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Truck Driver Apps that are Lifesavers

Drivers use truck driver apps to find out things that would make their work and home lives easier.

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ABCO Transportation
September 9, 2020
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Truck driver apps have become the norm and truckers are very used to utilizing apps for their cell phones and tablets while they are on the road. In fact, there are even some awesome YouTube channels that have been made by truckers, showing the world who they are and documenting how they live and work as professional truckers. Of course, everything is hands-free, so you can expect everything to be safe and sound. 

Drivers use truck driver apps to find out things that would make their working lives easier. It's quite common for truckers to use smartphones and tablets as a way to communicate with other truckers and the world while they are driving. For example, industry-specific apps that show them the gas price of the state they’re in and where a possible truck stop may be located for their periodic resting needs, is how most truckers will use their cellphones.

Truck drivers will also check the traffic conditions ahead, so they can make diversions for their trip and make it to their destination on time. So let's look at some of these apps and why they would be useful to you.

Free Truck Driver Apps

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Of course, most truckers will have no issue with paying for their apps as long as they help them to be more efficient and productive. However, you would be a fool not to take advantage of some awesome apps that are free and just as helpful as some of the paid apps. Some free apps won’t be worth your time, as they hide many of their features behind a paywall and they don’t invest as much as the paid apps, into their basic services and features. The only question is, which ones are actually worth it?

Waze Social GPS, Maps & Traffic

Wave is absolutely free, and can be downloaded via your app store, whether it’s for iOS or Android. It's pretty cool, you get real-time updates of routes that you have selected, so you can react quickly to the weather, floods, traffic, accidents and more. It's a directional app, showing you where to go in order to reach your chosen destination. But why not just use Google Maps right? It has all the same features, so why bother with Waze? Well, it's also a carpool service. It shows which cars and drivers are willing to pick up someone who needs to get to where they want to go and it just so happens to be along your route. 

Why would a trucker care for this? Well, the app doesn’t expect you to offer carpool services for free. You can set out what your charges are, for how far you can take someone and the whole aim is to save money. You can take on one or two passengers and make a little extra money while on the road, as long as you don’t compromise your load or your schedule. Hey, it's no skin off your back if you can help some guys get into town, and it's already on your route, right? This might not be an acceptable practice with trucking companies so check company policy ahead of time. 

The Weather Channel

Another free app, the clue is in the name! You can see local and regional weather reports, as soon as they come in. This is so vital as truckers will literally cover hundreds of miles in one day. So you need to know that where you are headed is safe and that you know what is going to meet you on the road. If you can see there is snow or hail ahead, you can change your driving style accordingly. And if it snows, you will know ahead of time and use that time to put on some snow chains, etc. 

Trucker Path

Trucker path is indeed free, but it also has a premium feature whereby more features and more in-depth settings and services are available. However the free variant is useful because you can plan out your route how you want to. Let’s say you’re going from Chicago to Pittsburgh but you suddenly need to make a detour to Detroit. You can set this in your route plan and the app will remind you when the time comes. As you get nearer to the city, you will be alerted that you need to change course and divert to the new destination. You’ll be told how long it will take to get there, receive traffic reports and you can always change your route to avoid traffic. 

Tips for Truck Apps

With so many options, you can be spoiled as a driver. But what kind of apps should you get? You don’t want to overload your cell phone and your mind by having too many apps, some of which you don’t use and or get confused by using multiple at the same time. Less is more as they say.

So, it all depends on the following”

  • Are you a short-haul trucker? If you’re not going far distances, you may not need an international GPS tracker app, which is far more expensive. Most apps will be nationally-oriented, having detailed maps for just the country you’re in. So stick to apps for your state or region, as more effort is put into the nuanced features for that part of the country. 
  • If you are a long haul trucker, make sure that you have a national app, one that can show you the unique trucker routes for the entire country. More than likely, you’ll have to pay for the best apps, but it's worth it if you can be given a detailed and option-laden map.
  • If you are a trucker that is in the flyover states, look for apps such as Road Breakers, so you can always have service for when you are in dead zones. This allows you to maintain signal strength and GPS while you are in a part of the country that is void of cell phone masts and perhaps, satellite connection. 
  • Don’t always depend on apps to get you out of a sticky situation. Sometimes, just hanging out in the lounge of the motel or coffee shop near the rest stop, can be a good thing. You can get a more accurate news report of the traffic expectations for that area, especially during seasonal rushes. You can also ask the local people, which roads to avoid, in case of flooding or hurricanes, etc.

iPhone Apps for Truck Drivers

iphone-apps-for-truck-drivers

uShip

This is a great app as it allows you to track any new loads that trucking companies are offering, and make bids for them. You can say what your price is and what type of service you can offer, i.e. faster delivery time or knowledge of handling hazardous goods. You get real-time alerts for when a business needs a load shipped, so you can pounce on the opportunity as and when it's presented. 

