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3 Free Truck Driver Apps That Will Make Your Day Better

Technology can make life easier. And usually, if there is a problem in your life, odds are that an app has been created to help solve it. Trucker life is tough and stressful enough. So, finding any way to make your day easier is always welcomed. Here are 3 free truck driver apps that will make your day better. Or at least hopefully make your day run a little smoother!

1. Trucker Path

Trucker Path is a great app that virtually every trucker can use to get through their workday. It is often cited as the most frequently downloaded free truck driver apps out available. The app contains virtually everything you would need help with from general maps, parking info, truck stops locations, weigh station stops, and much more. Great for drivers of all experience levels, but most helpful when driving in unfamiliar areas where you don’t have a good lay of the land.

2. Weigh My Truck

An app that helps you get in and out of weigh stations faster is something every trucker needs. Weigh My Truck app does just that. Once you have an account setup, it automatically knows where you are, and your weigh history. So when you get to a weigh station, just drive onto the scale, pay and get an electronic weigh ticket sent right to your phone. You can still run into the register and pick up your paper copy but using the app will save you plenty of time at these stops.

3. iExit

Looking for a place to stop and take a break or a spot to stay overnight? The iExit app is really helpful for when you’re done driving and need a place to stop. This app lets you know what is coming up and then where the best place to stop once you pull off the interstate. It’s interconnected with a number of other apps like Yelp, which show user feedback on the points of interest on the map. So you can search for a specific type of restaurant or a place to sleep for the night if needed. It can even help you find the best gas prices in the area when you need to refuel.

Bonus Apps for COVID-19

During this time of change for many people lives, using technology to stay connected has made life easier. Finding new ways to keep in touch using technology helps. These apps can help you stay more grounded and feel connected to family and friends while driving over the road.

1. Zoom

Video calling is something that many people are using more frequently now than ever. Zoom is a great app for video conferencing when you want to talk to a few people at home, or up to 500 people across the country. Zoom has a free option, or a paid premium version available for download. Since March of 2020 when people really started to be quarantined in their homes, Zoom has seen over 300 million daily meeting participants, and is still growing. It’s the perfect app to use to host a virtual happy hour to stay connected to your friends and family.

free truck driver apps2. Sanvello or Headspace

Mental Health Apps like Sanvello or Headspace are perfect for people struggling with additional stress and anxiety lately. These free apps give helpful inspiration and techniques to help you manage stress, or even sleep better. The apps also give you access to support tools and resources that help you focus, reduce stress, and overall take better care of your mental health and be more mindful. They can also provide access to community resources where you can find and share conversations with others.

3. House Party

House Party is a great app to feel like you are at the “party” when you’re unable to actually be there in in person. Letting you “face-to-face” chat with up to 8 people at a time, House Party is a fantastic way to socialize from a distance. Move easily from room to room once you are logged-in, giving you an opportunity to check out different parties without much effort. Having the ability to play games with the kids, or the adults, is a fun way to pass the time while you’re away from home.

If you’ve already got a smartphone, and a good data plan, you’re ready to try out some of these apps. Or other apps we’ve featured in prior posts. We want to hear from you about apps you recommend. Tell us what other free truck driver apps you use to make your life easier. Post your suggestion on our Facebook page and share with your fellow drivers. You might even find a new app that will help you too!

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self driving trucks

The world of technology innovations continues to move forward. New advancements are being made every day. The development and progress being made with autonomous, or self-driving vehicles, is no exception. Though similar, there are going to be very different applications for self-driving trucks vs. self-driving cars. So here we’re going to look at what’s on the horizon for self-driving trucks.

The landscape is full of potential and new companies looking to get involved. Several of the biggest brands in the world are working to hone this technology to improve trucking efficiency, and ultimately make the roads a safer place for all drivers. Google, Tesla, and Daimler to name a few. Google has been testing self-driving cars since 2011, and their Waymo trucks since 2017. There is evidence that Amazon has been testing deliveries since early 2019. In May 2019, the US Postal Service tested self-driving trucks running loads between Phoenix and Dallas for 2 weeks. Just last month, a Florida based robotics company sent their first truck onto the interstate for 10 miles via remote control.

