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GPS for Trucks
drewcarr1
Any one know of a good GPS for OTR truckers... I'm a new driver and I need one to assist me,...
Marvin Hlavac
I'd go with Microsoft Streets & Trips running on a large laptop screen. The program doesn't generate truck routes automatically, but you can modify the route easily based on your needs.
drewcarr1
ok...thanks
Marvin Hlavac
You could download a free 60-day trial version of Microsoft Streets & Trips - try before you buy.
Mandolin Guy
Here's another program that they claim is designed for truckers.

Go to GPS Truck Routes: CoPilot GPS Navigation for Commercial Truck Drivers

It looks like they may have other things that may be of interest to truckers.
malaki86
I highly suggest reading this forum post (every page of it) before choosing CoPilot, especially version 11...

http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/4025-alk-copilot-live-laptop-11-has-been-released

this one also:

http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/305-alk-technologies-launches-copilot-truck-11-a
sledgehampster
I know this is the LAPTOP GPS World Forums but here is another product for truckers.
It is the GarminNuvi465T.
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=275&pID=31541

Review of it is at Garmin nuvi 465T Truck GPS Review (GPSmagazine.com)
Marvin Hlavac
I fear that especially a new driver, and especially a new GPS user, may tend to trust his/her GPS too much. Even products designed to plot routes for truckers will have errors in them. It may be (much?) easier to check a plotted route, and to modify it, on a large laptop screen with the use of a decent trip planning software.
Mandolin Guy
Marvin is right. I would never, ever completely trust any GPS system. Even the high-dollar units have mistakes. That's a given. If you haven't encountered one of these routing errors, it only because you've been lucky.

You hear horror stories about people who blindly follow their GPS and end up in the middle of the desert, a million miles from nowhere.

If you're in San Francisco headed for Los Angeles and you see a sign that says "Chicago, Use Left Lane," you know something or someone has made a mistake.

Use COMMON SENSE.
Ken in Regina
It really comes down to the map data. It makes no difference if you have a personal navigation device (PND) or a laptop navigation program that knows how to look for truck routes, weight and height restrictions and that sort of thing. If the necessary information is not in the map data, the software can't do anything useful.

Any of us who have been using GPSs - PNDs or laptop software - for very long knows that the map data supplied in most products is rarely any more up to date than 18-24 months and it's often older than that. And even where the road information is up to date, there's no guarantee that it will contain the information truckers and drivers of large RVs need.

...ken...
My Point...Exactly
Talking to one of the top suppliers of map data that includes truck attribute routing - his position is that perhaps only 80% of the U.S. is covered with this data (his inlcuded) - and of course, as Ken points out - it's rarely less that 18 months old....so the bottom line - if you'r driving a truck - you've got to take the mapped route with a grain of salt - and watch the road signs.
Marvin Hlavac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
And even where the road information is up to date, there's no guarantee that it will contain the information truckers and drivers of large RVs need.


However, if GPS tells a driver to go where he cannot go, that usually may not inconvenience a driver of a small car too much, but I would imagine it could end up being a big headache for a trucker. So I think that while it may be OK for those who drive small vehicles to just enter a destination and drive, a driver of a large truck may need to look at the plotted route before s/he starts driving, if s/he doesn't want to get into a difficult situation. And my point is that a laptop is more suitable for trip planning than a small PND.
Mandolin Guy

Even so, every once in a while, the system (PC or PND) will lead you astray. As I said before, use common sense.
malaki86
CoPilot Truck is funny. All interstates in the US are open to trucks, with the exception of a few construction areas. However, try driving straight through Columbus, OH on either I-71 or I-70. It constantly tries to get you out of the center of the city and onto I-270 (loops around Columbus).

It'll even go as far as to tell you to get off an exit, cross over and get right back on the same interstate going the same direction.
Ken in Regina
That sort of behaviour usually indicates bad data in the map, not bad routing software.

The attachment shows a really stupid route created by Garmin's software. It doesn't matter whether I try the route on Mobile PC, Mobile XT, Mapsource, my eTrex or my iQue 3600, the results are identical.

This is a continuous stretch of freeway in the middle of the mountains in British Columbia. The route on this stretch takes you off the freeway onto a dirt road that follows a valley quite a distance away from the freeway, brings you back on the freeway in the wrong direction, which requires you to backtrack quite a distance before you can make a U-turn.

The data for this map is supplied by DMTI Spatial of Canada. When I submitted the problem to them last week they agreed that the data in that section is bad. The blue section of freeway that should be a continuous line has a break in it. That forces Garmin's routing software to find a way around the break.

It makes Garmin's routing software look stupid but it actually does a great job of finding a way of getting around the break, considering the freeway is out in the middle of nowhere in the mountains.

Occasionally you can blame the routing software but the majority of the time you see a silly route it's because there's something bad in the map data.

...ken...
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