An App Explosion
Relatively new to the United States, the Spotify service and associated apps (most platforms) enable on-demand access to music as well as custom playlist-creation and sharing with friends, for free. Sound too good to be true? The service operates as radio, and has negotiated licensing contracts with major record companies — artists will be paid by ad revenue and premium account user fees.
Platform scale axle weights
John Christner Trucking driver Jerry Wilks is the programmer/developer of an application for the iPhone when using platform scales. Launched in 2010, the Scale It app allows you to input weight readings you get as you roll onto the scale, then do the math to determine axle weights. “It’s not hard math, of course,” says Wilks, but if it’s two o’clock in the morning, and/or there are five other trucks lined up behind you waiting, he notes, “it’s easy to make mistakes.” Download the software for your iPhone or iPad for 99 cents in the iTunes App Store.
Similarly, in the apps market for Android devices you’ll find the Axle Weight Calculator app available for $1.99 and the Trucker’s Axle Weight Calc app for free.
Scan this QR to watch the video for the “Won’t Start Texting” comedic jingle by Canadian viral-vid maven and high school science teacher Marsh Carroll for the ZoomSafer anti-texting fleet application (functional with many phones). Carroll’s students provided the drawings. In the video they describe a trucker’s cross-country journey resisting the forbidden “temptation” to text behind the wheel. Visit zoomsafer.com for more about the company.
Health and wellness applications
Guidelines governing trucker health may encourage drivers to find any means necessary to get fit. The number of health applications for smartphones is growing, but here are a few you can count on to get started:
• Daniel Miller’s Daily Workout apps guide you through exercises for your arms, legs, abs and buttocks; as well as cardio and yoga workouts. Each app allows you to choose your workout time — 5 minutes, 7.5 minutes or 10 minutes — perfect for a driver. There are at least two set routines for each app, but you can also choose the individual 30-second sets at random. Available free of charge through Apple, Android, Nook Color and Kindle Fire markets. Yoga is currently only for Apple.
• Calorie Counter by Fat Secret is a multifaceted tool for tracking caloric intake. First, the application asks for age, current weight and desired weight. Considering your average fitness level, it calculates a healthy number of calories you should meet — not exceed — each day to lose, maintain or gain weight. Calorie Counter allows you to input the foods (and drinks) you consume into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack categories. You can either find nutritional values through the search function, or you can scan the item’s barcode. The search function even includes foods from fast-food restaurants, such as McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King. In addition to tracking your intake, you can track calories burned when walking, running, swimming — even cleaning and doing automotive repair. Available free of charge through Apple, Android and Blackberry markets.