Orian Research recently released a 97-page report profiling 10 companies in the trucking software industry. It is the latest reminder of the technological shifts that are only beginning for the field of truck driving.

It’s not very difficult to speculate about where truck driving technology will be going in the near future, but it’s not particularly easy to envision that future by looking at most operators in the US today. While there have been substantial advances in truck driving technology in recent years, many drivers are forced to rely on outmoded resources, as by continuing to use a hand crank to lower a trailer’s landing gear.

It’s fair to assume that in the near future, truck driving technology will allow drivers to lower the landing gear without getting out of the cab, or that it will allow loading dock operators to take over that part of the procedure. But before we get to that point, trucking companies will need to have already moved past the increasingly ancient hand crank.

One might argue that it’s sensible to hold back on adopting technology that runs a risk of becoming obsolete once the next big thing comes along. But the Ultralift power tool isn’t going anywhere. It will almost certainly be upgraded alongside advances in trucking software, but its simple installation a necessary step away from the analog past an a significant step toward a technologically-enriched future for the industry.

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