Pinpointing the best truck GPS 2018 doesn’t have to be a second-guessing affair – not after reading our in-depth, well-researched truck gps reviews. Truck navigation systems are getting smarter by the day not to mention that they’re now a standard in RV vehicles. Other than giving directions, these little nuggets will also help keep you safe on the road.
State-of-the-art GPS models will warn you about a host of truck-specific dangers such as low bridges, road construction sites, accident locations, detours and more. Most units feature detailed mapping to help you figure out the shortest distance from one destination to another. On top of that, as a truck owner, installing a GPS device in your vehicle allows you to keep track of the start and stop times. The point is, irrespective of what side of the coin you are on, there’s more than one reason to spend on a good truck GPS.
It, therefore, makes perfect sense to conduct some due diligence before investing in any truck GPS – and that’s the reason for this for this write-up. We’ve dissected through the market in search of top-rated truck GPS brands and what makes them tick. We’ve based our reviews on each unit’s features, driver’s feedback, capability, and of course, the cost. No matter your needs, these five best gps for truck drivers are a must-have companion on the road.
Best Truck GPS 2018 – Top 5 Reviews
Garmin has been perfecting the art of making work-class car navigation systems for more than two and a half decades. The nuvi 2797LMT boasts the same stellar quality and unrivaled performance that has kept Garmin on the map for years. And yes, it has got a few tricks up its sleeve that any long distance truck driver will find useful.
The nuvi 2797LMT is brilliant and bold, thanks to its large 7-inch screen. Theoretically, this means that you can view the icons in a glance, a handy functionality when driving. And, this is not just any other display. It is an LCD-inspired screen, complete with touchscreen capability and an impressive 800 by 480 pixels resolution. Now, that’s two times larger and brighter than most GPS units on the market!
The nuvi 2797LMT has pre-installed brand-exclusive Real Directions. The idea behind this function is to make it easier for you to understand directions as a driver. This GPS uses spotlights, buildings, and landmarks specific to a given location so you can know when to make a turn. You even get lifetime maps updates to ensure that your GPS device is in line with your current driving needs.
And then there is the lifetime traffic updates feature that alerts you of accidents as soon as possible. We love the 10 million preloaded points of interest (POIs) to help you find locations such as gas stations, restaurants, and banks fast.
The nuvi 2797LMT 7 is indeed a hands-free device. You don’t have to take your hands off the steering wheel to operate it. The voice-activation navigation allows you to fine tune or program this unit without touching it. Other notable highlights include the ability to display your current speed and Bluetooth compatibility.
- Active land guidance
- Spoken traffic messages
- The touchscreen is plastic and not responsive in comparison the glass models
- Battery not removable
Garmin continues to dominate our best truck GPS roundup, this time with the dezl 560LMT. While this is a high-end model, it has innovative features to justify the hefty cost. A highly-sophisticated unit in every sense of the word, it sports a reasonable 5 diagonal color display with a white backlight and a resolution of 480 by 272 pixels. And that’s not even the best part.
No other truck GPS rivals the Garmin dezl 560LMT when it comes to customizability. You can key-in your truck’s dimension and restrictions as well as personalize routes, depending on your trailer’s number, gross weight, and odometer. You can even choose what you want (or don’t want) displayed on the screen. In the meantime, the 3D projection provides a better visualization of your course. Other than that, this model also offers advanced safety for cars including lane assist guide and speed limit display.
Smart Route Technology
You don’t have to worry about getting exposed to the risk of sudden weather changes or road closing. The dezl 560LMT keeps you abreast with what is happening on your route so you can know when to make stops or change course. That way, you can plan your trip in advance. The multi-designation routing makes it easy for you to navigate routes you’re familiar with and by extension save you time you’d have spent to reprogram your destinations.
Filling your driver’s log is a breeze with the Garmin dezl 560LMT. This device will keep records of your driving, sleeper, off-duty and on-duty time. Reviewers tout the loud, clear speakers that allow you to hear traffic navigation cues. Besides, you can even set the audible sound into your language and adjust the volume to a comfortable level.
- Supports dashboard mounting
- Searches best route to avoid traffic automatically
- Offers junction view
- Real-time traffic updates
- Free lifetime map updates
- Choppy Bluetooth connectivity
- No on-screen display
The Garmin RV 760LMT is a super thoughtful trucker gps with a 7-inch high-resolution screen to display data in an easy-to-understand, well laid out format. Unlike the nuvi 2797LMT plastic screen, this one comes with a WVGA TFT color display that’s highly responsive to the touch.
Up Ahead Services
The RV 760LMT is all about providing a guidance you will hear and see. It will always give you a sneak peak of what’s coming up on your route. Together with your driving map, you shouldn’t have problem location stores, hospitals or any other social amenities. You can count on the brightly colored arrows and the friendly voice to help you stay in your lane. That way, you can drive confidently through interchanges and exits.
This function allows you to view the nearby landscape and road signs. What’s more? The map on-screen displays speed limits help you avoid getting a ticket, your current speed and estimated time of arrival. And with a just with one look, you can see the name of the street that you’re currently driving on and school zone warnings.