Fuelbook

As you can see from the name of the app, you get the best diesel prices that are close to your location. This allows for you to make the best choice and save money on fuel, which is of course your largest expense as a truck driver. The truck stops where you can park and have a rest, both in the United States and Canada, are all listed, so you can fill up on fuel and sleep at the same time.

Cost Per Mile

The clue is in the name once again! Track the cost of trucking per mile. This app allows you to calculate how long it takes for you to get a job done, how much profit you have made and or lost. This allows you to plan your jobs more effectively and see whether doing a particular route or job is worth it. 

Android Apps for Truck Drivers

android-apps-for-truck-drivers

GasBuddy

Many independent and small trucking companies need this kind of app. It saves you money on fuel by letting you know where the best fuel prices are around the country. This way you can do a diversion when you think you could get the best amount of fuel on board at the lowest price, and take it further with you. Of course the added weight will cost you in weight and thus, power and fuel consumption. But this app calculates everything for you.

CamScanner

For an independent trucker, you are your own business. Therefore this app will allow you to fill in receipts for expenses gathering when it comes to taxes as well as organize them so you know your entire expenses for the financial year. You can also fax or send these to your email account and print them off for file keeping. They can also be sent to anyone at any time, as it's a cloud-based service. So you can send your entire year of receipts to your accountant or to an accounting service to get things sorted out.

TpMobile

It's a great app for trucking companies but also, the independent trucker. It shows you the driver’s service logs, so you can see what is going on. It tracks their speed, driver productivity and fuel consumption among other things. One of the cool features it has is the CSA or carrier risk scorecard. This helps you know when a driver is more trouble than they are worth or when a trucker is performing to a high standard.

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Apps for Trucking Companies That Work

apps-for-trucking-companies-that-work

Trucker Path

This app allows you to track your trucks in finer detail. You know exactly how heavy your trucks are on the road. This way,if a driver has overloaded their truck, you can be alerted of the truck being overweight and therefore posing a danger to other drivers and your own worker. You can also be alerted of fuel prices in the area, so you can help the driver make the best choice, while they are on the road. You can also see where parking is available, so your truckers can get the rest they need and store their load safely for a period of time. 

Weather Underground

Help your truckers prepare for the weather conditions in front of them. While a trucker may be sleeping, you can track the weather, form a better route and by the time your trucker is ready to go, they have been given a new route plan. This can avoid certain situations regarding ice, floods and tornadoes. With over 200,000 weather stations all being condensed into one app, you have a lot of information that you can use. You can customize your alerts, the radar is fully interactive and you can choose to localize weather forecasts to get more accurate pinpoint the weather. 

Copilot Live Truck

This is a voice-activated GPS app, which allows you to quickly re-route your drivers without the need to get small things wrong. You might be on the phone with one of your drivers and they tell you the city or town name of their location. If you have never heard of it, you may waste time typing it up or searching for it, and get the spelling wrong. Just say it out-loud and you can make things easier with this app. You can also check the vehicle’s status, as in, weight, load, and more.

Best Truck GPS App

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Sygic

Sygic is a great app for purely navigational purposes. It can be downloaded and can be used offline. In other words you don’t have to turn on your mobile network credit in order to see where you are. It can give you three optimal routes to choose from, instead the usual two. Most of the time, navigation apps limit their routes to just one or two but this app presents three because of the urgency that some trucking companies have for re-routes and traffic avoidance. The apps also share with you other information, such as truck settings, where you can cross bridges and avoid those that are unsafe. You can also be routed through tunnels that are safe for large trucks and avoid areas that are restricted. You can also be shown where the best gas prices are.

