#TruckTechTuesday: Cell Phone Tips for Truckers

Cell phones are everywhere. We’ve come to rely upon them, and expect ours to be available whenever we need it. For truckers, however, the cell phone picture can be quite contradictory. While you need your phones to communicate with dispatchers and get directions, among other things, your cell phone use is often tightly restricted.

Most importantly, there are specific regulations regarding cell phone use while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Essentially, truckers must only use a hands-free phone that is in close proximity while driving, and texting at any time behind the wheel is not allowed.

This being said, you still need to be able to use your phone, whether at a truck or rest stop, or just while parked. And cell phone costs can make up a significant part of any trucker’s budget. The savvy trucker can keep these costs to a minimum with a little research.

Avoid High Roaming Fees

Roaming fees can add up quickly. If your runs take you across the country, it’s worth it to pay a little extra for a plan with a company that has a wide reach so that you avoid roaming fees. Also, be sure that your cell phone company doesn’t charge connection fees when using other companies’ towers; some companies will do this under the name of “free roaming.”

Coverage Can Make or Break You

Coverage is another important consideration when choosing a wireless plan if you drive in a wide area. The important thing about coverage is keeping spots without coverage on your plan to a minimum. The last thing you need is to be stranded in an area without cell phone signal when you have important business to take care of. Many truckers agree that Verizon and AT&T have the best coverage available in the U.S.

Keep the Data Flowing

Also, how much data your plan provides may come into play for you, especially if you stream any type of video in your down time. GPS use on your phone can also eat up data. It may be worth the added expense to have a large amount or unlimited data on your plan, since data overages can add up quickly.

These are just some ways that you can get the most out of your cell phone dollar. By knowing the ins and outs of OTR cell phone use, your cell phone can be more about what you’re getting rather than what you’re giving.

Our ExpressTruckTax support team is available to answer any questions or concerns you may have over the phone at 704.234.6005, and any time by email at support@expresstrucktax.com.

And don’t forget to join the conversation on our Facebook page, and on Twitter. You can post about your experience with cell phones on the road, or Tweet about any tips or tricks you might have that would help The Trucking Nation with their cell phone needs.


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