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Why are bridge strikes still with us?

It is truly wearisome. Like having to fulfil a repeat prescription until the end of time:

Patient: The UK.

Condition: Exasperation.

Dosage: Take 5 Bridge Strikes a Day, with or without food.

Price: Don’t ask.

Side Effects: Unnecessary costs, road and rail delays, possible injury or even death.


Well, if we don’t take preventative measures, we should expect to have to take our medicine ad nauseam unto the end of time - which is so unnecessary when we have the ability to do away with almost all bridge strikes at the push of some suitably interconnected connected buttons. Let’s look at how that can be done.

Image of trucks superimposed on road under railway bridge to illustrate article about bridge strikes

We all recognise that to reduce bridge strikes to a fraction of their current toll, a number of component parts in transport operations need to work together seamlessly: the heights of bridges have to be measured correctly (and kept up to date) with that information shared among all major digital map providers. Then, transport management solutions have to be produced for operators so that driver decision-making regarding routes and their various hazards, including bridges, are reduced drastically, leaving them to concentrate on their main job of transporting their loads safely and timeously to their destinations.


If that sounds difficult, it really is not. Transport operators already have the option of using modern, internet-based transport management systems (TMSs) that have the ability to integrate all map-makers' information seamlessly and automatically into their routing systems, along with the capacity to provide drivers with an app that will advise them of their progress and of any sudden route changes made necessary by accidents or other incidents, even while they're out on the road.


TMS providers like ourselves and the transport operators who utilise our TMS simply need external stakeholders to work with us to produce a holistic bridge strike avoidance system. Such stakeholders are the rail and road authorities who have the bridge height info necessary; the mapping providers such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, etc., to integrate that information; and, last but not least, government, which should be leading the way on all of this and coordinating what could be a fairly straightforward process. It’s certainly not too bitter a pill to swallow given the alternative of endless bridge strikes continuing into the future.


A TMS (like our own CarrierNet) can assimilate all bridge height information provided by the mappers and use it to determine the route that should be provided to a vehicle (including both tractor and trailer). Clear and concise training plans can be delivered to the drivers and any deviations in routing monitored in real time via our CHART app, so that support can be provided as and when needed.


If you would like to understand how a TMS is key to delivering this kind of hazard avoidance solution, please contact Bashir Khan here.



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