4 essential gadgets for long distance drivers
Technology can help long distance movers stay efficient and focused when out on the road. Four gadgets in particular can make big differences in productivity and job satisfaction in long distance moving jobs.
1. GPS devices for truckers
Certain standalone GPS devices are designed specifically for long distance moving truck drivers or other drivers. Wondering if an upcoming bridge accommodates your truck’s height and weight? These trucking-specific devices can tell you, while also providing lane guidance, truck routes, points of interest, service directories and traffic updates with maps. These features, along with the basic benefit of GPS navigation, can help you boost efficiency, minimize fuel costs and drive with confidence. Try the Garmin® dezl or Rand McNally® IntelliRoute.
2. Smartphone or tablet that supports driving apps
There are a number of driving apps, such as GasBuddy, My DAT Trucker, Truck Stops Pro and BestRoute Pro that are available for Apple® or Android® devices.
Whether you opt for a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop, Internet access makes life as a long distance mover much more comfortable. Before you purchase a gadget, assess your needs. Chances are, you’re using the Internet for email, web browsing, videos and staying in touch with dispatchers. A smartphone can do all of these. But if you need a big screen for videos or e-reading, try a tablet like the Apple® iPad® or Samsung Galaxy®. Like smartphones, tablets can connect to wireless Internet or to a cellular network. Data plans are available from $15 to $50 per month. If you still need your laptop, luckily, most truck stops have Wi-Fi.
3. Digital audio player or satellite radio
Being able to choose your audio playlist is always more desirable than radio hopping, not only for safety’s sake, but also as a way to break up the long hours. During off hours, load your smartphone, or an mp3 player like an iPod, with playlists and podcasts for sustained, hands-free listening.
If your truck doesn’t have an audio jack, connect your stereo to your device with an FM transmitter or a cassette adapter. If you prefer to let the professionals curate your listening, use the Spotify or Pandora app. Or try out satellite radio services like Sirius XM® that offer hundreds of music, sports and news channels. Satellite radios are also available in portable models, so you can listen in the truck, in the sleeping berth or at home.
4. Power inverter
Most importantly, a power inverter can save the day by converting your vehicle’s 12-volt system into standard electric plugs. Instead of buying car chargers for each device, use your regular home chargers. Be smart and don’t overload a power inverter. Stick to three outlets or less.
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