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Assistance on the Road: The Benefits of Mobile Trucker Apps

9 August 2022

Technology has revolutionised the way we do most things in our day to day lives – business, how we interact, manage our time and even our health. As well as these, it now contributes a great deal to many aspects of commercial drivers’ duties, to make life on the road run smoother. This entails everything from planning routes to communicating with customers and clients. Driving professionally can often involve long-haul journeys that can be tiresome. Smartphone applications can assist in not only increasing productivity and efficiency but enhancing connectivity and quality of life.

In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of mobile trucker apps for professional drivers, and how they can aid an HGV driver whilst on the road.

The Benefits of Smartphone Apps for HGV Drivers

There are numerous benefits that come with smartphone apps that have been specifically created for commercial drivers, and these include:

  • Enhancing Performance and Productivity

In the past, HGV drivers may have had to ask if they could use the fax machine at a truck stop to submit documents. However, with company smartphone applications where electronic logs can be utilised, the need for this has been eliminated. Such trucking apps allow an HGV driver to view their tasks, check payments, access navigation systems, watch instructional videos and more.

There are also smartphone applications, for example an HGV sat nav app, which provide vehicle-specific route plans, driving assistance, navigation/directions and news on traffic.

Ensuring you stay within the permitted drivers’ hours and take the correct number of breaks is essential for commercial drivers. Not doing so can result in serious consequences from fines to even prosecution. Overworking and not taking regular breaks, especially within the logistics industry can be a huge contributing factor to decreased productivity, not to mention personal wellbeing. Thankfully, there are solutions such as an HGV driving hours app that will keep you safely within the regulations by monitoring all driving and rest activities.

Being able to use such modern tools to carry out the duties above means HGV drivers can manage their workload in a more efficient, easier and accessible manner. And not only that, but it also allows them to be more productive at work.

  • Increasing Connectivity

Staying connected whilst on the road is essential – particularly on long-haul jobs. There are smartphone apps available that can help lorry drivers stay connected with others.

Dispatchers and drivers require a safe way to communicate in real time without phone calls. Whilst some commercial drivers still communicate using CB (citizens bands) radios (though not as common as they once were), others have turned to designated trucking apps on their Android or iOS devices. This may include automatic status updates when deliveries have been started and then completed, as well as automatic updates to routes that are sent straight from the dispatcher to the driver. For instance, if the dispatcher or customer needs to give last-minute instructions to the driver, a mobile app can help ease the communication process. In this way, you can decrease phone time and enhance efficiency.

Mobile apps designed for HGV drivers can also increase connectivity for fleet managers. For example, they can use trucker designed apps to send/receive documents to and from drivers as well as track their location.

  • Reducing Fuel Costs

Rising fuel expenses are a cause for concern for all. In some cases, companies may potentially be able to cut down on overall fuel costs with trucker applications which optimise the route for every drop-off. By being able to take the best route between different deliveries (which may not always be the shortest!), you can ensure lower fuel consumption. With more reliable route planning for delivery schedules, customer satisfaction will also be improved.

  • Improving Vehicle Health

All HGV drivers will have to deal with vehicle breakdowns at some point during their career. And failing to adhere to vehicle preventative maintenance schedules can cause even more vehicle breakdowns. However, there are truck tracking apps available which can alert fleet managers if vehicles are being overworked as well as ensure that preventative maintenance programs are being followed.

  • Reducing Paperwork

Traditional methods of planning and tracking (like managing orders via excel spreadsheets) with manual data entry and fixing errors can be time-consuming. However, there are trucking apps designed specifically for HGV drivers to use for tracking and logging purposes. For instance, this can ensure that details about orders and deliveries are automatically updated across systems. Not only does this reduce paperwork but also labour and mistakes in data entry.

  • Building On Driver Safety

Inaccuracies caused by manual processes can lead to disruptions whilst on the job. Fortunately, fleet tracking apps can help fleet managers learn about their drivers’ practices in real-time, in order for them to be rectified promptly. For example, fleet managers can be alerted when drivers are speeding, or when excessive idling is detected. Any solution that allows the assessment of driver performance can contribute a great deal towards improving the safety of not only commercial drivers but other road users too.

  • Provides a Base for Training

Digitised operations massively help HGV drivers when it comes to training. Fleets can use trucker apps to house resources and training materials. In-built training modules can be developed and made easily accessible to drivers at anytime and anywhere. For instance, there is an HGV theory test app where those training can find the latest revision questions and answers to prepare for their theory test. And having the option to complete training via an app gives them the opportunity to complete mandatory training at their own convenience. This will improve employees’ personal skills and abilities, resulting in improved overall efficiency.

Best Apps for HGV Drivers

Whilst not endorsing any of the apps listed below, here are a few that caught our eye:

  • TruckerTimer (Apple £4.99, Android £3.32) – this advanced tachograph app allows you to track your driving hours and will alert you of imminent fatigue violations. It features timers for WTD guidelines, work centred on GPS movement, daily and weekly summaries of all driving activity and a visual countdown for each law to keep you within driver’s hours. This app could not only save drivers from a fine but will keep them and other road users safe by making sure they’re well-rested.
  • MyFitnessPal (Apple Free, Android Free) – eating healthily whilst on the road can be difficult, and whilst this app hasn’t been specifically created for HGV drivers, it can still help. HGV drivers can track their meals and movement by logging meals on the app and use nutritional insights to plan future meals or make healthier choices.
  • CoPilot (Apple , Android) – free for 14 days, unlike standard GPS navigation apps, this app knows and acknowledges the fact that you’re driving an HGV. The routes used by the app will help drivers avoid truck-restricted or prohibited roads by automatically evaluating the routes best suited for your vehicle’s size, weight, width and even load type. Plus, the app also works whilst offline which means you’ll always be on the correct route no matter what. But if connected to mobile data, it’ll also show live traffic for the route that you’re taking.
  • RHA Daily Defects (Apple Free, Android Free) – useful for both HGV and van drivers, this app helps by keeping a record of your daily vehicle inspections as required by the DVSA. Features include an easy step by step inspection checklist as well as printable PDF document sharing.
  • Truck Parking Europe (Apple Free, Android Free) – this app gives drivers access to over 34,000 truck stops across Europe, and can filter searches based on size, security, comfort, facilities and more. Features include checking space availability at truck stops, based on reports made by other drivers currently there.
  • Waze (Apple Free, Android Free) – this is a community-based traffic and navigation app, where drivers in your local area can report updates on traffic jams or accidents, resulting in saved time and less fuel consumption. Drivers can also report on any incidents or other hazards seen on the road.

In our digital age, utilising technological solutions, such as smartphone trucking apps, can help to streamline and automate fleet operations and duties. The right app designed for HGVs can aid in reducing costs, keeping drivers safe and improve overall work efficiency. Therefore, it’s wise for transport and logistics companies to leverage smartphone applications designed for HGV drivers. Such modern innovation can more so simplify and enhance life on the road in comparison to traditional practices.

If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help with your HGV career, call us on 0808 178 9977 or chat to one of our agents right now.