How can Microsoft Streets and Trips help a trucker?
I bought Microsoft Streets and Trips 2010 with GPS because I heard it was a great tool for truckers. But as I look into it, there's nothing about truck in it. What can I do?
My Point...Exactly
Hey Cowboy -

Coming from the Trucking Technology industry myself - I've been surprised to see the amount of drivers that have been using Microsoft Streets and Trips over the years.

You are correct that Street and Trips does not generically incorporate all information that is important to truckers - and most importantly - you cannot have it generate a route that automatically avoids truck restricted routing for your type of truck (Truck Restricted roads, Oversize, 53 Ft Trailer, Hazmat, etc.)

There is a free file download that you can assess to see if it can meet your needs - it's called the POI Mega file. The file contains important datapoints for truckers such as location of Weigh scales, Truck Stops, Rest areas and low bridge locations.

Again - if using this POI Megafile for trucking, understand that it's for reference only - and if you create a route - S&T won't automatically route you around a low bridge* - you have to analyze your route before departing, and physically adjust the route to avoid obstacles your truck must avoid. To see an example of how to adjust the route - click here .

I believe this is how truck drivers have historically used Streets and Trips - They generate the route - and then have bounced it against another source (such as the Rand McNally Motor Carrier Road Atlas) to identify restrictions for their truck. They then adjust the route in Streets and Trips and execute the trip.

It is a little more work (and cost if you have to update your atlas every year) - but beats the atlas alone as you always know where you are and receive excellent turn by turn instruction without looking at the screen. If you have an Aux jack on your truck radio - you can even play directions over your truck speakers which helps when in an unfamiliar area.

There are 'Truck Attribute' alternatives such as ALK CoPilot laptop Software and dash mounted PNDs from Garmin and ALK - but these are certainly more costly than Streets and Trips - and lack the planning flexibility that you have with a laptop based software.

And of course - the bottom line is - as you know - the trucker is always responsible for the route of travel and must always watch road signage. You can have a $400 truck attribute GPS device on your windshield with a map that's a year old and still get routed down a road that you can't navigate because a new 'low bridge' got built.

Hope this helps - and I hope some current truckers using Streets & Trips can add comments.

* Though - note that there is an 'avoid area' feature in S&T that would allow you to physically add an 'avoid area' for each low bridge in the region you travel and effectively 'automatically' route around the obstacle.
Mandolin Guy
There's nothing in Streets & Trips that will make it truck-specific. However, there are various overlays available that will help. These include bridge clearances, certain truck stops, etc.

Like it was said earlier, there are truck-oriented programs available but I've also heard that some are mediocre, at best. Check with other truckers and see what they're using.
Thank you all for those answer, it help me a lot. I got a file where it shows a lot of POIs. I like it, thank you again. What do you think about Garmins GPS for truck?
I pull a hopper bottom trailer a lot. When I'm sent to a farm or business place for a load or delivery, I call the person and get instructions and have my Streets and Trips on. It's amazing, they tell you 5 miles north of town x turn right on 56th st go 1/4 west farm is on the right. I then save this as a pushpin and put there name address tele number and other helpful info on it. I also save info on any where close I can scale my load. I also like looking at a map that I can plan my route. Your road atlas can only show so much on 1 page, with Streets & Trips you can plan a route and change it. Any other questions, feel free to ask. Rukstr
I Drive Cross country also and have used GPS and maps and all other forms of navigation, and I find Streets and Trips to work the best. I can make the route I want to use. I pushpin all my stops and I use the POI file. Just turn on the places I want.

I use all the stores and rest areas and any place I find that I can park for a break. I mark also when it comes to low bridges. I just double check with Rand McNally. I use it all the time, and I can go the maximum distance in a day and still find a place to park. Most of the time I use the GPS just to know where I am at all times. I think this helps when there's an accident I need to route around.

I wouldn't use anything else.
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