For Sara Buggs, who grew up in rural Tennessee, getting a CDL and going OTR had always been a lifelong dream. Sara’s great uncle was a trucker and when she was a young child, he would come visit her when he was in town and let her sit in his truck. She loved sitting in her uncle’s rig back then and has wanted to get into trucking ever since. Trucking has always in the back of Sara’s mind and finally, late last year, at age 41, Sara earned her CDL and started her new career in trucking. According to Sara, she is finally getting to do what she loves. She’s getting a chance to travel and see the country — while doing the job she’d always wanted to do.
In her first year as a trucker, Sara quickly learned that time is everything in the trucking business. After getting some experience on the road, Sara began looking for ways to simplify route planning. She also wanted an easy way to quickly find weigh scales, truck stops, grocery stores and necessities on or close by her route.
Sara tried several different trucking apps, but found that they didn’t give her what she needed. With the various apps she tried out, Sara had to open several to figure out if a truck stop or weigh scale was near her route. The route planning tools included in many of the driver apps she tried also didn’t tell her the estimated length of time for a route, just the distance, which is a problem when it comes to HOS. At times, Sara couldn’t tell if the fuel stops, weigh scales and other locations she found in the apps were accessible for her truck. In the end, the apps didn’t give her enough information and didn’t save her time on the road — and that was a deal-breaker.
“Once you run out of time, those wheels literally cannot move and you’re not making money,” Sara said. “You have to shut down and you can’t go anywhere. If that means you’re sleeping on an interstate exit ramp and you have no access to facilities, so be it. When you run out of time, that’s it.”
A few months into her trucking career, Sara tried Trucker Tools’ free driver app and she’s never looked back. Trucker Tools’ driver app quickly gives Sara the information she needs so that she can concentrate on what she does best — driving. With Trucker Tools’ free driver app, Sara can quickly get real-time information on routing, weigh scales, fuel prices, parking, restaurants, truck stops, rest areas, DOT locations, medical facilities and more.
“With Trucker Tools’ driver app, I can find what I’m looking for right on my route,” says Sara. “It’s way more convenient to have everything in one place instead of having to flip back and forth between apps, trying to gauge whether or not you can fit in the place, whether it’s on your route and if it’s accessible.”
With Trucker Tools’ driver app, I can find what I’m looking for right on my route,” says Sara. “It’s way more convenient to have everything in one place instead of having to flip back and forth between apps, trying to gauge whether or not you can fit in the place, whether it’s on your route and if it’s accessible.
According to Sara, being able to finding these places and having access to this information through Trucker Tools’ driver app saves her time, but it also saves her from the stress of not knowing where to go. As a trucker, she says that you’re blindly driving throughout the country and, unless you’re familiar with the route, you don’t know what’s in that area. She says that what Trucker Tools’ driver app offers her and other truckers is so valuable.
“You can’t put a price tag on that, being able to see what’s ahead of you and where you can go,” says Sara. “It’s absolutely the best.”
Sara uses several of the features included in Trucker Tools’ driver app on a daily basis. According to Sara, the Trucker Tools driver app’s route & fuel optimizer is her favorite thing about the driver app. She is a huge fan of the route & fuel optimizer and couldn’t say enough good things about it. When Sara used other trucker apps for route planning, they offered no time estimate or the estimate wasn’t always correct. With Trucker Tools’ driver app, she knows exactly how long it will take to get to the next stop.
“I use Trucker Tools’ driver app for route planning,” said Sara. “Knowing that it’s going to take me 1.49 hours to get to the Indiana/Kentucky border is huge, compared to just knowing that the border is 40 miles away.”
In addition to route planning, Sara frequently uses the Trucker Tools driver app’s weigh scale finder. She says that it can be difficult to know whether weigh stations are open or not with other trucker apps. When you’re in a rural area, you also may not be able to find a major truck stop to go to check your weight.
“But these mom and pop places have CAT scales and you can find those with the Trucker Tools’ driver app,” says Sara.
Trucker Tools free driver app also makes it easy for Sara to quickly find Wal-Mart stores close to her route where she can stock up on supplies. When she uses Trucker Tools’ Wal-Mart locator to find a store location near her route, she can look at the store’s location on the map in the driver’s app and see whether she can access the location with her truck or not. Having that information ahead of time is a huge time-saver.
“Time is of the essence,” Sara says. “Time is the most valuable thing we have in trucking. Trucker Tools saves so much time.”
For Sara, the fact that Trucker Tools’ driver app includes all the tools she needs in one place also increases safety because it simplifies how she finds the info she needs when she’s driving.
“There is no price tag that you could put on the Trucker Tools driver app,” Sara said. “Having all these tools in one place in one app keeps you safer as a driver because you’re not trying to drive the truck and figure out these things on the fly or pulling over on the side of the road. It’s all right there together.”
There is no price tag that you could put on the Trucker Tools driver app,” Sara said. “Having all these tools in one place in one app keeps you safer as a driver because you’re not trying to drive the truck and figure out these things on the fly or pulling over on the side of the road. It’s all right there together.
For more of our conversation with Sara about her first year in trucking, read Sara Buggs on Lessons Learned, Knowledge Gained in Her First Year as a Trucker. To download Trucker Tools’ free driver app, visit https://www.truckertools.com/carriers/.