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5 Best Podcasts To Listen to While Driving Your Truck

By Vineet Baid on September 22, 2020


There are an estimated 88 million podcast listeners in the country, and this is forecasted to grow by 20 million each year for the next few years. Truck Drivers have to spend long hours on the road. Driving alone for a long time tends to become monotonous. To break the monotony, truckers have a few different options. Listening to music is a great way to pass time while driving. However, after a certain point of time, songs also get repetitive. To break the monotony, trucker drivers can also try out podcasts. Podcasts are aired on numerous topics. The large variety of shows adds color to the otherwise regular and routine drive. 

What are podcasts?

Podcast Microphone Best Podcasts While Driving

Podcasts are audio or video files which can be downloaded on a mobile device or a computer. Podcasts are generally available as a part of an ongoing series. Interestingly, the term ‘podcast’ was suggested in 2004 by Ben Hammersley, a BBC journalist and a columnist for The Guardian. It is a combination of ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast’. Podcasts are very similar to radio shows; however, they are not aired at specific times. Listeners can download the audio and play it anytime and anywhere. Today, podcasting is a highly recognized and extensively used medium to distribute audio content across the world. Podcasts range in numerous topics and niches, and there are an estimated 750,000 podcasts in the world. This allows listeners to find the perfect podcast between a large variety of podcasters on topics that may be interesting to the listener. 

What is the history of podcasting?

History Of Podcasts Adam Curry

Many consider the "Podfather" of podcasting to be Adam Curry a former MTV video jockey and also Dave Winer, the co-author of RSS specification. In 2004, the duo conceptualized the idea of automating the syncing and delivering of textual content to various portable audio players. iPodderX was the first application which made practical use of this idea. 

Since the 1930s, radio broadcasts were the only source of transmission of audio shows. However, by the early 2000's podcasts were transmitting a wide variety of shows as well. Podcasts garnered acceptance as downloading the content provided listeners with far more flexibility.

The first podcast to be published online was The Backstage Pass by Matt Schichter in October 2003. The show was an hour long and was recorded live. However, it was transcoded to 16kbit/s for online streaming. It later came to be known as Matt Schichter Interviews. Adam Curry’s show, Daily Source Code, apart from focusing on his daily life, also discussed how to develop podcasting. It inspired the developers to create and produce their own projects.

By releasing iTunes 4.9 in June 2005, Apple started extending formal support to podcasting. This did away the requirement to use a separate program for downloading the audio files and transferring them to a mobile device. This made accessing podcasts far more convenient. Public radio networks like BBC, NPR, CBC Radio One and Public Radio International made their radio shows available on iTunes. 

Why should truck drivers listen to podcasts while driving?

Free downloads

Download Podcasts For Free

Most podcasts are free to download. Thus, truck drivers do not have to spend any money for entertainment. Additionally with the podcast being downloaded on a personal device, this allows a truck driver to listen to it even while driving through areas that do not have the best cellular signal. So unlike the radio which requires radio towers to be close by or phone calls which require good cellular signal, podcasts can be listened to at all times if downloaded in advance. 

Variety of content and length

With the growing popularity of podcasts, radio shows have lost their initial prominent presence. Radio shows have fixed schedules that restricts flexibility. Truckers can choose to download from a wide array of topics according to their mood and interests. Additionally, there are podcasts that last only a few minutes while others that can go on for up to 5 hours (Joe Rogan and Alex Jones anyone?). The flexibility of varierty of content and different length for what is convenient are two oreasons why listening to podcasts can be great option while driving a truck.

Convenient setting options

The major different podcast apps offer a number of options. For example, a truck driver who does not want to use cellular data, can set the podcasts to automatically download when the device is connected to WiFi. A WiFi-only download option will enable the app to auto-download the podcast episodes without the user having to remember to do it. On the other hand, if a download is needed right away before signal is lost then a truck driver has the option to download the episode right away using cellular data. Also, with ELD Mandate's incredible dedicated tablet and 1GB Data plan option you can have enough data to listen to audio podcasts for a very low cost.

Wide array of topics

There is a podcast for everyone. Podcasts can be found on a variety of topics. Podcasts can be downloaded on current affairs, sports, economics, fiction, history, comedy and trucking amongst many other topics. There is a podcast to suit every mood and every individual. 

How to listen to a podcast?

The best way for a truck driver to listen to a podcast is to use a podcasting app. Apple has it's own Podcast app that comes with every iPhone. Additionally, Spotify has been spending a large amount of money on podcasts in the last 12 months. Getting into deals with shows like The Bill Simmons Podcast, and the Joe Rogan Experience. Apart from Apple Podcasts & Spotify, there are a few more podcast apps such as Stitcher, SoundCloud, TuneIn Radio, RadioPublic and more. 

How to find the most appropriate podcast?

Most major podcasting apps have top charts which is a good start to find popular podcasts. Within those top charts certain categories can be selected such as Sports, News, Entertainment, True Crime, Arts, Technology, etc. Apart from that a listener can also search for a specific show or a specific interest. For example if someone is interested in History of World War 2, then typing that into the search box may come up with some good podcasts that delve into that topic. After liking a podcast a listener can click on subscribe so that new podcasts from this show are automatically shown on the home screen of the podcast app. Subscribing to a few different shows makes it so that there are almost always new podcasts to listen to each day. 

There are topics on everything. If interested in the hearing about the Trucking Industry there are definitely a few podcasts that discuss how to start a trucking business and become a truck driver. We wrote an article on how to start a trucking business that is a good first step as well. 

