Most drivers spend their time behind the wheel, not behind a laptop so it might seem odd to be talking about online resources for truck drivers. But increasingly more drivers are getting connected, and take that connection with them on the road. 3G mobile internet connections mean a driver’s link to the outside world is never far away.
And that’s good news for drivers and good news for the industry, helping combat the negative aspects of being a driver facing isolation and loneliness, particularly on long haul routes.
Now that drivers are connected they have ready access to vital, up-to-the-minute information on anything from the weather on the road ahead to the latest industry news. Keeping current is now only a mouse click away.
Here are 5 websites that a lot of drivers find particularly helpful.
Weather affects truck drivers; in fact it affects all commercial drivers. From high winds making tall trailers unstable to blizzards that reduce visibility to practically nothing, drivers are often at the mercy of the elements.
It’s helpful to know what’s ahead and the National Weather Service provide a detailed forecast service that is countrywide, which is particularly useful when traveling interstate. You can sign up for RSS feeds that mean weather warnings get delivered direct to your inbox.
The DOT provides strict guidelines for drivers in a number of areas. One in particular is HOS (Hours of Service). The penalties for not complying or not providing the necessary documentation can result in the suspension of a driver’s licence, which is a heavy blow for anyone who relies on that to earn an income.
Learn what’s involved in complying with HOS requirements and investigate making life easier with automated hour tracking software, such as Telogis Mobile.
For drivers who aren’t completely satisfied with their current job or who are currently out of work, it can be helpful to know what vacancies are out there. Even if you’re not actively looking, it’s a good idea to know what opportunities are available, opportunities that could land you better pay, better working conditions, or both.
On the website you can filter your job search based on your experience, current status and personal preferences. It also allows you to view background information on the employer to review their working conditions. It’s recommended you make sure they’re a reliable company that offers worker protection and has a good credit history to ensure you don’t get left high and dry when it comes to getting paid.
Drivers are a social bunch and there are a bunch of forums available that truckers can join and chew the fat. Of the forums we reviewed and participated in, we found the best one was the Truckers Forum. It seemed to be the most responsive, was updated regularly and had a good number of members, many of whom seemed quick to reply to our posts.
You’ll find a lot of fellow drivers who know about the challenges you face and are willing to offer their suggestions on solutions to problems. Tap in to the wisdom of the crowds by signing up today.
If you’ve never used a forum before you’ll find it helpful to review some common ground rules that can make sure your forum experience is a positive one, both for you and other members.
Drivers, and in particular truck drivers, have particular needs when it comes to fitting out their traveling office.
Whether it’s a new GPS device that can cope with road restrictions and is loud enough to be heard over the noise in the cab to a built-in air-conditioning to keep your sleeper at a comfortable temperature, check out this site for some products you might find helpful.
If you have any other sites that you think other drivers would find helpful, feel free to add them in the comments section below.