Bob Egan, an analyst at Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn., said the use of satellite-based information systems is "well established" in the trucking industry. But, Egan added, "what's emerging in a big way is the use of multiple wireless techniques to address specific business requirements. ... We will continue to see wireless LAN adoption explode in many sectors of the [trucking] market, because unlike wide-area terrestrial wireless and satellites, wireless LANs can deliver higher speed and support greater capacity demands where needed."
McLane has already tested the systtem with a pilot project with 10 trucks operating out of its terminal in Lubbock, Texas. Dillon said he expects McLane to complete the rollout to all 17 terminals and 1,050 trucks in the grocery division by the end of next year. McLane is considering installing a similar system in its division that handles deliveries to fast-food restaurants, he added.