GPS Systems For Truck Drivers

For truck drivers, having peace of mind makes a world of difference. With truck-specific GPS systems, drivers get accurate navigation and the extra features you need to get to your destination. When you're far from cell phone service and driving a tractor-trailer, these added features and information make all the difference in getting to your destination on time. So let's dive into more about GPS systems and some of the best truck GPS systems on the market today.

What Is The Difference Between A Truck GPS and A Car GPS?

Despite using the same system of satellites, receivers, and ground stations, truck GPS systems differ significantly from those designed for cars. A trucker's GPS tends to be far more accurate for location identification and determining the most efficient route based on current road and traffic conditions.

Both systems serve to calculate the optimized route to a designated destination. They can also pick up locations for popular stops like restaurants, rest areas, and gas stations.

GPS systems on phones notify users of traffic-related slowdowns and redirect the route, but phone GPS applications rely on cell phone service to operate, so they are unreliable in dead zones often frequented by long haul truckers. Let's look into a few more specifics on each type of GPS.

Truck GPS

A truck GPS is designed to meet the needs and demands of truckers. It shows real-time updates for traffic and weather patterns. The device will also show diesel prices at upcoming gas stations and points of interest for truck drivers. One beneficial safety function of truck GPS systems is notifications for the safest truck route based on size, weight, and the type of freight you're hauling. These truck-specific GPSs also provide parking information for truckers.

Overall the truck GPS takes a lot of stress off the driver. It helps plan their route and their stops, so nothing is left to chance. Long-haul drivers will benefit from the added resources and parking locations. Short-haul drivers also benefit as many towns and cities have certain roads, bridges, or tunnels that large commercial motor vehicles cannot use.

Identifying the safest route for a truck's weight and size helps truckers navigate smaller towns that may have restrictions on where trucks can drive.


A car GPS is essentially a bare-bones version of a truck GPS. It will find the optimal route to get to your destination. Some models of GPS do not have the functions for real-time updates on traffic patterns. Older models require you to plug into your computer to update roads and highways. This model is not ideal for truck drivers who rely on their GPS daily.

Phone GPS applications will provide real-time updates on road closures and traffic patterns. These features are often enough for most casual drivers but will not suffice for a trucker. Phones also do not operate solely on GPS satellites. To work effectively, they must have cell service with access to 4G or 5G.

Top-Rated Truck GPS Devices

If you are a truck driver, investing in a quality GPS is critical. It will save you many headaches and frustrations in the long run. More importantly, it will help keep you on the safest route available. So if you're in the market for a new truck GPS, look no further. Here are some of the top-rated truck GPS systems available on the market today.

Garmin dezl OTR700, 7-inch GPS Truck Navigator

The Garmin dezl OTR700 navigation system is one of the top-rated devices used by truckers. This model provides custom truck routing based on the size and weight of your truck. With this function, trucker drivers will be notified of all upcoming bridge heights and sharp curves.

The large screen and high-resolution display are perfect for easy viewing while driving. In addition, this system offers truck-friendly parking information and popular routes used by fellow truckers.

Some additional features on this model include optional subscriptions for the Garmin Elog to track hours of service. In addition, the voice assistant is an added safety feature so drivers can talk to the GPS while keeping their hands on the wheel.

Users celebrate the accuracy and reliability of the Garmin dezl OTR700. Many find the map details to be superior to other models. Truck drivers also find the interface and general usability very intuitive and simple to operate. The Garmin dezl OTR700 sells for about $400.

TruckWay GPS- Pro Series Model 720

The TruckWay GPS-Pro Series Model 720 is another top-rated system many truckers use. The GPS offers customizable routes based on height, width, length, weight, and the type of product you're transporting. This is especially helpful for those transporting hazardous materials. The device boasts a superior navigation design with 3D relief options and a standard 2D view.

The TruckWay GPS-Pro Series Model 720 offers free lifetime maps to users. This means you will always have accurate maps for the USA, Canada, and Mexico available by email. The company also has excellent 24/7 customer service, which may come in handy should you encounter any issues while on a late-night haul.

