By Brian Thraen, CHS payment solutions product consultant
More and more fleet management companies and owner-operator drivers are using technology on the road. A recent Aberdeen Group study found 86 percent of truck drivers own mobile devices, with 44 percent owning smartphones. In a survey of 6,000 drivers by uShip, 57 percent of drivers said they use their phones more for daily business this year than they did last year and 33 percent use mobile apps to monitor weather, gas prices and traffic conditions.
As mobile phones and apps become even more important for drivers and fleet managers, tech companies have been developing industry-specific apps to help drivers improve safety, reduce costs and make life on the road a little easier.
Here are some of my favorite apps and software for truckers and fleet managers.
FleetMatics REVEAL is a fleet tracking tool that provides data on vehicle location, fuel usage, speed, mileage and other driver behavior insights to help managers reduce operating costs and boost revenue. The program is available in both desktop and mobile applications.
The IRS requires fleet managers and drivers to keep receipts for any business or vehicle expenses over $75. That’s a lot of paper. And that’s where an app like TripLog can help. With TripLog, users can capture and upload expense receipts; track expenses and then create reports that are compliant with IRS rules to help drivers claim the highest number of exemptions.
With this free app, drivers can see real-time fuel prices and search for nearby truck stops, showers, 24-hour operations and more by name, city or highway. The app also features a turn-by-turn navigation system, real-time traffic information and weather updates.
CoPilot Truck is a truck-specific GPS navigation solution that takes into account truck-restricted and prohibited roads to provide drivers with safe and reliable navigation on truck-permitted roads. Using customizable truck dimensions for height, length, width and weight/axel weight, drivers can calculate the optimal route that is both safe and legal, to avoid costly fines and vehicle damage.
With free calls between users, Skype is an easy and affordable and convenient way to stay in touch with family and business while on the road. An added benefit is being able to use Skype credits to call rather than using minutes.
With the Cenex Locator tool, drivers can map their routes and find Cenex retail locations and distributors along the way. Cenex offers premium diesel products like CENEX ROADMASTER XL®, which increases horsepower and fuel economy up to 4.5 percent.