With so many advances in technology I wanted to see if the trucking industry was keeping up. The short answer is a big YES! There are so many programs, tools, and apps available right now it is almost crazy.
The trucking industry, just like every other industry, has taken full advantage of the resources available. All those gadgets, made life easier then ever!
A person could spend a couple weeks and never see everything that is out there. This is both good and bad. It is good because everything that makes life easier benefits us in other areas. Electronic logs can save time, and more accurately record information.
Technology keeps us in contact not just with our loved ones (which is important), but with other drivers, brokers, carriers, and the home base. What is the bad part? Is that there are so many to choose from and it can be hard to find the right one.
Why download apps? Main reason will be to save time, of course. Saving a few minutes here or there may not seem like much but it will add up over the course of a year. Think about it this way, if you saved ten minutes a week for 52 weeks, that’s 520 minutes or almost 9 hours! What would you do if you were able to gain the equivalent of one complete workday?
So with that in mind, I reviewed some of the more common apps. I stress these are not all that’s out there, just what seems to be the most common.
Overdrive’s Trucker Tools
This is great for helping to locate all those essentials like the nearest truck stops, rest areas, scales, and service centers. But it offers more than that. It can aid in route planning, has a fuel optimizer program, and more.
Another great feature it offers brokers, carriers, and shippers the option to track a shipment’s route and acquire status updates, in real time. This is a great tool that can add to your company’s credibility. Instead of annoyed anxious customers calling you, they can simply check and get updates themselves.
Overdrive’s Trucker Tools, offers all these features (and more) and it’s a free app!
User reviews: This seemed to get the best reviews. Users generally agreed that it works great and provides up to date information.
They have over ten years of in-house development creating their system. What they offer is a streamlined back office process to handle cash flow and document control. This allows smaller operations to have all the assets of the larger company’s right at your fingertips.
Customers can choose several modules to aid their back office needs. With the most common being:
- Document Capturing (Scanning and Faxing)
- Indexing and Data Validation
- Workflow Support
- Data Storage, Retrieval and Distribution
- Cloud Based Document Access, and much more.
Contact them for pricing and assistance.
User reviews: Mixed reviews, most seem to really like it. But it recently updated and they have been fixing a few issues.
This app is geared towards cutting time spent waiting in lines. So how does it work this? Very simple. You can submit work orders 2-24 hours of arriving (TA Truck Service or PetroLube locations). Purchase shower time within 50 miles, no need to wait in line at the kiosk. Check parking availability and reserve a spot up to 7 days in advance!
Of course you can also get parking updates, fuel prices, check balances and account information. Another good feature is their one touch calling for emergency roadside assistance.
To download the app is free but you will need to maintain a credit account balance which can be handled online.
User reviews: Though people like the concept they say the app is slow, but the developers are improving it.
The Weather Channel
This is a must for any traveler, but especially if your livelihood depends on being out on the road. Many will argue about some of the issues that affect the trucking industry, but it is the weather that can’t be controlled. However, you can be prepared and plan according to reports.
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People have been checking the weather since the first person looked out and said what they saw. However, The Weather Channel has been on cable TV as one of the earliest available channels. They have a great reputation and give local, national, and global reports.
The great thing about their app is, it’s free! It can be downloaded to laptops, tablets, smart phones. And you get real time reports instantly.
User Reviews: Though they have been around a long time, their most recent app, isn’t as well received as they had hoped. The main complaint is not about the content, but about the ease of use. It takes several steps to get the information needed.
They were created in 2010 by people from the actual transportation industry. Since then they have grown to offer many support services to drivers and fleets. Their primary purpose at that time was to better assist drivers in finding the best fuel prices. Now they offer fuel prices from over 7000 locations, parking status updates, GPS check-in, and more.
Fuelbook boost that they have “helped drivers save on fuel over 8 million times or an estimated $3 billion dollars”!
They offer services geared towards individual drivers, fleets, and truck stops. The app itself is free to download. However, additional cost varies depending on the plan and services desired. Fleet prices range from $99.00 to $299.00 per month.
User reviews: Though it maintains fairly strong reviews, there have been some complaints after a recent update. Those seem to have been addressed.
They are geared towards drivers helping drivers. Basically, it’s a social networking app that allows drivers to communicate with other drivers. Get real time updates about traffic conditions, police check points, or share a new route.
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Waze links with Face Book allowing drivers to arrange meetings and share information. But they also allow for real time map editing. Drivers can mark unknown detours and route changes instantly alerting other drivers so that they can act accordingly.
User reviews: They get strong and very positive reviews, most users are very pleased.
It’s a cloud-based business management tool created by actual industry professionals, for the transportation industry. They have streamlined and put almost every tool together in one product. Basically everything from ordering, dispatching, and even invoicing can all be done with TruckLogics.
Regardless the size of your operation they can tailor a service to meet your needs. They offer packages which include easy access and one touch trip tickets. Though the app is free their additional services are not. Individual operators start at a monthly fee of $7.95 and Fleets start at $24.95.
They are powered by TruckLogics .This is a good tool for business management, E-filing, and other processing services. They are geared for operations of all sizes, large or small. Best of all this is a free app. However, see TruckLogics for additional services and cost.
User reviews: There are not many reviews left for this, but generally seems like a good tool.
Trucker Path Pro
Trucker Path provides navigational assistance and load sourcing information for the trucking industry. They offer a great app for planning routes and allow drivers to communicate with each other.