When you think of Rand McNally, odds are you first think of paper maps, not navigation GPS.
However, the company’s recent digital transition gives commercial fleet drivers and average drivers alike a powerful GPS system called OverDryve.
Pros & Cons
With its highly accurate GPS antenna mount, extensive smartphone integration and easy-to-use interface, the Rand McNally OverDryve – which doubles as a Wi-Fi tablet when detached from its mount – is the best overall car GPS.
Rand McNally’s new dashboard device combines truck-specific navigation with an on-board SiriusXM radio.
It also supports voice assistance, and has a built-in dashcam and hands-free for safer calling and texting.
The OverDryve 8 Pro is part of Rand McNally’s OverDryve platform. As such, it is also a full-fledged ELD device. After hours of rigorous testing our experts unanimously concluded that This unit is quite simply the most robust, driver-focused dashboard device that the company has ever produced.
Rand McNally understands the amount of time professional drivers spend in their trucks, so OverDryve 8 Pro brings together not only valuable tools to help get the job done, but also a fully loaded entertainment solution that can be used to watch movies, listen to SiriusXM, access social media and check email.
This device builds on the success of Rand McNally’s previous GPS units. These have been on the market in the USA and around the world since 2009.
The device also boasts and its advanced truck navigation, which is available on an Android tablets pre-loaded with trucking applications and access to the Android marketplace.
What’s in the Box?
Upon unboxing your device, the first thing you must check for is the OverDryve™ 8 Pro tablet.
Once you make sure that this is present, make sure that the powered magnetic mount equipped with SiriusXM® is also in the box.
The tablet is pretty much useless without it.
The next two important items that you’ve got to check are the SiriusXM® magnetic mount antenna and the mount bracket.
The next three items in the start-up package are the dash mount disk, the FM transmitter antenna and the auxiliary cable.
Lat but not least, make sure that the truck charger and the anti-glare protector are also in the box.
If you are not sure how to use any of the items mentioned above, do not hesitate to refer to the Quick Start Guide.
Yet, the OverDryve takes things further, the producers say. With voice assistance, it enables drivers to do more hands-free – including texting and calling. All of the audio the device can be played through a truck cab’s speakers.
These functions are directly connected with increasing driving safety and are therefore very important.
8-inch high-resolution screen providing access to key items at a glance. These include Hours of Service (HOS), Driving Time Left, Average Fuel Consumption, DVIR, Logbook, etc.
As is the case with the Magellan RoadMate 7771T-LMB, it has a 8-inch capacitive touchscreen display, which makes it easy to view your navigation details like upcoming turns, the lane guidance feature and even the speed limit indicator.
Intuitive icons and menu navigation make it easy to enter a specific destination address, access the device’s camera and interact with your smartphone, which easily syncs with the GPS via Bluetooth.
Its built-in trip planner lets you set up all of the destinations within your road trip.
Rand McNally truck-specific navigation and routing with truck POIs, advanced lane guidance, toll costs, warnings, fuel logs and much more.
Thanks to included map updates and traffic alerts for the life of the device, you can always have the most up-to-date routes and avoid car accidents or construction delays during your commute.
The GPS can also present you with alternate routes, should you want to avoid a specific road or just happen to want a more scenic drive.
No matter where you’re driving, it tells you the speed limit of that particular road so that you can obey local traffic laws. It also tells you which lane you should be driving in to make your next turns.
The GPS runs OverDryve OS, its native platform. One of the bonuses of such a powerful native operating system is that it affords you all sorts of capabilities beyond GPS navigation. Once you detach the device from its magnetic mount, you can use it as a regular everyday tablet.
The built-in dash camera is yet another distinguishing feature of this device. While you’re driving, you can turn on the device’s built-in dashcam to capture a stunning road trip, or you can always keep it on in case you’re in an accident and need to provide evidence to court or your insurance company.
The camera still works if you remove the device from the dock – if for instance, you need to document dents in your car, a flat tire or anything else noteworthy.
Extra Features & Entertainment
The built-in SiriusXM receiver gives drivers access to the satellite radio network’s programming bundle. Customers purchasing the OverDryve 8 Pro can contact SiriusXM to take advantage of the “Never Miss a Beat” offer, which gives them the first three months of SiriusXM’s “All Access” subscription.
Audible news, weather, traffic, sports and more come to the driver via the SiriusXM, along with music from drivers’ favorite sources.
Its local platform is Wi-Fi capable and allows you to take pictures as well as download and play music, podcasts, audiobooks and games.
The platform is compatible with both Android and iOS and can even pair with additional accessories, like Rand McNally’s tire pressure monitoring system and wireless backup camera.
Rand McNally preloads the car GPS with 10 million points of interest (source) – the most in the industry. These points of interest include gas stations, hotels, restaurants, stores, museums and other places, ensuring you are never stuck driving around aimlessly in an unfamiliar place.
You can also quickly add and save your own favorite destinations into the system and access them whenever you need to travel there.
If your commute needs to include multiple stops along the way, you can program them in – or even one at the last minute while driving – and it will automatically sort them into order by distance and navigate you to each in the most efficient route.
What’s Good About It?
Beyond having preloaded maps on board, its accompanying mount doubles as a GPS antenna for super-precise navigation. However, it’s the most powerful, precise and feature-packed unit on our comparison.
Another outstanding feature of this device is its magnetic mount. As its name suggests, the GPS connects to its mount via magnets, so it’s held sturdily in place but is also easy to remove.
Despite coming in a large box full of accessories, which may seem a little daunting at first, installation and setup for the OverDryve is simple and quick. Its interface is well-designed and intuitive, and it’s easy to find whatever option you’re looking for.
The device itself comes with a smart assistant, letting you use your voice for navigating, sending text messages, making phone calls and perusing apps.
