GPS devices built specifically for truckers are growing in popularity, and it’s no surprise. Truck drivers spend most of their working day driving so it makes sense if they make their job as easy and effective as possible.
While there are still a good percentage of truck drivers who like to stick with their trust paper ‘GPS’ otherwise known as a map, the majority of drivers realize the importance of using an electronic GPS to get to their destinations quickly, safely and with the minimum of stress.
So what are the main things truck drivers want from a GPS device?
Common complaints made by a lot of truck drivers with regard to GPS devices include:
- Screen is too small
- Voice prompts are too quiet
- Route doesn’t obey road restrictions for trucks
- Route doesn’t account for size of truck (see what happens when drivers rely on their GPS without thinking)
Manufacturers of GPS devices (or PNDs as they’re sometimes known as) are starting to realize that truck drivers have specific needs that a lot of the devices out there are not currently meeting.
Building the ideal truck GPS
To fix the shortfall of GPS devices to meet the requirements of a truck GPS, is it simply a case of making the screen size bigger and connecting the audio to the truck’s sound system or an external amplifier?
A lot of devices are also now including software designed with truckers in mind, offering features such customized waypoints, truck POIs, maintenance reminders and multiple stops. Browse some of the different truck GPS units that are available now.
While a standalone device will provide a lot of help for the driver, fleet managers need more to effectively manage and support their team. That’s where fleet management software comes in.
Truck GPS fleet tracking for fleet managers
Fleet managers have different requirements to drivers. While drivers are more focused on their own truck and individual journeys, a fleet manager needs to keep a birds-eye view of the entire fleet. Fleet management software provides fleet managers with a single-screen dashboard that shows all vehicles and their current activity.
Having access to this information and setting up alerts for exceptions that break company rules (e.g. excessive speeding, HOS infringements) keeps a fleet manager informed and in control of the fleet. Telogis Fleet makes it easy for managers to customize the interface so they are kept up-to-date with what’s important to them.
Another side of fleet management often involves route planning. This can be anything from grouping jobs with a particular driver to save miles to doing cost analysis on a new client to see if it is profitable. Telogis Route factors all of the firm’s jobs, clients and drivers to create the most efficient and optimized routes based on route costs (including driver overtime and vehicle use costs). These optimized routes can then be sent directly to a driver’s GPS device using Telogis Mobile.
Telogis Mobile is the software that runs the GPS unit that sits inside the truckers cab. We know that truck drivers have specific needs. Routing software that is built for consumers doesn’t understand the rigors of driving trucks for a living. Aside from the road restrictions that can hurt a driver or company in the back pocket, there are other issues like being unable to make u-turns or wanting to avoid tollways and dangerous left-hand turns. There are also POIs that are specific to truckers such as designated weight stations, truck stops and refueling stations.
What makes it possible for Telogis Mobile to offer truck-specific features is the very powerful, yet very flexible, Telogis GeoBase, mapping software that can be customized to offer routing based on road restrictions and show custom map layers for truck specific POIs.
Truck GPS is more than just navigation
If truck drivers are only using their GPS unit for turn-by-turn navigation they’re missing out on a lot of the benefits of having a vehicle use GPS tracking. Anything from automated maintenance reminders to optimizing asset utilization to make sure fleets are providing a healthy ROI.
In future articles, we’ll discuss other ways fleets and truck drivers can get more from their GPS systems, making their job easier and more profitable.