Three truck drivers joined the ExpNet network last year, and collectively agreed on what they believe is the best truck gps. I have to admit that before they joined the network, most of us were oblivious to entire trucking product niche and were ignorant of the fact that there is a large audience interested in the best truck navigation technology. It’s easy for somebody who has never needed to continuously travel back and forth across the country to be unaware of trucking technologies. The average person isn’t exposed to many of the high-tech equipment that a trucker relies on because a smartphone usually provides sufficient performance for the typical holiday traveler.
Professional truckers need more than just “sufficient” performance, when it comes to navigation, though. What the normal person doesn’t realize is that, in a trucker’s world, a missed turn translates into loss of income. When you drive for a living, marginal improvements in efficiency convert into large savings over the course of a year. This is why manufacturers like Garmin, TomTom, and Rand McNally will continue to invest time and money into developing the best gps for truckers. They know that even the smallest improvement in route efficiency calculations can result in significant money saved because of how many miles the average trucker covers in a year.
We put our experts to work and ExpNet funded research to determine the best trucker gps. Seasoned veterans put countless products through thorough truck gps reviews which included testing efficiency of long routes, accuracy of complex routes, fuel savings, ease of use, and many more characteristics. The result of this research and testing is a list of the top 5 best truck gps reviews. We know that most people don’t have the time or resources to conduct the hands on testing needed to accurately rate these products. Our hope is that we can save you some valuable time by presenting our trucker gps reviews in an easy to understand format. Use our recommendations as a place to start looking. And remember, if you have any questions or recommendations of your own don’t hesitate to reach out.
Dezl 770 LMTHD
Crowned the best GPS for truck drivers, this Garmin is jam-packed with features specifically designed for truckers. From advanced route planning to TripAdvisor reviews for points of interest, it will quickly become your go-to assistant in the cab
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TND 720 IntelliRoute
This is the best Rand McNally truck GPS thanks to a large LED display, enhanced truck routing with updated contruction zones, and Wi-Fi connectivity for easy uploading of log data
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Truckers asked, Garmin delivered. Not only equipped with all the amazing features of a Garmin navigation unit, this GPS comes equipped with a dash cam to capture every moment on the open road
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TND 520 IntelliRoute
Providing live weather updates, fuel prices and logs, local search capabilites, and team driving support; you can't go wrong with this intelligent GPS for truck drivers
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TomTom leveraged their long history of quality GPS units to create this top notch navigation system for commercial trucks. Never be late again with free lifetime traffic and map updates
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Garmin dezl 770LMTHD GPS for Truck Drivers
Garmin's Dezl series was created to meet the unique needs of over-the-road truck drivers, and many have declared it the best GPS for truckers today. After years of using navigation units designed for cars, many commercial drivers are jumping at the chance to upgrade to a system that makes their job a bit easier.
The dezl 770LMTHD comes with one of the largest screens and many features that you won't find on a car navigation system, but is it really worth the price of upgrading? If you spend your days navigating the highways, it's worth the time to take a closer look at the features plus an honest analysis of how well those features work out on the road.
The Basic Specs
The Garmin dezl 770LMTHD comes with a 7-inch touchscreen monitor with a protective glass screen that doesn't scratch as easily as some other models. With a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, the screen is bright with crisp images that you can easily see from across the cab. You can also pinch the screen to quickly zoom in and out.
The robust speakers are louder than most car navigation systems, so road noise is never an obstacle. The voice recognition also works exceptionally well even with the noise of a cab, and you can connect your Bluetooth headset to keep your hands on the wheel while managing the GPS system efficiently.
If you've used other voice recognition devices that failed miserably in the truck cab, prepare to experience voice features that work properly. The traffic and weather reports also outperform many other navigation systems. Your unit will receive automatic traffic updates about every half mile as you drive, and an internet connection is never needed.
System and map updates are available whenever you're connected to Wi-Fi, so you never need to connect your device to a computer. What's even better is that you receive free map updates for the life of your device, and your traffic and weather updates never require a paid subscription. There is never an excuse to drive uninformed or with out-of-date information when this device is in the truck.
