Posted by Admin on January 14, 2017
Read an equally entertaining and enlightening blog post regarding wireless connectivity of long-haul journey and over-the-road (OTR) truck drivers.
One of the best memories of the 70s was the trucking/CB Radio craze in the United States. Songs and films followed, such as the Chip Davis and C.W. McCall novelty song known as “Convoy”, which was adapted into a 1975 film of the same title, directed by Sam Peckinpah, starring Kris Kristofferson, Ernest Borgnine and Ali McGraw. The relationship between long-haul truckers and their communication gadget of the day, the Citizen's Band (CB) radio was well portrayed, including in other similar themed movies such as the 1975's White Line Fever and 1977's Smokey and the Bandit.
Trucker's communication devices of the day have saved lives and rescue stranded motorists. For instance, a group of normal long-haul truckers are reported to have used their CB radios to strategize, boxing in a child abductor who was fleeing Tennessee with a victim. The CB radio was the gadget that probably saved the child's life. It was used extensively to alert truckers about bad weather and road hazards in particular stretches of the American highway and traffic conditions.
Things have changed, however. Over The Road (OTR) drivers from 2009 to date have reported not hearing anyone on the CB radio asking directions, perhaps a place to park and eat. Asking goes without a response. It is not because long-haul truckers are no longer on the road using old technology; it is all about changes in technology. Truck drivers today are using diverse electronics, from Smartphones, Tablets, in-cab trucking to GPS systems, among others which are more efficient and more entertaining than Clint Eastwood era CB radios.
In this era, we now have mobile apps that even help boost truck mileage for more efficiency. For example, the GPS would help locate shortest route or directions using a detour in case of an unexpected construction or accident on the road. The GasGuru application locates lowest gas price for re-fueling an 18 wheeler truck because the cost of gas and the large quantity required would definitely affect the bottomline for the truck drivers, owners, and operators. An app such as "Road Trippers" helps locate nearest good food restaurant or good accomodation and truck-stop for a shut-eye which is absolutely necessary for safety of the driver and his/her truck. However, cell phone reception is critical for any of these apps and other technologies to work.
Therefore, truckers who find themselves alone in the vast stretches of North America with very poor cell phone signal reception realize how lonely and dangerous it can be without a reliable cell phone signal to call home, seek emergency services or ask for help. A reliable cell signal is critical today for long haul truckers if Atlantic salmon, perishable goods and other expensive items are to be delivered speedily and safely to the other side of America and Canada thousands of miles apart. A reliable cell signal means that the trucker will remain on-track, entertained and rejuvenated as well as connected with the outer and present world.
Across the highways are all types of signals from giant cellular carriers such as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and other regional cell phone signal service providers. Their technology has made other communication gadgets from the past such as CB radios a really analogue and unreliable tech that very few, if anyone is using.
Across United States, according to the American Trucking Association, are about 3.5 million long-haul truck drivers. Commercial trucks on the road today are over 15.5 million in the US alone with two million of them being tractor trailers. As an industry that makes $255.5 billion annually and critical for the survival of most businesses and homes across the country, it is important that truck drivers who spend days, weeks or months on the road remain connected with their fleet managers, families, other truckers and friends among others.
To help enhance communication with other truckers, get some entertainment, remain on track and connected throughout the journey, there’re a number of ways any long-haul trucker can enhance connectivity with the world beyond his on-clock truck.
Today, virtually anyone is on Social Media, from Twitter, Facebook to Snaptchat. Posts, images and videos are being published virtually every minute in a typical social networking site. Long-hauler truckers can take videos and images and posts and share with loved ones privately or publicly.
Capture moments on camera.
Missing your daughter's recital, boy's first big football game or a birthday is always very hurting. Having it captured on camera and delivered either via social media apps or other form can help keep the trucker far away from home well connected with the happenings at home.
Face to face far away from home.
With such critical face to face communication tools as Apple's FaceTime, Google+ Hangouts, Whatsapp video and Skype, a long-haul trucker doesn't have to go days without talking with his family, friends, colleagues and others face to face. A trucker can actually see his daughter or son celebrating a win on the field or stage at school or even be there on a birthday celebration while being on the road thousands of miles away.
Of course a trucker probably has lots of Smartphones, Tablets, Laptop and other cellular gadgets for communication purposes. Calling home and talking to everyone or sending a quick text keeps a loved one closer. You can also jot down an email to family, co-workers and colleagues and even attach a video or photos.
However, unless you're going to send a handwritten letter back home or your fleet manager, most of these connectivity methods mean you require a reliable cell signal virtually all the time. With lots of highway patches and lonely roads dotted with dead zones and low signals, being prepared can even save your life in case of bad weather, traffic problems and other unexpected happenings on the road. You can just hope all shall be well while on these poor signal areas or get a special signal booster, specifically made with long-haul journey truckers in mind.
Drive 4G-X OTR.
The weBoost Drive 4G-X OTR is not your everyday signal booster. It is an in-vehicle truck reception repeater that comes with the OTR Truck all weather Omni-Directional Antenna from Wilson Electronics made for the most rugged areas of North America. It is certified for use in Canada and US and boosts signal for all Canadian and US cell carriers. The Drive 4G-X OTR boosts 2G voice, 3G and 4G LTE networks, including devices on legacy bands, enhancing them up to 32x.
With a 50 dB gain, it comes with all the components you need to safely and easily install it on your truck. An existing cell phone signal from the tower closest to the truck will be amplified anywhere on the highway. As a result, the cell signal will be reliable enough to download videos and photos from home, post on social media, make an emergency dispatch, call home during a rest stop, stream movies and music, make a video call, use GPS and other apps, among other uses. Of course, these elaborate tasks must be done when parked at a truck stop, etc. during overnight stop overs.
Above all, it means alerts such as weather info, traffic updates and other critical details that could mean life and death are shared. Installation is easy! Here's an instructional video showing how easy it is to install the cell phone signal booster in any truck.
A very low cost cheaper option is the Drive 4G-S. This is a cradle booster that boosts reception for a single device that is in the cell phone signal booster cradle. This one does not require an interior antenna because it is built-into the cell phone cradle which also serves as a cell phone signal amplifier. The following video provides a brief overview of this type phone cradle reception booster.