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

Topic 19748 | Page 5

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Chief Brody's Comment
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Jamie,

You said you use the Garmin Dezl 780. When you get a chance, please provide a little more information about your use, such as voice command, etc.

Jamie's Comment
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Jamie,

You said you use the Garmin Dezl 780. When you get a chance, please provide a little more information about your use, such as voice command, etc.

I have only had very few problems while using it, nothing common sense couldnt get me out of. I dont tend to use voice command to much and even have it disabled. But it's a good way to find parking near by, addresses, etc. Although, I use it for all of my routing, I also use Google Maps ONLY to navigate to the truck entrance as some of the addresses given takes you to the employee parking lot generally.

Over all it has been a very nice investment and has helped me navigate over 130,000 miles across the country with very minimum problems such as routing me on restricted roads and what not. But just got to keep your eyes on the road and read signs and you'll stay out of trouble.

BardTale's Comment
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With my last company, they used the Qualcomm and I absolutely hated the GPS on it. Granted, it was my training company and at times I relied way more than I should of and have learned that lesson the hard way on more than one occassion. Since moving to the company I'm with now, they use PeopleNet and a built in CoPilot GPS. In my honest opinion, CoPilot is a far superior GPS (They even have an android/ios app version of it).

That all said, I mostly just use CoPilot to do the heavy lifting of guiding my trip (After I have verified my route using more conventional means). When I get within 100 miles of my destination, I'll research the best way in (Assuming I'm going to a new place of course). This usually involves checking the route CoPilot is suggesting and then using google satellite maps to get a visual on the streets and figure out where the docks are; making adjustments as necessary.

Most of the places I go to are Post Office bulk mail distribution centers, newspapers, commercial printers and on occasion a bulk paper roll warehouse etc. (I work on a dedicated account). So I frequent the same places over and over generally. As many others have said, research, research and more research. When in doubt, call the customer up and verify the directions. :)

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.
Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
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Brian, it sure helped me. Thank you. I have printed out your instruction in this thread, and I intend to laminate it & keep it with me. Know I'm waking up an old thread here, but could not read this without a proper thank you.

Lil'Red

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).

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