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"As a society we do not place a value on [this] type of profession," said John Goralski, manager of fleet maintenance education for FedEx Freight. Goralski said the company is having a hard time filling open positions for technicians that despite efforts to recruit at community colleges around the country. Commercial vehicle technicians usually need a minimum of a two-year associate degree in diesel technology, and many companies are looking to hire people who have studied computer technology or engineering.
"The radar system on these tractors for collision mitigation, collision avoidance, is very similar to what’s on military and commercial aircrafts. There’s a minimum of eight computer systems right now on a Class 8 tractor," he said. FedEx and other transportation and logistics companies are also researching robotics, automation and other advanced technologies for use in their trucks.
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