Trucking companies lose an estimated $2.2 billion to $3.5 billion a year due to weather-related delays, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, and nearly 12% of those truck delays are caused by weather in the cities with the greatest volumes of truck traffic.
Using a reliable mobile weather app can help truckers stay ahead of the weather, potentially saving their carriers time and money while staying safe on the road. FreightWaves wanted to know which mobile weather apps truckers relied on the most. Here's what they said.
Based on an informal survey on the Rates & Lanes and Rate Per Mile Masters Facebook pages, the app that received the most shoutouts was MyRadar. Developed by Acme Atronomatic, the app is available on iOS, Android, Windows, Xbox and Amazon Alexa.
From the casual weather enthusiast to the seasoned weather professional, MyRadar offers high-definition radar as well as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration alerts and forecasts. It also has a detailed hurricane tracker and drivers can share their own weather photos.
Jill Lovell said this about the top-rated app in the survey: "You can layer the maps however you want. They have wind, fire, precipitation, etc. In my experience with many weather maps, they seem to be the most accurate. Out here in the West, the fire maps have helped me make several decisions about which route I wish to take."
Terry L. Blackshire said, "MyRadar is all you need."
Perhaps one of MyRadar's best features is its patented precipitation model that informs drivers hour by hour how much precipitation they can expect. The predictions are hyper-local rainfall and drivers don't have to check the app all the time since MyRadar sends automatic alerts.
The app that ranked next on the list was from a trusted and familiar name: The Weather Channel (TWC). This app is free for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Android. The TWC app keeps drivers informed with reliable forecasts, interactive radar and real-time rain alerts.
In the survey, Anthony Manuel stated that he liked the TWC app because of its live radar, and it "follows me everywhere I go."
Carrier owner Sam Mamedov said, "Overall, easy-to-use radar is helpful."
Neck and neck in the survey with TWC was the WeatherBug app, which drivers can download from the Apple Store or Google Play.
WeatherBug offers real-time forecasts and severe weather alerts and allows drivers to visualize the weather with multiple map layers. It also offers hourly and 10-day weather forecasts.
Shaun McCollough, an owner-operator, said he likes WeatherBug for the alerts and because it follows him.
"I've been using it for years and it shows everything in real-time," Jun Rivera Ostolaza said. "You know exactly what's happening on the spot, like ice, snow, everything. I tried to use other applications, but they didn't convince me."
Not all apps automatically follow drivers no matter where they go. So no matter which app drivers choose, they should always make sure the app is in "Location" or "GPS" mode. This can usually be changed in an app's settings and will ensure that drivers will get the latest local radar, alerts, etc. at each point along their routes.
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