Missing truck drivers represent a problem that is often overlooked in the fleet management industry. When drivers are assigned to carry large loads of raw materials or other goods across the entire content, it can be hard to keep track of the entire journey. Tools such as route optimization software keep managers informed about their drivers' scheduled runs, but don't entirely eliminate the risk of losing contact with an employee on the road. Missing drivers present fleet managers with unique human challenges, as well as throw deliveries and pickups off schedule.
According to Overdrive Magazine, a trucking industry publication, an organization known as the Missing Truck Driver Alert Network (MTDAN) recently released a mobile application that sends text message alerts to interested parties whenever an official missing driver report comes through the organization's system. The interface, called MTDAlerts, works on both Apple and Android operating systems and offers a convenient method for people to report sightings or information. Overdrive said the organization revealed its app at this year's 40th anniversary Heart of America trucking show in Kansas City, Kan., which is organized by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA).
The magazine reported MTDAN originally began as a simple Facebook group that connected members of the national trucking community to share relevant information in the hopes of finding missing individuals. According to the organization's website, its mission is to "locate and return drivers reported missing to their families, without loss." MTDAN also works closely with law enforcement officials to coordinate large-scale searches.
Impacts on the industry
While relatively rare, missing drivers have a significant impact on fleet management operations. Not only can it result in a failed delivery, which will ultimately lead to lower revenue, but freight companies are responsible for keeping track of their drivers and ensuring their safety on U.S. highways.
Fleet managers can supplement the use of the MTDAlerts app with advanced delivery routing software that makes it easier to monitor the paths drivers take to deliver goods across the country. Companies can also use these tools to ensure drivers take the safest routes as possible. In the event that business is interrupted due to a missing driver alert, firms can utilize other freight management tools to resume operations with as little damage as possible.
Advanced fleet software tools are necessary as the manufacturing industry continues to grow at a steady pace. Maintaining full organization of the many moving parts of a freight operation requires a user-friendly, automated system to limit overhead costs and ensure maximum safety.