Qualcomm Vs Other GPS Systems

Topic 21338 | Page 2

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Dave Reid's Comment
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I feel that it is essential to have your own nav unit to save time when you want to see where truck stops and rest areas are on your route as you are rolling, to quickly find a detour if a road is closed suddenly, etc.

The top Rand McNally and the top Garmin are both excellent. I have a slight basis toward the Garmin, but it may be due to my long experience with Garmin products. I have tried both, as well as others. If I were buying just one, I would buy the same one that I am now using exclusively - the top Garmin truck unit.

Question: I have the Qualcomm that my company provides in the truck I drive, but I am considering getting my own Truck Navigation Device (Garmin? Rand McNally?) and I am wondering if anyone thinks it would be more beneficial to have my own system. Qualcomm seems pretty limited in what it does so far. I am a rookie driver just trying to find the best way of doing things. You guys have been great about giving advice and comments. Thank you again.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Brian M.'s Comment
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I drive for Schneider and have relied on QC for most of my runs, primarily because part of our bonus system scores you on the percentage you stay on Navigo prescribed routes, that said several times a week I find myself being dumped off at a bad address, for example with no dock facilities or truck turnarounds. The actual address of one company I was going to was three buildings back from the street in an industrial compound. I found that ahead of time with Google Maps and satellite view on my phone. Another time was a drop and hook in Chicago, QC told me I had arrived at my destination in the middle of an intersection (1001 Laramie St, Chicago). The yard I was looking for was behind me under an overpass and trust me, there were no good places to turn a truck around, to safely make turns onto side streets, let alone pull off to a side of the street to regroup. Not even Google Maps helped on that one, but a security guard let me turn around in his yard and gave me directions. After that one especially, I look at every delivery, drop, yard or pickup on Google Maps and satellite view on my phone. Zoom in to find the guard shack if necessary when the entrances aren't clear. A lot of times the satellite view will show trucks in line. If in doubt STOP! No need to dig a deeper hole. Google Maps won't designate truck routes or Hazmat , so do your homework, QC has been good for that for me. Rand MacNally Atlas is great but can't give you detail you need in metro areas. QC will lose signal at times then pipe up "Out of route, drive on the road behind you." Also QC is slower than real time when it counts, so review your route rather than just take the instructions as they come. QC will typically lay out the shortest mileage, as another driver commented here, but that may not be the shortest time. QC put me on a route out of Cullman, AL to Little Rock, AR to get to Laredo, TX instead of I-10. If you've run that road through Muscle Shoals and Memphis you know that there are somewhere near 40 stop lights ( that's when I stopped counting). If you want to practice your shifting or strengthen your double clutch muscles it's a good one, if you want to get down the road to a shower before you run out of hours, use your atlas. Trucker Path is great, but utilizes MapQuest which is not necessarily truck friendly and somewhat outdated on back roads and I've found lacks the details I mention above with Google applications, even though Trucker Path gives you satellite views. I even use the Google Street View to find the right company and docks in some multi-company warehouses or confusing directions- many times on street view you can read the signs to the driver's door, etc if you need to if it isn't clear where you need to go. While GPS is useful, you have to read the signs. All the research you do ahead of time will keep you out of a lot of trouble and making the mileage that pays.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Drop And Hook:

Drop and hook means the driver will drop one trailer and hook to another one.

In order to speed up the pickup and delivery process a driver may be instructed to drop their empty trailer and hook to one that is already loaded, or drop their loaded trailer and hook to one that is already empty. That way the driver will not have to wait for a trailer to be loaded or unloaded.

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