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How You Can Be A TruckMaster Fuel Finder™ Friend
When TruckMaster first began tossing around the initial concept for a free online fuel finder in the fall of 2008, diesel fuel prices were averaging over $4.00 per gallon, and trucking companies everywhere were struggling to keep their tanks full. It was obvious that something needed to be done to help the situation, even in a small way, and TruckMaster had existing technology that it had developed for use in it's trucking software product. The decision was made to make this product available as a free online tool that anyone on the internet could use, no strings attached.
The tool was out of beta testing and online in early November of 2008. The initial challenge of letting people know about the tool was overcome by initiating a pay-per-click campaign through Google AdWords, where ads were displayed when a searcher typed in terms that we felt were relevant to the traffic we desired, such as "truck stop", "fuel stop", etc. We immediately had visitors to the new tool, and were able to continue development, driven primarily by feedback we received from the users of the product.
The tool quickly grew from a single page website where a text listing of fuel stops (initially around 600) were displayed, to a large site that had single pages for over 2000 truck stops, as well as listings by state, chain affiliation, amenity listings, maps, etc.
The TruckMaster Fuel Finder™ currently receives over 20,000 unique visitors per month. To say that we're extremely happy about the response that we're seeing from the tool is an understatement. However, 90% of the traffic that we receive is still as a result of pay-per-click advertising. Between the advertising costs and development time, TruckMaster is expending over $10,000 per month to support a free tool.
So say you find value in the tool, and want to know how you can help us keep it online, and allow us to continue to develop new features for it (we've got quite a list we've come up with, many of them from you!). There are some things you can do:
We are adamant about keeping this tool online, and keeping it free. With a little help from our friends, we're convinced that we can grow the tool into something truly amazing. And if this "trial run" of a free trucking utility works out, we have a list of other free tools that we would like to bring online, don't tell anyone, but.. a free site to do road and fuel taxes and a free load finding site have been tossed around in a few meetings.
Thanks for your patronage.
The TruckMaster Fuel Finder™ Team