Garmin Real Voice
You can speak commands to the RV 760LMT to complement the intuitive touchscreen interface. Meanwhile, the integrated microphone enables you to make and receive hands-free calls. All you got to do is to sync your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone with the device. You can also connect it to the Smartphone Link app to view animated radar images and receive severe weather alerts. Other features worth noting include the backup camera connectivity and a comprehensive directory of more than 20,000 RV parks.
- Lifetime map and traffic updates
- Refined speech technology
- Crystal clear display
- Compact, highly portable design
- Not so great around busy towns
The Garmin Nuvi 2595LMT is the best gps for truck drivers if you’re on a tight budget or are looking for a cheaper option before you splurge. Don’t make mistake about it though, the affordability does not mean that you’re compromising on quality. This is a solid device with an excellent performance to match.
Park Position Recall
Sure the Garmin Nuvi 2595LMT will help you get to your destination while avoiding hitches such as traffic, blocked roads and so on. But, it also does you one better. This thing is so innovative that it can even help you find your truck where you left it via the park position recall function. How about that!
Robust Point of Interest Search (POI)
While the Nuvi 2595LMT doesn’t have the most POIs it still packs a commendable 8 million pre-installed point of searches. These include good category breakdown and real-time update searches complete with compass directions. In addition, drivers applaud the clear user interface and the accurate navigation.
Speed Limit Indicator
Just like every other gps for truck drivers from the Garmin line, the Nuvi 2595LMT displays speed limits for most roads in America and Canada. And just as you’d hoped, it shows you real junction photos in 3D. It comes with complete maps and traffic lifetime updates as well as a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts for a whopping 2.5 hours with a single charge.
- Easy to use (ideal for beginners)
- Exceptional location accuracy
- Lane-assist functionality
- Voice recognition unstable
Wrapping up our truck GPS reviews is the Intelliroute by Rand McNally. A mid-priced option, this unit offers everything you need to get you rolling to your next destination with minimal hiccups. It is a great selection for any truck driver who wants to save some money as he/she navigates his/her way through the roads.
Fuel Price and Log
When we say that the Intelliroute TND 520 is healthy for your wallet, we mean it – literally. It shows the prices of fuel on the map so you can know which stations offer competitive prices. You can even search the fuel by price, type, and brand. This specific function allows you to keep accurate records without the need to pull out the mileage after every stop.
Never been to a town before? Not a problem! The Intelliroute TND 520 will help you find your way around in a snap. The local search function lets you to locate current info about the local businesses. The one thing that makes this feature special is the fact that you can select an alternative route or switch between two routes if need be.
There are no surprises with the Intelliroute, at least not when it comes to the weather. This gps device displays weather conditions prominently to notify you of upcoming road conditions. You can view the weather pattern in 10-styles of map overlays including three and two-dimensional patterns. You also get updates about the current wind speed and precipitation. Combine all those functions and what you get is the ability to make decisions that will enable you to reach your destination safely.
- Team driving options
- Money-saving functionality
- Wi-Fi connectivity capability
- Not customizable
How to Choose the Best Truck GPS (Buyer’s Guide)
To get value for your money, you have to invest in the correct truck GPS. You want to be sure that the model you plan to purchase offers everything you’re looking for. Here is a breakdown of the most important considerations to make when scouting of the best trucker GPS.
The last thing you want in your truck is a GPS device that can’t give you correct info. You want to know that you can count on your model to give you the information you can rely on every time. The surest way to have a clue about what to expect with a specific model is to read what other drivers have to say regarding the same.
Almost every other truck GPS on the market features a touchscreen display. You should, therefore, consider how fast the screen responds to touch. Of course, you’re better off with a highly responsive unit. In fact, the response time translates to ease of use.
While there are models that offer passive tracking, be sure to sure select one that provides real-time tracking. Just so you may know these models use a predetermined frequency. In essence, this means that the data gets updated continuously into the server. That way, you will not lose critical data.
Indeed, you want a GPS device that you can take anywhere, right? Sure. So, check the dimension before buying. Consider the weight too. On that note, the screen size has to be reasonable as well. You don’t want to strain your eyes to read the data on display.
Your GPS should be at a convenient location. In other words, you should place it in a way that enables you to view the info by a simple glance. Select a model that can attach to your dashboard. It has to be adjustable so you can try out with different viewing angles. More specifically, go for a model that supports low-tech windshield mounting.
Alerts and Notifications
Invest in a unit that offers clear, easy to understand notifications and alerts. You see, GPS devices by their very functionality don’t need to be complicated. Choose a unit that enables you to interpret the alerts and warnings fast so you can act on them as soon as possible. Moreover, pick a unit that supports voice recognition for painless operation.
This is a must-have for any unit worth your money. You want to be aware of everything that’s happening on the road. As you’ve already noticed, all the models we’ve reviewed above have this feature. At the very least, choose a unit that offers maps, accidents and traffic updates.
On top of that, consider quality mapping. The resolution has to be clear with a zoom ability to give you a better view of the streets. Pick a model that’s compatible with various Smartphone apps for increased convenience.
