Take a moment to think about all of the innovations and changes in technology we’ve seen over the last 5, 10 or even 20 years. It’s pretty incredible, but stop to think about how many of those things have changed your life? You know, the things you use on a daily basis - the technology that has REALLY made a difference.
Recently at Driver Solutions, we asked our fans/ followers on Facebook (mostly truck drivers and their family) and other social media sites to answer the question: What 5-10 pieces of technology have changed truck driver jobs forever?
Below are 5 of our most common answers. Many of these don’t just apply to truck drivers, however all of them have enabled truckers to be more efficient and have made life on the road more enjoyable.
Top 5 Technology Breakthroughs That Changed A Trucker's Life Forever
1. GPS - This is hands down the #1 biggest breakthrough for truck drivers. While GPS systems are not perfect, they have come a long way for truck drivers over the last several years. Remember, it's always a good idea to call ahead on deliveries for any special instructions, but using a GPS will dramatically help you get to your destination on time...especially new truck drivers. The introduction of the GPS changed the way truck drivers do their jobs forever.
There has been a lot of debate in the trucking industry as to what is the best GPS for truckers. It generally comes down to Rand McNally and Garmin GPS systems, but it's all up to the truck driver's preference. If you happen to be a newbie or have considered switching to a new GPS, you may want to check out this post where we compared 2 of the more popular GPS systems truckers use, the Rand McNally TND 720 and the Garmin Dezl 760LMT. Remember, not all GPS systems are created equal and if you're a truck driver you need one that takes into account bridges, tunnels and other obstructions.
2. Cell Phone (Smartphone) – Ok, so this one obviously doesn’t apply to just truck drivers. Whether you're an Android or iPhone user (or another device) your cell phone is likely the piece of technology you use the most. For truck drivers, a good cell phone is a must as it’s usually the primary way to communicate with family and friends back home while out on the road.
In addition to things like phone and video calls the applications available for truck drivers make life on the road a whole lot easier. Finding the nearest truck stop with the best gas prices and food selection is easier than ever before. Truck drivers can also use apps to pay bills, track fitness goals and watch their favorite TV show or movie right on their phone. Smartphones such as Androids and iPhones sure make life on the road a whole lot easier.
3. Tablet/Laptop with WiFi – Being able to connect to the Internet anytime, anywhere using a tablet or laptop was a huge breakthrough for truck drivers. Let's face it, there are some things that just aren’t as easy to do on a phone so having something handy such as an Apple iPad or travel friendly laptop is not only a big deal for entertainment possibilities during downtime, but also productivity.
Many truck drivers are starting their own blog, website or YouTube channel and posting live updates from their trucks. This is a huge help to those considering a trucking career as they get to see first-hand what life is really like working a truck driving job. So many things are now possible and many more will continue to develop as more truckers adopt tablets and laptops.
4. Bluetooth – A good Bluetooth is now a must-have device for any truck driver. Staying in communication with loved ones is very important, but a driver’s safety is most important. With a high quality Bluetooth device such as the BlueParrott Headset, truck driver’s can talk hands-free without background noise being a problem.
5. SiriusXM Satellite Radio – It's hard to imagine the days when truckers had to change the radio station every few hours. There’s nothing more annoying (or distracting) than having your favorite song interrupted or trying to find a good station. Not only did satellite radio make traveling across the country safer for truck drivers, it also made it more enjoyable. Note: you'll want to make sure you get a good trucker kit to go along with your radio.
Think about what pieces of technology have changed your life for the better? What would you add to this list? Share below in the comments!