4RoadService.com is always being updated & improved, but this week we have some updates that we would like to share.
Improved & Faster City Location Data
We have cleaned, merged, sorted, imported, beautified, and turbocharged our location data for cities, added several thousand more cities to our database, and improved the accuracy of the location of most cities, (over 60,000 of them)! Cities with multiple spellings have been merged, but old spelling and abbreviations are still recognized, so if you need Truck Repair in Eighty-Eight, KY, you can type “88 ky” “Eighty Eight Kentucky” or any combination of those into the search box and we’ll find it. If ever you search for a city and can’t find it, let us know, and we’ll add it, (Twitter & Facebook work too).
Several non-cities that had worked their way into our data-set, (mostly because they have their own ZIP codes), have been removed, so no more suggestions to search near the city of “Dept of Human Resources!”
Even with all the improvements, the auto-suggestion for cities has been sped up. That’s right, we made it faster.
Android App Update Roundup
A new version of 4 Road Service for Android went live late last week. This new version supports searching by ZIP or Postal code in addition to using your phone or tablet’s GPS or searching by city, so if you need a tow in 90210, you can find it on your Android device. Previously, but not announced here, the app was updated to let you suggest new service providers and report problems with listings – so use the orange buttons in the app to let us know who we’re missing!
Regular visitors to 4RoadService will have noticed that we’re sporting an entirely new design – and even a new logo! Besides improving our looks the new design is a responsive one – which means that 4RoadService.com works great to find truck repair on phones and tablets, as well as computers, and it’s fast.
Our old design dated from 2008. At that point the iPhone was less than a year old and there were no Android phones yet. The mobile web was very different, the few smartphones out there were Blackberries, and if you were using the web on your phone it was probably a WAP site.
Since 2008 smartphones have saturated the world. Today over half of the people who visit 4RoadService.com do so on mobile devices so we built our new design for mobile devices first, and use Responsive Web Design to provide a desktop layout when the website is viewed on a computer. We want everyone, from the dispatcher at a desk with a 24-inch monitor to the co-driver in the sleeper with a laptop to the driver stuck at the side of the road with looking up the closest truck repair company on his phone, to find the service they are looking for quickly and easily.
Part of designing for all screen sizes is designing for all network connections. If you’re in a mountain pass with a patchy cell connection making you wait while your phone downloads images 10 times the size of the screen doesn’t help you get back on the road quickly, it’s just frustrating and possibly expensive. We’re proud that the new design is incredibly fast-loading. It’s so fast that we’ll be writing a whole separate blog post about it in a few days, so stay tuned.
The great thing about the web is that anything can change at anytime, so 4 Road Service will keep being tuned to be faster and easier to use. If you run into problems or have suggestions please let us know with our contact form, or hit us up on Facebook or @4RoadService on Twitter.
Truck Repair Service Locator is completely re-written as a native Android app for Android Phones and Tablets. Features include:
Search for road service near your current location, (using the phone or tablet’s GPS)
Choose a city where you need service.
Choose a location on a map to find service nearby
Save your favourite service providers
Show the service provider’s location on a map
1-Tap calling: Phone a service provider by tapping it’s phone number
Share a service provider’s contact information with other drivers using Android’s built-in sharing, (great for dispatchers to E-mail repair information to drivers, or the other way around!)
Truck Repair Service Locator is not an upgrade of our old Android app, it is a completely new app that must be installed from Google Play or the Amazon Appstore. Install it today so it’s there when you need it.
We are upgrading the server that powers 4RoadService.com today. This will require a short time when the site will be unavailable. We will post updates on our Twitter account as we perform the upgrade, so you can follow along there and know when to start hitting refresh.
The length of the outage will vary depending on where you are in the world and how long your Internet Service Provider caches internet address information.
Today we’re proud to launch multiple categories per listing on 4RoadService.com. This means that you no longer need to buy a separate listing for every category that you want to appear in. To add categories to your listings log in to your account at http://www.4roadservice.com/login and choose Show & Edit Listings from the menu on the left.
With the launch of multiple categories per listing we have a new rate card. We’ve chosen rates that represent the added value of being listed in multiple categories without being unaffordable. We’re still one of the most affordable road service directories there is.
Suggestions for updating your listings
Update your listings to include all appropriate categories.
You should now only need one listing per location, so delete any old listings that existed only to appear in multiple categories.
If you have any trouble or questions we’ll post answers to common problems here on the blog. If your answer isn’t here send us an E-mail. We’ll do our best to solve any problems quickly, but please bear with us if there are a lot of people to help out.
We’re pleased to announce our brand new Android app: 4 Road Service for Android. 4 Road Service for Android lets you quickly and easily search our database of road service providers from your Android handset or tablet.
We recently launched our mobile website at 4RS.mobi. It uses the latest HTML5 technology to bring the power of 4RoadService.com to your phone or tablet. Even better, phones where the technology is available it can use the phone’s GPS and search for service providers who are close to your actual location. You no longer have to guess what city you are in. Just choose what you need, how far away you want it, and tap the “My Location” button. If your phone doesn’t have a GPS, or doesn’t support accessing it from a web page, you can use 4RS.mobi by selecting your city & state just like on 4RoadService.com, but with a design optimized for use on a phone.
Our updated home page has been designed to make searching faster and easier. We noticed that many people were clicking the “Find Road Service” tab at the top of the site to go to the search page, so we brought a bigger, faster, search page to the homepage of the site, (of course, you can still use search page if you want). Since we put the made the update live last week the new search form has been a hit – it’s now the most clicked-on item on our home page.
As always, please let us know what we can do to make it even easier to get service on the road. We know what it’s like to be broken down in the winter and want to help.
It’s not very often we launch a whole new service category here on 4RoadService.com, but today that’s just what we did. We are pleased to announce that you can now search for scales on 4RoadService.com. To search for scales, simply choose “Scales” in the “What?” field of the search form.