Road Hunter, a community-driven trucker application, has introduced a trip-planning feature to its platform, providing turn-by-turn navigation for U.S. and Canadian truck drivers. Since its inception in 2015, Road Hunter has enjoyed great reception in the trucking community, and has been downloaded over 150,000 times and has nearly 3,000 daily active users.
“Most of the downloads are by owner-operators who would account for 60 percent of our users, with the remaining 40 percent being company drivers,” said Mikhail Dzarasov, founder and CEO of Road Hunter. “This actually tells you a lot about the trucking companies. Company drivers use our application as fleet managements are not providing them enough software for their needs – like for navigation or for finding truck stops.”
Road Hunter provides tools for truck drivers, helping them stay alert while on the road and in touch with the ecosystem when off it. “We provide weather reports, information about truck stops, restaurants, parking availability, data on fuel prices, and even help them spot low clearance bridges on their route,” said Dzarasov. “The best part about this is that we provide everything for free.”
Dzarasov explained that apart from providing useful information to users, Road Hunter takes inordinate care in “being there” for their users when they are in need. “Similar applications out there take about 24-48 hours to respond to feedback or for support queries. At Road Hunter, we have a live support team that truckers can call at all times without any complications,” he said.
Even the new turn-by-turn navigation feature is free for users. The catch here, Dzarasov mentioned, is that for users to utilize trip planning, they have to be active users. To determine if a user is regularly on the platform, Road Hunter asks the trucker to upload feedback, comment on road hotspots and post parking statuses – and if deemed active would be allowed to use the navigation system for free.
“Other than the turn-by-turn navigation, truckers can also input their truck height, freight weight and preferred truck lanes – and based on that information, our system would recommend the best possible route to haul their load,” said Dzarasov. “Keeping our users active is good for Road Hunter’s community, and free tools are helping us do that.”
Road Hunter partners with many truck stops, weigh stations, highway motels, tire providers and maintenance shops, which in turn advertise on the application. If truckers approach these vendors and providers via Road Hunter, the startup makes money off of it. Dzarasov mentioned that Road Hunter also helps big trucking companies understand the needs of their drivers. Based on the usage statistics of drivers, the company can identify what is needed for a fleet to retain its drivers and reduce turnover.
“We have big plans in 2019,” said Dzarasov. “We are working towards integrating with industry-leading products and transportation management systems to let all U.S. truck drivers have free navigation software. We are also developing data analytics algorithms based on data that we accumulate from our users, which would be used to improve on our services further.”