We’ve heard a lot on the news lately about trucks and supply chain issues. Covid shoved the trucking industry into the spotlight on the delivery front. When we go to the grocery store and find dust on the shelves instead of our trusty Campbell’s soup, we groan and attempt to find a replacement.
In the background, so many aspects of the trucking industry are not really considered by the every day person. When you’re driving on the highway and looking at all the big rigs chugging along with their loads, you’re likely not considering all of the pieces and parts that make up that trucker’s trip. One unplanned aspect of trucking consists of accidents. If something ever goes awry with a truck and you’re involved in an accident, calling a truck accident lawyer should be on your list. They know the intimate moving parts to this industry and can advise. Let’s take a look at some of the industry’s components.
How Does the Trucking Industry Work?
The trucking business consists of one truck with a single owner or one company that owns multiple trucks and employs drivers. Whether it’s just one driver and their truck or a whole fleet, these vehicles can be thanked for delivering the vast majority of goods we enjoy… like your clothing or materials to construct your home. Some elements of this industry are universal –
- Federal and state governments require special permits and licensing. If you’re a truck driver and on the road, you need to comply with the rules and regulations. You’ll have to take a licensing test and acquire the correct CDL for your driving purpose. In the event of an accident, a truck accident lawyer will know to address the requirements of the driver in the incident.
- Back Office Work – Coordination occurs in offices for all of the deliveries involving trucks. Communication with the factory and the operations manager at the trucking company occurs. They review the order, the load, and instructions for the delivery. They also discuss cost and promised dates.
- The people – It’s not as simple as just throwing an item on a truck to come to your house. Several hands process various pieces of the delivery to assure it arrives safely and correctly. Mechanics care for the fleet, a dispatcher communicates with the trucks, and a safety director ensures everyone’s driving hours are within limits and service rules are followed. You may also find a sales person pounding the pavement acquiring business. Add all of these people into the mix of thousands of drivers on the road, and sometimes accidents occur. If one does, consulting a truck accident lawyer will help you sift through the intricacies of all parties involved.
What About the Truck Drivers?
Much weight falls onto the truck drivers themselves. It’s not as simple as hoisting yourself up into your rig and chugging along the highway. Drivers hold responsibility for several aspects of the job.
- Vehicle inspection – The onus of inspecting the truck before leaving rests with the driver. Before the rig hits the road, it needs to be inspected so they know that the vehicle is in tip-top condition before putting hundreds, if not thousands, of miles on it. Because of this, some basic repair work may be necessary for the driver to address. If enjlisted, a truck accident lawyer will review the maintenance on the vehicle if an accident were to occur.
- Sales & customer service – You might not even consider this as an aspect of a truck driver’s job, but when a load is dropped off or engagement with the customer is involved, that driver is performing customer services and represents the company.
- Log and report accidents – If a truck is involved in an accident, it becomes a pretty major situation. You don’t often see ‘fender benders’ with trucks. Whether you’re the truck driver, passenger vehicle driver, or anyone else related to the accident, consulting a truck accident lawyer can be a critical decision. The lawyer will work with you in hammering out how to handle the accident’s fallout.
- Maintain deadlines – Like airports and expected flight times for passengers, goods are also expected to arrive on time to keep the deliveries successfully flowing. The driver should be cognizant of time and expectations.
The Future of the Trucking Industry
Like anything else, things change… businesses change. The trucking industry is no exception. While accidents and the need for a truck accident lawyer remain a constant, there’s an ever-evolving environment of factors forcing the industry to implement updates. Some forecasted changes include -
- Supply chain and distribution will undergo modifications. Since 2020, ‘Supply chain’ has become a household phrase and we’ve all felt the interruptions. Lessons have been learned and we’ll likely see efficiency turn into a key topic going forward. Experts will utilize technology so new solutions can be achieved.
- Freight transport will increase. Trucks carrying loads dominate over rail industry deliveries. This means more trucks on the road… and possibly more accidents. Keep a truck accident lawyer in the back of your mind in case you find yourself involved in a truck accident.
- Managing a labor shortage. On top of supply chain issues, Covid became responsible for a labor shortage in regards to truck drivers. Aggressive measures are expected to entice new drivers through rising wages, enhanced benefits, and improved working conditions.
An intricate spiderweb of elements creates the components of the trucking industry. All pieces need to work in coordination with one another to avoid disruption. There’s so much more than just a truck driving on the road. But when you get down to it and the fleet of vehicles hit the road, that’s where you may see unfortunate accidents. When they occur, consulting with a truck accident lawyer will give you peace of mind that you’re handling the fallout correctly.
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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