Table of Contents
- 1 Why You Need a Truck GPS?
- 2 Our Top 10 Picks for the Best Truck GPS in the Market
- 2.1 #2 Garmin RV 760LMT GPS Navigator
- 2.2 #3 Garmin Nuvi 50LM Navigator
- 2.3 #4 Rand McNally TND720LM Truck GPS
- 2.4 #5 Garmin Nuvi 67LMT GPS Navigator
- 2.5 #6 Garmin dezl 770LMTHD GPS Navigator
- 2.6 #7 TomTom VIA 1535TM GPS Navigator
- 2.7 #8 Garmin dezl 760LMT Trucking GPS
- 2.8 #9 Garmin nuvi 3597LMTHD Portable Vehicle GPS
- 2.9 #10 Junsun GPS Navigator
- 3 General Features of a Truck GPS
- 4 Essential Factors to Consider
- 5 Tips for Using a Truck GPS
- 6 Conclusion
Driving a truck is not an easy job. You need to make sure that the goods are transported in the most efficient manner that is possible, specifically in terms of time and the route that will be taken. The good news is with an advanced GPS, things will be a lot easier. You will know which are the best roads to take while enjoying a bunch of add-on features.
If you are on the lookout for the best truck GPS, the rest of this post will help you to come up with the right decision. Below, we will discuss some of the best products that are available. To become more insightful, this article will also list down some of the essential things to consider and other things that you have to know to come up with the right decision.
Why You Need a Truck GPS?
Some people might think that a truck GPS is an unnecessary item to purchase. Truth is, you should see it as a necessity and not just a luxury. Below are some of the reasons that can possibly compel you to buy one:
It Makes Driving Easier: This is especially important if you are driving in a location that is unfamiliar to you. With a GPS, it’s like you are driving with a friend beside you, providing you with turn-by-turn information so that you can get to your destination in the easiest and quickest way that is possible.
It Provides a Safer Driving Experience: A lot of the GPS devices will offer hands-free calls through using Bluetooth technology. To add, you will also be able to control their functions without the need to touch the screen. You can do so by using your voice, which will help to keep you safer when driving.
It Keeps you Entertained: As it will be mentioned later, there are some GPS that you can use as a multimedia device. This means that you will be able to listen to music, watch videos, and even play games. This will depend on the connectivity that will be offered by a specific product.
It Can be Used when Backing Up: Backing up can be difficult for truck drivers because of the size of its back. Good thing, you can choose a GPS that can be connected to a backup camera, providing you with a clear sight of what is at your back.
It Provides Information that you Need to Know: Many of you will purchase a GPS for the purpose of knowing which routes are best to take. Depending on which one you will buy, they can also provide relevant information, such as fuel log, trip log, and points of interests that are nearby, such as gas station, restaurants, and hospitals, among others.
It Improves Productivity: Another huge benefit of using a GPS is that it is going to make drivers more productive. This will help to minimize the consumption of fuel while also speeding up the delivery time.
Our Top 10 Picks for the Best Truck GPS in the Market
Below are ten of the brands and models that you might want to include in your list of choices, as well as some of the notable features that provide them with an edge over the competition.
#1 Garmin Nuvi 2797LMT GPS
With a 7-inch screen, it will be easy to see where specifically you should be heading. Whether it is day or night, the screen is bright enough so that you will be able to easily see what is on display. Nonetheless, because it is quite big, there are some instances wherein the screen can lead to blind spots. To add, unlike higher-end alternatives, this model does not offer touchscreen functionality.
Among its features, one that I personally liked is the Bluetooth hands-free calling, which is not only convenient, but also safe. You can also expect the sound to be crisp and clear, making it easy to make calls when you are driving.
To provide the highest level of accuracy and reliability, it also has Real Directions and Real Voice. It will seem like you have a friend providing assistance to the driver. The device will give you turn-by-turn directions to make sure that you are headed the right way.
Aside from the directions, there are other things that this device can inform you about. For instance, there is an Active Lane Guidance, which will let you know when it is the right time to switch lanes. You will also be updated if there are places of interests that are nearby, such as restaurants and gas stations.
Lastly, so that you will be provided with the best value for your money, the manufacturer also offers free lifetime updates of maps. You do not have to pay a single cent for a subscription while having the assurance that your map stays up to date throughout the functional life of this GPS.
