There are many important tools truck drivers need while on the road, a GPS being one of them. Not only does this help drivers avoid major traffic jams but it also ensures they stay on the correct route so their deliveries are made on time.
In fact, with a GPS installed in the truck, drivers decrease the chance they have of getting lost or accidentally taking a more time-consuming path. Ultimately this can mean being able to drive with more confidence, even on a new or unfamiliar route. For someone who drives for a living, this can help with keeping on schedule so their overall experience on the job is more enjoyable.
If you’re a truck driver and can relate to having experienced trouble on the road due to a lack of GPS, then you may be in the market to buy one.
Even if you have a GPS but it’s not exactly reliable, chances are you want to invest in one that you’ll be able to count on. Fortunately there are many choices out there, many of which don’t require any complex installation or setup procedures.
By taking some time to look through your options, you’ll likely find one that suits your needs and helps you get to each destination more smoothly than ever before.
Is a Truck Navigation GPS Worth the Investment?
With the advancement of GPS units today, they make it easier than ever to drive from point a to point b without having to worry about getting lost or taking a route where your truck doesn’t fit. If you want to keep your eyes on the road without having to look at a physical map, then the unit is absolutely worth the investment. Some of the biggest advantages include:
- Fuel Logging
- Peace of Mind
GPS: Choosing the Best Option
It’s no secret that there are a large number of GPS units available to choose from today. In addition to the hundreds of manufacturers that create these, there are a variety of different models that each have their own unique features.
When it comes to choosing one of these to guide you on each of your jobs, it’s important to look at the qualities they have to offer. This will ensure that your unit does exactly what you want it to and provides you with a reliable route no matter where in the country you are. Some of the most important features of all include:
- Daily Updates
- Fuel Logging
- Well-Lit Screen
- Trucking Features and Options
The trucking features in particular are incredibly important and not offered on traditional GPS units for everyday vehicles. The daily updates of routes and fuel logging will make the unit even more beneficial and something you can rely on day in and day out.
While looking for these features will certainly help you narrow down your choices, you might still need a little bit of help determining which are the best of the best. To help with this, some of the most well-known and well-reviewed GPS units for trucking are listed below.
By reading about the features of these, you’ll likely find one that suits your needs and budget quite well.
Best Trucking GPS Units
|Garmin dezl 570LMT||$$$|
|Garmin dezl 770LMT||$$$$|
|Rand McNally TND530||$$$|
|Rand McNally TND 740||$$$$|
|TruckWayGPS - Model 720 Pro Series||$$|
1. Garmin dezl 570LMT
This GPS unit is an excellent resource for truck drivers because of the many features it offers to drivers. In particular it comes with a truck and trailer services directory that filters truck stops by amenities and brand names or driver preferences.
In addition to this, the unit comes with trusted navigation that regularly updates for both long and short trips. For drivers who want accuracy, this is going to be an important and useful features.
Making it even better is the fact that the unit has Bluetooth capabilities so it can be used hands-free for safer driving. It even speaks out the directions so there’s less of a chance of the driver getting lost and they can keep their attention focused on the road in front of them.
This GPS unit in particular comes in the easy-to-hold or install size of 5″. It’s also equipped with a glass display that is bright and clear so it’s easy to see where you’re going and plan your routes.
The unit is compatible with the Garmin backup camera and has easy route shaping so you can change your route by touching the screen. In addition to this, the 570LMT provides custom routing that’s based on the size and weight of your truck so you can take the safest route possible.
- Turn by Turn Directions
- Extra Loud Adjustable Speaker
- Detailed Maps
- Lifetime Traffic Updates
What Truckers are Saying
Truck drivers who own this unit have given it good ratings, expressing that they enjoy the fact that it recalculates speed quickly and provides accurate routes. In addition to this, many say that the interface is easy to use and the customizations are useful when it comes to driving a large truck.
2. Garmin dezl 770LMT
Garmin is a manufacturer that’s known for making high quality GPS units, but this one in particular is designed specifically for truck drivers.
