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Mar 31, 2015

What is crowdsourcing, and how can it make your life easier?

Imagine if there was an App that could tell you whether or not there’s parking available at the truck stop just up the road from where you are right now. Well there is, but more on that later.

Our App for truckers does just that.

First, what is Crowdsourcing?

According to Wikipedia, Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining information or services from an online community. It’s an increasingly powerful tool for solving problems and saving time & money.

For instance, Waze — which has been downloaded nearly 100 million times from the Google Play store alone — uses data gathered by crowdsourcing to give its users up-to-the-minute traffic information. And when there’s trouble reported ahead, Waze offers you alternate-route suggestions.

Other current and future benefits of crowdsourcing

Helping you find better roadside restaurants. These days, way too many truck stops offer only fast food as an option — and that’s no way to eat on a daily basis. Using a crowdsource app like Yelp in conjunction with a trip planner, you’ll find endless suggestions for eating healthier, better and cheaper.

Helping you finding more quality load opportunities. Imagine an online “marketplace” that does a lot of things Load Boards should have been doing for years. Like providing more, and better, info on drivers and brokers. And includes a User Ratings option — to help you avoid brokers (or drivers) you don’t want to work-with.

Too many trucks, too little parking

As the Wall Street Journal reported in early 2015, the parking shortage for truckers is getting worse. A recent FHA study, for instance, identified a stretch of I-40 through Arizona and New Mexico with barely 300 parking spots for the more than 10,000 trucks that passed-through daily. In a 2013 web survey of some 4,000 truck drivers, nearly 40% said it typically takes them an hour or more to find parking at night.

So how does that crowdsourcing app work for parking?

The first question you’re probably asking is: Who would take the time to grab their phone, when they’re pulling-into a truck stop or rest stop, and type-in detailed parking information? Lots of people, as it turns-out. The Trucker Path app has over 220,000 users, and its developers have made the sharing of parking info as easy as tapping your phone a couple times.

Using your phone’s GPS, the app sends you a quick message, when you pull-into a truck stop or rest area — asking if there is any available parking. If you answer Yes, it offers you three choices:

  • Lots Of Parking.
  • Some Parking Spots.
  • Lot Is Full. Which, of course, takes just one more tap to enter.

Oh, and incidentally, that “marketplace” app mentioned above? That’s another service Trucker Path will be offering soon. Now ask yourself: How much easier would an app like that make your life?

 

SUMMARY: An overview of how carriers can use crowdsourcing technology to find parking at truck stops, rest areas and overnight parking lots. With the Trucker Path App, truckers can also find open weigh stations and nearby TRANSFLO.