Driving a truck is a solitary job. You spend weeks out on the road away from your family and friends. Thankfully, technology has made it easier than ever to stay connected and miss fewer moments. Here are some ideas to help you out — using both 21st century technology and old school tech.
You already know you shouldn’t be texting or making a phone call while you’re driving – that could lead to a hefty fine of $10,000 or more. That doesn’t mean you can never make a phone call or send a text. To stay safe and stay connected, go as hands-free as possible.
- Use a headset or earbuds so you don’t need to hold your phone
- Let Siri do the dialing for you.
- Use voice-to-text to compose text messages
Though there will be times when you can’t talk at all, take advantage of the moments when you can so you stay connected with friends and family.
Find WiFi Wherever Available
Free WiFi at truck stops and in other locations can be a huge help for staying connected, especially if you’re in a dead zone with your cell phone provider. Be careful about using free WiFi in public to transmit financial information (like buying something) as your data can be stolen. But for a quick FaceTime or to watch someone’s birthday party online, publicly available WiFi will often do the trick.
When free WiFi isn’t available, but you need an internet connection, consider turning your phone into a hotspot. Smartphones have this capability, as long as you have it available through your cell phone provider. It’s so convenient to use that it’s easy to go through the available data with heavy use, so make sure you know your limit and how much going over will cost you.
Use Social Media
Facebook and Instagram Live let you watch family functions in action. You’ll see friends and family pictures and posts on any social media app. You can’t be there, but you can comment on the action and share your own adventures. Every social media app also offers a private messaging option, so you can talk to each privately, too.
Watch Shows and Movies Together
Netflix and Disney+ offer group watch functions, plus there are apps like Kast that let you share video in real-time. All of this means you can still be part of a family movie night no matter where you are. Make sure you’ve got a good signal and settle in for some quality time, even with miles between you.
Try a Couples App
Want to stay extra connected to your significant other? There’s an app for that. Try Without, an app that lets you send quick “I love you” type messages with text or selfies to let each other know you’re thinking about them. Try Between to share personal pictures, video, or texts that no one but the two of you can see. You can also use the private calendar for special days and appointments that you want the other to know about.
Go Old School with a CB Radio
CB radios aren’t as popular as they once were, though there are truckers who still use them. If you want to connect with other people out on the road, make a few friends, or just know what to expect up ahead, use (or install) your CB radio. Since it’s no longer as popular as it once was, the airwaves are fairly quiet, but you never know who you’ll connect to that could become a long-term buddy.
Being on the road can feel isolating, but it doesn’t have to. Use the tools available to you to stay connected. When you need a tool to track your HOS, use Clutch ELD. You get an affordable and reliable tool to keep you on track, no matter how many miles you have left to go.