You may be thinking “Why in the world would I need to carry a printer along with all the other
crap stuff I have to carry in my truck”.
Well you don’t exactly have to have a printer on board, unless you are using an electronic logging app like the BigRoad electronic daily driver log app.
You mega company drivers don’t have to worry about using a smart phone app to help you with your paper logs. You are exempt from printing since your electronic log device is connected directly to the trucks computer – black box.
I am referring to those of us who are still lucky enough to be on paper logs but like to use a smart phone app to help fill them out for us.
We still do not have any black box wired to our truck so using an app like Big Road has all of the advantages of paper logs without the hassle of having to fill them out by hand with a pen and ruler.
You may also find having the printer convenient for printing out emails and e-fax documents for both company documents and personal documents.
Another must have app that works really well for scanning documents and receipts with your smart phone is Camscanner. It’s free for both apple and android users.
For example my truck registration expired while I was on the road. If I had a printer in the truck cab at this time I would have been able to save on the $2 per page fax fee at the truck stop by having it emailed, then printing it out in the cab of my truck.
For this reason and for the Big Road app to be 100% legal you must be able to print a paper copy of your daily driver logs if asked to by DOT or other CMV enforcement officials. This is my understanding of the current rules / laws subject to change when we all have to have the logging app connected to the trucks computer.
Update: I am so glad I decided to buy and tote around this printer. Recently while in Oregon during a Level 1 inspection I was
asked grilled by a DOT officer about my logs and how they were connected to the truck. “no sir they are not connected to the truck”. “OK well how will you print them out?” he asked. “I carry a printer in the truck” “huh?” I said “I carry a printer in the truck to be legal”. “OK”. He seemed really surprised that I actually was following the letter of the law and had a printer with me. I think I repeated myself 3 times until he stopped asking abut my logs.
I bought a Canon Pixma MG2900 series wireless printer which uses a smartphone app to print directly from you phone with out being connected to the web or a wireless router.
It’s a regular print, copy, scan home office type printer and was very inexpensive.
How to set up your new Canon Pixma Printer to print directly from your smartphone with the Canon Print app
There are mobile printers for truck drivers and travelers which are more expensive at 2 to 4 times the cost of the Canon inkjet printer.
Sure it would be nice to have one of these they take up less storage space. Some of them use thermal paper so you don’t need to deal with ink cartridges. You will need to buy the special paper if you go with a mobile thermal paper printer.
I already have a 120 volt power inverter in the truck so I don’t need a true mobile bluetooth printer. Home appliances work just fine for me. I keep it under the bunk in the original box with the Styrofoam packing materials so it will not get damaged bouncing down the road in my truck.
I did research and review the best mobile Bluetooth printers for smart phones though and my top picks are…