Some readers ask me to find an answer to the question Which is the Best GPS for Truck Drivers.
Well, to answer this question I need to do online research, and luckily my neighbor is the truck driver with about twenty years of experience and his point of view and knowledge hopefully help me to come closer to the answer.
As always, I conducted comprehensive research on the topic and made conclusions with whom I would like to share with you. My conclusions may be not set out in order of importance, but let it be just like it.
From the very beginning just short notice. As I mentioned before, my neighbor is the experienced truck driver and transporting goods all over Europe with the new Volvo FH16 truck.
He recently purchased brand new Garmin dezl 560LMT in addition of factory installed easy-to-use navigation Dynafleet infotainment system.
I asked him the reason why he spends extra $500 for GPS navigator as his Volvo cab looks so equipped.
The short answer was that not always on-board GPS do a job correctly, but Garmin mapping for trucks is perfect on roads he used to drive.
I found in some truck driver forums that some claims Garmin GPS for trucks for inconvenient update mode. I do not think that it is so difficult. In fact, even so simple, connect PC or Mac, and in 15 to 20 minutes your device is loaded with latest map updates. You can do it even wirelessly via smartphone’s Bluetooth.
Garmin dezl 560LMT include quarterly lifetime map updates. LMT means lifetime maps and traffic. The traffic information feature is not very up-to-date and exhaustive.
By my mind, Waze smartphone app gives more accurate information regarding actual traffic, police, road construction zones and other dynamic and constantly changing road info.
One more addition to dynamic traffic situation o road is that it is no secret that truck drivers have unwritten rules to inform each other by on-board VHF radio of the situation along the route. And you must be fully deaf to miss it unless your VHF is switched off or not to a correct channel.
I would not like to list all features what Garmin dezl 560LMT offer as specially for trucks designed GPS unit. Actually, the main GPS for trucks features such as identifying and avoiding restricted routes, trucking POIs, customizable by height, height, width, and length are very much the same for all latest generation truck navigation systems.
It means trucks and other oversized vehicles specific routing:
– An advanced fleet management device
– Reliable vehicle tracking
– Remote download of digital tachograph data
– Fleet management solution (FMS) integration (including real-time fuel consumption, fuel level indicator, and over-revving)
Let’s see what competitors are.
First of all, I checked one of my favorite brand TomTom. It offers TomTom PRO 7250 Satellite Navigation System. Unfortunately, I could not find any real customer reviews except one single star in Amazon.co.uk.
After reading manufacturers description, this TomTom GPS for truck looks to fulfill all functions for truckers needs. I guess that for European drivers it is good devices as mapping covers almost entire Europe, Russia and some other parts of Asia. Moreover, the following two GPS for trucks has not Europe map coverage at all.
The US, Canada and partly Mexico truck drivers are in a bit more comfortable situation and have the wider choice, although not quite.
Rand McNally TND730 IntelliRoute GPS Truck Navigator and similar five inches TND530 is a device to compare with Garmin dezl 560LMT.
After reading the technical characteristics and features what Rand McNally TND 730 offers than theoretically, it is better than Garmin dezl 560LMT.
But how it perform in real life?
Here is a paragraph from Amazon’s customer review of the real professional driver which have used both navigators in real life.
„I have a tech background before becoming a Pro Driver, which I have been for 12 years. That said, the Dezl would freeze constantly, was sent back to Garmin which they promptly returned to their credit. It just never worked right reliably, constantly had to “hard boot” it with a combination of key presses. I have always found Garmin reliable until this product. Anyways…… just want to give experience as I have had both and liked reviews that stating such experience when considering buying. “
Read entire review Here
My very personal feeling is that no matter how great in theory, Rand McNally would not be, it is a great map producer and publisher who is forced to break into the electronics market. Garmin and TomTom have decades of experience gathered and is hard to beat it. But who knows, miracles happen.
To be honest, need to take a look at PC Miler 550.
Even so that PC Miler Navigator (all models) is discontinued, and there are no newer map cards or software or repair centers for these models now, this program has been turned into an app for tablets, cell phones, and laptops now, I found that many truck drivers still used this brand GPS device.
As you see my post is not a typical review type as you can easily read devices details and characteristics online.
My conclusion is that many truck drivers use stand-alone GPS for trucks regardless of factory-installed GPS systems and so popular smartphone apps. For some, it is just as a backup option, but many are sure which GPS is best for truck drivers and investing their money in Garmin, TomTom or Rand McNally.