The best GPS should serve you long enough to keep you updated. Select a unit that can run for 2 hours at the very minimum. Even then, most units on the market come with a power cord that you can connect directly to your truck for a recharge.
While these are not the only factors to consider when selecting a good truck GPS, they’re the most critical. Other factors include Bluetooth connectivity, 3D map view, weight and the design. You may also mull over the model’s ability to download maps, the size of the memory and the ease of use. Finally, be sure to check the price, after all, you can only buy what you can afford.
Truck GPS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What exactly is GPS truck tracking?
In simple terms, GPS truck tracking is a system that traces the exact location of your RV vehicles at any specific time. It will also tell you where they were yesterday, where they will be tomorrow and months to come. With a GPS device installed in your truck, you can make more informed decisions on how to operate your fleet. As a driver, the gadget allows you to make the most out of your route. You also get to know about amenities near you and what you’re likely to encounter ahead.
Why should I install a trucker GPS for drivers?
As a fleet owner, a GPS device helps keep you in charge of your fleet. Other than that, it enables you to identify operational inefficiencies. That way, you can know the fixes to make so as to grow your business and manage finances. Besides, the visibility into your fleet enables you to optimize the routes your drivers take which translate to better customer satisfaction. On top of that, your drivers will get to their destinations faster aided by real-time insights. To cut to the chase, trucks GPS will help streamline your business operations.
Is it possible to synchronize the GPS with my back office system?
Well, this depends on the GPS model that you choose. However, most units on the market feature a smart module that aggregates your truck’s tracking data with the info from your back-office platform. Ideally, this means that you get a complete picture of your fleet’s operation. Plus, you can connect the truck and the driver information with taxation, payroll, billing or any other source of data. And the beauty of it is that you can customize the information depending on what is important to your business.
Can I keep the connection to my GPS while on the go or when I’m out of the grid?
Sure, a good truck GPS should allow you to maintain constant contact with your vehicles from the comfort of your mobile device, whether you’re in the office or out in the field. Some models even send SMS or email alerts about your fleet’s activity such as unexpected stops and unauthorized use. And then there is the satellite tracking that enables you to keep in touch with your vehicles even when you are out of the grid or areas with no mobile coverage.
What data should I expect my GPS to capture?
Well, the primary function of a truck GPS device is to monitor your vehicle on the map. However, there is more to these gadgets that just helping keep an eye on your trucks. They will also show fleet management metrics such as engine performance, speed, time spent on the road, your driver’s behavior, progress towards job completion and more. Additionally, real-time visibility of your trucks will also help you manage variables such as;
Cargo – You can monitor the temps of refrigerated compartments
Hazards – Allows drivers to carry petroleum and gas safely by monitoring speed and misuse of the truck.
Containers – You can know the location of your containers in real-time and how long it took to offload them.
Stock – Helps expedite delivery times in a way that reduces idling and by extension ensure smooth stock drop-off and pick-up.
How often will my GPS send updates?
Again, this depends on the model you purchase. Of course, the ideal option should send you alerts as soon as they are available. Most units, however, will send alerts every 30 sends. A good truck GPS, at the very least, should send updates once every day. Needless to say, the sooner the device can send updates, the better.
Is trucking GPS any good for my drivers?
Indeed. Your drivers can identify unsafe trends and avoid breaching safety regulations. Moreover, as the truck owner, you can know their behavior on the road such as when they’re over speeding or violating stop signs. You can also gauge your driver’s performance. Electronic logging of the driver’s hours can go a long way in managing fatigue. It will allow the drivers to take enough time to rest and most importantly reduce incorrect diary entries.
Will my drivers see each other’s GPS points?
No. Your drivers will only access their own GPS points. However, managers, administrators or any other person with the authority to access the GPS network from the back office can view all drivers’ GPS locations. In fact, it is this functionality that allows you to manage your fleet better.
What happens in my driver turns off his/her location?
When your drivers switch off their GPS devices, it can be relatively hard to locate where they are. It is, therefore, essential that you encourage your drivers to keep the gadget turned on at all time. Plus, they should ensure that the GPS has enough charge to at all times. While there is nothing you can do to stop the drivers from turning off the tracker, it is critical to educate them on the benefits of keeping it on. Other than letting you manage your business better, the GPS device will also help keep them safe.
It is also worth noting that you can choose when to activate your GPS. All you got to do is go to the driver’s mobile options tab and select “require the location to track time”. That way, your driver will only clock time when their GPS is active. The idea here is to allow you to know the area around which your driver was when they turned off the GPS. More to the point, latest truck GPS devices come with smart chips that can help you locate the gadget even when switched off.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading our truck GPS reviews as much as we did writing them. We trust that you’re now in a better position to choose a model that will help you, as stated, streamline your trucking business. As a driver, we trust that you now know why it is indispensable to have one in your truck. The only thing you need to be familiar with is what the law states about GPS devices and how to use them correctly.
And, if a new (and better) truck GPS model hits the market, you will be the first one to know. We will keep tabs on the latest units to ensure that our reviews are the only ones you need to read to make an informed decision. And, as usual, free to hit us up with your question and we will get back to you as soon as we can. For now, over to you!