- Comes with a high-quality display
- Offers a lot of options for customization
- Voice-activated function
- Plastic screen can be unresponsive at times
- Recalculating routes may take a while
One of the first things that you will notice about this device is its expensive price, which will most probably hinder you from purchasing it. Nonetheless, if you look at the features and beyond the cost, you will realize that the price can be easily justified.
Feature-wise, one that is most liked about this model is the 7-inch high-resolution display, which offers touchscreen functionality. It is easy to see the screen, regardless of the time of the day. Plus, you can easily control its functions on the screen.
Like many of its competitors, there is also a free lifetime update on its maps. To add, there are features that are truck-specific, making it more useful. For instance, there is a list of trucks stops and providers of towing services, providing an assurance that help will soon be on its way when it is needed. You can also know restrictions in several routes, such as weight and height.
It is also a good thing that it has voice-activated navigation, which is one more thing that makes it user-friendly. You can talk to it like a good friend and it will respond to your verbal commands. It’s as if it has a mind of its own.
Lastly, to make it useful in more ways than one, it can also be linked to a compatible wireless backup camera and smartphone.
- User-friendly design and features
- Excellent voice commands
- Large and easy to see display
- Has an expensive price
- Does not offer Bluetooth connection
If you want a truck GPS that comes at an affordable price, this is the right choice for you. It has a price that is easy on the wallet. Nonetheless, because it is budget-friendly, expect that the features present will just be the basic ones.
Compared to the two products that have been mentioned above, this model only has a 5-inch touchscreen. It is compact, but the screen size can be a drawback for some people. This means that you will have a limited view of what is displayed on the screen.
You can easily drive with confidence when using this device. One of its features, which is also common in many GPS devices, is the lane assist. This will provide you with real-time information on when you should switch to another lane so that you won’t end up missing a turn.
To add, there is also a speed limit indicator, which will be helpful when you are navigating an unfamiliar route. This will give you an instant warning on the maximum speed at which you are driving to avoid being ticketed.
There is also a feature where you will learn not only where specifically you are, but you will also be informed of the different places that you might find interesting, such as restaurants and landmarks.
- Affordable price
- Compact size
- Features are easy to use
- Some people may find it small
- Not as feature-rich as higher-end models
#4 Rand McNally TND720LM Truck GPS
With a 7-inch screen, the size is big enough for most trucks, making the display easily visible. The screen is complemented with an impressive speaker, which makes it easy to hear the sound of the GPS. Plus, it has a rugged design, providing you with an assurance that it will be long-lasting.
To make it useful, it has an abundance of driver-requested features. For instance, there is Exits Quick View so that you will easily know where to exit. There is also fuel logging, which is an essential for tracking use and purchase of fuel. To add, there is enhanced truck routing to provide intelligent information on which road is best taken to get to your destination.
This model also offers Wi-Fi connected services. With the latter, you will be able to receive faster and more accurate data, especially when it comes to traffic and weather. If there are storms or strong winds on your route, you will be immediately informed so that you can plan on the best course of action that should be undertaken.
This GPS is made by a brand that has a reputation for making top-notch navigation devices for trucks and cars. This alone is already enough to let you buy with confidence, especially because they offer 30% more routing options compared to what you will find from most of their competitors.
- Premium and durable construction
- Excellent display quality
- Lifetime maps
- Can be slow at times
- Information can sometimes be inaccurate
With Garmin Real Direction, you can expect this product to deliver reliable functionality, like having someone provide you with real-time directions as you drive. It speaks and thinks like a true human, making it the perfect truck driving companion.
Up Ahead is another feature that you will most probably love about this product. With the latter, it will be easy for you to find places that are up ahead. You can quickly search for restaurants and gas stations without the need to leave the map.
The Direct Access, meanwhile, is one feature that makes it possible to simplify navigation. You can input the destination and the GPS will take you there in a jiffy.
There is also Lane Assist with Junction View. This will let you know when there are junctions ahead. Meanwhile, there are arrows with a bright color so that you will know which is the right lane for your truck.
Another feature is the School Zone Warning. There will be an immediate notification when you are approaching a school. Plus, you will also know right there and then any change in the speed limit that is imposed in a specific area.
