Can I Get Wireless Internet in My Semi Truck?

WiFi in Semi Truck

Modern technology is changing the world, and the trucking industry is no exception. In the past, drivers had to deal with unreliable radios and payphones to communicate with their employers, fellow drivers, family, and friends. These methods were inconvenient, fickle, and often unsuccessful.

Now, wireless Internet is revolutionizing communication for drivers. With their mobile devices, they can easily connect with companies, send documents, talk with family, develop friendships with other truckers, stay entertained on the road, and receive updates on traffic and weather conditions.

High-speed, wireless Internet has updated both the professional and personal experiences of truck drivers. Let’s take a look at how to get wireless Internet in a semi truck, the benefits of using it, and the ways it has changed truck driving.

How to Access Wireless Internet in a Semi Truck

Luckily, wireless Internet isn’t too difficult to come by with today’s advanced technology. There are many options to choose from to access the Internet while on the road. Here’s more information on the most convenient and efficient methods.

WiFi Enabled Truck Stops

Most truck stops offer WiFi, or wireless Internet, no matter if their location is in a high traffic area or a more isolated region. The type of WiFi a particular truck stop provides may vary from place to place. A few possibilities include:

If you are relying on truck stop WiFi for your entire trip, keep in mind that some stops may charge a fee before they allow drivers to use their WiFi. The speed of the connection will vary greatly, as well, depending on the location of the stop and the type of Internet connection they use.

WiFi-enabled truck stops are a convenient method for submitting documentation to companies, contacting personnel, and performing other professional obligations. Due to the unreliable quality of truck stop WiFi, however, you may not want to count on it for tasks that require large amounts of bandwidth and a steady connection.

Public WiFi

Similar to the WiFi found at a truck stop, many businesses offer free WiFi for patrons. Public WiFi is convenient because you do not have to find a truck stop to get wireless Internet access. Also, most public WiFi is free, so there are no additional fees or charges to use it.

A wide variety of businesses provide free WiFi:

  • Restaurants and diners, including many fast-food chains
  • Coffee shops, like Starbucks and Dunkin’
  • General merchandise stores, like Target and Walmart
  • Grocery stores, including Whole Foods and ShopRite
  • Hotels
  • Public libraries
  • Airports

If you need a more stable Internet connection, public WiFi is usually a safe bet. You can use your mobile device to connect to the network and access the Internet.

WiFi Enabled Mobile Devices

Mobile devices are another popular option for obtaining Internet access while traveling. Many drivers already have a personal phone or tablet, while others receive one from their companies. Either way, drivers can use the 3G or 4G networks on their mobile devices to connect to the Internet.

Keep in mind that without a connection to a WiFi network, your mobile device will use data to supply Internet access. If you have an unlimited data plan, there’s no need to worry. But, if the plan comes with a fixed amount of data, your mobile carrier may charge you for overages. Company supplied devices may also have restrictions on how much data you can use.

Direct Satellite

Trucking companies provide wireless Internet access through direct satellites by building a partnership with a satellite Internet provider. The company’s employees then gain immediate access to the Internet while traveling with a broadband connection.

Examples of satellite Internet provider are Viasat Internet and DISH, which work with homes and businesses to provide fast and affordable Internet access beamed from satellites orbiting the earth.

Portable Modem or Hotspot

Portable modems and hotspots are convenient options if you need constant Internet access that is also portable. These devices offer steady connections and quick speeds. You can purchase or rent a modem or hotspot then choose a plan from the provider to receive WiFi 24/7 in any location.

The Internet connection is secure, so it is safe to send and receive confidential documentation. It also gives drivers more independence since they do not have to worry about finding WiFi when they stop. Drivers do have to monitor the battery life to ensure they do not lose their connection abruptly.

What are the Benefits of Using Wireless Internet in My Semi Truck?

There are several excellent uses for wireless Internet in the truck driving industry, from convenient communication to an array of entertainment options.

