Anyone who has ever been lost on the road knows just how important it is to have a reliable GPS device on hand. But do professional truck drivers use GPS?
Believe it or not, they absolutely do! In an industry where time is money, a GPS device can be an invaluable tool. A GPS can provide advanced route planning and specialized services specific to the trucking industry.
But what is the best GPS for truck drivers? That’s what we intend to explore. Below, we’ll take a look at five of the best GPS devices available in 2021.
Quicklook: Best GPS for Truckers
- Best For Overall Efficiency: Samsara GPS Fleet Tracking – Request Information
- Best Comprehensive Unit: Garmin DEZL OTR700 – Buy it now
- Best For ELD-Compatible GPS: Rand McNally TND 750 – Buy it now
- Best For Siri and Google Compatibility: TomTom Trucker 620 – Buy it now
- Best For Basic GPS Option: SixGo 9-Inch HD GPS
Best GPS for Truckers Options
The following options are five of the best touchscreen GPS devices that are specifically tailored for truck drivers!
1. Samsara GPS Fleet Tracking
Best for: Overall efficiency
Samsara’s GPS fleet tracking system isn’t a GPS unit in the traditional sense. This GPS tracking platform allows administrators to monitor fleet performance in real-time, delivering solutions that can optimize the entire fleet collectively.
- Tracks fleets in real-time
- Wi-Fi hotspot
- Monitors vehicle performance
- Plug-and-play installation
- Integrates with other Samsara products
- Customized reports and logs
- Not a traditional GPS unit
- Not ideal for owner-operators
Pricing: Samsara does not provide price quotes to the general public. Customers will need to purchase the unit as well as pay for a subscription to the service. Prices will vary depending on fleet size and the length of commitment chosen, so reaching out to Samsara and inquiring about their prices is the best way to acquire a quote.
|Dimensions||4.6” x 2.7” x 1.0”|
|Speed Limit Indicator||N/A|
2. Garmin DEZL OTR700
Best For: a comprehensive unit
Garmin’s GPS units offer advanced features via a large and readable display. While these innovative features make this unit a bit pricier than others on our list, many truckers appreciate this device’s industry-specific benefits, like route planning and load-to-dock guidance.
- Load-to-dock guidance
- HOS violation warnings
- Truck-specific speed limit warnings
- Specialized truck route data
- TripAdvisor traveler ratings
- Garmin RealDirections landmark guidance
- Up to 10” screens available
- TripAdvisor included
- Capacitive touchscreen
- Wi-Fi and map updates
- ELD compatibility
- Advanced features not necessary for smaller fleets
- Expensive due to large screen sizes
Pricing: $399 – Buy it now
|Dimensions||6.97″ x 4.17″ x 0.75″|
|Resolution||1,024 x 600 pixels|
|Display Type||6.95″ super wide view IPS, color TFT, |
on-cell capacitive touch panel
|Camera||No, but compatible with backup cameras|
|Speed Limit Indicator||Yes|
|Traffic Services||Yes, with Garmin Drive App|
3. Rand McNally TND 750
Best For: ELD-Compatible GPS
Rand McNally’s GPS unit is a bit pricier than some of the Garmin options, but it has the added benefit of being compatible with ELD devices. It offers a readable 7-inch display as well as proprietary software to provide up-to-the-minute traffic data and map updates.
- Large, clear display
- 3D junction view to navigate complex interchanges
- Estimated toll costs
- Customized lane guidance
- Satellite radio
- Advanced trip planning
- Two USB ports
- Needs frequent updates
|Dimensions||7.25 x 4.5″ x 0.75″|
|Resolution||1,280 x 800 pixels|
|Display Type||IPS LCD, 7” display|
|Speed Limit Indicator||Yes|
4. TomTom Trucker 620
Best For: Siri and Google compatibility
TomTom’s GPS unit is a bit cheaper than the other models we’ve listed. It is compatible with Siri and Google. Additionally, it offers an array of proprietary navigation tools.
- Compatible with Siri and Google
- Dedicated trucking POIs
- TomTom traffic services
- Windshield mount available
- Customized truck routing
- Free map updates
- Smartphone integration
- Voice-assisted operation
- One-hour battery life
- No lane assistance
- No speed limit warnings
- Not ELD-compatible
|Dimensions||3.56” x 5.58” x 0.74”|
|Resolution||800 x 480 pixels|
|Display Type||WVGA, 6”|
|Storage||Up to 32 GB|
|Speed Limit Indicator||No|
5.SixGo 9-Inch HD GPS
Best For: Basic GPS option
The SixGo 9-inch HD unit offers all of the basics without the advanced features of other models. Truckers looking for a good value can take advantage of this model, though some may feel frustrated by its lack of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capability.
- Basic, no-frills product
- Customize route using dimensions of your truck
- Headset plug-in socket
- Large screen
- Connect smartphone via USB port
- Pre-loaded maps
- Trucking POIs
- No Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity
- No wireless smartphone compatibility
- Limited storage
- Few advanced features
Pricing: You can find though some third-party retailers advertise prices around $99.99 before tax.
|Resolution||800 x 480|
|Display Type||9” screen, display not specified|
|Mounting Type||Suction cup|
|Storage||8 GB of internal storage and up to 32 GB with memory card|
|Speed Limit Indicator||Yes|
How Does a Trucking GPS Work?
GPS units rely on satellite technology to pinpoint your exact location. This satellite data is then reflected on your screen and integrated into mapping software to help you navigate the roads.
Trucking GPS devices offer advanced features that include traffic reports and trucking points of interest (POIs). All of these features give drivers an edge while they’re on the road.
Things to Consider with GPS for Truckers
The best GPS for truckers will have a wide array of advanced features. Here are some of the things to consider when shopping for a GPS as a trucker.
While most GPS units are wireless-compatible, internal storage allows the unit to store maps and additional navigation data. Many of today’s GPS units also feature a slot for an external memory card, allowing you to expand the memory up to 32 GB.
Map Updates and Traffic Alerts
Truckers rely on the latest data to plan their routes. The best GPS unit will automatically update maps and provide real-time traffic updates, which successfully alerts drivers to accidents, congestion, school zones, and more.
Voice Command Navigation
No truck driver should have to mess with a touchscreen GPS when they’re behind the wheel. Your GPS unit should offer voice command navigation so that you can make course corrections or request updates without taking your eyes off the road.
Not all GPS models will offer this feature, but truckers may appreciate units that monitor their speed and alert them to any speed violations to avoid being pulled over or getting a ticket.
Advanced GPS models offer lane assist and other advanced features to help truckers stay safe. This makes it possible for drivers to navigate even the most complex lane changes with ease.
Finding the Best GPS fro Your Truck
What’s the best GPS for truckers? Well, the best GPS for truckers will be the one with features that best suit your needs. Drivers who are looking for advanced features would likely be satisfied with the Garmin units listed above, though some may prefer the more basic options offered by the SixGo GPS.
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The Garmin models offer advanced features, many of which are specific to the trucking industry. Drivers who are looking for a good value can take advantage of the no-frills option offered by SixGo.
Truckers use many apps, including the following:
– Google Maps
– Trucker Path
– Copilot GPS
The advanced features of these GPS units can also provide real-time traffic data and lane assistance features.
Some GPS units, such as the Garmin DEZL OTR700, might integrate well with an ELD device. However, not all GPS units offer this capability, so it’s important to check the manufacturing specs before you make a purchase.