Drones in Truck Fleets: Beyond Package Delivery

Once approved by the FAA, Workhorse will release a version of the E-GEN hybrid-electric truck that has been specifically designed to incorporate HorseFly. (PHOTO: WORKHORSE)

Once approved by the FAA, Workhorse will release a version of the E-GEN hybrid-electric truck that has been specifically designed to incorporate HorseFly. (PHOTO: WORKHORSE)

In today’s digital age, technology is developing at a break-neck pace and fleet management is often the recipient and early adopter of many of the new options available.

One of the more newsworthy pieces of modern technology has been the “drone.” A drone is defined by Webster’s as an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond the line of the operator's sight.

Package delivery fleets are finding ways to utilize drones for delivering lightweight packages short distances from moving vehicles. But, beyond delivery fleets, I got to thinking about a few other ways truck fleet managers may find some benefits from having a drone in their vehicle fleet.

A utility fleet in Kansas has recently replaced the use of some bucket trucks with drones to “improve the way it conducts inspections.” Other fleets may be able to utilize drones for inspections, such as gas and oil fleets that operate in more remote areas.

One possible use for a drone in fleet management would be for quick site flyovers, versus the need to walk or drive around a facility. Want to check in on your maintenance facility? Check over your facility grounds for any maintenance or clean up needs? Just about anything that can be accomplished by a quick walk around can be handled by drones. They can also be used for security purposes allowing security personnel to cover more ground. 

Another possible use would be photography and videography. Need to get a photo of your fleet vehicles or facility? Want to make a promo video for your fleet? (Check out what Stertil-Koni Lifts recently did with a drone at a fleet facility in Long Beach, Calif., here).

Furthermore, light package delivery isn’t off the table for fleets – perhaps delivering interoffice mail, light parts to a maintenance bay, or other small items.

The possibilities are endless. What are some ways your fleet is currently using drone technology? Or if you aren’t currently using it, what other ways do you see it being a possible benefit for fleets? Or, do you see them as a distraction and unneeded in fleet?

May 5, 2017 | by Lauren Fletcher

Source: Work Truck

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