Trucker Mobile Phone Plans
Why Trucker Mobile Phone Plans?
A trucker should pick a cell phone plan carefully to avoid big expensive
surprises. While there is not cell phone plans designed for truckers exclusively, you can create your own trucker
mobile phone plans with a small amount of effort on your part.
Careful consideration should be given to the following:
•Do your runs take you across country?
If so; you will want to select a plan from a national company without long
distance and roaming charges. Beware of companies who don’t charge you roaming charges for their cell towers but do
charge you when your phone call has to connect through a competitor’s cell tower. You could see charges of .50
cents per minute and more that you were not expecting.
A national plan such as AT&T’s family plan could be the way to go if you want
to stay in touch easier with family and friends. The second cell phone in the plan could be left with a wife, other
family member or a friend.
Bottom line is double check any free roaming claims by any cell
phone company to see if this hidden fee will bite you hard on the first phone bill when you discover this
unadvertised trick that bites hard.
Check to see if a data plan is included with the monthly package
plan in the event you use the cell phone or one of their access cards to access the internet. Many companies charge
extra or require you to sign up for a data plan to transmit data such as email, faxes and files.
Remember, once you sign the contact you will be stuck.
•What are your communication habits?
Free weekend minutes and a 5000 minute allowance at night are great but what are
your communication needs during the week day?
Are you an independent trucker who will be using the cell phone frequently during
the day trying to find loads, getting directions, using email and faxing contracts?
Maybe you’re a company driver who was not given a company cell phone but find
yourself always using your own personal cell phone to find a location.
Maybe you’re calling back home during the work day more than you
Think hard about the minutes that you may use for each work day in the month.
Selecting too small of a weekday minutes package will cost you dearly because of the higher rate per minute they
charge after going over your monthly weekday allotment.
It’s almost like you are penalized severely for not choosing the right minute
package once you discover the next level minute package would have been cheaper in the first place.
Better yet, try to customize your plan to allow you to make a decision around mid
month to give back any excess unused minutes that you don’t think will be needed to get you through the
Some plans will allow you to go on line to adjust your minutes needed.
Do ask and push for this option as hard as you can. If they say no, maybe it is
time for a new service provider who wants to help control your business expenses.
It could mean keeping $75 to $100 a month in your pocket instead of their pocket
by monitoring your minute usage.
If you don’t want to monitor your minutes that close, choose a plan that will
allow the unused minutes of a higher monthly minute package to roll over to the next month.
•If you are a trucker who travels regionally, you may save money by going with a
regional cellular carrier who resells minutes bought at a discount rate from the large cell phone
•Decide if you should purchase a locked cell phone versus an unlocked cell phone.
A locked cell phone may be cheaper to purchase because the carrier subsidizes the cost of the cell phone. However,
use is limited only to that specific cellular carrier to keep you as their customer.
An unlocked cell phone can be used with another cellular carrier simply by replacing
the sim card located inside the cell phone. Verify with the manufacturer before purchasing the cell phone to make
sure it can be used by different cellular carriers.
Best Type of Cell Phone for the Coast to Coast and Rural
At the minimum, a dual-mode handset which utilizes both the digital and analog
systems currently being used in the United States should be used to give you a wider area of coverage to use your
cell phone to talk.
While the digital system provides a better quality of service; the analog system
provides a wider area of coverage especially in the rural areas of the United States. Some rural areas only receive
the signal from the analog system.
If it is time for you to purchase a new cell phone, serious consideration should
be given to buying a Tri-Mode cell phone to utilize both digital band signals and the one analog band serving the
Many of the internet services such as email, internet browsing and file transfers
require the newest digital signal band. With new technologies evolving rapidly with Tri-mode handsets now available
to allow easier wireless internet access, you’ll have to make the personal decision to spend the extra money to
have access to the additional digital network.
Confer with the cell phone manufacturer of your choice because you may decide to
utilize your cell phone as the connector to link your computer with wireless capabilities to conduct business
without leaving the comforts of your truck.
Get Paid Quicker For Delivered Shipments - Use Scanner and
To help speed up getting paid quicker for delivered shipments, fax and receive BOL
documents via fax/email services while sitting comfortably in your truck by linking your computer with a cellular,
Wifi or satellite internet connection service to gain internet access.
So how do you handle the hard copy of the Bill of Lading
paperwork or any other hard copies of paperwork?
Link your computer to the compact
Pentax DSmobile 600 Scanner and
Pentax PocketJet 3 Plus 300-DPI Mobile Printer with Integrated
USB/IrDA to print and resend signed documents straight from your truck.
The cost in the long run is definitely
cheaper than the average of $1.00 to $2.00 or more per sheet typically charged for faxing documents at truck
Plus, the time lost standing in line at the truck stop puts your competition
hundreds of miles and promises of earlier delivery times ahead of you
while you wait for your turn to fax the BOL documents to get paid.
The use of linking the computer, scanner, printer and fax / email service to
increase your productivity to make more money is a very important reason to seriously think hard about how many air
time minutes you may need for the month.
How Many Air Minutes Do You Need
Trying to decide how many minutes are needed in a monthly plan to get the job done
without having to pay a penalty for the extra minutes used is hard to do.
One strategy plan to consider to help control air time expenses:
1. Go with a plan that allows you to easily change your monthly minute allowance
from month to month preferably at mid-month. Try to also negotiate the per minute penalty charge for going over the
minutes alloted in your monthly plan.
2. You also want a plan that allows unused minute rollover each month.
3. This way you can start your account with a higher monthly minute plan than
needed to avoid paying the high penalty per minute charge. Then scale down the monthly minute plan as
Evaluate actual air time minutes used to conduct business for several months. You
will be able to better judge the monthly minute allowance needed for your operation.
Start faxing your BOL papers today.
Big Rig Central.com hopes you see the value in creating your
own trucker mobile phone plans to stay competitve while saving some money.