Robust Features Just for Truckers
If there is anything that will make the Garmin dezl 770LMTHD GPS Navigator worthy of the best truck GPS title, it's the specialized features added just for truck drivers. It starts with complete route planning options that allow you to enter specific dimensions for your truck, including cab and trailer measurements, weight and maximum speed. This information is used to customize your route to avoid low-clearance bridges and other obstacles not compatible with your truck.
You can also map out your entire route before hitting the road, including planned breaks, weigh stations and multiple stopping points along the way. The Up Ahead feature shows points of interest along your route without requiring you to leave the map screen, allowing you to make unplanned stops without taking your hands from the wheel. A convenient sidebar will tell you how long you have until the next truck stop or rest area, or you can customize a designation to track. It's arguably the most important feature in any Garmin truck GPS because it removes this worry so you can focus on driving, not if your clearance is adequate under each bridge.
The map screen also sends advance warnings about a variety of road conditions, allowing you to drive proactively rather than reacting as obstacles appear before you. The Active Lane Guidance feature displays bright arrows and gives voice commands to ensure you know which lane you should take, eliminating the guesswork and dangerous situations that often come with highway interchanges.
Does your company forbid U-turns? This Garmin truck GPS allows you to avoid all U-turn routes with a single setting, eliminating one of the biggest complaints from truckers.
When it's time to power down the truck and refuel your personal energy, the built-in services directory with TripAdvisor ratings for many points of interest will help you find a safe parking place along with a good meal and perhaps even a hot shower. The points of interest information is free to update for the life of your device, and you can update every time you're connected to Wi-Fi.
The Garmin dezl 770LMTHD GPS Navigator is also equipped with a built-in service history log, which makes it easy for owner operators to keep up with truck maintenance. If you invest in the Garmin eLog Compliant ELD accessory, you can also track your legal driving hours directly through the GPS system.
Garmin dezl 770LMTHD Potential Cons
No mobile navigation system is perfect, so you can expect the occasional glitch or misdirection with the Garmin dezl 770LMTHD. But you can eliminate many of the problems by keeping the maps up to date.
In addition to the occasional mishap that occurs with all naviation systems, there are some potential downsides to using this Garmin truck GPS:
Most truckers find these issues minor if they register as problems at all, so we still consider this unit the overall best GPS for truckers. From the larger screen size and clear resolution, to robust speakers and a suite of features that make life on the road a bit easier and perhaps safer, there are many reasons to upgrade to the Garmin dezl 770LMTHD GPS Navigator.
Rand McNally TND 720 IntelliRoute Truck GPS Review
For more than 158 years, the folks at Rand McNally have built up a legendary reputation for providing motorists – especially commercial drivers – with navigational tools and aids that are incredibly accurate, detailed, and reliable on roads all over the United States (and internationally, too).
Obviously, Rand McNally hasn’t been building GPS units for those 158 years – but they were pioneers leveraging their expertise in the mapping of roadway infrastructure with this technology as soon as it became commercially available. Rand McNally has been able to modernize their operation by developing and improving upon their own navigation tools and the TND 720 is a culmination of all of this mapping knowledge and technology, and it easily becomes the best Rand McNally truck GPS available today. But they didn’t settle there. They’re hoping to claim the title of the overall best truck GPS, so let’s dive into this review just a little bit deeper to see if this navigation system takes the cake.
Right out of the gate, the very first thing you’ll notice about this Rand McNally unit is that it is incredibly small, compact, and lightweight (weighing in at just a single pound) while still providing you with effortless access to all of the navigational solutions you need while you are out on the open road.
With an intelligently designed mounting system, the TND 720 can effortlessly attached to any truck window through the sturdy suction cups that are integrated into the GPS unit. An adjustable arm extends from these suction cups, allowing you to position (and reposition as necessary) the GPS for a truly customized installation.
The device itself is only 7/8 of an inch thick, but presents and extra wide 7 inch LED touchscreen (protected with what may as well be bulletproof glass) so that you can easily manipulate the controls and settings of this commercial GPS unit without feeling like a distracted driver.
The glass used throughout the system (as well as the rest of the actual components themselves) have been over engineered from a strength standpoint. This gives the TND 720 the ability to withstand any of the “rough stuff” that can frequently occur in the cab of a truck. One this is for sure, you won’t have to worry about this unit jostling loose and falling apart on you.
