In an increasing digital world, phone applications are making it easier than ever before for farmers to manage their fleets and farms. You might think that the rural agricultural society is the last place you would find these new technologies. However, Statista writes that by 2017 “over a third of the world’s population is projected to own a smartphonec, an estimated total of almost 2.6 billion smartphone users in the world.” With nearly two thirds of Americans owning and using smart phones on a regular basis already, you’re probably not surprised to learn that these apps are gaining in popularity outside of urban centers to make daily tasks easier on farmers, staff, and drivers.
Phone applications are simplifying the many challenges that go along with growing a business. For small business owners especially, there are useful websites and phone applications that can make quick work of tedious tasks, while also getting us the advice and support we need to streamline our businesses within our start-up budgets.
With less room in budgets for full time staff to handle important tasks, simple apps can work like part-time personal assistants, simplifying processes and keeping us focused.
Here are a few apps that make light work of chores and are changing the farming and transport landscape for the better:
Farmers and other equipment operators can use apps like the Heavy Equipment Inspection App by Fulcrum to conduct their periodic inspections of any equipment and machinery. It eliminates the need to drag out a camera and laptop. Using their mobile phones or tablets, inspectors fill out customizable forms that cover each major system and component, being sure to indicate all damages, malfunctions, or other problems in the equipment performance.
Once the form is complete it’s saved on the device and both an Excel file and PDF are generated. The files can then be shared with other team members via email or text, uploaded to cloud storage systems (like Drop Box and Google Drive), or printed.
The Heavy Equipment Inspection App is also a useful tool when considering any used equipment for purchase. It’s a valuable resource that helps a farmer thoroughly evaluate potential machinery and other items.
For those that need to transport feed or animals long distances, there are a variety of apps that can be used to plan routes, calculate fuel and rest breaks, and track inclement weather changes. These apps make it easier for long haul truck drivers to choose the most convenient and economical route, saving idle time and fuel.
The Trucker Tools app provides many of these features. This makes the driving life for full time and interstate truckers easier and safer. The most used features of the app include; calculated distances and directions to the nearest rest areas and truck stops, accurate real time fuel prices for all states, fuel optimizing tips and routes, and other quick information about any route closures or restrictions.
Invasive Species Apps
There are other apps that are helping government agencies and other farmers pay heed to changes in the local plant and animal life. A new app called SEEDN helps farmers report outbreaks of plants like the kudzu vine (also known as “the vine that ate the South”) and other invasive species. This aids government agencies in tracking and combatting these infestations before they get out of hand.
This app is a powerful tool workers can use to report invasive species of animals, insects, or plants. Once spotted, farmers can submit their observations using their smartphones, and upload the report to the Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS). The app also emails their observations to local and state verifies for review. The SEEDN app only covers the southeastern United States; however, the creators also have an Early Detection Network app for the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes areas, and hope to develop more.
Mobile phone applications are driving changes in the farming and trucking industries. Not only are they making all aspects of farming easier and more efficient, but many applications are also aiding environmental efforts, saving idle time, and making the industry a safer and healthier place for all its workers.