If you’re a truck driver, you’d be no stranger to tight deadlines and high-pressure work. Thankfully there are a variety of smartphone apps that can not only make a trucker’s journey significantly safer, but more efficient and enjoyable.
But before we jump right in, I need to tell you:
Checking notifications, replying to messages or choosing music while driving takes your attention away from the road and can result in deadly consequences. Using a phone while driving is not only highly illegal in Australia but also extremely dangerous.
However, when used safely, mobile apps can be hugely beneficial to drivers. Apps can provide a hands-free solution that connects drivers to the outside world, notifies them of potential weather hazards and helps to navigate traffic.
Here is a list of 5 essential apps that every trucker needs on their phone.
AKA. Gas Cubby
Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Fuelly is an Android and iPhone app with a variety of useful features for any trucker. It can assists drivers by tracking vehicle maintenance and by giving preset service reminders for a variety of tasks, including gas changes and tyre rotations. Furthermore, the app tracks fuel and mileage making trips more efficient and cost effective.
Rated Apple’s App Store Pick of the Week, Fuelly offers a premium no-ads experience for just $0.49 per month, or the option to use the app totally free with ads.
Kyle Baxter – Macworld
Rated #2 in Navigation
Star Rating: 5 out of 5
Waze is a popular GPS app that alerts drivers on traffic, construction, crashes, police and any hazards that may cause delays. It works on a community-based system where drivers are able to alert and update maps live, ensuring any road changes or updates are displayed.
The app is perfect for truck drivers that need to get to their destination on time without any interruptions. Waze also displays all fuel prices along your route. This ensures you can find the cheapest and most affordable fuel, whether you’re a driver or the manager of a fleet of drivers.
Paired with a fuel card, Waze is an invaluable tool for any truck driver.
App Store Review
World’s Most Popular Weather App
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Weather Channel, the most downloaded weather app in the world, is an essential app for any truck driver. By giving live hourly weather forecasts, you can accurately prepare for bad weather in advance. Storms with torrential rain and heavy winds can be dangerous for truck drivers, causing countless accidents each year.
The Weather Channel is a perfect solution to avoid or prepare for dangerous weather. It can give warnings for lightning, hail, flooding and severe storms, showing weather up to 15 days in advance.
App Store Review
Star Rating: 4 out of 5
ReadItToMe is limited to Android users and is only found on the Google Play Store.
ReadItToMe is an incredibly useful app that allows you to receive messages and notifications handsfree, killing off any temptation to use your phone while driving. Rather than dangerously attempting to read while driving or pulling over and wasting time, ReadItToMe reads your messages and notifications out loud. This ensures you don’t miss any important information that comes through. Not only this, the app also offers voice-control commands allowing for total hands-free control of your device.
The app has a monthly cost to access the features but does offer a two-week free trial.
App Store Review
Truckie’s Mate has a huge amount of features made especially for Australian truck drivers. The app includes an accident feature that prompts drivers to capture all necessary details in the case of an accident. Location, time, damage, witness details and photo documentation are all compiled and saved for later use. Truck registration and insurance details are stored in the app for easy access. Once the information is entered, all details and photos can be bundled and sent straight to the company’s insurance provider.
The second notable feature Truckie’s Mate offers is the location finder of truck stops. This highlights locations on a map, showing distance to the next truck stop along the route. Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of motor accidents throughout Australia. By taking regular breaks, drivers can improve focus and alertness helping to prevent accidents.
Block Intercepting Messages/Notifications
Most of us have probably been guilty of checking our phones while driving. That familiar notification sound is enough to drive anyone crazy! (Or into a tree if you’re not careful…)
The curiosity and temptation to check your phone is a feeling we all know and it’s easy to convince yourself that just a peak won’t hurt. But it can and it does. According to studies, 1.6 million people crash their vehicles every year due to using their phones.
If this sounds like you, FleetSafer can be a valuable tool to have in your driver arsenal. The app intercepts all notifications and messages to prevent drivers from becoming distracted. It also features the option to auto-respond to messages with an ‘I’m Driving’ message.
As a manager, utilising this tool can help reduce vehicle accidents among your staff and reduce costs of vehicle repairs. FleetMode is available for both Android and iOS, but requires the purchase of additional accessories to work.
Feel free to comment below and tell me your favourite apps that every truck driver should use!