Q: How has the Internet changed the way you run your business?
February 1, 2001
NAPANEE, Ont. - It's no secret that the Internet is a big technological advancement that, like the internal combustion engine, has revolutionized the way the world works. The world of trucking, of cou...
NAPANEE, Ont. – It’s no secret that the Internet is a big technological advancement that, like the internal combustion engine, has revolutionized the way the world works. The world of trucking, of course, is no exception.
Truck News spent an afternoon polling truckers re-fueling at the Flying J Truck Stop, in Napanee, Ont., about how they use the Internet as a business tool.
“I’m working on the Internet, with this company,” says Montreal-based driver Andrew Wisniewski, pointing at the Landstar Ranger logo on his 2000 Freightliner’s door. Landstar posts loads on its network and Wisniewski, who happened to be deadheading with his wife on a run back to Montreal from Toronto, simply searches for a load that suits his route and timetable. He ordinarily runs general freight, usually for Wal-Mart. He also uses the Internet to keep abreast of the industry. “I just get as much information as I can,” he says.
Alexander Wolfe drives a 1996 International for Raycan Transport, of Oshawa, Ont. He visits manufacturer’s sites to keep up with products and recalls, and uses government and industry sites to follow the changes in legislation. “It’s pretty informative,” says the driver running a load of car parts from General Motor’s Ste. Therese, Que. plant to its Oshawa facilities.
A company driver running in the Ottawa-Toronto-Montreal triangle for Zeta Transport Corp. of Mississauga, Ont., Doug Willcocks likes to keep well informed. He surfs the Web for everything from trucking-industry news and gossip to manufacturer’s spec’ing data.
“I like seeing what’s happening with rules and regulations and I look at the Ontario Trucking Association site, too,” said the driver of a 2001 International 9200 as he ordered a coffee. Willcocks is certain that browsing the Web makes him a better driver and employee, noting that he visits Zeta’s site from time to time.
Guelph, Ont. resident Mike Carter emphasizes what makes the Internet so useful is its speed.
“It’s the fastest way to keep up with everything,” he says, noting that he’s only just begun using the Web in the last few months. Carter, who also drives for Zeta Transport, runs to Ottawa twice a week and west to Windsor the rest of the time. “I look at the different mapping sites all the time,” he says.
Owner/Operator Ron Cox drives for Lansdowne, Ont.-based BMD Transport. He usually takes loads of general freight down into the U.S., although today he’s “turned around” and running a load to Brockville from Toronto. Cox freely admits he’s just begun using the Web, but has already uncovered its value as a research tool for improving his business. He hit Bendix’s site after a brake recall several months ago and has visited several association sites. He also has done some business transactions via the Web and this driver of a 1997 International Eagle also enjoys the Internet for browsing maps. But Cox adds he hasn’t enjoyed discovering one of the Internet’s disappointing side effects: junk e-mail. n