Freight Drivers Are Secret Pandemic Heroes. But They Need Help.


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Everyone can be a hero in the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways, but we can’t always see it. For most people, being a hero means staying home and preventing the spread of the virus. Medical professionals bravely put themselves in close contact with COVID-19 patients, and grocers ensure that those in quarantine have food to eat. 

There’s another group of important workers we don’t see: freight drivers and others in the logistics industry who take essential goods from the point of manufacturing to the point of sale. 

There’s another group of important workers: freight drivers and others in the logistics industry who take essential goods from the point of manufacturing to the point of sale.

You’d be forgiven for thinking life on the road hasn’t changed much from before the pandemic- even if you’re a freight broker, or otherwise involved in the industry. But 42Gears is working closely with logistics firms, helping with device management, and we see what goes on behind the scenes. And it’s clear that freight operations (and the logistics industry as a whole) have unique needs. 

If you work in logistics and manage freight in any way, we want to let you know what your drivers need right now. (Even if you aren’t in the industry, we hope you’ll see why drivers are heroes.)

Driver Safety

At the best of times, freight drivers have a lot to worry about- and a pandemic isn’t the best of times. Drivers face a stressful paradox: navigating from Point A to Point B may now take longer (due to worldwide road closures), but grocers and hospitals need supplies more urgently than ever before. 

Whether to find a shortcut or fight off boredom, drivers may use phones while driving at full speed- and pandemic or not, this is a potential recipe for disaster.

This puts logistics and freight operations in a difficult spot. Drivers now need to complete longer routes in less time, on empty and boring roads. Whether to find a shortcut or fight off boredom, drivers may use phones while driving at full speed- and pandemic or not, this is a potential recipe for disaster. Without some form of device management, managers and coordinators will not know this is happening until it’s too late. 

If you are involved in device management for a logistics firm, you must make sure that drivers prioritize their safety. To help in this situation, 42Gears provides a driver safety tool in its device management software. Device managers can track user speed through any managed smartphone or tablet with a GPS, and therefore determine how fast a vehicle is going. If the speed exceeds a number set by the administrator, the device will lock down, and the driver will need to slow down before using the device again

Keeping Apps Up-to-Date

The logistics industry can’t afford to let drivers contract coronavirus. This could endanger the goods that a driver carries as well as the people at either end of the delivery- not to mention drivers themselves. 

Smartphones can now serve as health journals, which means that any driver with a smartphone can catalogue their health throughout their days on the road, and relay that data to logistics admins.

Monitoring employees for illness relies on employees rigorously monitoring their own health. Smartphones can now serve as health journals, which means that any driver with a smartphone can catalogue their health throughout their days on the road, and relay that data to logistics admins. Another preventative measure is to activate beeping on devices that come closer to other devices than the distance recommended by officials. But if drivers don’t have the correct apps, or the newest version of the app, they become dangerous to themselves and others. 

Administrators need to make sure every driver has the same safety apps (and versions of those apps) at all times. We realize this is essential. 42Gears’ device management software can automate this process remotely, so administrators can easily set it up and keep drivers safe. 

Remote Troubleshooting

If you’ve read this far, it should be clear that drivers need phones or tablets to be heroes. They need to make sure they are healthy, stay up-to-date on route changes and road closures, and coordinate with manufacturers and retailers to safely obtain and hand off goods. 

To keep drivers connected, 42Gears’ SureMDM offers Remote Control– a way to remotely view drivers’ device screens, and even control the devices remotely, even touchscreens.

If phones or tablets malfunction while on the road, it could be catastrophic for both drivers and the freight they carry. This is why logistics administrators must have a device management strategy to remotely repair malfunctioning devices. 

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To keep drivers connected, 42Gears’ SureMDM offers Remote Control– a way to remotely view drivers’ device screens, and even control the devices remotely, even touchscreens. Drivers effectively have their IT team in their vehicle with them, allowing them to get back on track fast after a device stops working. 

Conclusion

Freight drivers are heroes- but no hero stands alone. Drivers cannot be responsible for managing every aspect of their technology while on the road. Everyone in the logistics industry, from administrators to IT teams, plays a role in allowing drivers to relay the goods that people need. 

Even if you are not in the industry, recognize that some of the most important jobs in the pandemic go unseen and unsung. If you know anyone who is involved in freight, let them know you appreciate them. And if you are a driver yourself, thank you so much for your work. 

42Gears and logistics industry

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