Best Inexpensive Trucker GPS

Topic 19338 | Page 1

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Conservative's Comment
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I realize that applying the term "best" to anything is mostly a matter of opinion, but I would like some recommendations on gps units that offer the most practical features for the money. I say practical cause I don't need fancy ( Bluetooth, wifi, etc. ) .some features I would like are traffic, construction, weather, restricted routes, heigh/weight limitations, and speed limits. Thanks!

Cold War Surplus's Comment
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The two big dogs in the truck GPS market are Garmin's dēzl line and Rand McNally's TND line. Pricing is tiered according to screen size, not features like Bluetooth. You can pick up a Rand McNally TND530 (Rand McNally's 5" screen model) for $198.39 on Amazon or a dēzl 570LMT (Garmin's 5" screen model) for $299.00 on Amazon. Most months you can buy these models from Love's or Pilot/FlyingJ for the same price with significant rebates.

A GPS used with good judgement is a valuable tool. Not sure why you want to get strange with the change on your GPS budget, but there are some pitfalls you want to avoid. Garmin and Rand McNally have the bulk of the market share, have been doing this for years and aren't pulling out of the market anytime soon. They both offer free map updates and will for many years to come. There are a lot of other players who will sell you a truck GPS (ONE20, Tom Tom, Cobra, Magellan, Sygic, TruckMate, WorldNav) - but even if you combined all their sales together they wouldn't add up to half of what either of the market leaders sell. They could go broke or pull out at any time leaving you without map updates.

You might be tempted to buy a unit off of eBay for a lot less. These units were packaged for sale in a different country say, Mexico where a GPS sells for a lot less than it does in the U.S. You might think you're getting a deal because paying half of what the unit would cost new at Love's, but the manufacturers keep track of the serial numbers an know that your grey market GPS wasn't supposed to be in the U.S. so when you attempt to update your maps you will find out that your model doesn't come with lifetime map updates in the U.S. and you will have to spend another $100 or so to buy an update subscription.

Jordan's Comment
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What do you think is better between the Garmin or rand McNally?

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
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Personally I like the Rand McNally, have been using them for years.

Also, when you get your GPS, I would advise you to get a phone wireless plan that includes unlimited data (Verizon has the best overall coverage nation wide). That way you can use your phone as a hotspot to use the WiFi with your GPS for weather/traffic/etc. So that solves all your issues at the same time with minimal expense.

I currently have Verizon as my phone provider (have been with them for many years). If you are a veteran, you can get a 15% discount on Verizon's unlimited plan (I work for Prime and can't use my Prime discount on the unlimited plan, the only discount they offer for unlimited is military/veteran).

I'm not saying other wireless plans aren't any good, it's just Verizon has been shown to have the best overall coverage nationwide compared to other carriers.

Hope this helps. Let us know if we can be of assistance going forward.

Ernie

Errol V.'s Comment
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What do you think is better between the Garmin or rand McNally?

I call this "Fords or Chevys" question. Whichever you prefer, you'll defend to the death your choice.

They're both very good. Garmin is a great name in GPS, Rand McNally also publishes the trucker's Bible, the Road Atlas.

Rick S.'s Comment
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"Best" & "Inexpensive", usually don't go in the same sentence.

I've played with both briefly.

Rand McNalley only provides map updates ONCE A YEAR (according to their website). The Lifetime Maps* program for Rand McNally's truck and RV GPS devices provides updated maps on an annual basis for your device.

Have a friend that bought a Garmin a few months ago (he sucks with computers), and I've been doing his updates for him. He had one map update right after he got it, and another one was just released (along with system and feature updates).

This is probably one reason I would go with the Garmin. The Rand requires WiFi for Live Traffic, the Garmin (770) uses free "over the air" traffic (HD Traffic) not cellular/wifi data/airtime.

Lastly (for me) - my SUV has Garmin NAV as the OEM Nav that came with my car - so the interface and operations are already familiar.

The only "real advantage" to the RM, is that RM is THE MAP COMPANY (which is offset, by only updating maps annually).

Garmins MAIN PRODUCT LINE is GPS's, so their devices are probably a little better designed and built than RM's. I doubt RM even makes their GPS, but someone OEM's it for them.

But above all - NEVER DEPEND SOLELY ON YOUR GPS. Data can be missing or old, etc. There are (obviously) other methods to trip plan - GPS's just make it easier. But they don't tell you about that REALLY TIGHT RIGHT HANDER in the middle of that small town (where you'd be better off making THREE LEFTS, than one BAD RIGHT).

I have a buddy that's a trainer for a company that doesn't get discussed much here (not a mega), he requires his guys to do ALL THEIR TRIP PLANNING with the Motor Carriers Atlas. Electronic Aids can fail you - an Atlas and ATTENTIVE EYES never will.

Rick

ChickieMonster's Comment
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The One20 GPS is becoming a major player in the truck specific GPS market. I don't personally have one (Rand here), but I have met the gang from One20 and seen their product in action, as well as used their free app. It works just as well, if not better, than the Rand.

They also have ALOT more options as far as parking. You can find restaurants, stores, even movie theaters and malls that allow trucks to park plus get truck specific navigation to those places.

The app is a one-time map download. I'm sure they update maps more than once per year, but I haven't had the app long enough to see one.

Give the app a try and see how you like it. Then decide if you want to shell out the moola for the tablet.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Conservative's Comment
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Thanks everybody. Especially for the advice about not buying online.

G-Town's Comment
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Conservative it's also recommended to purchase a Rand McNally Truckers Road Atlas. Electronics fail from time to time, the Atlas is a great backup and also helps to provide a bigger picture to supplement the GPS.

Rick S.'s Comment
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The One20 GPS is becoming a major player in the truck specific GPS market. I don't personally have one (Rand here), but I have met the gang from One20 and seen their product in action, as well as used their free app. It works just as well, if not better, than the Rand.

They also have ALOT more options as far as parking. You can find restaurants, stores, even movie theaters and malls that allow trucks to park plus get truck specific navigation to those places.

The app is a one-time map download. I'm sure they update maps more than once per year, but I haven't had the app long enough to see one.

Give the app a try and see how you like it. Then decide if you want to shell out the moola for the tablet.

Looks like the One20 is actually ALK's "Co-Pilot" Product. The maps downloads, interface and map display are 100% the same. Nice that they provide it as a "free app" - the car version costs $14, the truck version costs $149.

Been running the car version for years. The manufacturer (ALK) also makes the PCMiler product that many trucking companies use.

Personally - I prefer the Garmin GPS interface.

But FREE IS FREE. But it also looks like "come on marketing" for their standalone product - which is not necessarily a bad thing. They do bundle in some other stuff in the free version.

Rick

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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