Can you believe the first smartphones debuted almost 25 years ago? Gone are the days of using at atlas to plan a driving vacation. Few people pick up their phone to check in with a friend when it’s easier to send them a quick text message. Others rarely go to a mall to buy a gift because it can be so conveniently done on their phone with a click of a button.
An estimated 90 percent of adults under the age of 65 have smartphones, and a recent study revealed that the average person spends 90 mins a day and up to 23 days a year on their phone. Even about half of United States residents age 65 and above own a smartphone.
The truck industry has also changed with the advent of mobile communication. Drivers seldom use CB radios anymore, opting instead for utilizing their smartphone to check weather conditions and communicate with other drivers. There are even smartphone apps that have been specifically developed for over-the-road truck drivers. Here are some of the most popular ones:
As a truck driver, you know every exit can look the same after hours on the road. This free app uses your smartphone’s GPS location tracker to not only let you know what exit is up next on your route but also what truck-friendly restaurants, gas stations lodging, parking and other amenities are available there. This app is available on iTunes.
Truck Stops – GPS, RoadHunter
Another free app designed especially for truck drivers, this one gives you information on what truck stops are on your route, what type they are and what they include (i.e. showers, parking). It also provides you with details on weigh stations on your itinerary and alerts you to severe weather in your area. This app is available on both iTunes and Google Play.
An interactive map is the highlight of this app, which enables you to get real-time data on truck stop locations, fuel prices, weigh stations, rest areas, parking and more. This app, also available through a premium membership subscription, is available on both iTunes and Google Play.
This app lets you electronically log your mileage with increased ease accuracy, communicate your location with your company’s dispatchers and keep informed of government regulations on driving times. Also available through a more comprehensive monthly subscription, this Department of Transportation-approved app is available on both iTunes and Google Play.
With gas prices continuing to rise, saving even a few cents every time you fuel up is important. Fuelbook is updated multiple times daily and tracks more than 7,000 truck stops across the country to notify drivers of the best diesel gas prices. It also offers fuel discounts and a search feature to find truck repair facilities in your location. This app is available on both iTunes and Google Play.
Though the following apps aren’t only for truckers, they include a lot of features useful to over-the-road drivers:
A popular community-based mapping, traffic and navigation app, Waze allows truck drivers to share real-time updates on traffic jams, road construction, severe weather and police presence in specific areas. Plus, it gives recommendations on alternate routes, so you can proactively avoid time-consuming delays. This app is available on both iTunes and Google Play.
Being an over-the-road truck driver can be lonely at times, and listening to music isn’t always your first choice. Audiobooks offers more than 9,000 book titles from multiple genres, some of which are free. This app is available on both iTunes and Google Play and also is accessible through an ad-free subscription for a small monthly fee.
Basically a mobile scanner, this handy app enables you to take a picture of receipts and other documents, convert them to a PDF image, save them to the cloud and share them via email or fax.This app, also available with more features through a small monthly fee, is available on both iTunes and Google Play.
Even though these make many routine tasks easier and more time-efficient, remember to only use them in accordance with the rules of the road. Your safety and that of those who share the road with you is paramount!
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