Aside from and ELD and motor vehicle, one of the only other pieces of equipment a trucker needs to have on the road is a trucker headset. States are responsible for regulating the use of headsets, earphones, or headphones, while driving. AAA’s Digest of Motor Laws reports that while some states have no laws permitting the use of headsets while operating a motor vehicle, others allow only one-ear headset devices to protect driver and pedestrian safety.
Interfering with a driver’s focus and ability to hear their surrounding environment can be dangerous. Distracted driving can cause accidents and prevent drivers from noticing emergency vehicles and other critical surroundings. So, even if you’re a trucker driving even in a state without headset rules, recognize the seriousness of distracted driving and consider opting for a single-ear device.
For those who spend significant time on the road, a complete ban on headsets would be problematic. Thankfully, the one-ear exception allows for easy, necessary communication for truckers while also prioritizing safety. But, after dismissing two-ear headset models what should you look for in a trucker headset? We explore attributes and performance indicators for on the road headsets designed for trucking and fleets.
Even if you aren’t a professional trucker, you probably know how difficult it can be to hear people when in a moving vehicle! Noise cancellation power proves essential in trucker headsets as it reduces the level of ambient noise you hear when using the headset. At the Jubitz Truck and Service Center, we carry BlueParrott trucker headsets. Three of their B-series line of models have 96% noise cancellation power!
Truckers on the road for hours upon hours require a headset with serious battery power. As battery life will be impacted by the headset’s usage, even if a headset has a long standby time, you want to ensure you have ample talk time. Headset usage typically sees a mix of standby time and talk time in a day. Choose a model that has an adequate ratio of talk time and standby time that will fit your needs.
Wearing Style and Weight
Headsets, as opposed to earphones or headphones, have a single, over-the-ear design that meets driving regulations. The wearing style refers to how you physically wear the device. The most common styles include over-the-head, around-the-neck, and convertible. All are made to be functional and comfortable so it’s more of a personal preference as opposed to performance indicator. The weight of the headset is also something to consider. Over-the-head models tend to be slightly heavier and around-the-neck models must be more sensitive of the neck as it bears the brunt of the headset weight. While the neck and shoulders are filled with strong muscles, you don’t want to strain or overuse them.
Voice Control and Bluetooth
Technology continues to change ordinary experiences like talking on the phone. BlueParrott’s glossary explains that Bluetooth is “a standard for the short-range wireless connection” of electronic devices. Gone are the days of wired connections and tangled cords. Instead, Bluetooth powers connectivity and enables tools like voice control. Using spoken commands to control headset functions allows for a more hands-free experience and improves safety.
Smartphone systems are also frequently included with software that allows the device to be voice controlled. Headsets with voice control are becoming more common, but currently considered a more premium feature. Voice control capabilities will typically increase the range of wireless connectivity. Increased range means you can stray farther from the device your headset connects with which isn’t always a necessity but can be a plus.
A high quality trucker headset is an important investment. With so many trucker headsets available, it’s important to consider the many attributes and features. If it’s a good product, manufacturers typically offer to provide an extended warranty. Headsets are no exception here! Make sure you’ve purchased one that can take all the bumps and knocks of the road. Sound quality, battery life, style, weight, along with Bluetooth and voice control capabilities are all considerations to contemplate. While this list is not all-encompassing, it hopefully gives you a good starting point! When you’re ready to buy, call us at (503) 289-9645 or come into the Jubitz Truck Service Center and let our professionals get you set up with a BlueParrott, Rand McNally, or other headset.