Truck platooning is a great application of self-driving technology

Platooning has already been tested for a few years.

By using a lead truck with an actual driver, several self-driving trucks follow closely behind, creating less congestion for other vehicles on the road. Since all of the trucks brake and accelerate in complete unison with the lead driver, helping overall traffic flow and delivery times.

Some might jump to a conclusion that self-driving trucks are going to put current CDL truck drivers out of a job. But this is simply not true. This technology is still very new and needs significant vetting. Presently, most self-driving programs have a driver controlling the wheel, but the computers are controlling everything else. And even when trucks move to being fully unmanned on long highway stretches, drivers still will jump-in and take over in more congested areas.

There’s a lot of potential in the future of this technology. Many companies are making great strides in testing and bringing self-driving trucks to daily life.

But there’s still a lot of work to be done

And some companies once committed to it, have already gotten out of the game. Uber had committed but now is reallocating resources to autonomous car technology and development.

If you have any thoughts on what impact self-driving trucks are going to the overall trucking industry, drop a comment on our Facebook page.

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The truckers have spoken.

Truck Path, an app that utilizes crowd-sourcing technology to view information about truck stops throughout the country, has released its own list of the top ten best truck stops.

In addition to showing parking space availability, the app gives truckers the ability to rate travel centers on a scale of 0-5, based on qualities like best food, fuel prices, cleanliness and other amenities. Currently, the app supports over 50,000 truck stops in both the United States and Canada.

Stops with things like showers, free Wi-Fi, and laundry facilities were most highly ranked by drivers. Overall, independently owned truck stops ranked far better than corporate-owned facilities.

Here are the top 6 truck stops of 2018, according to Truck Path, that each tied for a perfect 5.0 rating:

  1. Big Horn Travel Center in Fort Worth TX
    No automatic alt text available.
    Image via Facebook
  2. Highway 51 Truck Stop in Merrill WI

    Image result for Highway 51 Truck Stop in Merrill WI

    Image via Foursquare

  3. 19 AND 75 Filling Station in Ivanhoe MN

    Image via Facebook

  4. Coffee Cup Fuel Stop in Summit SD


    Image via Coffee Cup Fuel Stop

  5. Williston Truck Facility in Williston ND

  6. Roady’s Carlisle Plaza in Carlisle PA

    Image via Roady’s

  7. 115 Truck Stop-PTP Stop in Marshall MI

    Image via Food Mart

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Photo via NPR.org

Step aside, Uber and Google, a career trucker is making history for self-driving tractor trailers.

Jeff Runions, autonomous-truck test driver, prepares the future of the trucking industry. As he told NPR, Runions works for Starsky Robotics. They are a small company developing fully autonomous trucks for the highway. The trucks are driven by professionals once the trucks got off at the exit.

As truck drivers continue to decrease in numbers, Runions hopes autonomous trucks will be a huge opportunity for the industry to keep up with demand. In his interview with NPR, he says automated vehicles would allow drivers to spend less time on the road and more time at home with their families.

This would be a drastic change from the three weeks of on-road time he remembers from working on his own and with a commercial trucking company. In fact, Runions would like to see drivers having a “regular life” with a 40-hour work week. By making drivers’ lives more enjoyable, he hopes to spike interest in the industry from potential drivers.

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truckinginfo.com

Volvo released a concept truck getting people talking. The incredible $40 million machine seems rather pricey for a semi-truck. The fancy new model sure is getting a lot of attention, even if it won’t hit the road anytime soon. The truck is still “cost-prohibitive,” truckinginfo.com wrote of the vehicle, but the knowledge gleaned from this grand experiment will apply to future Volvo programs.

The goal of the Volvo SuperTruck project is to build vehicle prototypes that push the boundaries of both fuel and freight efficiency.

Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America, called the Volvo SuperTruck project a “knowledge accelerator.”