Just like the 570, the 770 has a truck and trailer services directory built right into it so drivers can search for destinations and points of interest more easily.
In addition to this, it allows for customized truck routing for the exact size (and weight) of your truck in particular. This can make each trip more efficient as well as safer, especially for drivers who are in larger trucks that can’t go on every road.
The design for this is solid, as it features a 7″ screen with a full glass display. It’s also easy to set up and lightweight so it’s less likely to come detached once set up.
For drivers who rely on GPS units for their everyday routes, this model won’t let them down. It features road warning for weight limits and bridges, Bluetooth technology for hands-free dialing, clear spoken directions, route shaping, and a touch-screen. In addition to this, it’s compatible with backup camera units so you can see what’s behind you when you’re going in reverse.
- Add Preferred Routes
- Fuel, Service, and Maintenance Logging
- Lifetime Traffic Avoidance
- Add Stops to Routes
What Truckers are Saying
Truck drivers who reviewed this unit say that they enjoy being able to track their miles driven as well as how much gas they use. They have also commented on the clarity of the display due to the glass screen. In addition to this, there are many positive reviews on the performance of the unit and how easy it is to use.
3. Rand McNally TND530
Rand McNally has remained a trusted name when it comes to trucking GPS units, and the TND530 is a solid unit that many truckers trust.
A redesign from the previous model, this unit features fast hardware, a fast processor, and updated graphics that offer a more enjoyable user experience. The screen is a bit smaller than other units at 5″, although it’s still bright enough to offer an easy-to-see display for drivers. What’s even more convenient about this unit is the fact that it can be customized based on the dimensions of the truck that you’re driving, which will ensure the safest route possible is being taken.
Other features that have made this unit popular include:
- View of current mile marker
- Junction view
- Multi-stop routing
- Warnings for sharp hills
You can also prepare for tolls ahead of time by viewing the estimated cost ahead of time. With this GPS you’ll always know what’s ahead because it also gives you heads up for the lane you need to be in, turns you can expect, and exits you’ll need to follow. You can even connect a back-up camera to the unit so you can see what’s going on without having to look at two different screens.
- Fuel Log
- Manage Timers
- Lifetime Map Updates
- Road Work Construction Updates
What Truckers are Saying
Reviews from truck drivers who own this state that this GPS helps get them where they need to go for long and short hauls. They also say that the customization options make it more unique than other models and incredibly easy to use.
4. Rand McNally TND 740
For truckers who are looking for a technologically advanced GPS unit, the Intelliroute TND 740 is an excellent option. In addition to featuring Wi-Fi connectivity it also offers 35% more truck routing information than other units on the market. What’s even better is that this unit in particular was built for truck drivers specifically, which means it offers features and capabilities that professional drivers will appreciate.
When it comes to the design of this unit, it’s built to be used for long and hard trips, which is why it has a tough outer-coating. In addition to this, it has a loud and adjustable speaker and bright 7″ screen. As for the features, the WI-Fi connectivity is one of the most beneficial. It forecasts weather data, updates the driver on wind speeds, and even regularly updates routes so the most efficient one is being taken. In addition to this, a route log can be kept so drivers can keep their own individual records.
- Flexible Routing Options
- Fuel Logging
- Record and Display Routes Traveled
- Suction Cup Windshield Route
What Truckers are Saying
Truck drivers who own this say that they like it because of all the dynamic features and the fact that the interface is easy to use. In addition to this, many agree that the mapping for truck is much better than other units because of accuracy. It also comes with a manual for download that can be an excellent resource for anyone who uses it.
5. TruckWayGPS – Model 720
TruckWayGPS is a North American company that offers affordable GPS units. The 720 is gaining popularity in the car accessories industry because of its accuracy and robust features without the high price tag.
This 7″ touchscreen high definition unit (800 x 400 pixels) offers current and accurate maps that are easy to use, as well as free lifetime map for USA & Canada.
