Among the important industries in the US is the trucking industry. If you think about it, the typical American way of life will be significantly affected without the trucking industry. For the truckers, the trucks are more like their other home, especially on those long transportation trips. It is said that an average long-distance trucker covers about 100,000 miles on the road per year.
Before the introduction of the internet, truck drivers used CB radios and payphones for communications. The CB radios were especially popular, and they would use them to reach out to the convoy, family, and even friends. Modern technology has definitely changed the world, and things are no longer the same, including how the trucking industry operates. Wireless internet has made communication for the drivers much easier. With their smartphones, they can connect with the family back home, receive timely updates on the weather conditions and traffic, and even stay entertained during the journey.
Thankfully, the advanced technology has made wireless internet quite easy to come by too. Furthermore, there are various options, and you choose whatever works for you. Here are ways the truck drivers can access wireless internet while on the road.
1. Through wifi-enabled mobile devices
Nowadays, almost everyone has at least a mobile phone or tablet that they can use to access the internet. The mobile devices are the best way in which truck drivers can obtain the internet and keep in touch with other people. Most mobile devices such as smartphones contain the 3G or 4G networks that can be used to get an internet connection. However, you will require an unlimited data plan to enjoy online activities freely. Otherwise, if the plan has a fixed data amount and you surpass it, your mobile carrier will probably require a payment for the overages. Be wary of that.
2. A MiFi router
As a truck driver, you can use your smartphone to get online any time of day, but the data charges will probably be too high. Some companies supply mobile devices to their drivers, but these, too, have restrictions on the amount of data to be used.
What about when there are two drivers hauling goods, and both want accession to the internet? The perfect solution in all these cases is a MIFI router. A MiFi router creates a hotspot so that both drivers can connect to its wifi network. It’s portable, hence suitable for use anywhere. You can even use it at the truck stop where the wifi network tends to be overloaded or just terrible. This takes us to the next option on the list.
3. The wifi at the truck stops
Truck drivers are entitled to obtain access to the wifi network or wireless internet available at the truck stops. It’s important for the drivers to remain in constant communication with the company, submit documents to the company, check on traffic updates, and contract personnel. This is the reason why truck stops are equipped with wireless internet regardless of the location. The drivers have to perform their professional obligations, which makes the internet an invaluable tool.
With that said, the types of wifi and quality of the connections vary from one place to another. Depending on the location, you will find a satellite connection, DSL and 3G or 4G technology. However, do not solely rely on the truck stop wifi, especially if you will be performing tasks that use-up a large amount of data and a reliable connection. You might get quite disappointed.
4. Direct satellite
Through the partnership with one of the satellite internet providers in the US, trucking companies can establish high-speed wireless internet. The company truck drivers receive a direct link to a broadband connection while on the road so that they can complete their professional obligations without any hitches. The trucking company and the internet provider typically agree on an amount of money to be paid for the service.
Since satellite internet is widely available, this is one of the most reliable broadband connections for the truck drivers but it can be quite expensive.
5. Use public wifi
If you are a driver who hauls cargo or goods in high traffic areas, there is a greater possibility you will find public wifi networks within the area. In this regard, you don’t necessarily have to wait until you reach a truck stop to access wireless internet. Most public spaces, such as coffee shops, restaurants, fast-food chains, hotels, and airports provide free wifi to the public. Furthermore, public wifi might offer a more stable connection than the truck stops. However, since public wifi is not always safe, refrain from sending or receiving confidential documentation.
Frequently asked questions
How do truck drivers get internet?
The most common solution for truck drivers to get the internet is using a phone’s mobile hotspot. From this hotspot, you can get other devices such as your laptop connected on the internet. In addition, any other of the above methods will work just fine.
Is there a truly unlimited hotspot plan?
Many truck drivers opt for the mobile hotspot devices because they offer the independence of not having to look for wifi in the truck stops or public spaces. The only issue is usually with the mobile carrier plans, which may come with data limits. With that said, Verizon has some plans with unlimited data and absolutely no data caps.
What is a portable modem?
A portable modem is also referred to as a MIFI or mobile hotspot. It connects all wifi enabled devices such as laptops and smartphones to the internet through the available mobile network. It’s also a viable option for the truck drivers to get internet connection while on the road.
Thanks to the wireless internet, truck drivers can now be more productive at work than they were in the past. Communication is simple and efficient while sending documents or contacting the company is instant with the click of a button. Furthermore, truck drivers no longer have to be disconnected from the world and their families when hauling cargo over long distances. They can make video calls or chat via social media.