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It’s almost impossible nowadays to remember how we ever got through life before the invention of the smartphone. Though it has been a part of our lives for relatively few short years, the rise of the smartphone and the proliferation of specific apps for specific tasks has helped folks become more effective in their daily routines. It’s as true in the trucking industry as anywhere else, and it seems as if lately there has been a surge in well-made, useful apps for truckers.

We’ve gathered five of the best apps for truck drivers out there right now. Here they are, in no particular order.

  1. Trucker Tools

01 - TruckerToolsOverdrive’s Trucker Tools is really a suite of mini-apps. Whether you want to plan out your route before hitting the road, find the nearest truck stop while in transit, or keep tabs on a delivery load’s route, Trucker Tools can help. Quickly find weigh stations and truck wash locations, get current local weather conditions, interact with fellow truckers on the message board and more! The digital version of Overdrive’s magazine is also available within the app, so you keep up with the latest news from the road.

Available for both iOS and Android.  Free.

  1. Fuelbook

02 - Fuelbook Updated six times daily, Fuelbook is the app to turn to for the most up-to-the-minute fuel prices for over 7,000 truck stops across the US and Canada. Since 2010, Fuelbook has helped drivers save nearly $3 billion in fuel costs! Real-time parking status and GPS check-in are available for each truck stop as well. The basic app is free, but with a monthly subscription Fuelbook will assign a 4-digit “Fuel Code” to your fleet, which in turn allows the app to search pricing based on your fleet’s Cost Plus, Retail Less and Better-Of discounts.

Available for both iOS and Android.  Free.

  1. Big Road

03 - Big RoadCreate your daily driver logs, send vehicle inspection reports using the built-in document scanner, plan and calculate trip itineraries based on the Hours of Service rules you define – all at the touch of a button.  You can even notify others in real time when you are on-duty, off-duty or in transit.  With Big Road, you’ll spend less time on paperwork and more time on the road.

Available for both iOS and Android.  Free.

  1. Waze

04 - WazeWaze puts the best aspects of social media to work for everyone sharing the roads.  It’s a community-based navigation app that can be used both actively and passively.  Open the app and begin driving, and Wave begins to gather data on overall traffic conditions wherever you are.  You can enter information about commonly-traveled routes, active traffic hazards, accidents and traffic jams – alerting others to help them avoid the associated headaches.  Meanwhile, Wave will alert you if it finds alternate routes around whatever is slowing traffic down.  The app also can connect with Facebook to notify you of friends who are nearby or headed to the same destination, making meeting up on the road easy.

Available for iOS, Android and Windows Phones.  Free.

  1. The Weather Channel

05 - Weather ChannelWhile not designed specifically for the trucking industry, many truckers rely heavily on a good weather forecasting app so they aren’t caught off-guard by weather conditions at their destination – or worse, find themselves in the midst of horrendous, unsafe driving weather mid-trip.  With the Weather Channel app, you can quickly see accurate weather forecasts on an hour-by-hour basis for multiple locations, allowing you to plan your route and prepare.  Emergency weather and pollen alerts, flood advisories and other inclement weather announcements are pushed to the app in real-time based on either actual or selected location.

Available for iOS, Android and Windows Phones.  Free.

Having a good suite of apps is as valuable as any other tool you take on the road.  While there are other apps that cover the same ground as the ones we’ve chosen as being among the best here, we think these five will make your next run as safe, productive and enjoyable as any you’ve had.

Have any other apps that you recommend? Share them with us in the comment section.