Popular podcasts for Truck Drivers

There are numerous podcasts to choose from. However, some popular podcasts are Reply All, Bill Burrs Monday Morning Podcast, How I built this, Wait wait don’t tell me, The Indicator, Let’s truck, Rates and Lanes podcast, The trucking Podcast, Dan Charlin’s Hardcore History, This American Life, The Moth, Myths and Legends, The Dollop, The Tim Ferris Show, and so on. Among these popular podcasts, the 5 podcasts below have been narrowed down. Note: we do not sponsor or approve any of the views of the following shows and are recommending them based on conversations with truck drivers and for entertainment purposes. 

1. Reply All

Reply All Podcast Truck Drivers

This popular podcast is hosted by PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman. Developed by Gimlet Media, Reply All first premiered on 24th November, 2004. Its reporting and featuring great news pieces along with the right hint of humor has made this podcast a part of “mandatory reading for anyone who finds themselves lost on the internet” as Melissa Locker says for The Guardian on 1st October, 2015. In 2016, it was nominated for the Webby Awards in the Best Podcast category. In 2015 and 2016, it was nominated for a Shorty award as well. It was also nominated for the ‘Best Online Talk Show’ in 2016 by Mixcloud Online Radio Awards (MORA) in the education category. Its Episode #102, ‘Long Distance’, was nominated in 2017 by Quartz for the ‘Best Tech Episode’ category.  

The show includes episodes on a wide range of topics like true crime, medical mysteries, military imposters amongst many others. The popularity of the show has been maintained by bringing in variety in the format of each episode. However, there are some recurring segments like, ‘Yes, Yes, No’. In this segment, PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman explain various internet trivia to Alex Blumberg, the co-founder of Gimlet Media. Various guests also help Vogt and Goldman in this section. ‘Super Tech Support’ is another recurring segment. Here, complicated or odd tech support related issues faced by listeners or the host's friends are tackled by the Reply All team. In another segment named ‘Sports, Sports, Sports’ the hosts are made to understand sports-related tweets by Blumberg.

In SoundCloud, there are more than 182 episodes of this show with 16.6K followers. On Apple Podcasts, it has an average rating of 5 stars and over 10,000 reviews. 

2. Myths and Legends

Weaving ancient myths with a modern language, Jason Weiser’s show, Myths and Legends have listeners revisit their childhood storytelling days. Even as grownups, this show never makes anyone feel like myths and legends are too silly. Recounting the age-old stories from across the world with a contemporary touch, this podcast can lighten up any driving time. The folklores are a learning process as well. While people might know about well-known folktales, it is great to learn about other cultures and people as well. 

The power of narration is at its possible best in this podcast. There are more than 197 episodes of this podcast ranging from stores of Aladdin to Vikings. Each episode is around 45 minutes or so.

3. Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast

Bill Burr Podcast

This podcast is hosted by the comedian and actor, Bill Burr. Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast is an extremely popular podcast that was first broadcasted in May 2007. Earlier it used to be broadcasted only on Mondays. Currently, there are shows every Monday and Thursday. In October 2012, it was made a part of the All Things Comedy network, co-founded by Bill Burr and Al Madrigal. 

Each episode of this podcast lasts for about an hour. The theme of this podcast is Burr’s take on his personal experiences and everything happening around him. The comic touch to the show makes it very popular and Bill Burr is famous for his incredible rants. The topics range from Burr’s recent and past experiences, his tours, current events, sports and everything else. Moreover, Burr also offers advice to his listeners based on questions sent by them. Burr’s tone is never that of a celebrity, rather he is himself and not afraid of giving his own opinion. 

Burr never fails to take off the Monday blues for his listeners During the show, Burr is at times joined by other comedians and guests whom he interviews. His wife, Nia also joins the show at times. In 2017, it was noted that more than 100,000 people followed this show on SoundCloud.

4. The Joe Rogan Experience

No podcast list is complete without mentioning JRE. This audio and video podcast was first launched on 24th December, 2009. The actor, comedian, martial artist, television host and sports commentator, Joe Rogan hosts this incredilby popular talk show. The users of iTune voted this podcast to be the Best Comedy Podcast of 2012. It also won the Best Comedy Podcast at the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards in January 2019.

The first episode of this podcast was aired live from Rogan’s home in California on 24th December, 2009. In the early days, much of the episodes were just dead air as Joe and Brian were trying to figure out the equipment. The show gradually began to get prominence as Rogan began having his friends over and having lengthy conversations with them. The video episodes of this podcast began to be uploaded on Youtube from January 2013. Featuring a wide array of guests like Elon Musk on 6th September, 2018 to the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates like Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders and other podcasters like Bill Burr, this show has a large variety of content. Blending Joe's curiosity and serious current affairs, the show is one of the few places where it seems like real conversations are happening between two people just trying to learn about each other. Each episode is usually around 3 hours long and this is especially great for trucker drivers, who spend a long time on the road.

As one of the world’s most popular podcast, each of its episodes receive millions of views. 

5. Trucker Dump Podcast and Blog

This is a great podacst focused on the trucking industry and community. This show is hosted by Todd McCann who is a truck driver since 1997. Coming from the real-life experience of a trucker, this show’s content is relatable to many truck drivers. McCann’s experiences as a solo and team driver with his wife Lorinda constitutes the content of this podcast. 

This show blends education with entertainment. The trucking issues are presented and tackled in a way that helps even a non-truck driver easily understand the life of a truck driver. It also provides deeper insight into a trucker driver’s life and profession. The main intention of this podcast is to raise awareness about the trucking industry and the issues faced by it. It aims to make the trucking industry a better place to work for all truckers and help the general public to see the industry in a positive light.

There are more than 141 episodes of Trucker Dump. Its 4.9 rating on iTunes speak for its high rating amongst listeners. 

The podcasts discussed above are some of the best podcasts to listen to while driving. 

 

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Vineet Baid

Vineet Baid
Like the simple things in life like chocolates, beer, and fries.


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John Parker

John Parker


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