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

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Unholychaos's Comment
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I usually don't have any problems with my QC route, other than when a customer is at a weird location on a one way road and I HAVE to make a very tight right turn nearly clipping a telephone pole (Mc-Cowat in Jackson TN on Chester st). Pay very close attention to signs. If Jill wants you to turn left, but you see a sign that says no trucks left turn or whatever, DON'T FOR ANY REASON TAKE THAT TURN!!! Continue straight and pull over ASASP (as soon as SAFELY possible), pull up a satellite/street view and go from there.

G-Town's Comment
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Unholychaos wrote:

I usually don't have any problems with my QC route, other than when a customer is at a weird location on a one way road and I HAVE to make a very tight right turn nearly clipping a telephone pole (Mc-Cowat in Jackson TN on Chester st). Pay very close attention to signs. If Jill wants you to turn left, but you see a sign that says no trucks left turn or whatever, DON'T FOR ANY REASON TAKE THAT TURN!!! Continue straight and pull over ASASP (as soon as SAFELY possible), pull up a satellite/street view and go from there.

Perhaps but not always, effective trip planning using both the Rand McNally truckers road atlas and the GPS would preclude having any issues in the first place.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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G Town and Daniel B hit the nail on the head. Trip planning is your downfall and relying on GPS to do anything except get you in a bad position is a bit naive. There are so many things at your disposal that will keep you from running into those predicaments but you need to be using them.

Now, of the two most popular units, the Rand works well but the Garmin Dezl seems to be more durable. I've heard less complaints of unit failure in the Garmin line vs the Rand. TomTom also now makes a truck GPS that's a decent little unit. A few of us here were part of the Beta test. I'll admit to not being the best tester, I had issues at the beginning downloading the updates during the testing phase but the unit I tested functioned pretty well. It now sits in a box at home since I don't use a GPS system.

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.
Victor C. II's Comment
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I will take all of that advice. I actually went to CDS tractor trailer training, but you are absolutely right I have been leaning on the GPS way too much. I will try to do my best not to use my GPS in my route planning more. What color are the exits? My Grandmother and I have planned at least a couple routes to my reciever. My only problem is when I run into trhing to find my fuel stops since swift gives us certain routes for that.

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.
Victor C. II's Comment
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Also I will look around for a few cities around where I am at. Do you still suggest I get the Tom Tom 600 Susan?

Brian M.'s Comment
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As Susan and others have pointed out you can't rely on one method to navigate you to your destination, all you need all the tools in your arsenal and some common sense.

As an instructor I've seen so many students struggle with trip planning because they didn't want to do their trucking homework. Look at it as if you don't do you homework you can skate by for a while, but sooner or later you will fail. So let me show you how I train my students how to trip plan and see if this helps.

First as Susan mentioned a Rand McNally (preferably the laminated one) truck atlas and a straight edge or ruleris vital. This is the start of everything in trip planning. If I were coming from Atlanta Ga. to Portland Or. ( United States pg 2 & 3 )how would I get there?

I take a straight edge and with a dry erase marker I highlight a straight line from Atlanta to Portland. Now you have guideline to find the most effective and efficient route. Starting with the interstate system we can figure out 95% of our trip without any other tool.

The interstate numbering system was made quite simple. Highways going West to East are even numbers and South to North are odd numbers. Mile markers go west to east and south to north. If you are on I 75 and get route on a bypass like 275 475 etc. it will always route you back to 75. If you see I 175 375 etc. this is a direct branch that doesn't return to the original interstate you were on.

So let's see my route ( I 24 west to I 57 north, I 57 north to I 64 west, I 64 west to I 255 north) This is just short of St Louis, since this is a major city with many interstate arteries the bypass is 255 for the east half and 270 for the west half. We are on the east half so it will be I 255. So I 255 north to I 70 west, I 70 west to I 435 north, ((Kansas City bypass)) to I 29 north. This is pg 57 through 59 in the atlas.

