Contributing author Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. A Ringgold, VA based carrier. Joey started his company in 2010 after serving time as an unhappy employee with a local trucking company. The time spent there was not fun but, in hindsight, was a turning point that propelled Joey into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Please visit JoeySlaughter.net for more insightful blogging.
Truckers need quick access to accurate weather information every day. Even though most of our work keeps us inside of our trucks, we work outside! Office and factory workers probably don’t worry about the weather as much as we do because once they get to work, they are in a controlled climate. We have much more to be concerned about as we navigate a good portion of the continent each week! Weather information is constantly on our minds and I’m going to tell you about two weather apps that will bring the knowledge right to your smartphone.
I use the Weatherbug app to obtain current weather conditions and weekly forecasts for anywhere in the U.S. The information is constantly being updated for accuracy so keep a close eye on it as we all know meteorologists can get it wrong! I use it very heavily in the winter to find out where the storms are going and choose loads to keep me out of those regions. The app is very easy to use and offers a great user experience.
I also use it to know what to pack before I leave home. I’m usually out on the road for only a week at a time so there’s no need to take all my clothes with me. I travel mostly north and south routes so there is often a big temperature change between New York and Florida and that usually means I have to pack both short and long sleeves shirts. I actually enter the cities that I’m traveling to and through to get an idea of what to expect. Check out this link to see how important weather information can be for truckers. It can be life or death.
I also use the MyRadar app for more precise information. I usually use this app when I’m experiencing bad weather like heavy rain, thunderstorms or snow. When I open the app, I can see my location on a map and can see the current weather radar of my location. It also shows the movement of the precipitation going back for the last forty minutes. This allows a view of the direction of the storm and gives the user an indication of the future path.
The following is a recent experience of how I used this app for very precise weather information: I had just arrived at a truck stop during a thunderstorm. I was only there to grab a quick bite to eat. It was a pouring rain; the kind that would collapse an umbrella. I opened MyRadar app and found my location and could see the yellow imagery indicating heavy precipitation. I noticed the past track of the storm and figured out that this rain would be moving out in about fifteen minutes. I planned on waiting the extra time before making the long walk into the truck stop and getting drenched. Thanks to the app, my educated guess was right and I walked to the truck stop entrance dry as a bone.
You don’t have to be a weather geek to use these weather apps. Any professional driver should know what weather situations to expect as they travel. Knowing that information is a part of our job and a tremendous asset to help plan routes and schedules. There isn’t an excuse for ignorance of the weather, especially with access to these two free weather apps.