Cell Phone Carriers

Topic 2084 | Page 1

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Michael B.'s Comment
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What carrier has sufficient coverage from your experience? I am able to switch phone carriers and was hoping that I could avoid picking the worst carrier (again) for my needs. I am about to start CDL school and likely will look for a OTR trucking firm. I have looked at various phone company coverage maps and was hoping for some real world experience before I make my selection. Thanks!


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.


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.

ThinksTooMuch's Comment
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I have Sprint. Reason I chose them was because I have unlimited data without an insane price. I use the internet for everything. I tether my phone to my laptop to use Skype, check email, pay bills, stream Netflix, etc, etc.

From being OTR for 6 months it seems Sprint coverage is fairly good near interstates. It is fine in the Northeast, Southeast, and most of the Midwest. It was spotty in NM, AZ, UT, and NV, but not horrible. I pay $60/month before my company discount and I get unlimited talk, text, and data.

If I was out west more I'd probably not have Sprint I suppose. But east of the Mississippi it's fine.


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.


Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Michael B.'s Comment
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Thank you. I am hoping to be out west. I had Sprint several years ago and had some connection issues out here in California.

Troy V.'s Comment
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I have had Verizon for awhile and love their service. BUT I have not been on the road as Im just starting my career as well. I have traveled with Verizon on vacations and stuff and have never had a problem. Prob be with them forever even as expensive as they are.

Mike H's Comment
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I've been out here for a year now and I've had AT&T which I hated and now I have verizon which I have no problems with. Friends of mine have sprint because of the unlimited data but complain that the service suck once they get in the central states

Paul H.'s Comment
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I'm planning on switching to Verizon as soon as I start getting paid. I've done the research, and they have the best nationwide coverage. Unfortunately, they're also the most expensive. But it'll be worth it to have more dependable coverage, both for phone and internet (I use my phone as a wifi hotspot for my laptop). I currently have T-Mobile, and it's terrible. I couldn't get service the whole time we were in western New York the other day.

DoubleCutter's Comment
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Check out Straight Talk from Walmart. Unlimited minutes, text, and data for $45 a month. No contract. I know someone who has it and is happy with it. My AT&T contract expires on 12/23 and I' m going to switch. No tethering though.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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What the guys are saying seems has been the general consensus for quite some time now - Verizon has the best coverage of any carrier but they're quite pricey. There are cheaper options but you're not going to have good coverage. So it really comes down to what your priority is.

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
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Well I will be looking for a company that will offer nationwide long distance and an unlimited Internet/data plan as I will most likely be using my cell phone as an Internet hotspot. I, too, will be using the Internet for everything and will not want my Internet throttled back because I went over the the 2GB limit or whatever the limit would be. I don't want a limit and want to be able to communicate with mama when she isn't with me in the truck. Sounds like Sprint has the options I want, but there may be other providers that have similar plans.

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
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I know of several other drivers that have had Sprint or other carriers and changed to Verizon because of the lack of coverage most places. I agree, Verizon is a bit pricey, but well worth the expense when you want/need access to the phone/internet. I will not lie to you, there are areas where even Verizon has little/or no signal. But compared to the other carriers, far better than all the others combined in my opinion. I have 3 phones, 1 hotspot using 10GB data plan & that seems to work well for me. Now granted, I don't do lots of Netflix (that will chew up lots of data time in a hurry), but am on the internet most evenings, email, games, etc and so far have had no complaints about the 10GB plan.

I have had Verizon back before they were Verizon. Have been with them seems like forever, but can only remember once or twice where they had service issues due to technical difficulties. So you might want to give this a little more thought/research before you write them off.

Besides, you can write off your access on your taxes (and you are going to need write off's).

Just my 2 cents worth on the subject.



Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

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