Should I Buy A GPS Unit 🤔

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Moe's Comment
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So far so good on my May trucking journey, I will update my journal either tonight or tommorrow under the CDL training diaries section. Question i have is should I buy a GPS right off the bat? Money is tight and May does not have navigation on their Qualcomm. My biggest fear i have is either missing an exit or something, but I cant seem to justify the cost outright....

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.
Moe's Comment
member avatar

I should add that I only have 1400.00 in savings and I am really remiss to put something like that on credit card debt right off the bat. I don't like basing current, in the moment purchases off of expected earnings or income. Its a recipe for disaster.

So far so good on my May trucking journey, I will update my journal either tonight or tommorrow under the CDL training diaries section. Question i have is should I buy a GPS right off the bat? Money is tight and May does not have navigation on their Qualcomm. My biggest fear i have is either missing an exit or something, but I cant seem to justify the cost outright....

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.
Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

YES, the short and sweet of it is YES you should buy a TRUCK based GPS. If the company doesn't provide one, you still need it. Google maps will eventually get you into serious trouble, possibly career ending trouble or at least a ticket for being where you shouldn't be. SPEND THE MONEY, GET A TRUCK GPS.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes, get your own GPS. TRUCK one. Don't depend on truck stops the but one ($$ more than you need to pay.)

Rent McNally is the big dog. Also look at Garmin and TomTom. In keeping with my activity on Trucking Truth, I I've a TT GPS myself. 😁

Bird-One's Comment
member avatar

Yeah you will definitely need Moe it your company isn’t providing one. I know you’re saying you don’t have a ton in savings but you will need a quality Garmin or Rand McNally. Also make sure to get a McNally map also. The motor carriers edition I think it’s called. You’ll be able to verify between the two.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

“ May does not have navigation on their Qualcomm.” Really? WOW! So, they don’t care what route you take or where you get fuel?

Okay, sorry. I’m just shocked a carrier as large as they are doesn’t have navigation.

If the initial cost is too much, you could download the free Truckerpath app and pay the subscription to upgrade for truck routes. I think it’s $99/yr. Then you could save up for a GPS.

I hope this helps.

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.
JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

Don't forget about your fuel points. They can add up quick and help to offset some of the cost of a GPS. The ones in the truck stops, while more expensive, even a small one is only about 200.

Honestly you don't need one per say, you can do it all with an atlas. But a GPS is a huge quality of life improvement and spending the money on even a small one is going to pay you back really quick in time savings.

TCB's Comment
member avatar

Yes, you really should invest in a gps. Your company might advance you the money for purchase. A trucker specific gps can save you a lot of time and grief. Check with your company. Maybe they will be upgrading from a Qualcom to a tablet platform like many companies are. Maybe then, they will provide navigation. Even if they do, it is good to have a back up. If you are going to be driving back roads frequently, it will be very hard without a gps. If trying to save money, avoid eating out as much as possible. Hopefully, your truck will have a frig and inverter. You will save a lot of money preparing your own food. The amount of money that you save in one month of not eating out will help much in purchasing a gps.

TCB's Comment
member avatar

If you haven't gone solo or team yet, it's a good idea to sign up for the rewards programs from the major truck stops. That way, when you are asigned a truck, you will start collecting reward points with your first fueling. Even some mentors will allow you to use your rewards card when fueling their truck. These reward points can add up, and help you purchase items for your truck. It would take a very long time to save up enough points for a gps, but not too long for other items, such as a cb (another recommendation). The money saved for those items could be applied toward a gps.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
87Wrangler 's Comment
member avatar

Moe,

I know how it is when money gets tight... If you will tell me how to get in touch with you I will send you a used truck gps..Rand Mcanally OD8PRO you will just need to get a mount for it, works good for me. I know how hard you have tried to get this going and will be glad to help, no strings attached! I purchased it for myself, then found another one for a good price, so now I have two, and only need one, it has the FM transmitter mount and charging cord just needs the suction cup. Has been updated as well. I was going to keep it for a backup but its yours if you can use it and will help you out! Itndoesmhave the built in cameras and sd card as well.

Fm:

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.
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