Bridge strikes a symptom of lack of driver support?

A lot has been written about the driver shortage and how bad the pay and conditions are for HGV drivers. The haulage industry has admitted as much itself. For too long, driving has not been regarded as a highly responsible job with a high level of associated stress – thankfully, that is all changing. Today, there are proven IT solutions on the market that can reduce unnecessary burdens on drivers and make their job a better one – with a commensurate beneficial knock-on effect for the wider community.

For example, a recent bridge strike in Plymouth caused massive delays and resulted in major inconvenience to rail travellers to Cornwall for several days – and on the August Bank Holiday weekend to boot. The news headlines, as usual, were reserved for the driver – they ‘should take more care’ ran some. Well, of course they should, but why are haulage companies (Tesco’s in this case) leaving all that responsibility in the hands of their drivers? Whoever is personally to blame for a bridge strike, ultimately the cost to the haulier in terms of both money and bad publicity is huge – remember, Network Rail reckons there are 5 bridge strikes a day in the UK; that is not a negligible number.


And all the above could be avoided if transport operators would just employ a readily available TMS solution like our CarrierNet Hazard Avoidance Routing Tool (CHART). As with other CarrierNet TMS solutions, CHART was designed to provide appropriate support for drivers (and other workers in transport operations) to both minimise their administrative burdens and provide a low-stress approach to the entire transport operation. In this case, if Tesco’s had employed CHART, not only would the driver of that HGV in Plymouth have been routed away from potential hazards like a low bridge, he or she would not have been stressed by such an incident and therefore able to get on with their primary job – and the icing on the cake is that there would not have been such unnecessary disruption for the public at large.


To find out how CHART can deliver almost fool-proof zero bridge strike route management, as well as lower stress for increasingly scarce and valuable drivers, please contact Bashir Khan here.