In addition, with the 720 GPS unit you can access not only 2D but aslo 3D maps with 3D buildings.
TruckWayGPS specializes in truck driving navigation where their unit takes into consideration:
- Width of truck
- Heigh of truck
- Length of vehicle
- Type of goods you’re transporting (e.g. dangerous materials)
As well, this GPS provides information on low bridge, road sign and roads where trucks aren’t allowed.
What Truckers are Saying
Drivers who own this GPS have raved about the unit. Customers are happy with the responsive and clear touchscreen, as well as its slim design. They also like the updated maps and that the units have expandable memory.
Choosing Your Truck GPS Unit
The GPS units that are listed above are some of the best because they were designed for truckers specifically. They offer features that you will not find on traditional units, such as being able to add in a profile of the size/weight/dimensions of your truck. These truly make all the difference with the experience you’ll have as a driver, making any of those listed above well worth seriously considering for your own truck. With most costing anywhere from $100 to $350+, it’s important to take your time to determine which is the right fit for you. For example, one unit might be a better choice over another simply because it can connect to a backup camera. Fortunately with any of these well-reviewed options you’re likely to invest in technology that you enjoy using every time you hit the open road.
Geoff is a freelance writer with 20+ years of experience in driving trucks and buses, dispatching, supervising, and training commercial driving teams. His expertise is writing topics on the transportation and trucking industry, and information technology trends.
Howard Testerman says
Rand McNally has the best routing and truck stop information, but their units aren’t very dependable when it comes to longevity. I have had a lot of their truck GPS units. My experience started with Rand McNally when they first got into the GPS truck market. The first couple of years their units were robust and lasted. Matter of fact I still have one of the first units. The problem there is that they are slow and not very much memory so they can’t handle the updates without a memory card, which makes them even slower. What I have noticed in the last 3 years starting with the tablet versions that they have a problem with charging. I’ve gone through 2 and getting ready to get my 3rd 730 version. They all have the same problem. They start to flicker when charging and will shut off while navigating. Sometimes you can plug a charging cord straight into the device using the micro USB port and get a little bit more use, but not much.
Garmin makes a really good and robust truck GPS. They have a very good track record as for longevity. I carry a dezel 760LM as a backup to the Rand McNally. Garmin does a good job of routing for the most part, but they suffer from lack of truck stop information. I think the most important feature of a truck GPS (in the days of ELD) is to be able to plan your stops. In certain areas of the country when driving late into the night you can’t find a parking spot in name brand truck stops, but you can find spots at the smaller mom and pop truck stops. Garmin fails in this endeavor. Rand McNally will allow you to select any parking truck parking or 5 or more spaces and on up. You can also ask for paved or any parking surface along with a host of other options.
I guess it comes down to finding off the beaten path parking or longevity in your truck GPS. I don’t have any experience with any other brand, but I hope this helps my fellow truckers.
Carlos Perez says
Excellent review I appreciate
Dennis Carmichael says
Excellent review and like you my Rand McNally also have what appears to be charging issues. After a couple of years it now randomly shuts off. Especially just as I’m taking the exit. frustrating.
Donald J Lynch says
I just purchased a truck way GPS for making deliveries in major cities with low bridges and restricted city streets and I was very disappointed in the truck ways performance . I did indeed take me down not one but two streets with 12ft bridge low clearance , coming out of south Philadelphia it guided me on to restricted roads in search of I76 and while on I76 it informed me I was on a restricted road , not only that it insisted I turn left while on I 95 south while crossing the Susquehana river .
I will be returning this product and hope they can iron out the problems with this device .
Mark Autocare says
I have been working on breakdown recovery for the last 22 years so I have a lot of experience with paper maps in my early days right up to my variety of devices I have for different purposes. I have tried everything but I have not seen a single device that can do everything I want it to do so please if Garmin or Tom Tom wants to have the monopoly on the truck navigation system then please get in touch with me and I will help you to create the ultimate device for the transport /haulage industry
Glad I read your comment before purchasing this Truckway stuff.