When choosing the right GPS device for your trucking company, you’ll want to shop around and purchase the system that best fits your needs.
You’ll want to consider functionality and features, compatibility with e-logging systems, and the ability for the device to stay current.
The system should be easy to install and use, so your drivers can get on the road and stay out there. You’ll want to feel confident that they’ll be able to use the unit without any major issues.
Price needs to be considered as well, and the GPS system should come equipped with ready to use features that are well worth the cost.
Some brand names are more recognizable than others in the industry, and the availability of customer service and support is key, so drivers can quickly connect with someone who will troubleshoot as necessary.
Which system is best for you will depend on what is important for your business to track and report. There are many models available.
Here is a look at the top five based on functionality and price.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for in a GPS Unit
|Truck GPS System||Best Feature||Rating 1-10||MSRP Price|
|Rand McNally OverDryve 8Pro 8″||Continual map updates||9.5||$599.99|
|Rand McNally TND740||Amount of features for price||9||$366.00|
|Garmin dezlCam LMTHD 6″||TruckDown Directory||8||$442.99|
|Garmin dēzl 780 LMT-S||ELD-ready||7.5||$399.99|
|TomTom Trucker 620||Inexpensively priced||7||$329.99|
First Choice: Rand McNally OverDryve 8Pro 8″
The Rand McNally OverDryve 8pro 8” has a widescreen display and a built-in voice assistant. It includes on-board navigation functionality, as well as a trip planning feature.
The GPS device includes Bluetooth hands-free calling and texting and is SiriusXM ready.
It can stream music, audio books, newscasts, sportscasts, and podcasts while in operation.
A built-in dash cam records trips and takes footage of accidents if an incident occurs on the road.
Drivers will receive real-time weather, traffic, and fuel price updates according to their current route. Navigation features include advanced lane guidance, toll and fuel costs, fuel logs and hazard warnings.
These features allow for accurate reporting and the ability to avoid significant traffic delays.
The built-in Rand McNally DriverConnect logbook app allows drivers to keep up with ELD requirements by logging drive-time hours and hours of service.
The OverDryve Pro is ELD-ready, and the app can be connected to the Rand McNally ELD 50® or DC 200® device.
The OverDryve model comes equipped with continual map and traffic updates and more than enough easy-to-use functionality to keep drivers on the road.
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It is SiriusXM ready, and plays music, audio books and more, which can make the drive go by a little more quickly.
Drivers can accurately calculate fuel costs and mileage and select alternate routes as needed due to unforeseen obstructions and delays.
Drivers have reported that the device is too bulky and will not stay mounted on particularly rough roads.
The bracket is fragile and breaks easily, and often has to be replaced more than once. Others have reported stability issues, poor battery life, inaccurate data being reported, and hard-to-reach customer support.
The OverDryve system is also on the high range price-wise and the GPS device is only compatible with Rand McNally ELD systems, which means that the same brand will need to be purchased for tracking purposes.
Second Choice: Rand McNally TND740
The Rand McNally TND740 GPS system is a fully redesigned and updated device that is easy to operate on the road.
It comes with many convenient and desirable features including hefty storage capacity, a quick processor, and an updated user interface with customizable features, and a magnetic mount.
Wi-Fi services include current weather reporting, a fuel price guide, the ability to search for local restaurants, businesses, and other pit stops, and traffic updates.
These features allow drivers to avoid obstacles on the road and navigate to points of interest.
The device also comes equipped with advanced land guidance designed to warn drivers about approaching turns or difficult intersections.
Drivers can set specific warnings for speed limit adjustments, sharp curves, and other conditions and can personalize display preferences, so they can quickly view the most pertinent information.
An additional safety features includes the ability to adjust the display brightness for day and night driving. This way, the display is not too distracting.
The TND740 will calculate toll costs and allows drivers to choose between a primary or alternate route regardless of where they’re at on the road. The fuel log tracks purchases and calculates fuel economy, while an additional feature calculates mileage.
Drivers can also preset their destination using an address, zip code or coordinates, and customize search capabilities.
This feature allows for saved routes that can be accessed at a later time. Users can select between one-box search to find a destination by inputting the address in a single space or classic search by selecting a city, street, or other destination.
