There are over 1.8 million truckers in the US currently, representing the 14th most common occupation nationally. They serve as significant conveyors of goods across state lines and have become increasingly indispensable since the pandemic. Truckers are vital to the economy, providing jobs and haulage services for essential goods.
On the other hand, according to the RV Industry Association, over a million Americans live full-time in RVs. While some do not have options, many have done it by choice recently. With remote work becoming more popular and digital nomadism on the rise, RV sales have reached record heights and continue to soar. RV Life is fast becoming a norm.
While being on the road regularly has its charms, it can be challenging to find decent network coverage in some remote places and rural areas. Phone signals can get erratic, and high-speed internet may be inaccessible, especially since not many RVs or Trucks come Wi-Fi enabled, and some routes may lead through small towns.
However, reliable high-speed internet connection has become vital to Truckers and Rver alike, improving communication, navigation, and overall life quality on the road.
Importance of the Internet to Truckers
On average, a long-distance trucker can cover more than 100,000 miles on the road in a year. During long haulage trips, the trucks become their homes, with occasional stops at truck stops to get supplies and rest.
Before the internet became popular, truckers used CB radios and payphones to communicate with their convoy, friends, and even families. Thankfully, with increased access to high-speed internet, truckers with prior little or no social interaction are finding it easier and more enjoyable to do their jobs.
Here are a few ways the Internet has impacted truckers;
- Improved Communication: Truckers can communicate regularly with the base, receiving instructions updates and even allowing accurate GPS tracking in real-time. This makes fleet management more efficient and saves valuable time and resources. Also, Truckers can stay in touch with family and friends quickly, making long drives less lonely.
- Real-time updates: Current road conditions, weather changes, traffic congestions, and other elements that can cause delays are now easier to monitor in real-time with high-speed internet. This saves time and resources, improves road safety, and saves the companies from avoidable damages.
- Current information and news: Instead of relying on hearsay, truckers can access reliable sources on the internet for the latest information. This helps keep them in the know and abreast of significant changes and compliance regulations. Also, truckers can easily access communities full of fellow truckers, such as forums and chat rooms.
Wireless Internet has made the truck not just the trucker’s home but also an office, increasing efficiency and productivity. Since not many trucks come equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities, here are some ways truckers can get connected on the road.
- Using Wi-Fi-enabled devices: most smartphones have 3G or 4G network access. This is usually the easiest way for truckers to keep in touch and have high-speed access internet. Thankfully, not only is wireless internet easy to get, there are many ISP options to choose from.
- A MiFi router: A MiFi router is the perfect choice if you are connecting multiple trucks at once. It is portable and can be used almost anywhere. Using a smartphone may be convenient, but MiFi charges are usually lower without the usual restrictions.
- Public Wi-Fi: These can be found at parks, malls, and even truck stops. Truckers can easily access internet connections at truck stops. However, the internet connection quality may vary from place to place, and such internet connections may be unsafe.
- Direct satellite: Trucking companies can partner with Satellite internet providers. This is one of the most reliable connections in the truck since satellite coverage is expansive. A direct link is sent to the trucker, granting immediate access to the broadband connection.
RVers and the Internet
One of the significant challenges RVers face when hitting the road is finding a way to access high-speed internet on the go, especially in small towns. As more people are becoming remote and digitally nomadic, access to the internet for many RVers has become a necessity and limiting factor.
Fortunately, there are myriad ways to access high-speed internet while traveling in RVs full-time. Finding a perfect Internet Service Provider may seem daunting but is more straightforward than many think with adequate research. Though not always direct, a good ISP should offer reliable high-speed internet coverage on the road.
There are three main options for RVs to access the internet. These have pros and cons that depend on personal preferences and travel styles. They include;
- Utilizing Surrounding Connections: RVers can use Wi-Fi connections in the surrounding area. Libraries, coffee shops, cafés, and campgrounds usually have open, free internet connections. However, the farther away from the source, the poorer the internet connection. Installing an external Wi-fi amplifier is an inexpensive option and may increase range and speed.
- Using a Cell carrier: This option allows users to access the internet as long as there is a cell signal. Unfortunately, this is impossible as of today. The good news is that some cell carriers offer more coverage than others, while others may function better in certain areas. Using coverage maps provided on the carrier's website, you can know what ISP best suits your travel plans. Also, since data plans are constantly changing, ensure an up-to-date list of the best data plans.
Satellite Internet for RVs: This option is only recommended if more time is spent in one place than on the go. Satellite providers have large coverage areas that extend to the most remote places; however, it is a costly option. Also, satellite connections aren’t the most reliable option when on the go; geography and even weather can affect the internet quality, and satellite providers limit data plans just like Cell providers sometimes do.
As a Trucker or RVer, choosing your Internet service provider is one decision you cannot take lightly. Most people make their choices without adequate research and regret along the line.
When choosing an internet service provider, some factors are availability, reliability, cost of plans, and internet speed. As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to always have a plan B for internet connections. This can be a cell service provider.
Truckers and RVers need to access high-speed internet traveling from one place across the US. This will increase productivity, efficiency, and quality of living for both communities.