- Easy to use
- Long battery life
- Has a human-like voice
- Screen lacks brightness
- Not as durable as others
Often regarded as one of the best options for a truck GPS, this model comes with a 7-inch high-definition glass screen, which is perhaps one of its best assets. It has True Flat Technology and multi-touch display, which will provide a crisp response in every command. The screen quality is similar to some of the best smartphones that are available on the market today.
Aside from the screen, there are many features that make it user-friendly. One of my favorites is the voice command, which will allow you to use the device in a manner that is hands-free. It also provides clear voice directions.
To make it more functional, there are several features that are made specifically to make the lives of truck drivers easier. For instance, there is a logging option, which will help to monitor fuel consumption and can track maintenance.
There is also an Active Lane Guidance Feature, which is Garmin’s version of Lane Assist. The latter is a live action model that shows which lane you should take. The screen will be split into two, with one side showing the map and the other side showing the lane to guide the movement or direction of the truck.
There is also customized routing to provide directions that are truck-specific. This will take into account the size and weight of the truck to determine the best routes that should be taken.
- High-quality glass screen
- Installation is easy to accomplish
- Hands-free operation with voice commands
- Possible inaccuracy of information provided
- Processing power could be better
With voice recognition and Bluetooth technology, this hands-free device can prove to be another great choice for a truck GPS. You can input commands with just the use of your voice, which means that you no longer have to touch the screen. With Bluetooth, you can also easily make calls when driving, which is a lot safer than holding a phone in your hand.
It comes with free lifetime updates on maps and traffic, which is one reason why it can provide excellent value for money. This means that with the constant changes on roads, your GPS will be up-to-date, and the best thing is that it does not have to cost any amount. You will always have the latest map on your device.
Like most of the GPS models that are mentioned in the rest of this buying guide, you will also be provided with local information and you can search for places of interest, such as restaurants and gas stations.
Lastly, TomTom also provides roadside assistance, providing you with the confidence that someone will be there when needed. You can easily connect to a specialist if you need a helping hand.
- Routes have a high level of accuracy
- Voice prompts are clear
- Offers a lot of options for customization
- User interface can be sluggish at times
- Touchscreen functions can have lags
#8 Garmin dezl 760LMT Trucking GPS
The 7-inch screen display is one of the reasons why many people love this truck GPS. At 800 x 480 pixels, it offers excellent resolution and clarity of display, whether it is day or night. There is a white backlight that makes the screen bright enough.
With this device, you will be able to navigate with confidence, even in a route that is unfamiliar. There is a clear voice that will provide you with comprehensive instructions on where and when to turn. You will be directed to routes that handle the requirements of the truck, especially in terms of the weight and height limits that can be possibly present.
With free lifetime updates on traffic and maps, you will be able to save a lot. This is unlike other models wherein you have to pay subscription fees just to be sure that you will have access to the latest information that is available in the database.
Lastly, it is also important to note that it is compatible with Smartphone Link, which is one feature that increases its functionality. This will make your navigation seamless by connecting your phone and the GPS device. No additional data connection is necessary.
- Has dependable lane guidance
- Bright and easy to see screen
- Rugged construction
- Limited battery life
- Fuel tracking feature may have inaccuracies
#9 Garmin nuvi 3597LMTHD Portable Vehicle GPS
Another premium model from Garmin, this truck GPS has a 5-inch high-resolution touchscreen. This is one that is hard to rival when it comes to responsiveness. There is also a pinch and zoom capability, which will make it easier to see the roads if you find the display to be too small.
It provides users with detailed maps, which also come with free updates. The maps, however, are limited to North America. Aside from the routes, the maps also have detailed information about points of interests for truck drivers, such as gas stations and restaurants.
The GPS also offers HD Digital Traffic. With the latter, you will be updated every thirty seconds, which means that the information is real-time. This is ten times faster compared to other traffic systems that are used in other GPS models. Like maps, there is also free lifetime updates on traffic.
More so, with the use of this GPS, you will be able to harness the power of your voice. You will be able to control the functions of the unit by talking to it instead of having to touch the screen. With voice commands, you can interact even while your hands stay on the steering wheel.
