Although mobile telematics have mostly replaced CB radios for truck driver communications, the desire of truckers to belong to a community is still strong.

That’s why, in order to serve the 5 million truck drivers in the U.S., ONE20 has launched a trucker social community designed to help life on the road “not suck,” in the words of Christian Schenk, founder, president and CEO of ONE20.

On August 25, ONE20 debuted the free membership for professional truck drivers at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas. The membership will empower drivers to join, connect, plan and save with the help of Samsung and AT&T. By joining ONE20, drivers can connect with other drivers on the road, plan trips and access exclusive deals. The goal is to leverage smartphones and tablets running the ONE20 app to give drivers tools that help them plan their trips while saving money along the way.

Serving the Community of Truckers

Most transportation-related telematics technology is geared toward optimizing fleet efficiency. Not ONE20. “It’s not about fleet management systems, it’s about the drivers’ lives on the road and their ability to have a Google Hangout with their kids,” Schenk says. Schenk and his team want to give drivers more control over their off-duty lives to address one of the most common frustrations of the job. FMCSA-regulated drivers may spend up to 14 hours on duty per day under control of their dispatchers, customers and federal regulations. But it’s during those off-the-road hours that drivers could use more support.

Professional drivers face fluctuating fuel prices, dirty restrooms, limited parking areas and time away from their families. The community of drivers and ONE20 partners will provide network intelligence, such as whether a scale is open or closed, how many parking spots are available at a travel center or what the wait time is at a shipper location. “It’s built around the ability for the drivers to connect with the intelligence produced by other drivers,” Schenk says. ONE20 will partner with popular travel centers to provide real-time updates on fuel prices and parking, and will offer discounts on products and services for drivers.

Sharing Data Through Technology

The main user experience for the ONE20 membership is a mobile application, with detailed, truck-safe navigation and exclusive discounts from ONE20 partners on products and services to help drivers save money.

The system will provide route-sensitive discounts to drivers, and help travel centers manage demand through strategic discounts and updates of amenities such as parking or showers. They’ll also be able to join a wellness program, ONE20 STRONG, and contribute to and help guide a foundation to benefit the driver community.

ONE20 plans to not only gather data from drivers, but also to use it to drive improvements. For instance, if a travel center receives multiple ratings of two stars or less for restroom cleanliness, the call center will alert the travel center. “We capture that information and they fix it, and then the next reviews are better and drivers have a more pleasant experience in the future,” Schenk says. “It’s about transparency, correction and trying to get every travel center and vendor to a five-star rating so life on the road is better for the drivers.”

ONE20 members can extend and enhance membership benefits by purchasing the exclusive Samsung Galaxy Tab E 8-inch connected Android tablet, powered by AT&T’s LTE network, available online and in travel center stores in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Samsung Galaxy Tab will come pre-loaded with the applications drivers want and need to stay connected on the road, with special attention paid to data security so drivers can focus on improving their work/life balance without worrying about their personal information falling into the wrong hands.

Fixing an Industry

ONE20’s goal is to encourage positive change through an exclusive trucker social community and disrupt the current business model on behalf of drivers. Instead of paying for truck-safe navigation, mobile telematics tools, electronic logging devices and other services, ONE20 will provide those things for free, supported by partnerships.

“We want to empower the driver. They’re constantly having stuff done to them instead of for them, and our focus is to give the drivers the tools they need to start to empower themselves,” Schenk says.

Find out here how trucking companies are investing in cutting-edge technologies in order to attract new talent.