A power cable can be run from direct power in your truck cab to guarantee that the GPS unit stays on when you need it to, but you’ll also be able to leverage a backup lithium-ion battery that guarantees you’ll be able to use the navigational tools of this GPS even when your truck isn’t turned on.
Unsurprisingly, the oversized display that we highlighted above is absolutely effortless to use and manipulate while you are driving a commercial truck down the road.
The high-definition and high-resolution LED display provides you with detailed information about your route without forcing you to squint, and the touchscreen utilizes intuitive controls that will feel familiar even the first time you use this system. We think this unit has the best display of any GPS for commercial trucks on the market today.
You’ll also be able to take advantage of the Rand McNally TND 720 unit in audio mode. The speakers are plenty loud enough to drown out any road noise while providing you with regular updates about your route, traffic, etc. – and you’ll be able to customize the volume to your liking so that it never becomes too loud or too quiet.
Free Maps for Life
One of the reasons this is the best GPS for truck drivers is because this unit features a lifetime supply of 100% free maps and updates without any strings attached.
Maps are guaranteed to be updated on an annual basis from the folks at Rand McNally, but you’ll also be able to take advantage of “push updates” that will keep you on your course without any unnecessary detours along the way from time to time as well.
Junction View mode gives you a three-dimensional animation of any lane changing situations traffic irregularities that you’ll need to navigate on the road ahead, with plenty of time to strategize about how to best tackle the situation before you actually come upon them. It really is a fantastic feature
The GPS unit in the TND 720 also has the ability to tie into any active Wi-Fi signal, including the Wi-Fi signal that you create from your Apple or Android mobile device with hotspot technology. A live data connection will provide you with details in regards to active weather conditions, local fuel prices, and a whole host of other commercial trucking related services so that you don’t miss out on anything while you are holding down the road. All of these features make this unit one of the best truck navigation systems that any commercial driver can have in the cab.
Garmin DezlCam LMTHD Trucking GPS
Could the Garmin DezlCam LMTHD steal the title as best GPS for truck drivers? It's a bit more expensive than other semi truck navigation systems that we've reviewed, but it has some advanced features that many professional drivers may find useful. The question is whether they're useful enough to justify upgrading from your current GPS system, and the information in this review will help you make that determination.
The DezlCam LMTHD is designed with a 6-inch glass monitor that doesn't scratch as easily as screens from some competing brands. With 800 x 480-pixel resolution and a larger screen, this Garmin truck GPS makes it easy to see the map even if it's positioned across the cab. This allows you to place it in a location that optimizes dash cam view without restricting your personal view. Yes, there's a dash cam, and we'll talk more about that in a moment.
This unit comes loaded with detailed maps for North America, and you can continuously update those maps free of charge for the lifetime of your device. You only need a Wi-Fi connection to do this, so there is never a need to connect the Garmin DezlCam LMTHD to a computer. What's even better is the free traffic and weather updates. These are automatic without an internet connection, making this a digital dream for truck drivers who don't want to mess with added connections and expensive subscriptions.
One feature that distinguishes the LMTHD from other Garmin Dezl truck GPS systems from Garmin is the magnetic mount. It has a built-in charger, which ensures that your unit stays charged without dangling cords. This mount is also easy to remove from the truck at the end of your trip if needed, so it's the ideal pick for drivers who don't own their trucks or have the advantage of a designated truck.
Advanced GPS Features for Truck Drivers
We can't crown any unit as the best truck navigation system without a full exploration of the advanced features designed to solve real problems for today's commercial drivers. As the industry becomes more complicated with restrictions on driving hours and other new laws, it's important that drivers use technology to stay safe, legal and sane out on the road.
The Garmin DezlCam LMTHD offers many features that do just that, starting with voice command activation, Bluetooth connectivity and notifications that display directly on the map screen. These features are designed to keep your hands securely on the wheel even when you're adjusting your route, checking road condition advisories or determining how many miles you must wait until you reach a restroom.
Advisories and road cautions appear right on the map screen, and a convenient side panel counts down the miles to the next truck stop, rest area or a designation of your choice. All real-time advisories are of relevance to truckers, including roadways with restrictions, speed limit decreases, wind advisories and sharp curves. Active Lane Guidance displays arrows on the screen to help you determine which lane you should drive in, taking the guesswork out of complicated interchanges.