PTV Navigator

This app has been designed for truckers who need to have real-time route adjustments. Normally, you would need to ask for a reroute, if the app uses voice-activated commands. Or you would need to use one hand to use the features to reroute. However, this app will change your route to the best option in real-time. It would do this to avoid traffic jams, bridges that might be closed, avoid road works and just generally, shorten the trip and make it safer. The information is continually updated so that you never miss out on weather reports and urgent news, such as tornado warnings. It's very popular with truckers because of the layout and how easy it is to use.

Google Maps 

Let’s be honest, sometimes the best app is free and Google Maps is no exception. We all know how to use it, it's very familiar to use. That’s why many truckers depend on it because it IS easy to use, by design. It's also very clear, with the ability to view routes in an analog map design, as well as satellite imagery. You can do all the things that most other apps can. You can divert your route if there is traffic ahead. Google Maps gets incredibly fast news updates on traffic, accidents and road works, etc. it's very clear on the map, with yellow, orange and red warning signs of the potential issues ahead. Google Maps is also able to give you street view navigation, so you can ride along the road you’re on, virtually, which can help some people navigate better. However, you cannot do the other things some apps can do, such as check for the best fuel prices and find the best truck stops. 

Truck Stop Apps that Work

Truck stops apps are very important because they do a great many things at once.

  • They allow you to know where the best resting options are for your truck and for yourself.
  • You will also know how long you can stay in the stop, so you’re not fined in certain areas.
  • You can also let your company know where you are staying, in a more accurate manner. 
  • Truck stop apps also allow you to make logs of where you have rested, so if you need to show proof of this to your company or to a police officer, you can not be without proof. 
  • You can also use truck stop apps to find hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts that are close by, in case you don’t want to sleep in the truck.

Trucker Path

Trucker Path does all of the above. The graphics are very pleasant to look at and they make map searching much easier. You can check the available parking in the stops along the way on your route, therefore you know whether it's worth stopping in or not. The app will also track the kind of stop you had.

  • It checks how long the stop was and whether it will be overnight or not.
  • It will also allow you to checklist some things, such as weighing the truck, what the weather was like during the stop, tire care and more.
  • You can also check which truck stops have the best rating given by other users. These trucker tools are invaluable.

This app also has special offers and promos that are exclusive to the app. So you could get discounts on things you need, such as snacks for the road, things such as flasks for hot coffee and perhaps even discounts on hardware like GPS technology.

Truckfly

This app shows you over 10,000 truck stops, so you have plenty of choice and knowledge for where you should try and make a stop. It shows over 30,000 parking spaces, so you know if stopping somewhere is viable and allows for you to pull up and stop without confusion. It also shows over 20,000 fuel stations so you can fill up on the best priced oil. There are over 1,300 truck wash stations too, so you can give your machine a good wash and prevent build-up of debris underneath the arches and potentially improve the handling of your truck. And finally, it also shows over 2,000 transport companies, so you can select jobs on the fly and get to your next objective in one smooth transition once your previous load has been unhooked. As you would expect, you also have access to user reviews of the various locations and establishments you will drive through and to.

Trucker’s iLog

This is only for the iPhone and is just like the other apps. However, it has it's very own Driver’s Daily Log so you can make your own entries. It can also track your stays automatically, if the stop you’re in has been registered and included in the list that is shown on the map or section in the app. It has summary pages so you can show your company what you have been up to and they can just take the information straight onto their system. This can last for 7 days, so you can have logs that are automated and logged back with a company without having to do anything. However, it's also very easy to use, as you would expect from an iOS platform.

Best Truck GPS App for iPhone

Truck Map

Truck Map shows you their local weather, speed laws, and a birds’ eye view map. You can turn on your GPS setting and the app will automatically know where you are. 

  • It shows you where the truck entry points are for a building or property. This is so useful because many times, drivers will get out of their vehicle and look for it. They may also waste time calling their client and ask them where they should be arriving from. This can look unprofessional and amateurish. But with this GPS app, you are told exactly where the entrances are. 
  • The app will also pinpoint your GPS location and tell you where the traffic jams are. This is crucial for your ability to turn up on time and avoid getting admonished. As you would expect, you are also able to locate where the nearest filling stations are.
  • You can also be shown truck stations, so you can get maintenance done, such as changing tires and changing oil. You can also use this app to find out where the nearest hotels are.