Users find this device offers more accurate directions and routes than other GPS systems. Others find it to be an excellent value for the price. The TruckWay GPS-Pro Series Model 720 sells for about $160. Those who encountered issues with the device found the customer service to be very helpful.

TomTom PRO 7150 5-inch Truck GPS Navigator

TomTom is a great name for car and truck GPS systems alike. The TomTom PRO 7150 offers unique features to provide truck drivers the safest and most efficient route. The unit considers the overall slower speeds of trucks when mapping routes and providing ETAs. The GPS also considers difficult sharp angles in its optimized route. Similarly, the device factors truckers' preferences for left turns over right turns.

The TomTom PRO 7150 comes with lifetime traffic and map updates for users. The 5-inch screen is slightly smaller than others on this list, but sometimes this suits a trucker's personal preference. In addition, the device allows drivers to customize their route based on the size, weight, and hazmat classification of their load.

Users find the price to be reasonable for this unit, which typically sells for about $150. Truckers find this specific system to be very reliable and intuitive, whereas other GPS systems have taken them on less than optimal routes.

TomTom Trucker 620 6-inch GPS Navigation

The TomTom Trucker 620 GPS navigator is an excellent option for truck drivers. The device offers traffic and services via Bluetooth. It helps drivers avoid getting trucks in traffic while simultaneously providing accurate ETAs. Safety features include letting drivers know when it's time for a break and allowing phone connections via Bluetooth. This feature will enable drivers to pick up calls and have messages read to them, so their focus stays on the road.

The TomTom Trucker 620 device offers points of interest for large vehicles. This feature provides trucks with an opportunity to rest, fuel up, and even service their vehicles. The navigation system also offers customizable routes based on vehicle size, weight, and maximum speed. There is also an option for hazardous cargo. In addition, users benefit from regularly updated USA and Canadian maps.

Users appreciate the durability and reliability of the TomTom Trucker 620 GPS. Although some drivers encountered issues, many truckers found the interface easy to use and the routes to be accurate. With a price of $325, most drivers found the quality and features for the price to be excellent.

Garmin dezlCam 85 LMT-S GPS

The Garmin dezlCam 85 LMT-S GPS offers a wide variety of great features and resources for truck drivers, earning it a spot as one of the top-rated devices today. This GPS provides custom truck routing for size and weight. It also notifies drivers of upcoming height restrictions to allow trucks to reroute.

Other features include connecting to Garmin's Elog subscription to record hours of service and a built-in dash cam to record drives and enable driver awareness features. These driver awareness features include forward collision and departure warnings.

Another convenient feature offered by the Garmin dezlCam 85 LMT-S is trucker points of interest, including a truck and trailer services directory and a search feature by brand or amenity. Drivers can control this device with their voice, so their focus stays on the road by connecting their phones via Bluetooth.

Users appreciate the intuitive and easy-to-use menus and interface. Drivers also enjoy the notifications of upcoming slowdowns and road closures. Overall, truckers found the routes to be accurate and reliable. The bonus features and trusted name give this device a price of $450.

Rand McNally TND540 GPS Navigator

Rand McNally is a trusted name among GPS navigators for truck drivers. The TND540 GPS stays true to the brand's reliable and durable reputation and offers a great notification system for upcoming speed limit changes, sharp curves, and more. Preferences for warning notifications are customizable.

Drivers will also benefit from the on-screen fuel prices for upcoming diesel stations. Truckers can search for fuel by brand, type, or price. In addition, the Rand McNally TND540 provides up-to-date weather conditions available in 10 different map overlays, including precipitation and wind speed. This device also provides route comparisons between primary and alternate routes.

Users like the option for either a 5-inch or 7-inch screen on the Rand McNally TND540. Drivers appreciate fuel tracking and alternative routes. Like other Rand McNally products, users appreciate the device's accuracy and reliability of route planning. With a price of $240, users get an excellent value for their money.

