Pictured are a truck driving instructor and a student sitting in the cab of a Napier truck discussing essential electronics for truckers.

OTR Trucking: Essential Electronics

The Best Technology for You and Your Truck

*This blog post was originally published in August of 2016 and has been updated to reflect industry changes.

Life on the open road has a lot to offer, but it also imposes some unique challenges. And driving a big rig is not the same as the family cruiser or that two-wheel sightseeing marvel. But there are some electronic gadgets professional truck drivers use on the road that can help. Here is a list of several trucking technology items that every driver should include in their arsenal.

1. GPS.

This is fundamental, and many trucks and trucking companies include these already, but be certain you have a good one, even if you need to purchase your own to work in addition to a provider device. Features of truck-enabled GPS devices differ from everyday commercial private passenger GPS devices. Be certain you have a truck-enabled GPS with specific information for trucks, such as low overhead data, bridge, and lane restrictions, truck routes, and traffic updates. These will include service locations and other points of interest geared to the professional driver, as contrasted with passenger travel GPS devices. Be certain map updates are included or it will be out of date far too soon.

2. Hands-free Communication.

Not only is it the law in many states, but it is just so practical, efficient, and often times provides more clear conversation. This is an area with a very wide array of products, and the best one for you will be based on personal preference and comfort, and the phone you plan to use. Two key features you will need are good background noise suppression or canceling, and hands-free dialing.

3. Internet Access.

While complimentary Wi-Fi is more and more common these days, it is still not available everywhere truck drivers have to go. Use of smartphone tethering or another wireless mobile hotspot device can provide internet access and should be considered a vital part of life in the cab. Not only useful for direct work-related information, but these can also enable a driver to take care of personal matters while parked. A quick video call with the family can go a long way to improving life on the road!

4. Power Inverter.

While not a sexy accessory, a good quality power inverter can simplify life. Being able to just plug in a few consumer devices is a lot easier than obtaining car chargers for everything, and the cord management that comes with device-specific car chargers for everything. Just be certain to purchase an appropriately rated inverter for your intended use. Overloading will shorten the service life, and leave you frustrated when it burns out.

Trucking technology has come a long way, and many more devices are available, with many becoming included features in newer cabs. Devices like a mini-fridge, microwave, and space heater can be great in a sleeper. Coffee makers, digital audio players, and seat massagers can make the road more comfortable. On and on the list goes. So if there is something missing from your rig, know that it is probably available to add!

Think you have what it takes to become a professional driver? Come to Napier! We can help you get that Class A CDL and start you on your way to a new career! Fill out the form to the right to request free info!

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