Improving the Driver Experience using Technology with Joshua Walls


Joshua, please introduce yourself

  • I am a Joshua Walls, co-founder of Truckpark.com, a phone app that helps drivers find a safe, secure place to park. We developed our phone app as a tool to help truck drivers find safe and secure parking. Ideally, our app will improve the driver’s experience and quality of life.

Please tell us about your background. Where did you grow up? Go to school? What was your major in college?

  • Grew up in Chicago and I am a big Chicago Cubs fan
  • Earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Trinity International University
  • Earned a master’s degree in organizational leadership, training and development from Lewis University

What was your first job out of school?

  • Neiman-Markus tasked with customer experience/customer engagement

When and why did you start TruckPark?

  • My partner, Anthony Petitte and I became interested in truck parking because we both had family members in trucking who complained that is was sometimes difficult to find safe and secure parking

Joshua, today’s topic is “Improving the Driver Experience using Technology” so please tell us a little about the driver experience

  • Joe, I am not a driver so I can’t fully describe all the issues facing drivers, but I can tell you what we have learned from talking with hundreds of drivers
  • Also from talking to friends and family who are drivers. My brother is a driver so I have learned a lot from his experience
  • The driver experience is a difficult one
  • There are many challenges facing drivers both professionally and personally
  • All of us worked to achieve a good work/life balance, however drivers have a much harder time because of the long hours on the road

Joshua, let’s first talk about the professional issues drivers face

  • On the professional side, drivers are also confronted with some unique challenges:
    • First, they must cover a lot of miles – every time I travel any distance by car, I am reminded that drivers do this every damn day
    • Secondly, they must conduct their business from the road
      • Providing updates to dispatchers/brokers
      • Coordinating with shippers – pick up and deliveries
      • Finding their next load
      • Invoicing, accounting, sales, etc. for owner operators
      • Routine maintenance, fuel, etc.
      • Traffic – very unpredictable, yet they must keep on schedule / be on time
      • Weather – rain, snow, dangerous roads, extra time
    • Lastly, they must comply with local, state and federal regulations
      • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
      • Hours of Service / Electronic Logging Device
      • We all try to follow rules, but when you are a driver, not complying means you could lose your livelihood
      • Obviously, the rules are in place to protect the drivers and the general public, but some of the rules like ELD have some elements that are very difficult to manage

Joshua, let’s first talk about the personal issues drivers face

  • On the personal side they live on the road, which means:
    • Time away from family – getting home for your daughter’s game or the school play is a real challenge
    • Living a healthy lifestyle – finding affordable, healthy food, exercise
    • Sleeping in an unsafe/unsecure location
    • Fatigue – not getting a good night’s rest for a variety of reasons like
      • Difficult work schedule – fighting their body clock
      • Getting loaded/unloaded late
      • Traffic – running late and running out of hours
      • Can’t find a place to park/sleep
    • If you work in an office, being tired is no big deal, but for drivers, fatigue is a life and death problem

No wonder there is a driver’s shortage, the driver experience sounds rough

    • Personal and professional blurs when you are a driver
    • There are real quality of life issues that must be addressed or the industry will continue to have a driver shortage

So, please tell us a little about the apps that drivers use on their phones and tablets

    • First off, drivers are tech savvy, because of their lifestyles, they are connected via tablets, smart phones, laptops, CB radios (?)
    • Productivity tools like email, texting,
    • Voice activation applications are growing
    • GPS, routing software,
    • ELD
    • Matching software to help them find a load home to avoid driving empty miles

Tell me about your truck parking app

    • From talking to drivers and our research, we have learned that driver:
      • Spend 54 minutes per shift looking for parking
      • 85% of drivers have experienced theft in a parking lot
    • Our app
      • Reserve spot in real time
      • Safe/secure spot where you can actually sleep (peace of mind)
      • Rating locations – amenities good/healthy food, truck wash, maintenance, etc

How do truckers sign up? How much does it cost?

  • The app is available for download from the Apple Store or Google play
  • The app is free to download, and drivers do not pay extra to reserve parking
  • Free to download – free to use

Joshua, thank you so much for sharing your expertise, any final words?

  • We need to improve the driver experience, to make it easier on drivers to put in those miles, otherwise the driver shortage will continue
  • Trucking is the backbone of our economy and we need to respect the people who drive those trucks – improve their quality of life
  • Apps like our can lighten the load for drivers, which in turn will increase productivity, safety and profits

Learn More:

Joshua Walls LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshua-a-walls-ma-43b15032

Truckpark.com app: https://truckpark.com/

By | 2019-07-09T17:46:04-04:00 July 9th, 2019|Podcast|Comments Off on Improving the Driver Experience using Technology with Joshua Walls

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