Top GPS Models for Truck Driving
Top GPS Models for Trucking
If you already work in the transportation industry then you know how important it is to find the best truck GPS navigation for several reasons. Obviously, drivers need to know how to get to where they’re going – but GPS systems can offer drivers and everyone else in the supply chain benefits that were only dreamed of not too long ago.
Many drivers who are nearing retirement probably remember the days of unfolding huge maps and hoping their highlighted route was the best way to go. Sure, we had CB’s and ways to communicate that were good enough to get by. But as you’ll see from the top GPS units available for truckers today, the advancements in technology that are available today make trucking WAY more convenient than they were in the good old days.
We’ll help you understand how to choose the best GPS for trucking that fits your needs. With so many options and features available, it can be a hard choice to make.
There are many factors to consider, and hopefully the following information will help. If you have ideas or tips that can help us update or promote the best truck navigation systems, let us know!
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Choosing the Right Kind of GPS System
So, where do you start? Choosing the right kind of system is going to depend on your preferences, and your carrier. They might have a preferred system and software, or their own proprietary versions. But, if it’s up to you, here are things you’ll want to look at.
Top Truck GPS navigation features
• Zoom features – make sure the visual experience is top-notch. Some drivers don’t mind less than stellar visuals, but we prefer street level views and 3D views
• Alerts and forecasts – be sure you know what’s ahead without checking your phone or computer
• Food, gas, lodging notifications – the top GPS units are filled with awesome features that show where places to eat, gas up and rest
• Grades, tracking and logs-- % of uphill vs. downhill, fuel economy, advanced trip logging
• Planning - features that help you lay out your route and adjust as needed. Many top models include an alternate route you can input if things change
• HazMat routes – yes, you can even plan trips according to your freight. If you are carrying dangerous chemicals, there are better routes than others
• Points of interest mapping, such as scales, truck stops, plus phone numbers you can easily access
• Records and tracking - you can export for your records of miles driven
• Cost - estimates based on fuel price and your driving
• Social media – seriously, we know. You can’t avoid Facebook or Twitter nowadays. Some units will let you check in to places when you arrive or leave a destination
• Lane assistance – this one is great. We can all use help changing lanes, especially in high volume traffic on complicated highways
Top Rated GPS Models for Truck Drivers
To sum up the truck GPS reviews that we researched, you can’t do better than two brands, which you should compare with any other brands you come across that look comparable.
Rand McNally and CoPilot have systems that are reputable and widely used in the transportation industry. As far as we’re considered, choosing the best one for you will come down to need and preference.
Laptop, stand alone, and smart phone systems
Those are the three typs of GPS navigation units that truckers can use. It’s crazy to think that phone apps are so sophisticated now that they can compete with the other format – but they can. Here are the top choices for each GPS format that we recommend.
So, what is the best trucking GPS?
There are many great options, but we suggest you start your search with these…
Telogis Android navigation software is proof of this. It can be downloaded to your phone or tablet. We recommend a tablet, simply because of the screen size. Just seems safer to us.
In addition to great navigation features that you would expect from top models, there is a unique community feature where users can add updates in real time to help others.
Garmin dezl 570LMT advanced GPS for trucks is a great unit for many reasons. It’s a standalone unit that has a 5” display and all the features to get you where you need to go.
It has customizable routing, and information such as bridge heights, hazardous materials routing, traffic avoidance, and an extra loud volume for voice instructions – which is handy in loud cabs. We also like the price of this unit, which clocks in at under $300 if you buy straight from Garmin.
CoPilot navigation systems can give you the power and flexibility you need from a mobile truck GPS navigation. They have laptop, tablet and phone versions, which can be handy if you want the option of being able to switch among your devices for different trips – or if something happens to your laptop, you can use your phone, etc.
While there are surely other types of units, apps and technology available from other companies, we like this example for several reasons.
First, CoPilot has a strong reputation among drivers and carriers. They also make sure their software includes industry standard routing for compliance, which can help avoid expensive tickets and fines. You can also create custom profiles for the trucks you drive and type of load you haul. Plus, they have offline maps and free software updates that won’t eat your data.
Last, we really appreciate the fact that this truck GPS navigation software comes in an app that you can test out before buying. If you want to download it now and start playing, you can do so here.
CoPilot also makes pretty sweet laptop software for drivers who prefer to use their PC’s. It’s hard to top the features on the CoPilot Live laptop version 9 that is currently available. If you need laptop software, this is our current top choice.
Other Gadgets Truckers Can Find Useful
Let’s face it, technology is cool, and we love accessories. Those are two qualities of human nature that will most likely never change. So it’s only natural that we found other useful gadgets that work with your GPS, or seem pretty useful as well when you’re on the road.
Mountable cameras for your GPS
Let’s say you picked up the coolest GPS unit with all the top features. Then it probably has the ability to screen footage from mountable cameras that you can buy as well. If you want to see what’s going on in certain areas of your truck while rolling down the highway, or taking a break, you can buy cameras that stream right to your GPS screen.
Dash mounted camera
Having one of these on the dash might save you a lot of headache and legal fees if something happens. Imagine if you could show investigators and your employer exactly what happened with footage that could be downloaded and saved.
This could also help prevent fraudulent insurance claims. You could even use one of these for footage in your web videos that show what it’s like to cruise down the highway.
Portable DVD player
If you’re an OTR driver, you might want to invest in a portable DVD player or mobile TV, or at least a good laptop with a good Wi-Fi. We know there isn’t much time for TV or relaxing, but there are those times when you get held at a stop too long or you just need to unplug, tune in and tune out.
Mouse Tray for your Laptop
Do you prefer to use a mouse instead of your finger on your laptop? Buy the Boss Trap Tray and you’re set. This can make working on your laptop way less of a headache, especially when you’re in a hurry.
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