Australian Interstate Truck Drivers and Global Tracking Systems

Title: Australian Interstate Truck Drivers and Global Tracking Systems: Conversations with Truckies

Dr Jann Karp, Criminology & Sociology, University of New England, Armidale Campus


Global  Positioning  Systems  (GPS)  are  operating  extensively  in  the  Australian  trucking  industry.  The satellite dishes connect the moving parts of the truck to the moving driver, to a stationary base.  The truck is followed in real time. The weight of the truck is traced. The driver’s behaviour in terms of speed, stop and start  are  recorded.  Who  is  using  the  records  of  these  movements:  the  driver,  the  companies  and  the regulators? Is  this  a  management tool,  a safety  tool or a  regulatory device? So do we want our workers subjected  to surveillance  in real time? What is  the impact  on these  men’s  working lives?   I interviewed twenty-­‐three drivers in the field while a  passenger en route, and discovered many  complexities  in these men’s  working lives.   Global tracking works  via  satellite link; provides a  management tool for companies and for regulators; but also gives truckies a tool to argue that they are complying with the rules.


Dr  Jann Karp  retired from the  NSW  Police  in  2007.  She  graduated  with  her  PhD  in the  same  year and published her first book: Corruption and Crisis Control: The Nature of the Game in 2008.

Her second book Conversations with Truckies Looking at Life Through Glass  is currently being considered for publication as a joint project with the Federal Transport Workers Union and Federation Press.

Her third book again will broaden our understanding of Australian workplaces. The title is: Workers in the

21st Century.  Jann is presently a Lecturer with the University of New England in Armidale NSW.