The TND740 comes preloaded with the Rand McNally DriveConnect app for use with a Rand McNally ELD device. In the Rand McNally DriverConnect portal, a user can view and print up to six months of e-logs.
Pros of TND 740 Truck GPS
The TND740 is simple in exterior design but comes with a wealth of convenient internal functionality. There is nothing to install and no buttons to push on the device.
Each feature can be accessed via an easy-to-clean touchscreen. The magnetic mount also means the GPS can be relocated quickly and easily.
There is limited training needed to use the TND740, so drivers can get out on the road quickly.
The device continually updates maps based on the most current conditions, so if there is any road construction or closed roads, the device will automatically reroute the driver. The processor is particularly quick, and the device comes with extensive storage.
The Cons of TND740
The TND740 is expensive and requires external Wi-Fi connectivity in order to fully access its features.
The Rand McNally ELD system is the only one compatible with the GPS device, so the same brand will need to be purchased for ELD reporting.
Third Choice: Garmin dezlCam LMTHD 6″
The Garmin dezl Cam LMTHD 6” is equipped with a 6” pinch to zoom display. It comes with a built-in dash cam to record drives and automatically saves all needed files, including accident footage, as well as lifetime updates on maps.
The customizable truck routing feature adjusts for the size and weight of the vehicle, and the TruckDown Directory features businesses and places of interest as well as tuck-friendly hotels, restaurants, and parking lots.
An onboard Trip Planner lets drivers create multiple-stop routes and helps with planning future trips.
These trips can be saved on the device and accessed at a later date.
The dezlCam LMTHD 6” also includes information on weight limits, bridge heights, sharp curves, and other warnings so a driver can quickly be rerouted if necessary.
It comes with a suction cup and magnetic mount with a swivel lens for optimal view of the road. A user can adjust the view as needed. It also comes packaged with a USB cable, and 8GB microSD card for extra storage.
The TruckDown Directory is helpful for locating trucker points of interest and navigating to rest stops and trucker-friendly parking lots or accommodations.
The routing feature adjusts for the size and weight of the vehicle, which is ensures the most accurate reporting. Truckers simply enter individualized vehicle profile information and the device will find truck-preferred routes suitable for its size and weight.
The onboard Trip Planner lets users create multiple-stop routes and plan and save future trips.
Drivers have reported the device has a tendency to freeze up, especially during updates and report significant road bumps as accidents.
If drivers are attempting to navigate rough terrain, the unit will indicate that there have been several accidents back-to-back.
Some users have also indicated the GPS will not hold a charge even when plugged in, or that it won’t turn on when taken out of the box, so it needs to be returned for a new one.
Other have reported that needed accident footage has been inadvertently lost while on the road because the device froze. The system has a high price tag compared to units with similar features and functionality.
Fourth Choice: Garmin dēzl 780 LMT-S
The Garmin dēzl 780 LMT-S is a 7” navigator with a powered magnetic mount. It includes continual map, traffic, and weather updates via a free Smartphone Link app.
The custom routing feature allows drivers to adjust for the size and weight of their vehicle, and the GPS system comes equipped with alerts for upcoming low bridge heights, hazardous curves, and steep grades.
The Truck & Trailer Services directory is searchable by amenity or business type or name and allows drivers to navigate to truck-friendly rest stops and accommodations.
A Bluetooth hands-free calling feature keeps drivers focused on the road, while built-in Wi-Fi allows for software updates without the use of an external computer.
The unit is compatible with Garmin eLog compliant ELD, which is sold separately.
Since it is ELD-ready, hours of service reporting can quickly be accessed once the Garmin eLog unit is purchased.
Drivers have reported highly accurate mapping and routing, with the most desirable feature of this device being the vehicle customization option. This option allows for accurate routing based on the particular vehicle being driven.
The Garmin Truck & Trailer Services directory conveniently locates truck-friendly stops, including restaurants, rest areas, and truck-friendly hotels and parking lots.
Drivers are able to type in simple requests such as “showers” or “bathrooms” if they are unaware of specific business names and all rest points with showers or bathrooms nearby will automatically appear on the screen.
