Communicating with drivers has never been easier. The days of phone boxes in lay-bys are so dim and distant they exist only in the anecdotes told by old hands, along with stories of getting stuck in the snowdrifts on a pre-M6 Shap and sleeping on boards across the seats.
Mobile phones have been standard equipment for over a decade, and many traffic offices use SMS to send job details to drivers, now that reliable software has made it easy to integrate such functionality into other key systems.
This begs the question: why doesn’t the technology filter all the way through the job process?
Imagine how much easier life would be if passing on loading instructions was simply a case of hitting “forward” on receipt of the booking, and how much time and paper could be saved if drivers’ timesheets could be sent digitally at the end of every day.
So why hasn’t it happened?
The answer, of course, is simple – there are still gaping holes in the mobile broadband networks, some of them across major industrial areas. Having tried to get a connection anywhere near the Port of Tilbury, for example, it is only too obvious why the idea doesn’t have legs at the moment. But which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Until hauliers start to push mobile ISPs to improve the situation, I fear that once again we will be left trailing behind the rest of UK for many years to come.
Does this mirror your experience? How have you found mobile broadband in rural Britain? Let us know.