If your kids are screaming or if you have music playing, the device’s two microphones have a noise cancelling feature that can still understand you so you won’t have to shout instructions at it.
The Rand McNally OverDryve is loaded with its own native OS and all of the premium features you’d expect from a car GPS.
It also has impressive battery life and its screen is the largest, highest-resolution option on the market. Its extensive smartphone integration keeps you connected while you drive, as it can interact with your phone’s assistant, play music, or call or text a friend.
The device does lots of things… You can make and receive phone calls and text messages, has a dash cam, GPS, xm radio, and is even ELD capable.
The problem is the only thing it does safely is give directions (and even then, you have to use your head and not just blindly follow). I’ve provided my feedback to Rand McNally, but I’m not holding my breath for things to get better.
Rand McNally has tons of information about the OverDryve available on its website, including some informational articles, product manuals and a FAQs section. You can also interact directly with the company’s support reps via live chat, phone or email, if you have a question or problem. The OverDryve ships with a one-year warranty, which is standard for this industry.
So, Anything Wrong With This Device?
The device itself is bulky, as is its accompanying mount and other accessories. The OverDryve has a clean, modern design, though its build is somewhat super-sized, compared to the other units we reviewed.
The problem with this feature mirrors the problem with the phone feature.
From the map screen you have to go home > select entertainment > select xm > change the station > go home > click truck GPS to get back to the map.
Again, the process is too long and is too distracting.
In our opinion, this is the most unsafe device to enter the cab since the smart phone. Drivers will use these features while driving and, unfortunately, a crash will result at some point.
Some truck drivers have contacted Rand to provide their feedback. They’ve sent them messages, but the result has not been satisfactory. For the time being, at least.
If you are a fan of the Rand GPS devices, you may want to replace this unit with some of their other models, or you can buy another Rand in the future. However, you may choose simply a GPS, not an all in one tablet.
Managing Phone Calls & Texts
If you are driving down the road with the map up, you have to: go to the home screen > click in the phone section > click on either calls or texts > start your call > go back home > click on truck GPS. That’s 6 steps you have to do assuming you’re not using this device as your xm receiver.
If you are using it as your XM radio, then per their tech support person, you have to reconnect to Bluetooth on your phone each time you want to use it.
Apparently, it is programmed to allow a BT connection to override all other connections, so xm and GPS directions are muted any time your phone is connected. So, in addition to the 6 steps to make a call you have to add however many more to actually make the connection.
This works ok, if you don’t mind nearly half of your video taken up by the mount. When mounted to the windshield the camera cannot be in a worse place.
By far the least problematic feature, but not without it’s flaws. They’ve redesigned the look and feel of the map and search screens, yet still provide a way for you to search the old-fashioned way.
The only complaint that I have here is that there on screen buttons are way too small to allow for accurate button pushing as your bouncing down the road. This leads to a higher level of distraction, again unsafe.
Q & A
Q: Is it worth the money?
A: No. For close to $ 600 you get a basic tablet that’s probably worth less than $50. The rest of the money is for their native OS.
Q: It advertises the ability for a dash cam. Where I would have to have it mounted?
A: You have to have it installed in an odd place to have good visibility. This means it’s harder to reach if you need to change the information.
Q: How do I use the live traffic/weather option?
A: The live traffic/weather option requires the device to be connected to some kind of internet access, which may be the hotspot on your phone.
Q: What should I do, if my mobile carrier does not provide unlimited data plans?
A: The live traffic/weather option eats data quick, and you may need to migrate to a different provider of mobile internet.
Q: How can I add apps?
A: You can add apps through a sub process, which our testers found odd, since it’s running on Android’s platform. However, we successfully have Spotify playing (via hotspot to the device), and it will temporary lower the volume of other apps when giving notifications for the road. This we appreciate a lot.
Q: Are the notifications about road construction reliable?
A: The software for road making notifications seems fair, and their rerouting seems better than the previous versions we tested.
Q: How do I update the app and the maps?
A: You can always check for updates and update the app and the maps via a WiFi connection to the Internet.
Q: Is the GPS signal strong enough?
A: The device still struggles on deep back roads to have a GPS signal, but we would give it a 98.5% uptime.
Q: What are the most common technical issues with this device?
A: Users have reported issues with connectivity, sounds and notifications.
Q: What’s the customer support like?
A: The company’s customer support service is excellent. You can reach them over the phone, via chat or email.
Q: What can I do, If I’m not happy with the product?
A: In that case, you’ve got to first contact your local Rand McNally dealer. More often than not, you’ll be able to return the product free of charge within the first 30 days of your purchase.
Q: Is the bracket tough enough?
A: No. Users have complained that the bracket cannot actually hold the weight of the tablet and breaks easily, especially if you drive on bumpy roads.
Q: My unit gets extremely hot. What should I do.
A: Try shielding it with a white handkerchief.
Q: Is this device ELD ready?
A: The OverDryve 8 Pro also comes pre-loaded with the Rand McNally DriverConnect logbook app, so the device is ELD-ready.
Q: Does this unit pair with other devices?
A: The app can be paired to the company’s ELD 50 and/or its DC 200 plug-in devices (with subscriptions) to provide full ELD functionality.
Q: Since when has it been on sale?
A: OverDryve™ 8 Pro is a relatively new product. It started shipping to stores at the beginning of 2018 and hit the shelves in May this year.
Our Final Verdict
For all of its drawbacks and downsides, The Rand McNally OverDryve remains the most powerful, well-rounded and capable navigation GPS in the company’s lineup.
It provides a complex ELD solution, well complemented by entertainment options.
Best of all, all the relevant information about your journey appears on the tablet’s extra-large screen. Few other devices in this field come with a voice-controlled assistant that enables you to do so much things without literary moving your pinky finger.