Tools to help truckers get their jobs done

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Even the best, most proficient truck driver on the road today needs a little help from time to time. More often than not, most of the big stuff is handled by sensors and devices on the truck, or with a quick call on a smartphone.

Photo of Garmin Speak Navigation Device with Amazon AlexaGarmin Speak pairs with Amazon’s Alexa

However, there are some chores – mostly those that make a driver’s day a bit safer and more comfortable – that need to be done personally. That’s why having a ride-along personal assistant makes sense.

Garmin Speak pairs Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service technology with Garmin’s GPS street navigation to provide a truck with a virtual assistant. Not only will Alexa help get truckers where they want to go, it also can use the truck’s audio system to help keep them informed and entertained – and it can help them take care of things at home while they are on the road.

Bluetooth headsets

The last thing truckers need is not being able to communicate with those who are counting on them. Working in a hands-free environment all day, every day requires a headset that is comfortable and easy to use and makes them heard and allows them to hear well.

Photo of Blueparrot Wireless Headphones with Feature DescriptionsBlue Parrott has two Bluetooth headsets – the B450-XT and the B250-XT – that keep truckers not just connected but also comfortable in the process.

The two models are similar in most respects. Both deliver excellent sound quality, superior noise cancellation, hands-free operation, long battery life and superior comfort. The differences are modest.
The B450-XT uses HD Voice and a noise-cancelling microphone to eliminate 96 percent of ambient noise. The B250-XT cuts out 95 percent of the background noise.

Smart CB

While smartphones have made an impact in the trucking world, many professional drivers haven’t set aside their trusty CB radios just yet. Others have found a way to combine the two.

Photo of Cobra's 29 LX MAX CB RadioCobra’s 29 LX MAX

Now, Cobra’s 29 LX MAX offers truckers a legal way to communicate safely and easily with its patented CB radio equipped with enhanced smartphone features. The 29 LX MAX syncs smartphone calls with the CB radio. A noise-canceling microphone allows calls to be heard over a noisy engine and other road noise.

Incoming audio is routed through the radio’s speaker, making it easy for truckers to hear who is calling with audible caller ID. The system provides one-touch technology for hands-free safety.

The Cobra iRadar app integration allows the trucker to receive and report police calls, road hazards and red-light camera intersections from a linked community of users.

Another patented communications feature, Rewind-Say-Again, allows the driver to replay the last 10 seconds of signals received over the airwaves and record a 10-second personal memo that can be replayed at any time.

GPS for pros

TomTom 600 GPS (Photo by TomTom

TomTom, known for its navigation devices, sport watches and action cameras, has created a GPS designed for professional truckers.

The TomTom Trucker 600 delivers accurate vehicle-relevant navigation (bridge heights, road restrictions, truck routes), map updates and traffic analysis for the device’s lifetime.

Before getting in the cab, truckers can use the MyDrive app to plan a trip that takes into account truck weight, type, size and cargo to find a preferred route.

The device has a 6-inch touchscreen with tablet-style pinch, zoom and swipe controls. It docks and undocks with TomTom’s Click & Go magnetic mount.

The Trucker 600 has 16GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot.

More power!

Finally, the problem with many portable power banks is that they’re good for one or two charges of a smartphone, then the charger has to be recharged. Truckers need a charger that performs the way they expect their truck to: delivering power anytime they need it.

The Jackery PowerBar high-capacity portable charger has that name for a reason. It can recharge a smartphone up to eight times or a tablet up to four times. That means it cuts down the likelihood of being without juice when it’s needed the most.

The PowerBar comes with standard USB and USB-C ports and features Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, allowing the user to charge up to four devices at the same time.

It also has a solar panel, allowing it to be recharged even off the grid.

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