Focus on: Apps for Fleets and Drivers (Part 3 of 3)

Last week, I shared with you some good apps for fleets, drivers and the trucking industry. Today, here are some additional apps that made the list.


Skype: Stay connected
With free calls to any user worldwide, Skype is an easy way for drivers to stay connected. They can even videoconference with dispatchers, fellow drivers and family, and calls to landlines and cell phone are less than most pre-paid calling cards. With this app, drivers can:

•    Obtain an online phone number so they never have to miss another call
•    Receive voicemail messages and get voicemail notifications by e-mail
•    Send files and text messages


Trucker Tools: Make the most of every stop
Originally a coupon app similar to Groupon, Trucker Tools now comes with increased functionality. With this app, drivers can:

•    Save money by sourcing coupons from more than 5,000 truck stops across America
•    Find the lowest diesel prices in any given area
•    Search for truck stops by highway, exit number or city, and get turn-by-turn directions to each stop
•    Call truck stops using the “Call the Truck Stop” feature
•    Check traffic
•    Get current weather conditions to help plan stops
•    Connect with other truckers via an active message board


UShip Mobile: Connect with potential customers from anywhere
Especially popular with owner-operators, this app makes it easy to bid on loads that people and businesses need shipped. With this app, drivers can:

•    Find nearby loads
•    Place bids
•    Get automatic notices that let them know when a bid is accepted or declined
•    View booking details
•    Use optional GPS tracking to alert shippers and consignees to estimated arrival times


tpMobile for Xata Turnpike
Of course, I think that tpMobile, the mobile application for Xata Turnpike, is an outstanding app, as well. Xata Turnpike is an advanced EOBR solution that runs on drivers’ existing cell phones, smartphones and tablet computers.

Xata Turnpike helps fleet managers and drivers:

•    Tackle today’s complex regulatory compliance issues
•    Run their fleets more efficiently while reducing costs
•    Keep their customers happy through better visibility on arrival times

And the tpMobile app is just as easy to download, install and configure as the other apps I’ve mentioned.


Mobile: Now a way of life on the road
uShip, the online shipping marketplace mentioned previously, recently surveyed more than 6,000 owner-operators to find out how truckers use their cell phones on the road. Here’s what they learned:

•    57 percent use their phones more for daily business this year than they did last year
•    37 percent use their phones to book loads, and 35 percent use them to bid on loads
•    33 percent use mobile apps to monitor the weather, gas prices and traffic conditions
•    20 percent no longer travel with a laptop
•    Nearly 20 percent use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter on their phones to keep up with family, friends and colleagues

So, looking at the big picture, mobile phones and tablet computers have already become a crucial part of life on the road—for truckers and non-truckers, alike. In fact, cell phone access is so important to truckers that when asked what they’d be willing to give up to keep their phones, 20 percent said they would give up their CB radios, 16 percent said they’d give up their spouses and 8 percent said they would give up their pets. Now, that’s mobile-device dedication.