Trucking is a great way to see the world, but there are a few downsides. Trying to determine whether the gas prices in front of you are the best or if gas is cheaper ten miles down the road? Wondering if you should mentally prepare for rain or will enjoy a few more hours of smooth sailing down the interstate? These questions and many more are likely running through your head as you are trucking along. The good news is that technology today can answer many of these questions for you in the form of a smartphone app!
If you are not currently using your Apple or Android phone to save time and money on the job, then you are in for a treat. There are literally hundreds of smartphone apps available, but only a few of them have made our "best of the best" list for truckers, small trucking fleet owners and Owner Operators, too.
Predicting the Weather
Driving in inclement weather is probably not your first choice, so why not schedule around it when you can? While it won't always work out, there are times that you can schedule a break around a massive rainstorm that is supposed to be short-lived. If you are on a tight schedule and cannot stop or pull over, at least you can mentally prepare for the deluge of rain, hail or snow headed your way! These apps will help keep you safe on the road:
- Weather Channel App: Easy to use and highly reliable, the Weather Channel App allows you to check the radar and forecast hour by hour regardless of your physical location.
- What The Forecast: Want a little snark with your weather? What The Forecast brings a little sunshine to even the gloomiest day with their off-color humor. The animated landscape gives you a hint of what's coming, and there's a profanity filter to reduce the saltiness level if you need it.
- NOAA Radar Pro: For only a few dollars, you can get real-time radar updates for your location, along with detailed weather information from a highly trusted source.
Getting (or Staying!) in Shape
The long hours of sitting can really take a toll on your body, and it isn't always easy to find healthy, nutritious food at truck stops. It's incredibly important to protect your long-term health by looking for ways you can compromise, either with quick exercises you can fit in during a stop or by being more aware of how many calories you're eating on a daily basis. These apps will help you get (or stay!) in shape on the road:
- My Fitness Pal: Track your daily food intake as well as your carbs, sugars, fats and how much water you're drinking. Staying well-hydrated can be a challenge, especially when you need to limit stops on the road. You can even see how many calories you are burning when you do some in-cabin crunches or leg lifts!
- Lost It!: This community-based weight loss app provides you with easy access to food and exercise tracking, as well as a way to get in contact with others who are on a similar journey to improve their health. Track progress against goals and stay motivated with this mobile app.
- FatSecret Calorie Counter: Fast and easy to use, FatSecret Calorie Counter provides nutritional information for thousands of restaurants and foods at your fingertips. You can record your progress and calories and track what you are eating and drinking, too.
Keep Your Truck's Weight Under Control Too!
Going to a weigh station is a necessary evil for many truck drivers, but did you know that there's sometimes a way around this hassle? Mobile apps today are able to help you skip the lines and breeze right through -- provided your carrier safety score is high enough, of course. If your score isn't where it needs to be for a bypass, you can find friendly weigh stations with these apps:
- Drivewyze Weight Station PreClear: With over 100,000 downloads, Drivewyze is a prized tool for many truckers throughout the states. Over 700 sites accept the Drivewyze app to keep you on the road and skip the weigh-in. Plus, the app is a lightweight and won't drain your battery -- even as it notifies you when you're within 2 miles of a weight or inspection station.
- Weigh My Truck App: Saving time at weigh stations is a big deal, and with the Weigh My Truck app you're able to pay for your weight using your smartphone right at the scales -- no need to leave your truck! You will receive your weigh ticket via email or you can still opt for a hard copy for your records.
Your Digital Co-Pilot
Not everyone has the luxury of having a live co-pilot on the road, so why not opt for a digital assistant? These apps can do nearly everything for you, from plotting the best route to managing important documents and logistics and even storing a digital log book.
- CoPilot Truck Navigation: While not a free app, the benefits you'll gain with this long-haul digital assistant may be worth the price. Find the most efficient route, stay away from any potential restrictions and this app could potentially save you a great deal of money over the course of the year.
- Big Road: This digital log book cuts down on the potential for human error and even calculates your available drive time automatically. The interactive map is another boon for long-haul truckers. Of course, this app is just a recommendation and will not replace the ELD system your company has selected!
- Gas Buddy: Are you always on the lookout for the best prices on gas? Look no further! Gas Buddy utilizes your GPS to find truck-friendly stations with a great price.
- AllStays: When you need to take a break, you may have certain requirements. Showers? Clean restrooms? Laundry or a game room? AllStays has the details that will keep you covered. You can even include specific restaurants in your search requirements!
Staying safe on the road is the first requirement of the job, but eating right, staying healthy and enjoying your day are also important. These apps are built to help you stay out of the way of bad weather, find the goods and services that you need and get your job done.
Are you looking for a new trucking job opportunity? CDLjobs.com offers a simple search engine that will connect you to the top paying truck driving jobs in the country. Start looking today -- you are one step closer to finding your dream job!