What about those tricky loads that come with strict after-sunset rules? Your Garmin DezlCam LMTHD will give you sunrise and sunset times for any location in North America.
This Garmin truck GPS also has you covered when it's time to power down for the night or get your truck to a service station for prompt repairs. It includes a detailed points-of-interest database with destinations chosen just for truckers, and you get free updates to this system for the life of your device. This goes beyond rest stops and restaurants to include a comprehensive guide to service stations throughout North America. You can also read TripAdvisor reviews for many of these stations.
While you can get all of these features on lower-priced dezl truck navigation systems from Garmin, what you can only get on this model is the built-in dash cam. This is what makes the difference in price point, and it's a big upgrade. You can swivel the unit to ensure your dash cam gets optimal view of the road from your cab, and it continuously records while automatically saving video files to a microSD, which is included with purchase.
If you're ever in an accident or need to take still photos outside of the cab, simply take your Garmin DezlCam with you. It snaps still shots from the cab or anywhere you can carry it. In our opinion the dash cam makes this particular unit worth the upgrade from your older device.
A good navigation system for one trucker may seem flawed to another. It's important to understand the limitations of any system before you make the investment. There isn't to complain about with this advanced Garmin truck GPS, but there are a couple things to consider:
Even with these potential cons, the Garmin DezlCam LMTHD is clearly one of the best truck GPS units. If you need the dash cam or a magnetic mount that is easy to remove, this is the best truck naviation system availble.
Rand McNally TND 520 Truck GPS Review
An excellent addition to the Rand McNally truck GPS family, the TND 520 LM was designed to help commercial truck drivers excel in every phase of their work day.
The Rand McNally TND 520 helps truck drivers consistently make on time deliveries by providing precise directions, and effective ways to get around obstacles that may hinder delivery times. Sometimes, the difference between making and not making a delivery is missing the rain or storm by 10 minutes, and this trucker GPS wants to make sure you’re on the right side of those 10 minutes.
With profit margins being as tight as they are, freight carriers and 3PL companies are constantly looking to find efficient ways to optimize routes by locating gas stations with the best prices and easy access so that no time is lost on, well, getting lost.
The most important thing to note about this device is that because it’s powered by Rand McNally’s years of expertise in creating detailed and effective atlases and road maps, it’ll help get you from point A to B without stress, and ultimately find the quickest route at the lowest possible cost. Rand McNally has been a leading map maker in the US for decades now, even before the invention of the GPS, and through the years they have stayed on top of their game. The results manifest itself in this excellent GPS for truckers, so let’s take a look at the features that makes this one of the best trucker GPS systems.
Fuel Prices and Log
On the Rand McNally TND 520 touchscreen interface, you can find fuel prices for gas stations and also search by fuel type, price or brand. We love that it also helps you track your fuel purchases to ensure you are always within budget and is a great system for drivers who want a simple and accurate way to log in records, without having to pull out the mileage log for every stop (which we sometimes forget if we’re keeping it real). It saves time, and you also get to complete logs if necessary later on in your journey when you have a more prolonged stop.
When you are in a town that you’re not familiar with, it is important to be able to find your way around quickly keep your boss and customers happy. One of the worst possible things that could happen to a driver trying to meet a deadline is to get lost in an unfamiliar area, with unknown roads. The local search option provides you with up to date information on local addresses and businesses and also includes information on hotels, restaurants and other services you may require. What makes this feature really awesome is the fact that you can pick an alternate truck route in local towns, and quickly switch between them as the need arises.
Weather conditions can be… unexpected. One minute it’s sunny and five miles down the road there’s a heavy downpour. This device prominently displays up-to-date weather conditions so that you are prepared and can protect yourself from surprises lying in wait. You can see current conditions, choose from ten styles of map overlays including 2 and 3-dimensional styles, and get the current wind speed and precipitation. In our history of truck navigation reviews we found this unit is the best truck GPS with weather forecast features thanks to accurate condition forecasts.