I try stay on interstates as much as possible but in certain circumstances I know a heavily used state route that saves time. So I am traveling on I 29 north and I get on Iowa 2 at exit 10 and head west. This road eventually turns into Nebraska 2 ( pg 62 and 63) and ends in Lincoln Ne. Nebraska 2 to U.S. 77 north which ends 3 miles away at I 80. Take I 80 west to I 84 west in Utah (pg 103). I 84 west to Portland and TA-DA 95% of my trip done!

(All the time I was tracing my route with a dry erase marker)

Its extremely important to remember all the major cities along my route. Traffic patterns change daily so if you can remember which major city is next on your route and which direction your headed if something does change you can be prepared. Getting closer to major cities I always keep a mindful eye on the signs ( Interstate number, direction north, south, east, and west, and the Major City that it leads to. If you've driven in the Dallas metro area lately I say no more on its importance.

Now this is my preferred route. Do I just go for it? Nope. My next step is checking weather, road closures or anything else they may make me change my route.

So we just completed the easy 95% but now we still need to pick up at the shipper and drop at the receiver so this is where you not only need your atlas but your other tools in your arsenal as well.

Once I have the addresses the first thing I do is use my Qualcomm and find the I need directions to_________ command. Prime it's macro19 in compose. This gives me written instructions on the address and how to get there safely. The best part is that the drivers themselves have written most of this and have been there already. Not only does it give directions but many times it has important information on hazards, alternate routes, and shipper and receiver information.

After I do this I generally look at the atlas and look at the truck routes going into that town or city. I compare it to what my macro 19 information says and check for alternate routes if needed. Once I narrowed it down to the town I am going to I check the atlas for low clearance locations, weigh stations and restricted routes. ( Pgs A26 through A49 in the Atlas)

Now that I narrowed it down I check my google maps satellite to narrow down the shipper or receiver. Making sure as I get close I am aware of hazards close to the destination. I also start planning the way I will approach my backing maneuvers while I'm at it.

Guess what I did all that without a dang GPS. I finally turn the darn thing on, enter the addresses and compare my route to my route I've planned. Plan my fuel stops, 10 hour breaks, 30 minute breaks and showers. Keeping in mind to give myself other options and now I am ready to roll.

Hope this helps

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.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Brian M.'s Comment
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Victor I have used the Tom Tom, rand McNally, and Garmin and can tell you all will get you to where your going with good trip planning. I prefer the Rand McNally do to the atlas built in and the advanced knowledge of hazards along the way. The gps mimics the atlas better in my opinion.

But I have no problem using any one of them with proper trip planning.

millionmiler24 (CRST Amba's Comment
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My method: Check and write down the BEST route with your Laminated Rand McNally Motor Carriers Road Atlas 2017 Edition. Then plot the route into the Qualcomm GPS unit (or whatever your company may have at that time), then plot the route into your Garmin Dezl 7** Truckers GPS. Then Check the routes with Google Maps. If any of the GPS signals fail or whatever, make sure you have written down EVERYTHING about your load: Shipper , Receiver, Special Instructions, Phone Numbers to both shipper and receiver. Also make sure you have a Pocket Truck Stop Guide with you. Then if you have to stop somewhere, put into the GPS on the QC or Garmin the interstate with the exit number of the truck stop and that will get you there. But anyway, ALWAYS Trip Plan before messing with ANY GPS. Use the GPS only as a BACKUP, not as your main. Your Rand McNally 2017 Motor Carriers Laminated Road Atlas is your MAIN trip planning tool. God I am getting like Rick with the caps here. LOL.

rofl-1.gifrofl-3.gif

Anyway Please plan carefully and accurately and do be safe out there and we are here if you need us.

smile.gifgood-luck.gif

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.

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.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Rick S.'s Comment
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God I am getting like Rick with the caps here. LOL.

Which is not necessarily a BAD THING.

Rick

Big T's Comment
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That is good to know G-Town thank you.

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

double-quotes-start.png

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.

double-quotes-end.png

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.
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