Trucks, either large or small, are probably the most reliable vehicles in moving large quantities of cargoes across countries and towns. They can go almost everywhere, delivering commodities we use in day-to-day living, from the clothes we wear to the food we eat.

According to International Road Transport Union (IRU), an international road transport organization, since the early 1900s, trucks have played an important role in helping countries develop and become prosperous, and help create a fairer distribution of wealth and jobs between urban and rural areas.

“Almost everything in our homes or offices has, at one point of its production or distribution, been on a truck,” IRU says on its Web site. “Their flexibility means that producers, businesses, and people can live and work almost anywhere.”

Sumit Sharma, co-founder of tech-logistics startup in India GoBOLT, echoed the same sentiment, noting that road transportation is one of the important links that facilitates productivity and competitive efficiency which leads to rapid economic development of a country.

“It also plays a key role in bringing about the development of the remote regions by opening them to trade and investment and integrating them with the mainstream economy,” Mr. Sharma said in a piece published on Retail 360 Asia’s Web site. “Consider what would happen if every truck were pulled off the road: There would be a perishable goods shortage within three days; drinking water would disappear within two to four weeks. Food supplies in hospitals would be gone in 24 hours. ATMs would be empty in two to three days.”

Without a doubt, the sector’s contribution to the economy is significant, Mr. Sharma said, noting that almost all businesses nowadays rely on trucks to either secure necessary materials for what they’re doing or delivering their final product in the marketplace.

At present, IRU says that road transport carries more than 80% of inland freight volume on average. In modern economies, 85% of road freight tonnage is carried over distances of 150 kilometers (km) or less while less than 1% gets carried over 1,000 km, the organization adds.

“Ultimately, it’s hard to put a number on just how much the trucking sector contributes to the economy, because its impact reaches far beyond the industry’s own employment and financial contributions to our GDP.  Specifically, if it weren’t for trucks, most of the country’s businesses wouldn’t be able to operate,” Mr. Sharma said .

Considering the utmost importance of cargo trucks in moving businesses and the economy forward, it is important to rely on those with dependable features. These include trucks with large capacity, ergonomic cabin, and aesthetic appeal, as well as trucks that are incredibly durable, practically silent, fully customizable, safe and easy to handle, and eco-friendly.

Moreover, according to automotive-oriented Web site, it is also worth considering to purchase trucks with the latest digital-based features, including a digital cluster, entertainment center, and outlets.

The said that the days of analogy clusters have long come and gone. It says that: “Any new truck that you purchase should be equipped with a digital cluster. A digital cluster will allow you to customize the information that appears right in front of you as you drive. You can set up the digital cluster to that the information that is the most relevant to you at that time is what is displayed. A digital cluster helps you personalize the driving experience.”

In cases that the truck will be shared with more than one driver, the digital cluster, according to the site, may allow them to set up a profile that works best for their individual and unique needs as a driver.

The also suggests to look for a truck with the latest digital entertainment center. “The latest entertainment centers ditch all the knobs and focus on providing you with a sleek touchscreen where you can choose what type of entertainment you want. You can listen to the regular radio or pick up some satellite radio. You can plug your MP3 player in, or wirelessly stream music that you have on your phone through your system,” the site says.

In terms of functionality, the touchscreen of the entertainment system can also turn into a digital screen to provide the truck driver with GPS and maps, helping them to easily navigate the route that they are heading.

Moreover, the says that truck buyers these days should look for trucks equipped with outlets. This will allow the driver to plug in and charge USB devices without the need for a converter. Likewise, the truck should also come with a traditional electronic outlet similar to those found at home, which will enable to plug in things like a vacuum cleaner into the truck. — Mark Louis F. Ferrolino