While GPS has become nearly a staple for most drivers in this day and age, few professions require the conveniences of a GPS device like truck drivers. And with EOBRs being required in every trucker’s vehicle by the middle of 2014 due to recent legislation, it’s concerning that lawmakers are more concerned with giving law enforcement GPS access to trucker locations before providing truckers GPS systems that they need to safely do their jobs.
Another particular concern for truckers on long hauls is that they may run into areas without connectivity or lose access to their devices due to power shortages. However, there are several types of devices that truckers can use to ensure that their GPS access is never interrupted during duty. Here are a few accessories every trucker should consider to make navigational devices as convenient and accessible as possible:
1. On-board diagnostics applications
Just because EOBRs are making your personal information available to law enforcement doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enjoy some detailed information on your driving as well. More modern trucks with on-board diagnostic ports can enjoy loads of diagnostics information about their vehicle, acceleration, mileage, and more with a compatible device. These are a fantastic supplement to a GPS system, and with both, a driver can know everything about how they’re driving, where they should go, and how long it will take to get there. These tools can even help truckers diagnose truck issues should anything go amiss. Their varied applications make them an ideal learning tool for those training to beat the CDL test.
2. Wireless portable Wi-Fi
Most forms of GPS do not require an internet connection to function, though those provided by Google Maps or other similar services typically do. This is also a good contingency for when entering areas with poor satellite coverage. Nevertheless, having an internet connection handy at all times can supplement your assets in navigation. Using an internet enabled device to scout a route ahead of time can help drivers devise alternate routes to circumvent accidents, road construction, and other road hazards. These features also allow drivers to stay connected to family, friends, and coworkers online without worrying about hunting down hotspots or dwindling connection bars, which is both a benefit to their navigation and their mental well-being. All that truckers require to stay connected 24/7 is a wireless internet package
3. Alternative power supplies
While using the cigarette lighter receptacle can make a helpful outlet for different kinds of devices, there are many more convenient and affordable options that truckers should consider to ensure that they’re able to reliably charge their GPS system in addition to all of their necessary electronics, even when the vehicle isn’t in operation. Electric power inverters are a traditional and reliable source of electricity. In addition, truckers can consider portable solar generators − which have become surprisingly affordable with recent developments in solar technology, and come without the harmful emissions of traditional generators.
4. Recharging docking mounts
The ultimate tool in keeping a GPS system or smartphone well charged and conveniently placed are docking mounts. While not necessarily a new technology, innovative features in some docking mounts include improved suction windshield application, increased stability, and rechargeable ports. Some recently available varieties of docking stations include a solar powered charger, making them the ideal tool to dock on the windshield for maximum exposure to sunlight while freeing up your cigarette lighter receptacle for other uses.
What other accessories do you think truckers should consider to make their GPS experience as streamlined and effective as possible?
Author: Mike Curts