Team Driving Options
This is probably one of the best features of the device, and what really sets it apart among the other top Rand McNally truck GPS units. If you run a trucking business, whether it is tow trucks or freight, you’ll need to constantly keep track of team members. This unit makes it possible for you to easily track 2 team members by keeping timers, mileage, and other vital info which will help keep books and logs straight. It’s critical for business owners to know where they’re drivers are getting delayed to maintain optimal profit margins, and this truck navigation unit will definitely help with those tasks.
We like that the device is very light – it barely weighs 2 pounds and is about the size of a postcard so it can be placed anywhere in your truck. Ultimately the question becomes should you update to this GPS unit if yours is outdated? While we think this is one of the best truck GPS units, but we also think there are better options out there. It is an excellent aid for all commercial drivers, freight or tow truck, and it comes with Rand McNally’s continuous devotion to meeting the requirement of full time truckers. But you definitely can’t go wrong with this Rand McNally.
TomTom Trucker 620 GPS for Commercial Trucks
If you have your eye on the TomTom Trucker 620, this truck GPS review will help you compare its features to popular trucking GPS units from Garmin and other competitors. At its core, the TomTom Trucker 620 is a basic navigation system with some advanced adjustments for truckers. The monitor features a 6-inch touchscreen with 800 x 480 pixels resolution. The size and clarity of graphics allow you to see the screen easily across the cab, and the buildings are displayed in 3D.
Each GPS unit is preloaded with maps for Canada and the United States, and you can download updated maps for the lifetime of your device without additional charge. While this is a big improvement over older car GPS systems that required you to pay for map updates, keep in mind that TomTom says "lifetime" but then specifies in small print that map updates are available as long as they're offered for your device. There is the possibility that they could stop offering updates for your device before the life of your device technically expires.
You also receive lifetime updates to the points of interest database. The GPS comes with more than 1,500 POIs, including truck stops, service stations and other destinations of interest to truck drivers.
All map updates are completed through Wi-Fi, and the unit is equipped with built-in Wi-Fi. This means that you never need to connect the unit to a computer to update. You can do it all from the road.
Features Just for Truckers
Selecting the best truck GPS ultimately comes down to finding advanced features that fit your needs when out on the road. What turns an ordinary navigation system into a good GPS for truckers are the features that make driving a heavy, oversized vehicle across the country safer, easier and more enjoyable.
The most impressive feature on the TomTom Trucker 620 is the truck routing system. You can plan routes that take your truck's size, weight, cargo and maximum speed into account. This gives you confidence that your route will avoid low bridges and other obstacles that are incompatible with your truck's type and road restrictions. The routing on this TomTom GPS system is remarkably accurate as long as your maps are up to date.
It's important to note that the routing system requires you to do all planning from a computer, tablet or cellphone. You can then transfer the route into your GPS system, but you will need to set up a TomTom account online to make most advanced features work on this GPS. We see this is a slight downfall to this unit, however we did find it much easier to plan a route on a larger computer monitor that we did on a 6 inch touchscreen.
Another important feature for truckers is the real-time traffic alerts. You have free access to this feature for the lifetime of your device or until the service no longer supports your device. When connected through your TomTom account, you will receive real-time notice of traffic backups. It will even tell you how far the backup is, allowing you to get off the highway to take another route before you get to the stopping point.
Real-time traffic updates are spoken to you, so there is never a need to take your hands from the wheel. You can also use a free app to connect the unit to your cellphone. This allows you to receive messages through the GPS, and it will read the messages out loud to you. The system is voice activated, so you can use the navigation system and check messages with your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The unit does support Google Now and Siri, which is a feature not offered through Garmin's truck navigator series.
Finally, the TomTom Trucker 620 is designed with a magnetic mount that includes a built-in charger. You can easily remove the unit from your truck at the completion of your route, and your unit remains charged as long as it's on the mount and powered by a vehicle.
Potential TomTom Trucker 620 Cons
No trucking navigation system is perfect, so what's lacking with the TomTom Trucker 620?
Is the TomTom Trucker 620 Your Best Pick?
Should you consider this unit the best truck navigation system for your needs? It does have most of the advanced features that truck drivers need to stay safe on the road, but it's also lacking some features that you could get with a Garmin Truck Navigator. Make sure to read our Garmin truck GPS reviews to compare features and price points before making your final decision.