Friday, August 26, 2016

The New Trucking Glossary

Not sure what a word or phrase means in trucking today? Here to help is the handy New Trucking Glossary.

Autonomous Trucks
These are trucks that do whatever the hell they want. They don’t listen to anybody. Maybe they’ll take you to the pickup, maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll go the consignee’s, maybe they won’t. It all depends on how they feel.

Driverless? Up to a point, maybe. Autonomous trucks are not stupid. If they don’t have to drive themselves, they’ll let you do it while they watch the Cartoon Channel on your TV. In case you’ve been wondering, that’s the real reason autonomous trucks haven’t caught on.

Axle Weight
The pounds put on by the Guns N’ Roses lead singer over the last few years.

Big Data
Big Data is the deluge of digital information that flows constantly from tracking devices, vehicle sensors, cameras, and whatever else management has stashed in your cab. Big carriers don’t know what to do with it all. They try locking it in the computer room, but sometimes it oozes under the door and into the parking lot. It’s really big. Did you know that ones and zeros make a crunching sound when you drive over them?

Driver Shortage
This is a nonexistent condition invented by the recruitment industry. Anybody who looks can see we have plenty of drivers. We just have too many trucks.

ELD (Electronic Logging Device)
An ELD is an autonomous chain saw for the lumber industry. An ELD cuts down whatever the hell it wants to.

Fork Lift
A maneuver you use to bring truck stop chow from the plate to your mouth.

Heavy Hauler
A trucker who has done too much fork lifting.

Logistics
This is the ancient art of taking stuff from here to there all dolled up to look really sophisticated. That’s so guys in suits can go to resort hotels on the company’s tab for conferences where logistics people give each other awards.

They talk to each other about golf, eat free food, drink free drinks, and then go home to tell the boss how logistics is getting more complicated all the time, so they’ll need to go to more conferences. If the boss goes to a logistics conference, he skips the speeches, panels and awards to hang out in the casino where he can lose even more of the money Dad left him along with the fleet.

Predictive Analysis
Trucking techies use some of that Big Data for predictive analysis. They shovel it into computers, broil it for half an hour, and come up with predictions – like when you’re going to have an accident. Soon, say the techies, they’ll be able to predict precisely when your accident will happen so they can tell you to stay home that day. You’ll probably fall off a ladder or something, but at least you won’t be in a company truck.

Speed Limiter
A quaint term for pre-deregulation shop stewards (think about it).

Twin Screw
Don’t ask.