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- Best Truck GPS in 2020 – Top Selections From A Longtime Trucker!
Whether you’re an owner/operator or you have a fleet of trucks to manage, one of the most valuable pieces of equipment you can have in your rig is a GPS system. Unlike the old days where paper maps were the only way to get around, having this high-tech device in your truck can make your life so much easier while also benefiting your bottom line.
5 Best Truck GPS Comparisons
When it comes to GPS brands, Garmin is one of the top rated in the industry. The reason for this is that it offers high-quality imaging and details for your route, coupled with intuitive user controls and an easy to read interface.
However, this model takes things a step further by offering plenty of features for your big rig.
At first glance, you may think that all GPS units are the same, but as the dezl 560LMT shows, that is just not the case. With this device, you can input the size and dimensions of your truck and trailer (you can swap trailers without changing your rig) so that you can get optimized routes based on that information.
Not only that, but it will tell you all kinds of other related information such as truck stops, weigh stations, and sharp curves. Overall, you won’t have to worry about running into any unexpected issues while out on the road as long as you have this GPS.
While the Garmin dezl above shows what some GPS units can be capable of, this model from Carmate is a more basic and cost-effective option. If you want something much more affordable that will provide accurate routes, then this is a great way to go.
You won’t get notifications such as weigh stations or sharp curves, but it does provide you with a complete detailed trip from point A to point B.
The main selling point of this GPS is the fact that you can sync it to your smartphone via Bluetooth. This enables you to answer and make calls, play music, and even upload images or videos to the extra large seven-inch screen.
If you value that kind of connectivity, then you will appreciate what the Carmate has to offer. Not only that, but the screen itself is highly responsive and is big enough to where you can see multiple viewpoints (i.e., overhead and street view) simultaneously.
Next, we have something of a cross between the Carmate and the dezl model from Garmin. While the Nuvi doesn’t provide truck-specific data such as weigh stations or low bridges, it does offer much more compatibility than the Carmate.
If you are more focused on getting high-quality directions with an easy-to-read dual map system, then the Nuvi may be an ideal choice. One of the most interesting features of this GPS is the way that it offers turn-by-turn directions. Instead of saying things like “turn left in 200 feet,” it will say “turn left at the next traffic light” or “turn at the Walgreens up ahead.” This means that you get a better idea of where you’re going without having to estimate distances in your head or try and figure out which turn you’re making at any given time.
The other cool thing about the Nuvi is that it allows you to find places “up ahead” such as gas stations or restaurants. While it doesn’t include data like truck stops automatically, you can easily input them yourself and add it to your route. Finally, this model offers lifetime map updates, so you never have to worry about being obsolete.
This next GPS is designed to be both a tablet and a navigation system all in one.
Using the latest Windows operating system, this device allows you to connect to the internet via wi-fi and use it as you would any other tablet, meaning that you can download updates, watch videos, or even play games. Any of Windows’ apps are also downloadable to make it even more functional.
As a GPS, this unit is about as good as anything else, but it still doesn’t offer truck data such as weigh stations and low bridges. The imaging is top notch and crystal clear, and the added processing power makes it much more responsive and adaptable to your needs.
It includes features like lane assist and junction mapping for easier navigation, and the screen is large enough to make it easy to do anything and everything. Overall, if you want a GPS that’s also a tablet, this is the way to go.
Our final GPS system is designed to be the ultimate trucking tool first, and a navigation device second. That means that you get access to a lot of different truck-specific applications, such as bookkeeping, fuel management, time and distance logging, and route optimization to ensure that you don’t experience any surprises on your way.
This device also allows you to go to the Google Play store and download further apps for news, entertainment, and anything else you need.
Other features that we like about this model are the extra large screen, the fact that you can use it as a dash cam, and included weather information for your route. As far as being a GPS, however, it’s about average.
You can rely on the maps to get you where you need to go, but it doesn’t offer the same kind of accuracy and reliability as something like Garmin GPS. Overall, it’s a great trucking tool, but not exactly the best navigator.
First and foremost, you want to be able to see where you’re going at all hours of the day, which means that you need a screen that’s readable in all light conditions. At the minimum, we suggest five inches, but if you can upgrade to seven, then that will be much better. Also, a larger screen means that you can have a dual window showing your overhead and street view position, or you can access the menu without losing your map in the process.
Most GPS units are not designed with trucks in mind, which means that they focus more on consumer features like music players and smartphone syncing. However, if you want to maximize your return, then you should invest in a model that offers trucking information so that you can optimize your route and ensure that there are no surprises.
At the very least, it should allow you to input the size and weight of your rig, as well as show you things like truck stops, weigh stations, and rest areas. Also, warnings like sharp curves and low bridges are valuable for any long-distance trucker.
Another option that will be great if you manage fleet vehicles is for the GPS to provide logging data as well. This will enable you to track information like distance, the route taken and stops into consideration so that you can adjust accordingly for the next trip.
After looking through each of these GPS models, we have to say that our top pick is easily the Garmin dezl. We love that it provides all kinds of truck-specific data such as route optimization and planning, and it has one of the best navigation systems you can find. If, however, you are looking for more back-end functionality, then the Rand McNally Intelliroute is a much better option.
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