental death insurance will also be made available to the driver’s spouse, children, and/or other dependents.

CON: Insurance coverage and disability payments will be dependent on a driver’s engaged time. For instance, if an accident occurs while the driver is awaiting a service request, the coverage may lapse. Regarding disability payments, the driver will only receive 66% of their average weekly earnings (calculated from the month before the sustained injury).

In addition, rideshare workers would not have access to paid paternal/family leave, paid sick leave, or unemployment compensation or benefits with Proposition 22. However, there is no way of knowing whether or not this will become an amendment in the foreseeable future. The Legislative Analyst’s Office also said that with the passing of Proposition 22, app-based companies wouldn’t be forced to pay their employees as much, which would keep fares and fees low for customers.

4 Industry Trends to Watch in 2021: The Rise of New Technology in Transportation

Mercedes Future Truck

As the coronavirus took its toll on the world in 2020, some industries—like the hospitality sector—were deeply impacted as government-mandated restrictions and virus-related fear prevented restaurants and bars from operating at maximum capacity. E-commerce, on the other hand, saw an enormous surge in demand with companies like Walmart and Amazon seeing record levels of revenue during the pandemic. The trucking industry, too, was not insulated from the impact of the pandemic. Large numbers of jobs lost and new challenges on the roads forced the industry to quickly adopt innovative new technologies in order to overcome the impact of the pandemic. Here are four technology trends emerging in the trucking industry that owner/operators should keep an eye on in the coming months.

1. Autonomous Vehicles

Almost straight out of a science-fiction movie, autonomous—or self-driving—vehicles are becoming a reality as manufacturers like Tesla begin producing more autonomous consumer vehicles. The trucking industry has become an early adopter of autonomous technology for their freight shipments due to an increased demand for shipping and a shortage of long-haul drivers—caused by economic instability and the tough nature of the trucking industry. Autonomous trucks manufactured by Waymo are already in use on the roads today in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and Waymo has plans of expanding into more states in the future. Proponents of autonomous vehicles argue that self-driving semi-trucks will eliminate human error behind the wheel, lower costs of shipping, and increase efficiency across the board for trucking companies. There is some trepidation about turning toward autonomous vehicles; some worry about accidents caused by self-driving trucks while others worry about the loss of critical jobs due to the addition of autonomous vehicles. If companies begin turning toward utilizing their own autonomous vehicles, it could have a negative impact on the number of available trucking jobs. 

2. Smart Technology

Another important trend to watch out for in 2021 is the use of new and improved technologies to optimize the efficiency of long-haul shipping. Smart technologies on trucks improve safety for lane departure detection, lane keep assist, assisted braking, tire pressure monitoring, and even load stability. Furthermore, logistics companies are utilizing new technology for enhanced tracking and reporting to minimize human error and to have a better grasp of where their freight is at all times. The improved tracking is beneficial for planning when truckloads can be dropped off and picked up, as well as for providing customers with accurate updates. Alongside this technology, owner/operators can use new technology to locate cargo while on the road to reduce the amount of time spent on the road with an empty truck. With freight matching technology, drivers can ensure their trucks are always full and they are maximizing revenue capabilities at all times. 

3. Data Analytics

Data analytics has made its way into pretty much every industry, from marketing to manufacturing to the trucking industry. Owner/operators use analytics to capture important data pertaining to their cargo, their trucks, and their routes; using this data, they can make valuable improvements to their performance, thus saving time and money and even helping them to drive more safely. According to Transmetrics, one study conducted by Supply Chain Management World found that “64 percent of executives think that big data and the insights it brings will have a disrupting power that can pivot the industry forever.” Data analytics also provide valuable insights into freight markets that help owner/operators uncover trends and patterns in the industry to pinpoint new opportunities and improve existing ones. 

4. Electric Trucks

Electric trucks are making their way into the freight industry. Tesla already designed an electric semi-truck that can travel almost 500 miles on a single charge, and in 2019, Neuron EV released the TORQ, a fully electric semi-truck. With rising fuel costs, electric trucks can save owner/operators money in the long-term, improving their overall bottom line. Additionally, electric semi-trucks are much better for the environment, and companies have begun employing electric trucks to lower their carbon footprints. While electric trucks will not be replacing your entire fleet right away, they might eventually as states like California begin passing legislation to crack down on carbon emissions produced by the trucking industry. 

As truckers begin preparing for 2021, it’s important to embrace the new technologies that are changing the long-haul industry for the better. While the trucking industry isn’t going anywhere, we’re seeing the emergence of new technologies that can benefit both drivers and carriers. Autonomous vehicles, smart technology, data analytics, and electric vehicles are reshaping the modern trucking industry, making the job easier, more accurate, and safer along the way.


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