Not too long ago, I posted a comic related to technology not helping with the business of snow plowing.
Although the comic is humorous, I have actually been proven wrong.
There are a variety of apps that can help the snow plowing business in the wintertime, according to The Boss Snow Plows.
In fact, the company has come up with 14 apps that can help landscapers who often work from the seat of his or her truck.
1. NorEaster Storm Systems Compatible with a desktop, tablet or phone, this app allows you to enter all of your customers, their contact information and any additional notes about them and their properties. This app is also equipped with maps and weather services. It tracks your invoicing and payments.
2. Audio Note (iOS) Audio Note is a notepad for your phone or iPad that not only allows you to take notes, but can record your voice for any additional audio notes. If you choose, this app allows you to record the audio first and then go back and add notes later. It’s difficult to take down notes in the truck. Sometimes they can get lost or ruined and it’s a hassle to hunt down a pen and paper. With this app, it’s all in one place and you can even add pictures of the properties you have serviced and use the app as a job log.
3. NOAA Hi-Def Radar (android) (iOS version) Track the current weather radar and any upcoming winter storms with NOAA Hi-Def Radar. With this app you can receive detailed storm information, which is critical when preparing for a big snow event. You can also bookmark locations. If you have some widespread clients the weather might not be the same at all of their properties, you can bookmark their sites for quick access.
4. NOAA Snow Forecast App (andoid) (iOS version) This app tells you how much it’s going to snow in the next couple of days in a particular neighborhood, instead of a forecast generalized to an entire city or larger area.
5. Radar Express (android) Radar Express is very similar to NOAA Hi-Def Radar. With this app, you get Doppler weather radar and hazardous weather alerts all coming directly from your local NOAA NWS office. When preparing for the next storm, tracking your local weather ahead of time is key.
6. Voxer Walkie Talkie (android) (iOS version) Voxer allows you to have a live, push to talk walkie talkie right on your phone for quick communication with your crew. All of the audio is recorded so you can listen to your messages whenever you want and replay messages as necessary. You can also text and start group chats, send pictures and share your location. Use this app to keep in touch with your employees while they are out on the job to improve communication and efficiency.
7. GPS Tracking Pro (android) With GPS Tracking Pro, you are able to keep track of your crew during the work day. This is especially helpful if you have someone who is going out to a remote location for a job by themselves. You can track your “lone workers” to make sure that they remain safe at the site and during their travels to and from the site.
8. Nav-free GPS Navigation (android) (iOS version) This is a free GPS navigation app with voice guidance for turn by turn directions. Much quicker than using a map, and with the voice guidance, it’s practically hands free.
9. Gas Buddy (android) (iOS version) Gas Buddy is an app that uses your location to determine the gas stations near you with the lowest prices. When gearing up for the next storm, the two most important things are your plow and your truck. In order to get your plow moving, the truck has to be gassed up. Often times, that turns out to be costly, but having Gas Buddy could save you some money.
10. Flashlight (android) (iOS version) A flashlight app is always a good app to have installed. There are many options available for both Apple phones and Android phones. This app can serve as a backup if your other flashlight dies unexpectedly. However, some flashlight apps have other functions that may also be helpful, such as strobe lighting, different colors that may be beneficial for night viewing, and different emergency flashing lights for all kinds of needs.
11. Traffic Cam (android) This app allows you to view your local traffic cams to check the traffic, but even more importantly, the weather. You can see what’s happening locally right as it’s happening, that way you can map out whose driveway or lot you need to clear first and the best way to get there.
12. Google Calendar (android) With the Google Calendar app, you can take a calendar with you in your pocket. You could schedule equipment maintenance checks or organize when customer payments are due and then set them with a notification, so you don’t forget. Paired with a weather radar app, you could map out a rough estimate of what days you should scout for icy conditions at your sites.
13. Adobe Reader (android) (iOS version) Adobe Reader allows you to view PDF files, fill out forms and sign PDF documents all from your smart phone or tablet. This can be helpful if you use PDF documents to fill out job logs or have a contract with a client in a PDF format.
14. LinkedIn (android) (iOS version) Get yourself out there and build a professional image for your business with the LinkedIn app. You can look for jobs, employees and network with other snow removal contractors. You can also get the latest industry news, gain insights from industry leaders and share your own knowledge.