A survey of 401 professional truck drivers shows most are more connected through technology and social media than ever before, and a good number of them say they are also increasingly health-conscious.
The new survey, conducted by King of the Road for Atlas Van Lines, provides insights from the moving company’s van drivers on their use of technology, health habits and the brands of items they prefer to purchase on the road.
“Our experienced professional van operators log millions of miles on the road each year and serve as the backbone of our company,” said Glen Dunkerson, chairman and CEO of Atlas World Group. “We find our King of the Road survey extremely valuable, as it offers insights into the latest industry trends and also allows our drivers to share their expertise with others on the road.”
Highlights of this year’s survey include:
Drivers are taking advantage of the latest technologies. Ninety-three percent of respondents surveyed said they use smartphones — up from 66 percent in 2013. The Android outpaces the iPhone (57 percent to 45 percent) as the smartphone of choice for van operators. Verizon Wireless remains the preferred wireless network for a third consecutive survey, and drivers continue to take advantage of the latest technology, with 56 percent of those surveyed using tablets, such as the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy.
In addition to using the latest gadgets, responding drivers are also employing technology to stay more connected to work, family and friends while on the road, with 94 percent of drivers accessing email daily and 93 percent of respondents saying they have access to internet daily. Nearly 75 percent said they check social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram daily, up from 56 percent when the survey was last conducted in 2013. With many drivers spending 40 weeks or more on the road, today’s technological advances are helping them stay connected — no matter their geographic location.
Drivers said they are also increasingly health-conscious. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed said they exercise while on the road by moving furniture, and 26 percent make an effort to walk, run or doing another workout activity while at truck spots.
In addition, drivers are increasingly making healthy eating choices while on the road. Seventy-nine percent said prefer to drink water throughout the day over sugary drinks such teas, sports drinks, juices and sodas. Fresh fruit was the top choice for favorite snacks while on the road (44 percent), followed by peanuts/mixed nuts (35 percent). And Subway was the frontrunner for the favorite fast food restaurant.
Favorite brands and other highway essentials include:
- Best coffee: Dunkin’ Donuts
- Favorite hotel chains: Super 8 and Comfort Inn
- Best truck stop chains: Flying J and Petro
- Favorite on-the-road snack: Fresh fruit
- State with the best rest stops: Florida
- Most effective antacid: Tums
- Favorite on-the-road music genre: Talk/news/sports radio
- Best tires: Michelin
- Favorite motor oil: Shell Rotella
- Best tractor: Kenworth
- Favorite grocery store/supermarket: Walmart
- Most common-used smartphone: Android
- Most common-used cell service/network provider: Verizon
- Favorite electronic log devices (ELD)/telematics system: Rand McNally