iPad for Truck Drivers: Are You Using All the Features?

When you’re out on the road, keeping the comforts of home can be a challenge. It can be especially difficult to store and use the things that you’re used to, such as a television, DVD player, game console, or laptop. Plus, it can be difficult or even impossible to have these devices powered and available for use anytime you make a stop. Entertainment and communication is important to truck drivers on the road. As a truck driver, it’s crucial for your happiness and mental health to have some familiarity and contact with home.

Using the iPad as a Truck Driver

An easy way to keep all these comforts of home on the road: the Apple iPad. The iPad provides a simple way for truck drivers to catch up on television and movies, play games, video chat, and check the Internet or their email. It requires very little space compared to all those other devices, and it’s easy to keep it powered. For a truck driver, an iPad can become their portal to home.

Easy for Truck Drivers to Use

The touch screen interface is very sleek and easy to use. After just few minutes, you’ll find that you can navigate the iPad with ease compared to a laptop. The iPad has quickly become the most popular tablet style device in the world.  Since iPads are so popular, there are thousands of applications, or “apps,” that can serve you in various ways, such as tracking mileage, organizing reminders and bills, or even recording calories and exercise. Many of these apps are even free to use. There are also a number of truck driver apps you might find useful on the road to track your mileage and location.

Great Travel Devices for Truck Drivers

More and more truck drivers are purchasing an iPad to keep with them over the road because they’re simple to use and easy to store during travel. The iPad is small and light, and can be stored anywhere you have some space. It also charges quickly, with a number of car charger devices available in addition to the provided charger. With the mobility of the iPad, you can take it with you outside the truck with ease: at home, in a restaurant, or on the occasion your truck might be in the shop for repairs.

Wireless Internet for Truck Drivers

One benefit of the iPad for truck drivers is that it can be used over a 3G connection on the road. With almost all of the US covered with 3G, you can get an Internet connection at nearly any stop. Plus, the monthly fees for 3G coverage are generally much lower than satellite Internet connections. Speeds are also faster, and the signal is less likely to be interrupted so you won’t have as many issues.

iPads in trucks also work over a wifi connection, so you can use wifi when it’s available to you at certain truck stops or at home. The iPad can also be used without a 3G connection at all, relying on free wifi connections. Many truck drivers choose this option since so many truck stops and restaurants now offer free wifi.

Stay in Touch with Home While On the Road

Another benefit of using the iPad as a truck driver is communicating with home. iPads are equipped with a front-facing camera and “Facetime,” an app that allows video chat. Using Facetime, you can see the person you’re talking to and have a conversation like they’re sitting next to you. For truck drivers that are over the road and away from their spouses or children for long periods of time, this is providing a new way to truly stay in touch with home.

By using an app like Facebook, you can keep up with the lives of everyone you care about by seeing pictures, videos, and status updates in a news feed. You can also “check in” to various stops, so your family and friends will always know where you are and where you’ve been. The iPad’s camera also gives you the ability to post your own videos and photos.

Entertainment for Truck Drivers

You can also use your iPad as a truck driver to keep up with TV and movies over the road. Apple’s iTunes Store offers season passes for television shows or movies available to rent. Other services like Amazon’s OnDemand, Netflix, or Hulu offer a different variety of TV and movies, either by purchasing a one time rental or a subscription. When you make a selection, your media is downloaded to your iPad or streamed continuously through your Internet connection. This way, you can spend some of your downtime with your favorite television show so you won’t find yourself too far behind when you have home time!

Truck Driver Games

Games are getting better and better with each version of the iPad. The latest iPad offers the most complex and immersive games that have ever been on a tablet. There are a variety of games in the App Store ranging from free to low cost – usually a dollar or two each. You’ll find fun puzzle games like the ever-popular Angry Birds, or racing games such as Real Racing 2. You’ll also find popular action games like Stickman BMX. The variety of games available to you in the App Store is immense, and new games continue to be developed and released every day. And as a truck driver, it’s a lot easier to download a new game on the iPad in your truck than store multiple gaming systems in your truck.

iPad: A Great Entertainment and Communications Tool for Truck Drivers

For a truck driver, the iPad can replace a lot of entertainment and communication devices in your truck, saving you space and offering you more variety through apps and streaming services. With the 3G connection, you’ll almost always find yourself with an Internet connection to make contact with home on a continuous basis. And most of all, the iPad is simple and easy to use and maintain, especially compared to a laptop. A huge part of staying mentally healthy on the road is giving yourself some breaks, and have some of the comforts of home available to you when you’re not driving. The iPad’s use as a communication, entertainment, Internet, and video device can provide all of that and more to the over the road truck driver.

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About Derek McClain

Derek McClain is a blogger with TheHealthyTrucker.net and co-host of the Mile Markers show. Derek has worked in the Internet & Technology industry for over 7 years dedicating last few years to writing about truck driving jobs and careers. McClain has always had a passion for exercise and fitness so with truck driver health becoming such a hot topic in the industry, it just made sense to work with TheHealthyTrucker.net. You can Connect with Derek on Google+ here