Xgody X4 9-inch GPS Navigator

The Xgody X4 GPS is a highly-rated device for truckers. One of the most attractive features of this GPS is the large 9-inch high-resolution touchscreen. The clear and crisp screen offers a great visual experience for truckers. In addition, drivers can customize their routes based on their vehicle's size, weight, and hazmat classification to avoid roads with restrictions on height, width, and weight.

Bluetooth capabilities on the Xgody X4 keep truckers focused on driving while being able to make calls via voice when needed. Trucks with rearview cameras can connect their backup cameras to the device for a multifunctional experience. The device provides warning notifications for speed limits, red lights, railway crossings, high accident zones, and more.

Users get an excellent value with the Xgody X4, which typically sells for around $100. Many truck drivers report finding better service from this over more prominent name brands. Users find the screen makes navigating far easier and they recommend it to other truckers because of the low cost.

Advice From Other Truckers

The best recommendations come from the tried and true experiences of seasoned truckers. Here are some quotes from drivers on TruckingTruth forums.

Reliability Of Rand McNally

"Rand McNally TND730 When this one stops working, I am going out and repurchasing the same one. It has just saved me too many times when the Qualcomm goes into Freeze mode, or you miss a turn, and it tries to figure out a new route eventually for you. Miss a turn with Rand McNally, and it is already trying to find a new route." - Tman
"I have a Rand McNally and love it. It tells you when you are approaching weigh stations. .. curves... construction. My QC GPS doesn't always have the route prime wants me to take.. and GPS is just a tool ... even trucker ones can be wrong" - Trucking Along With Kearsey

Accuracy Of Garmin

"I roll with a Garmin. Only once has the thing let me down. It was off by 6-7 miles, but I use the map in conjunction with the GPS, so I don't expect to have that many GPS issues.....out" - Last Shadow
"Garmin also has an up ahead function that will show you all of the truck stops and rest areas, and I also have Walmart's plugged into my up ahead function. So when I'm driving along and because of traffic or other delays I am short on time to get to my destination from the night I can simply pick one on the fly." - Chief Brody

FAQ's About GPS Systems

How Do GPS Systems Work?

GPS stands for global positioning systems. It involves a system of satellites orbiting the Earth. The GPS of satellites works 24/7 all across the globe regardless of weather conditions. You must know the three components of GPS systems to understand how a GPS works with the satellites:

Satellite: Send signals as they orbit the Earth.

Receiver: Continuously listen for satellite signals. Highly advanced receivers identify locations within fractions of an inch.

Ground Stations: Monitor and control satellites while also identifying their location.

The three components communicate to identify locations and plan the best routes. Both car and truck GPS systems utilize the same satellites for location identification.

Why Do I Need A Truck GPS?

A truck GPS will make your life as a trucker much easier. They help plan the best route and make sure your stay on safe roads. Many devices also conveniently track hours of service and provide real-time updates for traffic and weather patterns.

How Much Does A Truck GPS Cost?

Truck GPS navigators vary widely in price. Some cost as little as $60, while others are close to the $1,000 mark. The price reflects brand integrity as well as added features.

How Accurate Are GPS Systems?

GPS systems are reasonably accurate for the most part. However, many truckers find it beneficial to use a few different route planning methods to make sure they don't run into any trouble or difficult spots during their hauls. Sometimes there are inaccuracies in the GPS regarding where trucks are allowed to drive. We recommend using multiple planning avenues to save you time, gas, and headaches.

Can I Get Away With Using A Car GPS As A Truck Driver?

A car GPS will give you a route to a destination based on where regular passenger vehicles can travel. Trucks require a specific route in many places. In a pinch, a car GPS may get you pointed in the right direction, but you'll likely encounter some hurdles if you're not using a truck-specific navigation system.


Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.


Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations


Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.


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.

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • DAC:

    Drive-A-Check Report

    A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

    It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

    Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.


    Hours Of Service

    HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


    Operating While Intoxicated


    Electric Auxiliary Power Units

    Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Why Join Trucking Truth?

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training