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Additive Manufacturing Is In Route To Reshape The Trucking Industry

Robertson Truck Sales has been in operation since 1984, and we have seen the transformation of the trucking industry with innovative technology. Computerized service equipment has offered our service technicians the best means to analyze and make repairs to our customers' fleets. Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, is now showing technology that looks to be changing the world in many ways. 

The trucking industry is running full steam ahead, and 3D printing is "quietly" building momentum in our industry per a Fleetowner article, "Three ways 3D printing is (quietly) revolutionizing trucking" by Marsh, A. (2016, August 2). What's been silently happening that will change many aspects of life as we know it.

  • Not only any part but hard-to-find parts will be able to be made on demand at lower costs.
  • An entire vehicle has already been produced "with little machining and production infrastructure."
  • Ford began experimenting with 3D printing as early as 1986, and also sees the advantage of being able to make parts and tools on demand requiring fewer costs. 

To get a newer perspective on emerging technologies that will have an effect on the trucking industry, we're fast-forwarding to"Pace of Trucking Industry Change About To Hit Warp Speed" by Uldrich, J. (2017, September 7) reports that technological advances are growing fast, and this growth is accelerating in: "virtual reality, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, 5G wireless, material sciences, robotics, Big Data and battery technology." Our trucking industry will see new technology that will vary in a wide range of excitement.

  • Platooning technology is already seeing a positive effect on fuel efficiency.
  • Diagnostic data will be able to notify of oncoming equipment failures such as tires or engines.
  • Battery-driven trucks may soon be as cost-efficient as fuel-driven trucks with a "600-800 mile" range before needing to be charged up.
  • Robotic, self-driving trucks are in experimental stages with positive and negative reactions. There are a handful of states that are already investing in "vehicle-to-infrastructure networks."
    • The shortage of truck drivers that is being estimated may push this technological idea, even more, faster than expected.
  • Additive Manufacturing is going to be a major player in almost every aspect of life, as we know it. For the trucking industry, many products that are moved all across the country may come to an end with the 3D printing of products likes shoes. "160 different materials are now printable."
    • It is estimated that "25%" of all trucking shipments will be unnecessary. 

The research and development of additive manufacturing seem to be moving into the fast lane. How this space-age technology will totally affect the trucking industry is to be determined.

Robertson Truck Sales and the entire Robertson Truck Group, located in Mount Vernon, Ohio, will continue to advance our businesses to bring our customers the best trucking solutions needed to keep your fleets moving. It is always a pleasure to partner with your team. Call us at 740-397-4969 when you need any solution for your trucking business.