- Touchscreen is highly-responsive
- Has a glass capacitive display
- Comes with a magnetic mount
- Reflections can be seen on the screen
- Traffic information can be inaccurate
Although the brand is not as popular as those that have been mentioned above, this GPS is an excellent option for those who are looking for a budget-friendly alternative. In fact, this is one of the most affordable from the products reviewed in this post.
Among others, one of the best features of this device is the Quad Core CPU. With the latter, you can be confident that it will deliver optimal performance without lags. This improves its accuracy and reliability.
Another excellent thing about this product is that it has multimedia features. The 7-inch screen does not only display maps for navigation. It can also be used to watch videos for entertainment while on the road.
With 5-point capacitive screen, you will enjoy the best when it comes to responsiveness, especially considering the price point of the product.
To provide the best value for money, it should also be noted that it comes with a wireless backup camera, which will provide dependable assistance when driving. This means that when the truck is in reverse, the screen will automatically show what is on your back. This is especially important in trucks as there can be many blind spots.
- Affordable price
- Powerful CPU
- Bright display
- Brand is not as popular as its competitors
- Minimal reviews are available online
General Features of a Truck GPS
As you search for the best truck GPS that is available on the market, below are some of the must-have features, which will be indicative of the usability and functionality of a specific device:
Touchscreen Functionality: The newer and more expensive options for a truck GPS have a touchscreen feature, which makes the device more user-friendly. This makes it easier to control the unit.
Lane Assist: This feature is important to provide the assistance needed when it is about time to change lanes. It will provide real-time information. Often, there will be a different color to indicate which lane should be taken, providing you with the assurance that your turn will not be missed.
Trip Logging: With this feature, it will be easier to keep track of your trips. Some of the specific components that can be logged include driving hours, sleep hours, and meal breaks, among other records of the activities of the truck driver.
Fuel Log: Many of the advanced GPS models also have the ability to log when was the last time the truck has been fueled. By providing fuel data, it will be easier to make sense of historical data.
Map Updates: Roads change through the years. Because of this, you have to look for one that comes with lifetime updates on maps. You do not have to pay any amount, yet you can be sure that the maps are updated.
Real-Time Traffic: It is an important feature as it provides the latest details about the traffic. It should provide you with updated information within a short timeframe to be assured that it will be reliable and accurate.
Wi-Fi Connectivity: This allows the device to connect to a Wi-Fi network. This will allow you to access more data from the device and will make it more useful
Multimedia: If the GPS device has a multimedia capability, this means that you can also use it to view videos and play games, among other things.
Points of Interest: This will make it easier for you to look for places that you are interested in, such as a gas station when you need to refuel or the nearest restaurant when your tummy needs a filling.
Weather Updates: A good truck GPS must also be able to provide the latest information about the weather, such as strong winds and storm. It should give you the latest details if there are weather disturbances that can have an effect on driving.
3D Maps: With 3D mapping capability, it will be easier for you to understand routes and directions since they are depicted in a manner that is clearer.
Speed Limit: It will also be a great thing if the GPS will provide you with information about the speed limit in a specific route so that you will easily know how fast or slow you should be driving.
Pinch and Zoom: When you pinch on a specific portion of the touchscreen, you must be able to have it zoomed. This will give you a clearer view of the route that you will be taking.
Toll Costs: There are also some models with the ability to show the estimated cost of toll depending on the location where you will be driving. This will allow you to prepare an exact amount in advance and carefully plan which route is best to save on toll costs.
Voice Recognition: A good choice for a truck GPS will offer voice commands. This means that you will be able to control the different functions of your device through speaking. This is as against others wherein your hand needs to touch the screen and manually control the device.
Voice Quality: The GPS that you will choose must have a clear voice that will be easy for you to recognize. If not, you will not be able to understand the directions, and hence, you can end up missing your turns.
Bluetooth Capability: If you want to make hands-free calls, this is one thing that you should look for. It will be essential for a safer driving experience since you do not have to hold your phone when calling someone.
Essential Factors to Consider
To make it easier for you to trim down the choices, here are some of the most important things that you need to take into consideration:
Reviews: One of the first things that you should check would be feedbacks from other people, which will help you to narrow down the possibilities. By being aware of the experiences and opinions of other people, you will see how one product is different from the others.
Size: Most of the products mentioned in this guide have a size of five to seven inches. This is the diagonal measurement of the screen. Most drivers would prefer a larger model because it makes it easier to see what is on the display. To add, it should be compact enough so that it would fit in the dashboard of the truck.