The Garmin dēzl 780 LMT-S is especially large at 7”, and some say it is too bulky and distracting. The unit is only compatible with Garmin eLog compliant ELD, so other brands cannot be paired with the device.
Drivers have also reported the dēzl 780 LMT-S doesn’t show weigh stations or changes in speed limits, both vital for ensuring safety and compliance.
Updating the software can cause the device to freeze up and become temporarily unavailable, which takes away from drive time. The GPS needs to be shut down and rebooted when this occurs.
The system also has a tendency to reboot itself over and over again while on the road, and the footage taken on the dash cam can be shaky and unusable, especially on rough terrain.
Fifth Choice: TomTom Trucker 620
The TomTom Trucker 620 is a slim device and comes with either a 5” or 6” touchscreen. It is a fully interactive GPS navigation system with lifetime map updates available as well as trucker points of interest and comes equipped with a speedy processor for quick and up-to-date real-time reporting.
It is designed to send drivers on alternative routes in heavy traffics or in the case of road obstructions.
Smartphone services included real-time traffic and hazard reporting. The Trucker 620 allows for
hands-free calling and reads messages aloud from a user’s phone, so one’s attention stays on the road. The device is compatible with Siri or Google Now.
The TomTom Trucker 620 comes with convenient features, including voice recognition and real-time traffic and map updates. It is conveniently compatible with recognizable and widely used Google Now and Siri.
Truckers can navigate to points of interest and avoid long traffic delays. The GPS system is relatively inexpensively priced compared to other models with similar features, which makes it a more budget-friendly option.
The user must have an account to take advantage of the weather and traffic features as well as for maps to update.
Drivers have reported that incoming calls sometimes go through the TomTom device rather than the Bluetooth which causes them to be unable to hear the caller.
Others have reported the unit sends them on routes with low bridges and weight restrictions not suitable for the truck without any warning, which leads to unwanted and wasted drive time as well as safety concerns.
The internal battery only lasts for approximately an hour without charging and the screen’s pixilation is only average for the industry.
The TomTom brand is one of the oldest and most respected names in GPS navigation. However, its latest models come with limited features and functionality compared to competitors’ options. This model is best for companies that need a lower priced device.
Choosing the right GPS navigation system means considering what features are needed for your company, specifically, and purchasing a device that is both budget-friendly and easy-to-install and use.
Regular and accurate updates are vital, so drivers can receive real-time information and avoid long delays due to weather, traffic, or other obstructions.
Built-in safety features such as road hazard warnings and hands-free calling and texting are ideal and make for safer drive time. Some GPS systems also come with fuel economy and mileage features that allow companies to accurately account for on-the-road expenses.
Devices that allow drivers to input and customize their features based on the size and weight of the vehicle will provide the most accurate information, and those with e-logging capabilities allow users to stay in compliance.
It is important to note that most GPS systems which come ELD-ready require users to purchase ELDs from the same company. Additional features that may be desirable included a built-in dash cam for capturing drive time and accident footage as needed, and points of interest technology for route planning.
Some problems noted with trucking GPS systems include the tendency of certain units to freeze up, especially during regular software updates, and not hold a charge. Drivers have also reported inaccurate mapping and road conditions.
There should always be a back-up method for trip planning and routing available in case the device becomes defunct while on the road and the issue cannot easily be fixed.
When opting to purchase a GPS navigation system for your trucking company, first determine which features and functionality are most important for your business’ needs, including tracking and report capabilities.
If multiple reports need to be stored and accessed regularly or over an extended period of time, a GPS system with larger storage capability will be most desirable. Some come equipped with advanced internal memory or microSD cards for additional storage.
Budget should also be taken into consideration, and a unit should come equipped with desirable functionality that makes sense based on the purchase amount.
The size of the device may also matter depending on the size of the truck and where the unit needs to be mounted. Both standard and magnetic mounts are available, and some come with a swivel screen.
Finally, finding a model that is easy to install and use is important, so drivers can get on the road and stay on route without any significant issues.(Sources)
The best GPS navigation system truly is the one that fulfills your individual needs. Doing some research ahead of time can certainly save time and money in the long-run!