- Dump truck logistics company Trux announced this week that its free "dump trucks on demand" platform will launch in Los Angeles, the first step of a national rollout planned for this year.
- The Waltham, Massachusetts-based startup Trux allows contractors and material providers to request and find truck drivers whenever they are needed at a jobsite. The cloud-based, online platform offers automated dispatching; real-time driver tracking; ticketing, invoicing and payment services; and cost and performance data.
- Independent drivers on the platform receive notifications when jobs are available and when they have specifically been requested. The product can help drivers minimize their deadhead time (driving with an empty load), Trux says, and allows contractors can tap into the system's thousands of drivers and avoid spending valuable time waiting for a dump truck to arrive.
“The TRUX team has been hard at work building a platform that benefits everyone in the industry by taking advantage of the computing power everyone already carries in their pocket, including GPS tracking and real-time job updates and notifications,” CEO Jeff Gower said in a company press release.
The launch is part of the company’s effort to tap into a roughly $19 billion dump truck services market, and an example of technology targeting and solving an existing problem in the construction industry.
On the other hand, some construction tech startups present a cutting edge product that is more of “a solution looking for a problem,” as Jennifer Suerth, vice president of technical services at Pepper Construction told Construction Dive last month.
And addressing real problems, thereby saving time and squeezing more productivity out of a day, is vital to contractors, many of whom are currently overwhelmed by a shortage of skilled workers and subcontractors but experiencing no dearth of opportunities for new work. In fact, these issues might be helping contractors to make the leap to tech.
Mobile-friendly apps have also aided the cause, with a significant share of contractors recently surveyed by the Associated General Contractors of America indicating that they plan to use mobile software in 2019 to access daily field reports (44%), employee time tracking (40%) and document sharing (38%), among other functions.
Procore, which was valued at an estimated at $3 billion in December, offers a popular field-centric project management platform that the company says is used by 5,000 customers and their employees on projects in more than 100 countries. PlanGrid is another common field productivity tool and allows users to share up-to-date versions of building plans and other project documents. In November, Autodesk announced plans to acquire PlanGrid for $875 million cash.