What Trucker Gps Is Better? My Qualcomm Keeps Getting Me Into Trouble...

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Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

My Qualcomm keeps getting me in trouble no matter how hard I try not to. Today while I was going to my receiver I ran into a no Truck Zone and had to turn around in a place where you really couldn't do a u-turn. And then come to find out I have a headlight out on the right side and I have several engine service soon codes I have to get fixed the part of my splash guard on the bottom of my truck is ripped off so I have to get that replaced. So this is nothing regardless shy of showing how bad Qualcomm has put me in these situations.

One person told me that Rand McNally tnd trucker GPS stinks but I don't know if it's true or not. Another tells me that he uses Garmin. I have a Rand McNally motor carriers Atlas that I am using. Sometimes I wonder if it's even show me all the routes because like I couldn't even find Route 70 in here I am on Route 70. Anyways this has none the less been a frustrating day. The only good thing about today is that I got to the receiver early and got unloaded early.

I really do appreciate the advice encouragement and admonishment. Thank you!

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Big T's Comment
member avatar

The lady at the Jurupa Valley terminal told us the qc navigation is Randy McNally so not sure if buying a stand alone would be that beneficial.

My Qualcomm keeps getting me in trouble no matter how hard I try not to. Today while I was going to my receiver I ran into a no Truck Zone and had to turn around in a place where you really couldn't do a u-turn. And then come to find out I have a headlight out on the right side and I have several engine service soon codes I have to get fixed the part of my splash guard on the bottom of my truck is ripped off so I have to get that replaced. So this is nothing regardless shy of showing how bad Qualcomm has put me in these situations.

One person told me that Rand McNally tnd trucker GPS stinks but I don't know if it's true or not. Another tells me that he uses Garmin. I have a Rand McNally motor carriers Atlas that I am using. Sometimes I wonder if it's even show me all the routes because like I couldn't even find Route 70 in here I am on Route 70. Anyways this has none the less been a frustrating day. The only good thing about today is that I got to the receiver early and got unloaded early.

I really do appreciate the advice encouragement and admonishment. Thank you!

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

My advice. Before you go anywhere make sure you check all of the roads on your map. The actual one not digital. My trainer has me do it fir every load we take. It has saved me the hassle of having to know if we are in a truck route or not.

Second he had a rand McNally said it was good, but he now has the garmin one with the dash cam. It has worked really well for us, but it is expensive.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

The problem is not the QC, the problem is you.

You need to be verifying the routing, exits, entrances, and all turns in between. Use the Atlas, Google Earth and anything else you can use.

The QC navigation is nothing but an assistance, you should not be followong it blindly. I'm noticing you're putting all the blame on the QC navigation meanwhile you never meantion how you trip plan for a customer.

This problem will never go away for you no matter what GPS unit you use, they all fail especially in the East. You really need to take a step back and get back to the drawing board and figure out what you can do to prevent this from happening again.

These situations are 100% driver fault. We have more technology to help us now more than ever. Let it assist you, but never follow it without verifying.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Victor,

I use a RM motor carriers atlas, my company's provided route suggestion, my company's provided directions, Google maps satellite view of any locations I'm dispatched to, and a TomTom Trucker 600.

I have a laminated atlas. I trace the company suggested route with a dry erase marker directly on the atlas. I compare the step by step directions on the GPS with BOTH the route suggestion and the company provided directions. If there is a variance in the local directions I ALWAYS follow directions given by my company or by the shipper or receiver (I often call them myself if I have any questions). Last but not least, I write down the entire route, because electronics can and do fail and I'll have all the info I need right at my fingertips.

I also have several places in mind to take 10 hour breaks.

Trip planning is SO IMPORTANT. I cannot stress this enough. I train inexperienced drivers and to be real blunt, students who refuse to seriously trip plan generally get sent home. Yes, it's that important. You'll get faster at planning as you do it more. The time and mistakes that proper trip planning saves is invaluable to your career.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

And keep in mind we all make mistakes and will continue to do so. I can't tell you how many times I have gotten lost. But the key is to prevent it from happening in the first place and that success only comes from trip planing well.

But when that mess up happens you need to be very critical with yourself. Put your entire system of doing things under a microscope and figure what went wrong and what you could have done differently.

The ceiling to being a top tier driver is constantly rising because there's drivers in this world who will do anything to get the job done like Old School. These mess ups are bad but they're a great learning experience and great opportunity to better yourself and learn from your mistakes.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

I was actually just thinking about ya this morning man. Glad things are going ok so far!

It's going to take some practice and lots of extra time until you start getting used to it, but do all your trip planning with your RM atlas. I had the laminated version like Sue but never got dry erase markers for it--silly me. I wish I had, because it would have helped alot, so do yourself a favor and get some of those so you can trace your route (that is, if you have the laminated version of the atlas). I admit I didn't do this as often as I should have, but it is very helpful and important to write down turn by turn directions on a piece of paper and keep it in view while you drive for quick reference.

