Enhance your efficiency on the road with the best devices around
A sole dependence on personal GPS systems is never going to be a wise move for a truck driver. Even with all the applications, advancements and user-friendly options, your best route is really only guaranteed with a reliable GPS system, specifically for tractor-trailers.
Relying on personal or car GPS devices becomes dangerous and expensive. Even generic car systems aren’t foul proof as they don’t recognise streets where trucks are prohibited, places of interest for stops, low bridges and more. Car GPS devices map out the quickest and shortest routes without identifying weight, height and hazardous cargo restrictions. Occasionally the roof of a truck gets sheared off, or you’ll find yourself wedged beneath an underpass. Costs also accumulate through violations as drivers increasingly drive on truck-prohibited roads due to personal devices not knowing any different.
Personal devices and car systems are certainly cheaper however, this cost will be outweighed by a single traffic violation or crash caused when there is no truck-specific route. The goal of a truck GPS system is to be the primary tool for drivers, so you won’t have to rely on a physical map, your personal one or a car specific device.
To help you choose the right navigation system, we’ve identified why you’ll need one, what to look for and which ones are going to be the best for your routes.
Why You need a tractor-trailer GPS device
Where do we begin? You literally have nothing to lose by going for a specific tractor-trailer navigation system, and everything to gain.
Maximum Productivity. A GPS system for trucks will increase your efficiency throughout the entire journey and get you to your destination as fast as safely possible. With an accurately pinpointed location – even in remote areas – advanced routes and mapping systems will help you avoid long roads and getting stuck in traffic.
Safeguarding. Having a tractor trailer GPS will increase your safety, working with modern equipment and software including telematics solutions. The right device will be installed with weather updates to predict bad conditions and forecast any upcoming events in surrounding areas. Knowing in advance will ensure you don’t get stuck and your load is secure. Another feature trucking GPS devices will have is Driver Behaviour. This will track every moment of the driver, ensuring you are meeting all safe driving standards. It provides confidence and assurance for you and your fleet manager.
Maintenance alerts. GPS systems for trucks can detect and inform you and your manager if your vehicle needs attention. You’ll be able to plan and schedule routine check-ups in advance so you will never drive to the point where your truck is no longer able to be used.
Lower costs. With real time updates from your routing system, getting stuck in traffic becomes less likely. This prevents excessive fuel consumption, which becomes a common problem as heavy loads with greater inertia and rolling resistance contribute to quick depletion. Just a few minutes can waste a large amount of fuel. The right truck GPS devices will also reduce chances of theft, leading to lower insurance costs as well as improved road safety.
Choosing the right device
You know you need one, but which one? There are an entire range of options out there for tractor trailer GPS devices with varied features and pricing. Here’s what you should look for, to guarantee you’ll experience all the benefits of a system while on the road.
Detailed mapping. It’s an obvious one, and every device comes with its own mapping system to tell you the directions you need to take and how long the trip with be. The better ones will estimate fuel costs and allow you to plan routes with stops along the way.
Traffic alerts. Another common one, try to find a device which has information about upcoming accidents, construction activities, weather and any other potential hazards likely to delay the journey.
Connectivity. The best devices will be able to connect to everything. We’re talking Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, microphones, speakers, hands-free, cameras and smartphones. These connections will make it easy for you to get your job done as best as you can.
Approved route. Your device must be able to plan routes based on roads approved for semi-trucks. This feature works, by directing you to input your truck’s information such as height, weight, length and load. Once you’ve added this, let the GPS calculate your route with no restrictions.
Drive assist. Truck specific GPS devices have stored information for drivers, such as repair and tow services, truck stops, weigh stations, rest stops and more. You should also find a system which keeps you informed of curves, steep inclines and narrow roads. Lane assist is also an additional feature, so you can be sure you’re in the correct lane when it comes to the exit.
Conserving fuel. It’s one of the most significant expenses trucker’s face. The right GPS can provide you with information in order to conserve your fuel. Once your route is planned, it will direct you where to stop, based on cost-effectiveness. A device can also send alerts if you are driving excessively or have deviated from the planned route.
Trip logs. Truck drivers need to monitor hours of service, driving status, sleep time, mileage, fuel data and more. A GPS device should do all this for you, assuring accuracy and consistency at all times.
Time to choose
With hundreds of options out there, we’ve done the hard work for you and narrowed it down to nine specific Truck GPS Devices, available on the market right now.
