Over the years, the trucking industry has done an outstanding job keeping up with technology. As a result, just about any aspect of the industry you can think of has full technological support, and that includes developments for you, the driver.
This article will share our recommendations for smartphone apps to make your life on the road more efficient, productive, and enjoyable.
Before we dive into the apps recommendations, we would like to talk about what criteria we used to choose the 16 best apps for truck drivers:
On the Apple Store or Play Store, each of the apps we chose has a rating of at least 4 (out of 5). We also considered an app's popularity, but some apps that are truly helpful for truckers may not have millions of downloads.
Relevancy for Truck Drivers
The majority of the apps on our list of trucker apps are made to make truckers' daily tasks easier. Please note: not all of the apps we've examined are intended exclusively for truck drivers.
Before writing the review, we installed each app on an Android and iPhone so we could personally test them. Due to the different operating systems on iPhone and Android, the user interfaces may differ in appearance.
How well does the customer support system work? We tested the customer service functions to ensure that the apps we've reviewed had a prompt and dependable customer support system in the event you encounter problems with the app.
The Best Apps for Route Planning
Finding the most efficient routes dramatically affects how much you earn over time. So when you need to get where you're going while minimizing unexpected delays, the right trucking route app can make all the difference in the world. But there's a catch.
When you’re behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound, seventy feet long, big rig, it won't end well if you grab just any old mapping or GPS app since most of those do not consider the specific dimensions and regulations of your commercial vehicle. When looking for truck driver routing apps, make sure they've been designed for commercial trucking.
Trucker Path is the go-to trucking and route planning app for more than a million drivers. It's an all-encompassing routing tool, featuring peer-to-peer commenting for truck stops, road conditions, and the open/close status of weigh stations. This app also includes critical information and reviews for rest areas and truck stops, including real-time information on parking availability.
You're undoubtedly already familiar with this tool. Google Maps is a straightforward app that lets you see the road and street conditions and plan your stops. It also offers traffic reports and satellite images, which are invaluable aids every day on the road. It’s a great supplemental tool for checking out your planned route in advance. However, this app does not provide trucking specific GPS routing to avoid restricted routes, weight restricted routes, and clearance restricted routes, so we do not advise using this app as your primary routing tool.
Best Apps for Utility
Any tool that can help you save time and keep on rolling is worth having, and in the category of utility apps, there's none better than these two.
Weigh My Truck
The Weigh My Truck app, offered for free by the folks at CAT, is a time saver. With this app, you can weigh on the CAT scale, pay through the app, and e-mail the receipt and weight report to yourself. Weigh My Truck can also be integrated with other apps like Transflo.
Trucker's Slide Calc
Trucker's Slide Calc helps you eliminate the guesswork of sliding your axles. With this handy little app, you can enter axle weights, determine how much each is over or under, and get recommendations on where to position your axles, so you can minimize delays.
Best Apps for Document Management
Since the trucking industry is excellent at remaining at the cutting edge of technology, it should be no surprise that the bulk of documentation is handled digitally. These apps help to keep your paperwork in order and make it easy to submit your trip documentation.
DropBox is a mobile-friendly cloud storage service that makes sharing and accessing your files across all your devices easy to manage. Whether it's documents, photos, or other types of files, DropBox can be a truck driver's best friend when it comes to managing your paperwork.
If you have any needs that Transflo can't cover, like retaining a private set of documents for various reasons, CamScanner is an alternative. It allows you to make high-quality scans of documents like trucking lease agreements, trucking company sign-on bonus agreements, etc., and save them. You can also export the images in PDF, JPG, Word, or TXT format.
Adobe Fill & Sign
This app isn't widely used in the trucking industry. Still, it offers another alternative to fill in and obtain signatures on forms. You can even take pictures of forms and then fill them out digitally if needed.
Best Apps for Entertainment
Truck drivers have a lot of mental free time between stops and challenging traffic. While this can get lonely at times, it also allows you to enjoy nearly any audio content you like. Here are some of the most popular apps among drivers.
With Spotify, you can create personalized playlists based on your listening history and select stations you like. This allows you to keep your music going as you travel through multiple zones, as long as phone service is available.
Like Spotify, this tool allows you to curate your radio stations based on your preferences. You can also pick one artist or song, and the algorithm will create a playlist for you. It's quick and easy to get going. Pandora will also store your most-used playlists so you can keep listening in no-service zones.
Stitcher is a popular app for podcasts. The app has access to a wide range of Podcasts, from a single host who discusses their ideas to highly-produced programming made or modified for audio delivery.
Audible is the audiobook arm of Amazon, and it has a large selection of mainstream books available in audio format. The app also offers podcasts and Audible exclusive content. Some features are available free, and a free trial period with a free book to get you started.
This app may do the trick if you're looking for an accessible alternative for Audible. Many libraries partner with Hoopla, so you can use your library card to log in even if you're always on the road. It offers audiobooks, music, and other features you can use when off the road. If your library doesn't participate, see if they use any other loaning apps you can take advantage of.
Best Miscellaneous Apps
In addition to every trucker's core apps, here are various apps to help make your life on the road a little easier, healthier, safer, or more enjoyable.
WeatherBug provides up-to-the-minute information on weather and road conditions, no matter where you are. This app features interactive live maps, local and national weather forecasts, storm alerts, news, lightning warnings, pollen counts, and more.
It can be hard to stay in shape on the road, but with MyFitnessPal, you can stay a step ahead by setting and tracking your calorie and fitness activity goals. The basic service is free, and premium options like recipes and workout routines are available.
Keeping those wheels turning is the surest way to earn more, and that's where PrePass shines. The Prepass app enables you to gain by-pass permission at weigh stations nationwide. On top of that, with their premium PrePass Plus, you can electronically pay tolls anywhere in the country while avoiding lengthy waits in the cash toll booth lanes.
Working hard doesn't mean you can't keep up with the news. RadioFM offers music, news, and sports from the internet and broadcast stations. The best feature may be that you can play live programming on your device.
Staying busy on the road doesn't mean you have to be disconnected. Today's technology allows you to enjoy efficient tools, stay entertained, and keep up with the world, wherever you are. These are some of the many truck driver apps that can make your life a little bit easier.
The surge in industry-specific apps can be attributed to the rise of use of smartphones and tablets. In the palm of their hands, truckers can now access the weather, real-time traffic updates, diesel pricing, and information about their company.
The trucker apps we have recommended, will facilitate information access, enhance business processes, and generally enhance quality of life.
If you're an independent truck driver, check out our CloudTrucks Schedule Optimizer to help leverage your routes!