For the local part when you're getting close to the customer, it is never a bad idea to call the customer and ask for directions. This is where Google maps comes in handy--check the directions they give you against Google maps, first without satellite view (just to get an idea where the route goes), then with satellite (to get an idea of what nasty turns you might have). The bigger roads on Google maps are usually ok for us, but sometimes they have weight and/or axle restrictions. The local part is always the tough part, because the customer can give you bad directions, but usually they'll get you there ok.

My personal advice is to not rely on your gps at all for at least the next couple of trips or so. Plan your route out beforehand with the atlas (you can use the qualcomm gps directions in addition if you want to, but write them down and check them) and by calling the customer for directions. Write down your route and keep it in view for quick reference (taping it to the dash works ok). You can plug the address in your qualcomm navigation so it routes you there, but keep the sound and the screen off. Only use it if you get in a bind for some reason and need to reroute -- it's better than nothing. Google maps is usually pretty good about showing construction and road closures along your route as well.

In addition to all this, you should also be planning HOS for every trip and checking the weather. Who said truck driving was easy? LOL. Be patient with yourself and continue to work hard the way you have been. You'll continue to see great improvement.

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

True story: within two months THREE different drivers followed the GPS onto a boat slip and into a lake in PA.

It was dark, it was paved, and on the downgrade they didn't know they were in water until it happened. The road was something like "west lake drive" and the opposite side of the lake was "east lake drive". The GPS couldn't read there was a lake between them

DO NOT rely on that GPS. I also found the atlas can be wrong...yep..you heard that right. Due to constant construction, even a brand new atlas can have the wrong highway or exit listed. Example, I 69 is being extended into KY and the old exit numbers were in the current atlas....completely different from the new ones on the actual road. I 49/ I540 in Arkansas also comes to.mind..one is in the atlas the other wasn't (at the point and city I needed).

Which means you need to learn cities and surrounding cities as well, not just exit numbers. Write down "if I get to US 20, I went too far" stuff like that.

I like my RM 730, it will warn "reduce speed ahead". Low clearance ahead...time zone change...weigh station ahead...things the Qualcomm doesn't say. It provides directions to far more truck stops and hotels for parking...walmarts too.

So it is often better than the QC I set the QC to my destination then my RM to my fuel stop or parking. This way I know if I will.make my goal and how it will affect my overall trip.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Big T wrote in reference to Swift's QC GPS:

The lady at the Jurupa Valley terminal told us the qc navigation is Randy McNally so not sure if buying a stand alone would be that beneficial.

FALSE, the lady at Jurupa Valley is totally incorrect. So annoying when a person who should know better, pushes false information (not you Big T).

Swift’s Qualcomm GPS is powered by NaviGo. NaviGo is a proprietary product that is an integrated piece of the OmniTracs Telemetry systems. Here is a link: OmniTracs NaviGo. For any Swiftie, this is the software heart of your truck. A quick review will help educate on how it all fits together and presented on the OmniTrac interface.

My experience with NaviGo, it's 98% accurate and usually will not guide you astray unless you happen to go out of route due to a missed turn or a detour. That said...never rely totally on electronic navigation tools. They are not failsafe.

Victor...you are suffering from total 100% reliance on your electronics. This is a bad habit you need to break. I am fairly sure this ground has been covered before either directly or indirectly with you on the forum, but we’ll try again. As Daniel and Pianoman have suggested, the GPS is a tool that should be used in combination with the Rand McNally Trucker’s Atlas. The electronic GPS systems are not foolproof or totally reliable. What happens if you drop the satellite feed? Then what? This happens all the time. Most of these systems share the same feeds, so if one goes out, it’s possible you’ll lose the other GPS. Write out your directions on a sticky note and attach it to the lower lip of the QC. Double check the electronic route using the look-ahead and compare that to the Atlas. That is your backup. Pianomans idea is a really good one,…plan using only the Altas for a while. Remember the mapping skills class during your Swift Academy Schooling? This is exactly why there was emphasis placed on mapping skills and the need to use the Atlas to trip plan. Good luck…you’ll figure it out.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Susan wrote:

Victor,

I use a RM motor carriers atlas, my company's provided route suggestion, my company's provided directions, Google maps satellite view of any locations I'm dispatched to, and a TomTom Trucker 600.

I have a laminated atlas. I trace the company suggested route with a dry erase marker directly on the atlas. I compare the step by step directions on the GPS with BOTH the route suggestion and the company provided directions. If there is a variance in the local directions I ALWAYS follow directions given by my company or by the shipper or receiver (I often call them myself if I have any questions). Last but not least, I write down the entire route, because electronics can and do fail and I'll have all the info I need right at my fingertips.

I also have several places in mind to take 10 hour breaks.

Trip planning is SO IMPORTANT. I cannot stress this enough. I train inexperienced drivers and to be real blunt, students who refuse to seriously trip plan generally get sent home. Yes, it's that important. You'll get faster at planning as you do it more. The time and mistakes that proper trip planning saves is invaluable to your career.

Victor, this too is really good advice. Susan is a trainer,...her points are excellent and should be followed.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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