Technology Driving Truckstop Changes
September 17, 1998
Sept. 18 — From smart card readers to Internet kiosks, truckstops are increasingly going high-tech. That was the message of Petro’s Sue Hansen and Richard Tisdale, speaking at a fleet fueling seminar hosted by Oil Price Information Service earlier this week in Nashville, TN.
Fuel island card readers are becoming more common, with an alphanumeric keyboard and display that lets drivers enter information required by their carriers. Petro is testing new technology for their fuel island card readers, including a new "smart prompt" option and fuel island printers. In the future, Hansen and Tisdale predicted, radio frequency transponders will allow fuel islands to get the required information automatically and turn on the pump before the driver even gets out of the cab.
Other truckstop areas where technology is showing itself, Hansen and Tisdale reported, include new lube systems from companies such as Petro, Travelcenters of America and Flying J, which provide real-time maintenance data to fleets and can issue electronic purchase orders. Internet kiosks offer advertising and fleet recruiting opportunities as well as driver e-mail, weather and other vital information. Some truckstops, such as the Bordentown, NJ, Petro, are offering drivers computer and Internet access.