1. Garmin Dezlcam LMTHD 6″ Truck Navigator
This Garmin GPS comes with a built-in dash cam and accident detention system, which automatically saves video recording when an impact or rash breaking in detected. The device alerts you to upcoming high winds roads, sharp curves, restrictions and grounding risks including no trailer or hazardous materials. You’ll also receive speed limit variations as they become lower than those posted for cars. The onboard trip planner will help you create routes with multiple stops and options to save them too.
2. Garmin Dezl 770LMTHD Truck GPS Navigator
This advanced device comes with a larger 7.0-inch screen display, as well as lifetime digital traffic details. It also provides custom routing for trucks once you’ve inputted details of your size and weight. It includes a trailer and truck service directory, and points of interest highly rated by truckers. There is also navigation for long haul trucks and built in Bluetooth technology. The larger screen allows simple route shaping, just by touching the screen and you’ll also be able to record fuel usage.
3. Rand McNally OverDryve 8 Pro Truck GPS with Dash Cam and Bluetooth
This award-winning truck specific system gives real-time updates for traffic, weather and fuel process based on your route. Other features include advanced lane guidance, truck places of interest, warnings, tolls, fuel logs and more. There is also a logbook app for easy recording. The device is powered by SiriusXM, with accessible satellite radio stations. You can use Siri with this GPS, as well as Bluetooth hands-free calling and texting, and front dash cam. Personalise your device by downloading apps, games, audio-books, music and more.
4. TomTom VIA 1535TM GPS Navigator with Voice Control
If voice activation matters, this device is one of the best for you. Speak your commands and the navigator will respond with specific truck navigation. You’ll have advanced lane guidance, Bluetooth hands-free calling, local information, roadside assistance, fastest routes and accurate arrival times. The TomTom device also promises lifetime traffic and map updates. As roads chance, the maps will too.
5. Rand McNally TND740 Trucker GPS
This modern, Wi-Fi compatible device comes with quick updates and plenty of truck specific features. You’ll get real-time information on weather, fuel prices, traffic, and local places of interest for the best routes possible. The modern TND 540 makes it faster than just about anything else on the market. It works much like a computer; continuously updating and with twice the storage space of other systems, so that it will hold data and remember your route preferences. It is also Bluetooth compatible to make calls and send texts along the way. The device has enhanced routing features including route comparison, warnings and fuel logs and a quad-core processing system for instantaneous updates. Rand McNally also guarantee lifetime map updates.
6. TomTom 620 GPS for Truckers
This truck specific system comes with updated truck-specific maps, Bluetooth, Siri and Google compatibility, and specialized routes programmed according to your truck. You’ll get real-time updates as well as lifetime truck map updates to guarantee longevity. The navigator can also be programmed specifically to the height and weight of your load for the ideal route with planned fuel stops, low clearance avoidance and service and rest points.
7. Rand McNally TND 740 IntelliRoute Truck Navigation GPS with 7”HD Vibrant Display
It’s been perfectly designed for the professional trucking industry with Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth. This navigator has been made to prioritise routes taken by truck drivers to make things as easy as possible. The device is simple on the outside, with a solitary touch screen and no buttons. There are no installations required for this GPS system, also featuring a router which analyses and displays fuel, food and parking options. You’ll get constant map updates, and current traffic status for each journey ahead.
8. Garmin Dezl 780 LMT-S GPS Truck Navigator 7” Display
Truck routing, time management, smartphone links, eLogs and hands-free are all included in this truck navigator for easy mapping. The Garmin Dezl 780 will assist you in selecting the best route for your destination once you’ve added your truck information. The software does the rest, as well as lets you know when it’s time to take a break.
9. Garmin Dezl OTR700 7” GPS Truck Navigator
This device comes with an easy-to-read HD touch screen and a GPS navigator with load-to-dock guidance. Input your truck details and you’ll receive all the warnings such as height restrictions, bridges, curves and more. There’s also a parking-friendly feature so you’ll know in advance, the different spots on your route. Built Wi-Fi connectivity helps the navigator update software and maps alone.
What’s right for you
Every truck driver has their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Knowing yours combined with the features of these top GPS devices will lead you to the right decision when it comes to making a purchase. Consider what features you will benefit from the most, to make your journey as simple as possible. This is an investment into your career! If you’re a serious truckie, you need a serious GPS system you can rely on so your best assets are always demonstrated on the job.