When it comes to GPS for truckers, one feature is probably a whole lot more important than the rest – truck routes. Knowing that their portable GPS unit can navigate their vehicle safely and legally along designated truck routes gives drivers great peace of mind.
What are some aspects of an advanced GPS that provides reliable truck routes?
- Weight restrictions – Trucks are often a lot heavier than normal vehicles and are thus blocked from using certain routes, to avoid damaging the roads or disturbing a quiet zone. Trucks that ignore these restrictions run the risk of fines, loss of licence or even their truck (not to mention vigilante action from residents!).
- Height restrictions – Watch out for bridges. This is a far more common problem than you might think. In one report, 1,400 bridge collisions were recorded in the New York State alone over a 15 year period. It seems they were mostly attributed (81%) to truckers using non-commercial or outdated GPS systems that failed to advise them of overpasses that were not high enough for their vehicle. It’s probably timely to reiterate the number one rule of using GPS navigation and that’s ‘never switch off your brain’!
- No U turns – Due to the size of your vehicle and the volume of traffic, U turns may present a safety hazard for certain vehicles.
- Hazardous material – Hazmat restrictions are particularly critical when it comes to safe and legal trucking. Restrictions may include such things as making sure trucks avoid driving near waterways if carrying toxic waste. Trucking companies can face huge fines if hazmat restrictions are ignored or violated.
Obviously navigating a larger vehicle presents a lot more challenges for the driver than your average automobile. It’s no wonder then that road restrictions and finding a reliable GPS that can follow the right truck route are so important to drivers and fleet managers. So how can drivers make sure they are using the right tools to keep them out of trouble and on the right side of the law, and their bosses?
It starts with knowing what gear is out there and what it should be able to do. To make sure you’re GPS is complying with truck road restrictions, review a few things you need to look for in a PND that’s suitable for larger vehicles and trucks.
Smart routing with custom map layers
Aside from a state’s road restrictions that may legally require a driver to take a certain route because of the size, weight or cargo of the truck, there are also some situations where it may be advantageous to route a truck along a particular path, or to a specific destination to the meter.
What are some situations where custom map data can provide superior GPS routing?
One example may be a supply chain where trucks have specific loading or unloading zones. Imagine a truck driver making a drop-off to a large warehouse that accepts hundreds of deliveries every day? They may have several delivery points and a truck driver may have to waste time finding out from staff where exactly to deliver. Using a custom map overlaid on a driver’s GPS device (or PND) routing can direct a truck straight to the specific drop-off point saving time, improving customer service and helping drivers be more productive and less stressed. That’s what we call in the business, a win-win situation.
If you’re a fleet manager who wants the best for his fleet and his customers then we’d have to put a plug in for Telogis Fleet. It’s a comprehensive GPS fleet tracking solution that is preferred by some of the largest fleets in America. They may not be the cheapest but they’re the best, and in the long run that’s always the smart choice.