Efficient Methods of Communication

One of the most crucial roles of wireless Internet in truck driving is how efficient it makes communication. Where before, drivers had to rely on faulty fax machines and phones with poor reception, they can now easily connect with supervisors over a cell phone or email.

Sending documents, timesheets, and proof of delivery over email is dependable and quick, as is contacting shipping and receiving sources to confirm delivery or pick up. Wireless Internet also makes it much easier to get in touch with companies when there is mechanical trouble with the truck.

Get Updates on Road Conditions

New GPS and traffic tracking technology are accessible through wireless Internet, which aids in keeping deliveries on time. Drivers can receive updates on traffic, construction, and accidents to keep their routes clear. They can also alert their companies of delivery delays due to road conditions.

Stay Up-to-Date with Weather Patterns

Weather conditions play a considerable role in the ability of drivers to deliver their loads on time. With wireless Internet, you can monitor weather patterns, including storms and blizzards, that may cause delays in delivery.

Communicate with Drivers Carrying Another Part of Your Load

Occasionally you may find yourself carrying part of a load with one or more other drivers carrying the rest of it. When this is the case, it is critical to stay in touch with your fellow drivers so you can maintain communication and coordinate arrival and delivery times.

Develop Relationships with Other Drivers

Truck driving can be a lonely profession with all of those long hours on the road. Wireless Internet helps forge connections between drivers through mobile devices equipped with social networks, alleviating some of the solitude of truck driving.

Maintain Connection to Family and Friends

Leaving your friends and family for extended periods can be difficult and stressful for drivers. Wireless Internet allows users to connect with family through social media, texting, calling, and even video chatting. Communicating like this helps with maintaining personal relationships even when driving far from home.

Entertainment

Wireless Internet offers countless opportunities for entertainment to prevent boredom during breaks or while driving. Streaming platforms loaded with movies and TV shows, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and many more, are available to use from laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

If you need something to listen to while driving, you can check out music streaming services, podcasts, or audiobooks to keep you entertained without taking your eyes off the road.

How Has Wireless Internet Changed Truck Driving?

There are a few significant ways that wireless internet has changed truck driving.

Improves Fleet Management

With accurate GPS and effective communication from drivers, companies can track and plan deliveries and routes consistently and with ease. Companies can also keep an eye on weather and roadside conditions that impact their drivers.

Professional Updates

Communication with drivers has never been so simple. While they are traveling, drivers can receive compliance updates, research roadside inspections, and monitor the status of inspection stations.

Social Networking

Staying in touch with other drivers is vital to finding the best routes and adhering to delivery schedules. Using social networks for truck drivers also boosts community morale and encourages social activities even while alone on the road.

Things to Consider When Using Wireless Internet

Even though wireless Internet has transformed the trucking industry, allowing for more efficient and dependable communication, drivers should still use precautions when connecting.

  • Satellite Internet will be slower than other options
  • Use caution with unsecured and public wireless connections
  • Be extremely careful with sensitive or confidential company information

Getting Wireless Internet in a Semi Truck Has Never Been Easier

Wireless Internet has changed both the professional and personal experience of truck driving. Communication is simple, efficient, and reliable. Truckers don’t have to worry about reporting issues, sending documents, or contacting their companies when they have access to the Internet.

Likewise, wireless Internet relieves the strain and loneliness of traveling for long hours on the road without contacting family and friends. There are now several options for maintaining personal relationships with social media, video chatting, texting, and calling all through an Internet connection.

It also gives you access to many forms of entertainment that keep you from becoming bored when parked for a break or while driving. You can listen to a podcast or book or stream a movie or TV show to pass the time.

Whether drivers utilize free WiFi at truck stops or businesses, a portable modem or hotspot, EVDO, direct satellite, or a mobile device, they can obtain wireless Internet access fairly easily and at an affordable price. Say goodbye to the solitude of the road with a wireless Internet connection in your semi-truck.

Brett Gordon
 

Brett is the founder and editor-in-chief of GetInternet. Having clocked tons of time in the broadband industry, today, he’s dedicated to positioning GetInternet as a prime resource to simplify the broadband shopping experience.