Truckers live and work in unique environments. For much of the year, their truck is their office, house, and transportation module. And they often spend long solo stretches with no company except their crackling two-way radios … and whoever they can raise on their mobile phone. (Ideally, not while they’re actively driving.) But because they have to drive long distances in sometimes remote areas, they may not always have a mobile signal. On top of that, trucking exposes drivers – and their phones – to some pretty rugged conditions.
This can be a good thing for an adventure junkie. They get to discover the most amazing, out-of-the-way places. And as long as their delivery schedules allow it, they can explore these grand spaces, whether it’s a rock cropping on the outback or a peak in the Victorian Alps. They may want to photograph these spaces, both for their own gratification and for bragging rights. But there are two problems – the lack of connectivity and the fragility of their smartphones. This is where Caterpillar comes in. Truckers may already have the boots and the wheels … there’s more.
The standard shooting tool for most adrenal junkies is their trusty Go Pro. It captures photos and video beautifully, and can withstand the harshest conditions, from skydiving to abseiling to mountain biking. We’re talking massive wind speeds, flying pebbles, projectile tree branches, and painful rock falls. What’s the trucker’s equivalent of this? The Caterpillar S61 smartphone that was recently launched in New Zealand. It’s tougher than a Go Pro and smarter than a Mac.
Match your phone to your truck
Let’s start with its most practical function. Your Cat S61 is built to work with your truck. It can run vehicle diagnostics with garage levels of efficiency. If you’re worried your cabin may be leaking, you can use your Cat S60 to test moisture levels. It can identify the source of that odd chill that keeps nagging you, evaluating windows and doors for cracks and gaps that might be letting precipitation in and shedding excess warmth. Inspect your cab for humidity levels and see whether your insulation is compromised or absent, indicating the need for trucks spares.
Evaluate the air quality, confirm the temperature, and test for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that could be polluting your cabin. These can be toxic if undetected, and could damage your truck too. And it’s not just your personal comfort levels that this phone can assess. You can review technical and performance issues in the truck itself. Your Cat S61 can check for circuits that are overloaded, electronic components that are overheating, and monitor asphalt for safe driving conditions. We’ve discussed the need to take photos and video, and it excels here too.
Your Cat S61 has thermal imaging abilities up to 400ºC, with a broad colour palette. You can use it to see through darkness, fog, and smoke, which is handy, and makes it a capable flashlight. It can help you measure distances, both for photography and navigation. Its inbuilt laser can accurately gauge distances up to 8 metres. And what if you drop it during your gymnastic attempts at image capture? Well it can be submerged in 3m of water and ‘hold its breath’ for an hour before it starts to sputter. On dry land, it can survive a fall of up to 1.8m thanks to its Gorilla Glass 5 screen, which is 5.2 inches and offers the full HD experience.
Beauty, brains, and brawn
By smartphone standards, it’s a pretty cool device armed with all the essentials, but it’s tailored for tough conditions so it has a lot of extras. We’ve mentioned truckers often operate in remote regions. Cat S61 takes that into account, with enhanced portability and connectivity. The portability aspect is fed by making it truly rugged. You can safely take it through a fire – literally – or underwater. It can drop in stony spaces and live. And it has enhanced reception so when you’re in isolated, unserved places, far from phone towers, your Cat S61 will pick your service provider’s network more easily than other phone brands in the same location.
The hi-res camera improves image quality, both for business (texting truck spare parts to your mechanic) and leisure (shooting pretty sunsets and stray kittens for your spouse). If you’d like to upgrade your S60, or if this is your first venture into the Cat phone family, visit any Gough Caterpillar dealership in New Zealand and grab your Cat S61 today. You can also buy it online at PB Tech, though you’ll have to be careful about where they deliver it. If they bring it after you’ve come through, it’ll have to wait until the next time your route brings you in that direction.