Cell phones aren’t just a toy for truck drivers. Besides being an important lifeline in case of emergencies, a driver’s mobile device is a connection to family and home, and by using Skype, it can almost feel like he or she is still at home. Downloading podcasts or music to pass the time on the road or movies to watch at night can fight the loneliness and boredom that can creep in during long periods on the road. Truck Drivers need to have a reliable connection for emergencies, looking up information, entertainment, and staying close to family.
The Big Four
Most people look to the top four cell phone companies―Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile for service on the road. If your runs take you across the country, you should choose a company that has thorough nationwide coverage.
Verizon has the best nationwide coverage even in the middle of nowhere, which is where many truckers often find themselves. Unlimited plans* start at $70 a month which gives unlimited data, talk, and text on a 4G LTE network and go as high as $90 a month. By paying more, you get better quality video and you’ll receive a higher throttle threshold which means higher data usage before they slow down your speeds. For an extra $10 a month, you can upgrade to the 5G network.
In second place for coverage is AT&T. $70 a month gets you unlimited data, talk, and text but video is only 420p. For $80, you can get unlimited features plus 1080p video including 1 free premium channel such as HBO, Cinemax, Starz, or music channels like Amazon Music or Pandora.
T-Mobile is next because although it’s faster than AT&T, its coverage in rural areas isn’t great, especially in northern New England and many parts in the north and southwest. Plans range from $60 a month to $85 for unlimited talk, text, and data. Like the other carriers, the more you pay the better the quality of the video and the higher the throttle threshold and the two best T-Mobile plans include a Netflix subscription.
Sprint has spotty rural coverage but does well in cities. Prices range from $60 for a basic plan to $80 for a premium one. All plans include Hulu and the highest plan includes Amazon Prime as well. The top 2 plans can be used with 5G devices.
These are the 4 most popular carriers but there are a lot of minor carriers that are cheaper like Cricket, StraightTalk, and Boost Mobile. These carriers can have great coverage because they buy services from the big carriers and sell them to you cheaper but you will lose download speeds during peak usage times because users of the major carriers get priority.
Choosing the right plan is going to take some research and it’s important to understand not only what your budget is but also how much all of the fees and extras are going to cost. When switching to a new plan, start it right before you hit the road so you can thoroughly test it out for coverage, slow speeds, dropped calls, etc. Most carriers allow you two-weeks to try out the phone/plan.
At Direct Freight Services, we make it easy for drivers to find loads or for carriers to find trucks to carry their loads. The Direct Freight website also has many useful features such as mile calculators, fuel price data, weather conditions, turn-by-turn truck-specific routing and mobile app. Call us today at (888)894-4198 or go to DirectFreight.com to find out more about our services.
*Unlimited plan prices are for a single line and exclude taxes, fees, and phone.