SmartTruckRoute

You can not only store your vehicle settings but the GPS app will find out where you are located, no matter where. Doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of nowhere, and without signal, this app will find out where you are. This helps you to know where you’re going without a signal and even, without mobile network credit. So if you happen to run out of credit and cannot use mobile network internet, you can just carry on as you were since the app doesn’t need this. 

  • This app uses color codes for roads and highways. This helps you to define where the main routes are and where the smaller less known routes are on the map. 
  • This app is only for the iPhone, but it's free. 
  • The premium features are locked behind a paywall and they may be to your liking. However they are extra, such as driver settings and vehicle settings. Overall, the main feature of GPS tracking is free and that’s all you need.

Truck Driving Tracking Apps 

iDispatch

iDispatch is one of those trucking apps which is very easy to use for those that are working in the backend of the trucking business. The trucker path is stored and logged, so you can see where the truck driver has been. This is crucial not just for keeping drivers on schedule, but to avoid truckers going where they shouldn’t either by misdirection or through illegitimate means. trucking apps such as iDispatch are also great for real time updates as you are seeing what is going on in terms of the weather report and any other issues. 

The truck driver can also tell you what is going on via the app, such as any news regarding the health of the truck’s tires and engine. It will also track the hours of service you do each shift, so you can try to improve or maintain your average. Owner operators would find this app useful too, so they can plan out their own routes and use the alarm feature which keeps you on track and knowledgeable of your own objectives. 

Trucker Tools

This is one of the best apps for truckers because it has a load board. The trucking industry relies on internal communication, with drivers and companies telling each other about weather conditions, road issues, safety concerns, and various jobs as and when they pop up. This app has a list of jobs that are available and can be accessed by anyone with the app. The app was developed with the intent in mind, to be the best on the market. The tools and features are very easy to use. From truck stop guides and weight scales to the incredible messages board that allows drivers to talk with each other. Use the message board to have your questions answered.

This app also tracks where you are and where you have been. A truck driving company can spot where drivers have been, how long and why. This is needed to stop drivers from veering off their schedule and taking unnecessary detours that add time to the journey. The cargo can also be tracked, so you know what your driver has delivered and to who. It's quite useful because, if a load was damaged and your driver is falsely accused, you can show the evidence and avoid a costly lawsuit.

Are Apps Needed in the Modern World?

The reason why apps like these are needed by every driver and company is because communication is golden. You are driving hundreds of miles a day and potentially, hundreds of thousands every year. Therefore, you need to be wary of the opportunities in the area in terms of jobs. Many of these tracking apps have amazing features, such as driver and vehicle settings. 

You can save your setting for various weights and loads. So if you were to get a 13,000lbs load, you would automatically know what tire pressure you need to use, how fast you can go and for how long. The profiles are saved in the apps and you can just turn to them when you need to.

It's also very important to have these kinds of apps because it helps new drivers to adapt to the role. The wealth of information you have to absorb is quite daunting so with the aid of various apps, you can adapt to the role quicker and therefore, start to earn some real money. 

However, it's also honest to say that these are just little helpers and you should rely on your experience and confidence to get most jobs done. Apps like these can help you to plan a route, but you need to stick to it. Don’t think that you can utilize an app to avoid traffic all the time. The apps are manually updated from the backend so your app may be early or late to the alert given out by traffic authorities. Always spot the signs that traffic is building up, by looking far into the distance and realizing how many cars around you are building up.

Fill Out a Trucking Job Application with ABCO

Any of these apps would be lifesavers for truck drivers, whether you’re new to the industry or well-experienced. Thankfully most of them are free but if you want the best features you will need to pay up. Many apps will have a lot of features that suffice, but often, you will need to download multiple apps to have the best information and make your job easier. 

Do you know what else is helpful besides truck driver apps? Working for a company that genuinely cares about its employees and puts there money where their mouth is in the form of high pay, great benefits, Peterbilt cabs and even nationwide free resort stays. We know how to help manage truck driver stress to help you unwind. We also offer home daily truck driving jobs.

Feel free to contact us and talk about your needs, and we’ll be happy to help you move in the right direction. Fill out our trucking job application today to learn more We have OTR, Regional and limited local job opportunities. Connect with us today at 866-980-2710 and enjoy a new cab with a new company.

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