Pocket Tools

Todd Dills | July 01, 2011

Dozens of new smart-phone apps can save you money, time and hassles. Best of all, many are free.

From electronic logging to word on whether a shower’s available at that next truck stop, trucking applications for smartphones have emerged to meet needs large and small for owner-operators. Since the iPhone’s introduction in 2007, competing phones have followed, as have thousands of apps that can be downloaded easily in seconds, usually at no cost.

Michigan-based Miguel Dunkelberger, leased to LR & Sons of Grand Rapids, Mich., has been using Mobile Warrior’s IDDL log book and inspection-report app on his iPhone for more than a year, he says. The feature completely replaced his paper logs.

While not a federally approved electronic onboard recorder, the application affords Dunkelberger, for the $9.95 a month he spends for the service, not only the simplicity of push-button logging but also a significant boost in record-keeping ease. When his carrier was audited by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, he was asked to provide three months’ worth of logs. All he had to do was log into his account and send an email.

Dunkelberger also utilizes Pilot Travel Centers’ store locator app, which can quickly find the nearest Pilot or Flying J location. TravelCenters of America’s new TruckSmart app does the same for TA and Petro locations, as well as providing parking availability, fuel price and other data.

iPad usage of Getloaded’s iGetLoaded app has tripled since last October, says Getloaded Marketing Manager Dane Schwartz, an indication of the app markets’ growing significance on tablet devices, as on phones. “At any level of business, whether it’s accounting, freight matching, or navigation, you can pretty much do it from your phone,” he says.

While most applications that have been around for a while are functional on the iPhone, software developers are introducing versions built to operate on phones driven by Google’s Android operating system. TransCore marketing rep Eileen Hart reports the company’s research a couple of years ago found that “Blackberry was the most popular one. The iPhone has really taken off since then. Most recently, Android has surpassed the iPhone among our customers.”

Regardless of operating system, whether you’re searching for a load, a truck stop, fuel prices, accounting tools, or guides to state hazmat regs, chances are there’s an app for it.


Freight

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iGetLoaded

What it does: This app enables mobile access for Getloaded.com load-board users, with GPS-enabled and other load searches, access to broker credit ratings, rate indexing, one-touch calling for load details, PC Miler routing/mileage and more.

What they say: “This app brings all the essential, core features available at Getloaded.com, plus more, right to your fingertips.” Android functionality is coming, says Dane Schwartz, possibly late this year.

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