Screen: The size of the screen is not the only thing that you should be concerned about. You have to see to it that the screen has excellent resolution, which should be easy to see whether it is day or night. There should also be an adjustable brightness so that you can have it customized. The screen needs to have an anti-glare feature as well.
Style: A truck GPS is one thing that you will see a lot of time, which is why you must pick one that is stylish. This is not a necessity, but honestly, I would go for one that can be aesthetically-pleasing.
Video Input: This is one thing that is not present in many models of GPS units. If there is a video input, this means that you can have it connected to a backup camera. You can use it as a monitor for safe reversing.
Ease of Use: The GPS must also be user-friendly. From its installation to its operation, it should be free from complications. The manufacturer must also provide comprehensive instructions on how to use it.
Accuracy: Of course, you need to make sure that you will buying a product that provides accurate and reliable information. Otherwise, it will only be a waste of money and can make you frustrated. A good way to validate the accuracy of the GPS is to learn from the experiences of other people by asking around or reading online reviews.
Mounting Options: There are some models that you have to permanently attach in the dashboard. Meanwhile, there are also GPS devices that offer more versatility, allowing you to have them detached when they are not needed. This will provide more dash space when it is required.
Durability: A rugged construction is also a must when shopping for a truck GPS. It must be made from premium materials, providing you with an assurance that it will be able to withstand the test of time.
Response Time: This is especially an important consideration if you want a GPS that comes with a touchscreen functionality. This refers to how quick the unit will respond once it is touched. This can depend on a lot of things, such as the sensitivity of the screen and the quality of the components that power the product.
Battery: You should also consider the battery that powers the GPS, if in case it is not directly connected to your vehicle. see to it that it has a long-lasting battery. In the case of most models, there is a power cord that is directly connected to a truck. Battery is important if the GPS device is portable.
Warranty: If you want to have peace of mind, you need to look for a product that comes with an extensive warranty coverage. Within the warranty duration, the manufacturer will offer free repair and replacement of parts, but this will depend on the terms and conditions that have been specified.
Price: As much as possible, this should be the least of your concerns. The cheapest option is not necessarily the best. At the end of the day, you must be willing to spend more if this means that you will be able to enjoy a product with impressive quality and functionality.
Tips for Using a Truck GPS
To make the most out of the GPS that you will purchase, below are some of the most important tips that you have to keep in mind:
One of the most important is the proper positioning of the GPS. It must be positioned somewhere it will be easy to see so that you can have a clear sight of the screen. To add, it should be somewhere it won’t be hit much by the sun so that the quality of the display will not be affected on a bright day.
You should also learn how to speed up the satellite lock. Upon opening the device for the first time, it will download information from GPS satellites. You should leave the device in an open sky for at least 20 minutes to download the information.
If possible, remove the GPS device when you are not in the truck. This will help to prevent theft. If there is a device in the dash, it will be hot in the eyes of thieves. A good thing to do is to purchase a portable and detachable unit, usually, one that attaches to a suction cup.
Regular updates on firmware are necessary. The latter is the software that is used to run the device. With updates, you will be able to enjoy the latest features, including bug fixes. It will help the device to operate smoother and quicker.
Just like the firmware, you should also update the maps frequently. Fortunately, in many GPS models, doing so can be done without the need to shoulder any cost. When the maps are updated, you will be provided with more accurate information.
Traffic signs reign supreme compared to what is dictated by the GPS. For instance, if the voice prompt says you have to turn left but if there is a traffic sign that says do not turn left, then do not turn. You can get in trouble. Chances are, the information in your device is not yet updated.
Use the speakers of your car and connect your GPS unit to it. Most products will have built-in speakers. But due to their size, the volume is sure to be limited. By connecting it to your car speakers, on the other hand, the audio will be louder and clearer.
From the things mentioned above, it is apparent that the best truck GPS is an investment that you need to have. It will make driving more convenient and safer. Nonetheless, while there are many benefits that are associated with its use, such can be reaped only if you choose the right product, which is why there is a need to be a responsible buyer and choose wisely.
Have you purchased a truck GPS before? Are there models that you would like to recommend? Are there tips that you would like to share? Do not hesitate to write a comment below.