“We wanted to see what we could take from the project and get into our customers’ hands even before the project finished,” he said. “We found some significant improvement that we could add to the existing VNL lineup.”

truckinginfo.com

Enhancements featured in the 2017 engine lineup, which Volvo says increase fuel economy by 6.5%, include:

  • a new piston design that improves combustion and reduces soot production,
  • common rail fuel injection, and
  • turbo compounding for the Volvo D13 engine to capture wasted energy from the exhaust stream and convert it to mechanical energy

And of course it’s hard to ignore the overall aerodynamic look of the truck.

The smooth sweeping shape produced a 40% reduction in aero drag, not missing a corner. Since this is a concept truck and not a practical model, even the cab entry steps were covered up and the mirrors replaced with cameras.

Some of the technologies on the SuperTruck aren’t likely to become used daily in CDL trucking jobs for a long time to come. But it sure is fun to dream.

For CDL truck drivers, the joy is in the journey. Follow us on social media here and join the conversation.

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coolest-gadgets.com

Any driver knows, it doesn’t take long to lose your concentration or even doze off at the wheel. So, those with CDL trucking jobs would be wise to have some sort of alert in place. The website Coolest-Gadgets.com highlighted a Anti-Sleep Alarm. It’s one that can be a valuable tool for those with CDL driver jobs.

This Anti-Sleep Alarm is a two-finger ring that will let you know you’re starting to nod off before you actually do. If it works as intended, it will let you know up to 5 minutes before you start to slip into slumber. It charges via micro USB cable, and while it says it has a long battery life, that doesn’t mean it’s going to live through a 10-hour drive of constant use. The method of alarm it uses is vibration, and it should buzz for about 2-3 seconds when it goes off so that it’s sure you don’t “miss” feeling it.

Costing $189, the alarm is made of an allergen-proof material and requires no special setup. It’s available for purchase on amazon.com.

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Men’s Health magazine wrote a great article on gadgets you should keep in your car. Well, we have news. Everything featured in the article is also perfect gear for CDL truck drivers to have on their trucks. The next time you’re in a roadside jam, CDL drivers, turn to one of these great tools to power you back on your way. As Men’s Health says, “keep this gear with you, and you’ll be prepared to tackle any problem that arises when you’re behind the wheel.”

Leatherman Rebar

This slick, 17-tool gadget will help you MacGyver your way out of any jam. Stick it in your glove compartment and bust out the needlenose pliers or serrated knife when you need to put your fix-it skills to use, fast.

Antigravity Battery

You never know when you’ll need to jumpstart your car—or someone else’s. This pocket-sized battery comes with jumper cables as well as several outlets for charging your laptop, cell phone, camera, or tablet while you’re on the go.

Autoxscape 3-in-1 Emergency Tool

Tool #1 is just a flashlight, but tools #2 and #3 will save your life. If you’re in an accident and need to escape your car fast, they will safely cut your seatbelt and smash your window.

Jaco Premium Digital Tire Inflator

Imagine just passing the last exit on the highway for 15 miles or being in the middle of nowhere when your low tire pressure light comes on. Total bummer—unless you stash this gadget in your trunk.

Pull over, whip it out, and fill up your tire. No gas station (or quarters) required.

A Snow Shovel

Keeping a snow shovel in your trunk is a no-brainer for anyone in the northern half of the country, but if you choose the wrong one, your back will be barking at you for days. Suncast’s SC39050 shovel has a nice ergonomic design and a steel strip that prevents wear.

Auto Expressions Glove Box Organizer

We know you’re a model driver—a perfect citizen of the road who’d never exceed our state highways’ perfectly reasonable speed limits.

But if you do get pulled over, you don’t want to be fumbling through your messy glove compartment to find your necessary paperwork. This keeps everything neatly in one place, so you won’t look like a schmuck.

3-Port USB Car Charger Adapter from FosPower

If you’re on a long trip, you’ll need to stay charged up—and so will your travel companions. This adapter lets you charge three phones or tablets at the same time.

Never grab fast food on a long road trip again. Pack your own meals and store them at the perfect temperature with this genius thermo-electric system.

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overdriveonline.comTruck parking is a little easier now with the launch of a new mobile app called Park My Truck. The new app connects people with CDL trucking jobs to free parking spots across the United States.

