The Quantified Employee: How Companies Use Tech to Track Workers

Chandra Steele:

For the seven years he’d been a professional trucker, 25-year-old Trevor had let his own common sense drive his actions. But one night last November, he was answering instead to a government-mandated device his employer had installed in his truck—and it nearly ended him.

Trevor, who asked us to use only his first name, was traveling through a small town and keeping to the posted speed limit. As he hit a curve, he knew he should have slowed down sooner, but the electronic logging device (ELD) installed in his truck was ticking away. If he lost time, he’d have to find a truckstop and sleep there instead of at home. 

Within seconds, he was nearly a statistic. His truck soared off the road. The twisted wreck of the bed lay behind it, and the lumber it carried was scattered down the highway like popsicle sticks. Miraculously, Trevor walked away with only bruises.