In the struggle for truck driver retention, fleet managers are adopting mobile devices as productivity tools and a perk for private use.

The majority of drivers are comfortable using smartphones and tablets for communicating with family and friends, personal banking, games, entertainment and many other daily uses. They’re accustomed to using touch screens with minimal typing, and they expect to be able to access the same level of technology in the cab.

Given the widespread adoption of mobile devices in the industry, fleets may opt for a bring your own device (BYOD) strategy, a company-owned, personally enabled (COPE) approach or a mix of the two. Some fleets offer devices for company drivers, providing owners and operators with the same functionality they use on their own devices.

With a new smartphone or tablet, drivers can use a device they’re familiar with, resulting in a shorter learning curve, and the company can be assured the devices are compliant with federal regulations and are employing up-to-date security measures.

Improve Driver Retention

Offering mobile devices to drivers can be part of fleet initiatives to help make them more productive and reduce administrative headaches, leading to better job satisfaction.

Drivers are more receptive to tracking orders, capturing signatures, reconciling returns and performing other tasks on a mobile device rather than maintaining a paper manifest. Mobile devices can also help increase loaded turns through better communication with dispatchers and customers. It also reduces the amount of time spent filing and managing paperwork, since tasks can be completed from one central device. Additionally, mobile devices can help truck drivers make better use of their rest time, staying in touch with families and using apps to pass the time.

Nationwide, only about 17 percent of drivers nationwide are 35 or younger, so adding mobile devices to the cab could help attract a new population to the industry, since these devices are similar to what they use in everyday life.

“Younger drivers want to be able to use their mobile device to access the information and data that they need to be armed with as they go about their day; they don’t expect to read information off of and maintain a paper manifest,” Pol Sweeney, chief technology for Airclic, told Fleet Owner. “That’s why the ‘consumerization of technology’ is catching up with trucking.”

In an increasingly demanding shipping market, mobile technology helps drivers to feel more connected to their managers and customers. Millennials, who will likely be larger part of the driver base in the coming years, value mentoring and coaching as well as a work-life balance, and they seek technology that enables self-management and personal productivity. Drivers also benefit from feeling less isolated on the road, with devices to connect directly with family and friends.

Protect Company Data

Even if a fleet does not offer mobile devices, drivers are most likely using their own tools to perform tasks every day, as well as emailing dispatchers, calling customers and checking navigation on the same device. That means BYOD is already part of many fleet operations, even if it’s not an official corporate policy.

IT security staff may shudder at the thought of hundreds of devices with corporate network access being used in truck stops and on the highway. But the Samsung Knox security platform offers a defense-grade secure environment for fleets to provide mobile devices for business and personal use.

The Knox platform creates a secure environment against attacks that may target the device software stored, the data structures of the OS or even data moving between the device and the internet. In addition to security measures anchored in the hardware, Samsung offers containerization solutions, which are designed to separate, isolate, encrypt and protect data from attackers. The distinct corporate and personal environments ensure company data and personal data are kept separate, and only the company has access to manage the work container.

Security Spanning All Types of Enterprise

Knox protection is available for small and large enterprises. For smaller fleets that need simple device management, Knox Premium uses a cloud-based platform supported by an on-device secure container for a simple, low-cost device management solution.

For enterprise-level security, Knox Workspace locks business applications and data into an encrypted secure container, while also working seamlessly with leading mobile management solutions. Knox Workspace supports enterprise VPNs to offer employees a secure path to the corporate environment from their personal or corporate-owned devices. For personal use, drivers may be responsible for locating Wi-Fi access on the road. Knox can keep corporate data safe even if the network is not fully secure, and also can neutralize malware attacks.

In the case of a lost or stolen device, business data can be wiped off the phone/tablet, while leaving personal data intact. If a driver leaves the company, apps and data can be removed, and log-in information can be disabled remotely to stop unauthorized access.

The security of Samsung Knox simplifies life for drivers and IT personnel by allowing drivers to carry one device to manage both work and personal activities, while making it easy to protect company data.

Giving truck drivers access to the latest technology represents an investment in their productivity and job satisfaction. By addressing drivers’ concerns around isolation and communication, companies can improve driver retention and recruitment to enhance their culture and competitiveness.

Discover more technology advancements in the transportation field that are set to dramatically impact this rapidly changing industry.