This month, the TruckYu company launched a beta-test version of a new platform that hopes to help improve the OTR lifestyle. This initial launch includes a survey feature that asks the over-the-road driver using TruckYu’s app twice daily to log their sentiment as it pertains to common issues experienced in a carrier’s network, from shipping and receiving delays to compensation, health, and other issues. The feature also allows driver users to easily share delay-time information with back-office personnel in efforts to improve operations.
The platform, sold to carriers, hopes to provide them a way to address gathered data from their drivers in real time as front-line personnel proactively identify issues.
David Bishop, a 27-year-old driver for RBX Inc., noted he’d been working with the TruckYu company as a driver advisor. “I believe that this first release of TruckYu is going to help me communicate to my carrier what challenges I am having on the road and show how much time I spend outside of driving hours on shipping, receiving and traffic delays that I am not paid for. I think that communication will be helpful for the whole community to understand the disparity in unpaid working hours.”
TruckYu hopes to deliver to carriers and drivers both better control over efforts to keep front-line operators happy, healthy and profitable by streamlining direct communication when an employee is upset, rather than relying on he-said/she-said dynamics between dispatchers/drivers. The company hopes fleet management will be empowered to “make changes that can help contain” costs associated with high rates of turnover. Knowing when someone is upset, too, and acting to remedy the situation should reduce some of the depression and anxiety that comes with over-the-road work, TruckYu added.
The company was founded just this year by Stephanie Simpson after she was alerted to problems in trucking by a childhood friend who was a long-haul operator. She then saw some of those issues firsthand, driving back and forth between New Hampshire and Texas every three weeks for more than a year during the COVID pandemic, staying at truck stops. Simpson brings more than 20 years of software experience in engineering, sales, marketing, operations, and product management to the effort, and brought in Overdrive contributor and longtime trucker Clifford Petersen to serve as the platform’s vice president for trucker advocacy.
Petersen walked the floor with Simpson at the Mid-America Trucking Show this past March, he said, to help her get a feel for whether her idea for the online platform might be embraced to “help solve our need for community,” Petersen said. “After walking more than 15 miles in three days, meeting hundreds of truckers, industry vendors, leaders and influencers in the industry, we ended the conference knowing she had something that could make a difference in the lives of truckers.”
Petersen hopes TruckYu will be a tool drivers can use to help “lead a more normal life while on the road, and meet new people in the trucking industry, while also helping companies understand the needs of their drivers better.”
It’s exciting, he added, “after months of consultation, discussions with truckers and company owners … to announce the first release of the TruckYu app just in time for National Suicide Prevention Week,” as well as the ongoing trucker appreciation week.
Don Christenson, president/owner of Christenson Transportation of Strafford, Missouri, with a turnover rate of 45% (well below truckload industry averages), noted he’s always open to new ways to support his front-line personnel over-the-road. His input was critical, TruckYu said, to the first launch the company announced this week.
“I want to know what issues my truckers are having so that I can help resolve them, whether it’s a shipping or receiving conflict or a problem at home,” Christenson said. “I know from experience how hard it is to be on the road for long periods of time away from my family, and I believe TruckYu will help me help my truckers.”
The platform is being sold to carriers in order that it remains free for drivers, said Petersen. Find more information about downloading the app and more via this link.
[Related: Truck with purpose to leave the business better than you found it]