Convoy College

Technology opens a new vista for long-haul truckers - a college degree.

"10-4, good buddy, I am rolling into Nashville cramming for a midterm on the Semiotics of the Post-Modern Society." InCab University, an accredited university for truckers on the go, is an idea who time has come. At least that's the hope of TransMarkets Technologies, a software and e-commerce provider for the trucking industry, and Chattanooga State Community College, reports The Chatanoogan.

The cab must be equipped with a special network for drivers to receive education and classes over an Internet-enabled PC or InCab device. The trucker then can access accredited materials and classes whenever and wherever is convenient.

“It is important for the program professors to understand the challenges drivers face over-the-road," said TransMarket's Jim Langley. "Driving is not your average career, and can be difficult and less structured than most jobs, with long-hours and changing schedules."

The program is hoping to attract a portion of the 1.5 million long-haul truck-drivers that transverse the nation’s highway system who want to advance their careers or have a new one. The courses offered range from classes about the trucking and transportation industry to small business management and criminal justice.

“I can do this,” said Stephen Fraser, a [driver beta-testing the program.] “I enjoy the course offerings, and I know that whether I am in Las Vegas or Atlanta, a truck stop or a rest area, I have the educational opportunity of a lifetime at my fingertips without sacrificing my income……when I am on the road, I don’t have to resign myself to watching TV or listening to the radio every night. I have a challenge, a purpose, something to work towards.”

While you might think that trucking companies wouldn't want truckers educating themselves out of the cab, the industry actually sees it as a way to retain truckers and increase employee satisfaction. ""In time, we believe this will be a necessary offering by carriers that are focused on retention and recruiting. For fleets looking for the killer application that addresses the driver retention and recruiting shortage, this is it," said TransMarket's CEO Craig Fuller.