Overdrive magazine covered the new app in a news story, saying:

With the app, public and private truck parking providers, including truck stops, rest areas and more, update the number of available parking spaces at any time to help drivers determine if open spaces exist at a given location. The app resulted from an initiative between the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO), the NATSO Foundation, the American Trucking Associations and the American Transportation Research Institute.

The app includes the total number of parking spaces at more than 5,000 truck stops.

NATSO says independent and chain truck stops participate in reporting their available spaces. These represent more than 150,000 truck parking spaces.

When a driver opens the app, he/she searches for parking spaces. The search remains within a certain distance of their current location, up to 250 miles, Overdrive writes.

Drivers also search by state or along an interstate.

“We have ways to let drivers know where the spaces currently exist, which is why this app serves so valuable,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. Directing drivers to safe parking spaces will give them the opportunity to get the rest they need and the off-duty time they are required to have.”

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trucks.com

Bill Graves retired from his position as president and chief executive of the American Trucking Associations earlier this year. But the longtime trucking executive still has a lot to say about where the industry is headed. In a guest column for Trucks.com, Graves opines about the most daunting challenges facing the trucking industry today, and he makes some interesting observations:

As I step aside as president and chief executive of the ATA, I look ahead to the issues that will define our industry going forward. Here are five of great significance.

A growing and critical shortage of labor

Trucking has a shortage of drivers and of technicians. While some may dispute this, every measure from ATA’s economics team and nearly every conversation I have with those in the industry highlight the fact that trucking companies have trouble attracting qualified drivers and technicians to keep America’s trucks moving.

trucks.comAs our trucks grow more and more complex, with more and more advanced technology, it will become even harder to find professional, dedicated technicians to maintain these vehicles.The simple solution to both of these issues is to improve the image of our industry and improve the pay of those who work in it. Both of these things are happening, and will continue to happen, so long as there’s a shortage of labor.

Development of automated vehicle technology

Whether it’s called driverless or automated or smart, the rapid development of automated vehicle technology has the power to transform our industry in many ways. We see the need for these systems in the market today. They improve safety and efficiency, and from here the technology only advances.

However, unanswered questions remain as we head down this path. We need to ensure that these technologies don’t compete with one another.

Movement toward alternative fuels

While the industry enjoys affordable diesel fuel prices, this situation loses sustainability overtime. As the economy grows, demand for oil (and the gasoline and diesel fuel it produces) puts pressure on prices.

Graves adds that these are just a few of the issues that trucking will face as it moves forward. “One thing is certain,” he says. “Regardless of these challenges, the trucking industry continues to serve a vital part of our nation’s economy. It moves America’s goods safely and efficiently.”

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trucking gear

CDL Life magazine wrote a fun article about the kind of tech professional truck drivers dream of. With technological creations advancing more each day, there’s no telling what cool gadgets truck drivers will have access to next.

Until then, CDL Life asked truck drivers to imagine new technologies and equipment that would make their CDL trucking jobs easier.

Here’s what truck drivers told the magazine in response.

RoadPro Pro Driver Council member Tom Kyrk said he would like to see a ramp to help dogs get in and out of truck cabs easily and a fitness tracker designed especially for drivers (regular ones are thrown off by the vibration of the truck).

Fred Weatherspoon doesn’t like to carry weights in his cab because they can become missiles in the event of a crash. He wants an in-cab exercise system that’s safe, easy to use and doesn’t take up too much space.

All the cords hanging under her dash have Maggie Stone wishing for some sort of universal harness into which she could plug her phone, GPS, dash cam and other electronics. The Iowa livestock hauler also would like to see a storage device for under her bunk, “kind of like a gun rack,” that would hold her cattle prod and paddle and 5th wheel puller.

Florida-based Allen Wilcher and partner Sierra Sugar said they would like to see a truck leveling system like the kind found in RVs — and room in the cab for an herb garden.

There’s no way to know if any of these devices will be invented, but given the history of the trucking industry, it would be surprising if none of them were.

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