Internet In Trucking

Topic 18951 | Page 1

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Ray W.'s Comment
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Whats up guys. Ray here. In a few months, I'll be going to school to get my CDL. I have been researching and studying quite a lot about various things regarding the trucking life. One of the things that I have not been able to find good information on is the quality of internet that the trucking life brings with it. While at home, I tend to game quite a lot to keep myself entertained. I have no cable or anything else of that nature. Most of my friends are long distance friends who I usually game and chat with.

With all that being said, becoming a trucker worries me a bit, but not what you would think... I am not worried about always being alone. I am not worried that I will be in a truck for weeks on end without being home. I can accept all of this. What worries me is that I am going to have to let go of my gaming passion because either there will be no internet, or the internet that IS there will be so bad that it's basically useless.

With this all being said, Here are my questions: 1.Can anyone tell me what the internet at truck stops is like? 2. If possible, Could someone run a speedtest.net test to see what the upload, download and ping latencies are? 3. I have been told some stops charge for wifi. Is it possible to pay for a faster wifi connection, one that you can play games on (basically, Do they sell "good" wifi at a premium price)? 4. I was told that trucking companies like Stevens Transport have wifi built into their trucks that can be used. Is it any good? Are there any data caps on it? 5. I currently use verizon's unlimited plan, But am unsure if their 3G service is enough to handle the stuff I want to do. Anyone here game off their verizon phone while its a hotspot?

The games I'll be playing include World of Warcraft, Planetside 2, World of Tanks, Various steam games. While these games do not require MUCH in the way of internet, An ideal connection speed would be 3 Megabits up/down with pings ranging from 100-250ms. To anyone who says I am jumping the gun on these questions because I don't even have my CDL yet, I am not worried about doing bad in school. I have a few truck driver friends that have helped me learn the basic ropes and have taught me some invaluable lessons, even going so far as to let me practice in their truck in an empty parking lot (Guys if you ever read this, Thank you so much. You know who you are.)

Thanks to anyone for answering my questions. Being away from home does not bother me. Dropping off the face of the world with some of my close friends online due to never being able to find wifi that works at truck stops does (Some of them are high school friends who live far away now). Truth be told? The biggest fear is that I'll have to say goodbye to these friends because I will be gone so long all the time. This worries me more than anything.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Stephen Szymanski's Comment
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5. I currently use verizon's unlimited plan, But am unsure if their 3G service is enough to handle the stuff I want to do. Anyone here game off their verizon phone while its a hotspot?

This is the answer to your question. I'm not into trucking yet, but from all the research I've done, the unlimited plan is your best friend. Probably not even worth it to get the wifi at truck stops. When I get into trucking, I will be getting a WEBoost OTR booster, which from all the reviews I've seen and read, it really helps keep the signal.

At one of my old jobs, I used my hotspot to game while at work (it was a night job) and it was fine. That was 4 years ago. I'm sure it's only improved since then.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Garth M.'s Comment
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From my experience with gaming you may find there won't be enough time between work and trying to get sleep for much playtime, as well trying to meet up with your friends on line at regular hours won't be very easy. I'm not a driver yet but I have been thinking about recreation on the road and any serious gaming seems impractical. I found with world of tanks at least that 2hrs would go by pretty fast and it took will power to shut down. I won't say how long some of my sessions lasted but with on line gaming I don't think I was regarded as a heavy user. Unlimited does sound like the way to go though.

Ray W.'s Comment
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From my experience with gaming you may find there won't be enough time between work and trying to get sleep for much playtime, as well trying to meet up with your friends on line at regular hours won't be very easy. I'm not a driver yet but I have been thinking about recreation on the road and any serious gaming seems impractical. I found with world of tanks at least that 2hrs would go by pretty fast and it took will power to shut down. I won't say how long some of my sessions lasted but with on line gaming I don't think I was regarded as a heavy user. Unlimited does sound like the way to go though.

Yeah, I was figuring this. I am sure I will find something. I know for sure I won't sleep the full 10 hours. Even if its just an hour of gaming and spending time with the friends, Thats all I'd need really. Besides that, I can only work up to 70 hours a week before having to stop for around 30 something hours right? I would just use that to game on.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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I don't game but watch a lot of.movies. I use my T-Mobile.phone with unlimited data as a hotspot. I also use Roku at truck stops. Also take into consideration "roaming data". Unlimited.means network. Not roaming...although I got a great hook up. And as far as I know Verizon either doesnt have it or it is ridiculously expensive. I looked into a satellite for net but it was WAY crazy pricing...like thousands.

TA and flying j charge like $200+ per year...or even like $5 for an hour sonyou can test it. Ifnthere is a truck stop near you, maybe u can buy an hour and check it out.

Dan E.'s Comment
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In my experience the truck stop wifi in the parking lot is bad unless you are parked right next to the building and most of the time those are the first places to be occupied. however the wifi inside the building is pretty damn good and fast. if i recall correctly its 20 dollars for a month of premium wifi at the big truck stops(flying j/petro/ta)

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Ryan R.'s Comment
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If the hotspot is good next to the building, it's probably just a matter of signal strength. Get yourself a high gain directional wifi antenna to point at the building. I just checked the flying J website, and it doesn't look like they're using any 5ghz tech, which would be a good way to avoid interference, but a directional for 2.4ghz should help tremendously.

The chipset you use matters a lot too. You want something high powered. This is a good one. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0035APGP6/?tag=wireless2016-20

Ryan R.'s Comment
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If you're not going to get a dedicated directional, this is a better choice because it at least comes with a "high gain" directional on it. It's not really a very high gain antenna, but it's better than no directional at all, and far better than your average wifi setup.

https://www.amazon.com/Alfa-AWUS036NH-802-11g-Wireless-Long-Range/dp/B003YIFHJY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1490861826&sr=8-2&keywords=AWUSO36NH

C T.'s Comment
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I'm a gamer myself, or was before I got out here. Got a nice gaming pc at home collecting dust lol. I just don't have the time to play anymore. Between calling my wife and eating and paperwork blah blah blah. If you manage to make time however, don't use trucks top WiFi to game, it's typically hit or miss. You'd be better off with a hot spot for that kinda money anyway.

Ryan R.'s Comment
member avatar

CT,

The problem with using a cellular hotspot, if that is what you mean, is latency. I have roughly a ~280ms ping to most things on the internet when using my cellular data with AT&T. I know he mentioned satellite, and that's an even worse idea. The time it takes a signal to get into outer space and then back down is ~680ms.

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