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Plights from a truck drivers when considering new technology

Plights from a truck drivers when considering new technology
Plights from a truck drivers when considering new technology

Alex Mai is a respected name in the trucking industry, among his nearly million followers on social media and business leaders. He started filming his trips on YouTube a few years ago, detailing the hardships and inspiring the next generation of movers. 

His presence in the trucking industry is no coincidence; he’s been hopping in and out of trucks since he was young. Mai spent his childhood summer breaks helping his uncle move furniture. 

Although he strongly discouraged him from following in his footsteps, he was intrigued by the potential earnings. Mai took the plunge into the trucking world, making videos about his trips, which later became the start of his own media company, Mutha Trucker News.

Locate2u News sat down with Mai to catch up on the state of the trucking industry, the challenges truck drivers face on the road, and how technology impacts the business. 

The state of the trucking industry

The trucking industry in America has been on an uphill journey, exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Financially, it has had a considerable knock-on effect on drivers’ salaries and how they get by. 

“We are definitely in a trucking recession, and thousands and thousands of owner-operators are losing their business,” says Mai. He says there is a disparity between the expenses truck drivers have to carry, especially those who own trucks and trailers and the pay they receive. 

There is a general sense in the industry that there is a “driver shortage,” but Mai says it’s not the case. He attributes it to the declining pay in the industry and suggests that the perceived shortage is more linked to inadequate compensation for the demanding nature of the job. 

Challenges truck drivers face

Being on the road for hours alone, if not days, issues with infrastructure, safety, and work conditions exist. 

Economic challenges: Many truck drivers, especially those who own their trucks and trailers, are grappling to make a profit with the low rates. 

Parking shortages and safety concerns: Many truck drivers battle to find a place to stop overnight. This means they are forced to park on the side of the road, which leads to safety risks. 

Truck driver shortage: Contrary to public belief, there is no driver shortage, but it’s a workplace problem, leading to drivers leaving the industry. 

Impact of autonomous truck tech: Truck drivers, like many professionals, are worried about technology’s impact on their job security. However, there is a strong argument that it will only improve safety on the road, which could enhance workplace circumstances. 

Impact of technology and self-driving trucks

“I’ve talked to many companies that want to introduce self-driving trucks, and I can see why they want to do it. Being in the trucking game for a long time, I’ve seen both sides. Some truck drivers are not easy to deal with,” acknowledges Mai. 

He believes there is a place in between where drivers and technology can work side-by-side to improve the workplace experience, safety concerns, and infrastructure shortcomings.

Truck drivers see the “potential benefits of technology,” particularly regarding their safety. There are many advantages to using a camera, including braking technology and censoring mechanisms to improve the journey. 

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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