Who would have thought that truckers would pay money to listen to the radio, surf the net from the comfort of their cabs or call their loved ones on cell phones small enough to fit in a shirt pocket? It might not be hard for the driving public to imagine the impact the cell phone has had on job satisfaction among truckers. It’s even understandable that you’d like to access radio shows without annoying interruptions and fuzzy reception through small towns and long stretches of highway. But most non-truckers are surprised when studies about truckers and trucking lifestyles show how many of you are computer savvy, surf the Internet on a regular basis and own laptops.
Our studies show you depend on the Internet for much of your business, weather, entertainment and news information. Which is why nobody is surprised that the next hot thing in trucking is high-speed wireless Internet access, also known as wireless fidelity or wi-fi.
Imagine. You pull into a truckstop or travel plaza, pull out your laptop and without even leaving the comfort of your truck, you connect with your loved ones across the country. Or check the weather up ahead. You might even surf for your next load or send insurance and W9 paperwork.
Many truckstops already have kiosks and Internet access at “hot spots” across the country for a monthly fee that gives you unlimited access, no roaming or cellular charges and lots of service and support. Many more are about to sign up. Some trucking companies are even providing access to the Internet, satellite radio and cell phone services as “perks” for recruiting drivers in a tight market.
An etrucker.com survey shows that more than 60 percent of truckers who responded said they’d be “very interested” in wi-fi access, and the same percentage of truckers from another study said they use the Internet on a regular basis.
Truckers spend a lot of time away from home and in their cabs. There will always be the need to connect with loved ones, stay in touch with your child’s school progress, see what’s happening in your local news, get information, send documents and conduct business while away from home. The Internet is no longer something that’s a luxury for a few; it’s becoming a necessity for most. One ad for a wi-fi service shows a pair of scissors cutting the laptop cord. Freedom from limited access is around the corner.
Who woulda thunk it?