While there are 4 major types of FedEx routes out there based on geographic territory, only the rural route can cause other issues that simply aren’t applicable to other types of routes out there that you may own. Of course, all your drivers should own (or be provided) smart phones with Google maps installed on their phones to be able to get around. However, in the country, cell phone signal can be hard to find at times.
Murphy’s Law is going to dictate that when your driver breaks down, he’ll do it in a spot without cell coverage.
Most drivers will prepare for this by simply having paper roll out maps for drivers to use in the event that they get lost, but knowing where you are doesn’t help your driver if they’ve broken down somewhere and need to call the manager (or you) for help.
The solution to bad cell phone reception for your routes:
You can purchase a cell phone signal amplifier that you can provide to your drivers. You can get one off of eBay usually or Amazon.com for usually under $100. The one I’ve used on my routes personally and on long road trips where the signal can come and go often, is the Wilson Electronics 460106 (affiliate link – this is the brand I’ve used and recommend, but I’m sure other brands may work as well).
This is a fantastic product that clearly works extremely well. Super simple to set up and placement of the antenna is very forgiving. I even use the product indoors (the power is just a typical USB cord that can plug into your cell phone wall charger) and it works great.
People state that when it works people love it and when there’s not enough signal to amplify then its just junk. So before you go reaching for your wallet to buy one for each of your trucks, you need to make sure that there’s signal in the area to begin with. On most phones, you can see the cell signal improve by going to the Settings -> More – > About Device -> Status and look to see what your signal strength is. When you plug in the device and put your phone in the harness, you can watch that signal meter jump right up.
This is more accurate than just looking at the bars on the top of the screen.
I would imagine the secret on knowing whether this will work for you or not is seeing your strength currently. If its over -110dB it’s probably not going to work. Remember dB scale makes it such that the higher the number, the lower your signal, since the number has the negative sign on it. Or if you can’t make any calls, ever (not just static ridden calls that drop), then it’s probably not going to work for you. Otherwise if you show hints of having occasional signal it’s worth a shot!
Having this device could mean the difference between failing for the day or not. No one likes DNAs!
So, do these cell phone amplifiers work? Absolutely, but I’d try to see if there is any signal whatsoever based on your phones statistics (not the bars on the top of the screen) before I bought one. Either way, they’re inexpensive and can be extremely useful, and just one extra way you can make owning your FedEx routes as stress free as possible.