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Waze vs Apple Maps: Which is better for truckers?

Navigating the open road as a trucker involves unique challenges, making the choice of a reliable GPS system crucial. 

In this Waze vs Apple Maps face-off, we’ll delve into the critical features of each and weigh their pros and cons for commercial vehicle drivers. Let’s explore which of these popular navigation apps better serves the specific needs of truckers.

And when you finish, read more in our ‘Best navigation app for truckers’ article series:

What is Waze?

Waze is a free, community-based navigation and traffic app available for iOS and Android. It helps drivers navigate in real time with live, crowdsourced information about traffic, road closures, accidents and other driving-related information. Waze was founded in 2008 and acquired by Google in 2013.

The Waze app includes features that some drivers feel qualifies it as the best trucker GPS. It allows users to add and edit information about road conditions, earn rewards and socialize with other drivers. It’s also one of the 6 best fuel finder apps.

Is Waze accurate?

The Waze truck route app uses several data points to accurately predict and suggest the fastest routes. These include:

  • GPS information
  • Machine learning algorithms
  • Real-time traffic patterns
  • User inputs

What is Apple Maps?

Apple Maps is a web mapping service developed by Apple Inc. It is the default map system of iOS, macOS, and watchOS. The tool provides directions and estimated times of arrival for automobile, pedestrian, and public transportation navigation.

Since its launch in 2012, Apple Maps has made significant strides in accuracy and reliability. Users enjoy innovative features like Flyover mode, which enables them to explore certain densely populated urban centers and other places of interest in a 3D landscape composed of models of buildings and structures.

In 2019 Apple Maps publicly introduced its ‘Look Around,’ capabilities, which some users liken to a smoother version of Google’s Street View. The street-level, 360-degree panoramic imagery offers detailed views of roads, buildings, parks, and more. Apple Maps users also benefit from indoor maps for places like airports and shopping centers.

Apple Maps vs Waze for truckers

When choosing the best navigation tool for truckers, it’s crucial to consider the particular needs and demands of commercial vehicle driving. Both Apple Maps and Waze, as well as other GPS systems, offer a range of features that can aid truck drivers. 

Here’s how the two stack up against each other in the ‘best GPS for a truck driver’ sweepstakes:

Commercial vehicle navigation capabilities

Both Waze and Apple Maps provide turn-by-turn directions, real-time traffic updates, estimated times of arrival (ETA), and alternative route suggestions. However, Waze is known for its community-driven data, where users can report accidents, the presence of police, and road hazards. This can be helpful for commercial vehicle drivers looking for up-to-date information on road conditions to avoid potential delays.

Both have limitations, though, when it comes to commercial vehicle routing. Neither offer route planning based on truck size and weight, detailed truck stop information, low bridge alerts or hours-of-service logging. As a result, some would say Waze and Apple Maps are less than ideal as GPS navigation for truckers. This is why truckers often pay for specialized GPS and mapping services, such as CoPilot Truck, Motive or Trucker Path.

Winner: Waze


Although they may not be the best trucker GPS tools overall, the broad availability of Apple Maps and Waze make them convenient options for many drivers. 

Apple Maps comes pre-installed on all iOS devices, and is available in more than 200 countries. Waze can be downloaded for free on iOS and Android devices, and unlike Apple Maps, can also be used on desktop computers.

Both are available as standalone apps on select car infotainment systems, such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Additionally, some car manufacturers, including Toyota, Ford, and BMW, integrate Apple Maps or Waze navigation apps into their built-in navigation systems.

Winner: Tie

Traffic, accidents, and weather updates

When it comes to handling traffic, accidents, and weather updates, both Waze and Apple Maps perform well. Either GPS navigation app can be relied on by trucking companies to save time, avoid potential dangers, and mitigate rising fuel costs.

Waze for truckers stands out with its community-driven updates, making it a good option for drivers needing up-to-the-minute information on road conditions, such as accidents and traffic jams. 

While Apple Maps also provides real-time traffic information and automatic rerouting, it lacks Waze’s real-time user-reported data. In this area, Apple comes up short as a trucking GPS system.

Winner: Waze

User interface

In terms of Waze vs Apple Maps user interfaces, trucking companies and owner-operators seeking the best truck driving GPS may find the choice comes down to personal preference. 

Waze offers a community-driven and interactive interface, with icons representing user-reported conditions such as accidents, roadwork, or police presence. It also offers various voices to guide you to your destination, including a ‘boy band’ option, if that’s your thing. 

Apple Maps, on the other hand, presents a sleek, minimalistic design. And as mentioned above, you can use its Flyover and Look Around technologies for detailed birds-eye and street- level views of your route.

Winner: Apple Maps, because the idea of a ‘boy band’ navigation voice is unsettling

And the best trucking GPS is…

So, which is the best GPS for truckers: Waze or Apple Maps? Waze is the top trucking GPS in this case, based largely on the availability of real-time, user-generated data. 

However, while both apps can provide general GPS navigation for trucks, including traffic alerts and ETAs, neither fully addresses the specific needs of commercial truck drivers. For these requirements, drivers may be better served by dedicated trucking GPS systems that are designed with semitruck dimensions and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association regulations in mind. 

That said, truck apps are constantly evolving, so maybe Apple Maps or Waze will eventually add truck-specific capabilities to win the ‘best trucking navigation system’ title. Make sure you thoroughly research any truck navigation system you’re considering for the most accurate, up-to-date information.


Does Google Maps have a truck route setting?

Many truckers use Google Maps, but it doesn’t have a specific truck routing setting. As a result, it doesn’t offer the same features as a truck route app. 

How do truck drivers find parking?

Truck drivers can find parking using a truck parking app, which identifies safe and viable parking locations. Drivers can see if there are spots available and reserve one for the night.

What is the best GPS for truckers?

The best truck driver GPS is one designed with semitruck dimensions and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association regulations in mind. Popular examples include CoPilot Truck, Motive and Trucker Path.

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