You’d ask why trucking has anything to do with open source, particularly GNU/Linux?
Let’s see how does this Linux thing can help you lower your operation cost while keep or even improve your service.
First, there is no exorbitant license fee to pay. You can download the Gnu/Linux distributions off the Internet, or buy installation CD/DVD at shipping cost, you can install the system by yourself of someone knows Linux in your organization or follow online help step by step, you will have GNU/Linux up and running in no time nowadays.
Then you have old hardware which is not capable of handling the latest Windows OS, you probably will have to buy new hardware just to run Windows, now you can keep using these old buddies for quite some time with GNU/Linux, because Linux can handle low end machines very well, just go online to see how to do it.
Now you have system installed, applications are running, what next? Say you need accounting software, well, LedgerSMB is all you need. What about eCommerce? Zen Cart or Magento will do the magic. Gimp will help you to retouch your digital pictures, personal or business. You can surf the net safely with Firefox. These are just some of the great things I can think of right now, you will find there are a lot more interesting things you can do with Linux.
OK, you ask, what about those malware, virus, spyware? Actually this is the strongest point of using Linux, as long as you don’t login as root to run your desktop, you are safe from most malware, spyware and virus.
All the benefits above, exactly what is there for Trucking business?
An important part of trucking business is hauling loads, before you go on your trip you need to make sure your load is safe, you need tie downs to secure your load, most of these tie down products are pretty heavy, especially transport chains, a few chains can weigh more than 150lbs, you can buy them locally, usually with high price, then you can buy them cheaper online, but the shipping charge sometimes can be prohibitive. Now let’s have a look at one online cargo control products store, www.mfrexpress.com, they are selling all kind of tie downs on their website, heavy duty chains, ratchet straps, cargo bars, truck winch and winch straps, etc., this may not be that special because a lot people are selling these stuff online, hat makes them special is that they offer free shipping on orders $25 or more,meanwhile they offer nice quality cargo control products at lower price than most online retailers, these two things together you have a really nice deal.
Now the question is how can they do that without being broke? Since the shipping charge is pretty hefty especially for binder chains and load binders, they will have to lower their operation cost quite a bit, this is where Linux, Open Source come into play. They run their office on all open source software, from OS to applications, from web server to email server, fax server, all based on Linux. Their desktop machines are from 2002/3 and still going strong under the command of Linux, their servers are all bought on EBA lately and running nonstop already for more than 3 years, they have their own email, fax, web and VoIP server, all of these greatly reduced the maintenance cost and ongoing security cost, for 6 years they haven’t needed any major spending on hardware or software, no malware/spyware/virus whatsoever, almost no down time except serious power black out.
In a weak economy, cutting cost often times means cutting corners, but with open source you can lower operation cost but not lower your standard.