How to Find the Best Trucking GPS App for Commercial Vehicles

In 2021, the best trucking GPS apps for commercial vehicles offer more features and capabilities than just truck navigation. Ideally, when looking at truck GPS solutions, you would consider a complex platform to accommodate all of your truck routing needs.

When planning and mapping truck routes, capable truck routing GPS solutions account for your specific truck dimensions and other commercial vehicle parameters, minimize truck idling, and keep your truck drivers safe.

There are multiple truck GPS types to choose from. And not knowing the differences between them can make your decision-making process more difficult.

Everyone might have heard about GPS receivers, dedicated truck GPS devices, trucking GPS units, GPS apps, etc. But what’s the difference between them? And which one should you choose?

 

 

How to Choose the Best Truck GPS App for Commercial Vehicles

When looking for the best trucking GPS app for commercial vehicles, there are a lot of features to keep in mind. Follow these 10 steps to find the right truck GPS for your business with ease.

 

1. Check If the Truck Navigation App Has Up-to-Date Maps

Having accurate and updated truck maps is critical for planning truck routes and navigating those routes successfully. When using outdated maps, your truckers will get incorrect driving directions and could risk not only getting expensive fines but also compromising their safety.

The best truck navigation app should have maps that always get updated on road closures, road works, road infrastructure changes, etc. To get the best truck route GPS app free trial, download and install Route4Me’s Mobile Route Planning Apps.

Truck routing software and truck GPS navigation apps with 3D maps and street view for truck drivers

 

2. Ensure the Trucking GPS App Gives Accurate Navigation Directions

Accurate navigation directions go hand in hand with updated truck maps. If the truck maps are not relevant anymore, the driving directions will surely be dangerous to follow. To ensure the most cost-efficient and time-effective routes, you need accurate driving directions for your truck drivers.

Turn by turn driving directions on up to date maps for truckers on truck routing software with trucking GPS app

trucking route app

3. Look for a Trucking Route App That Offers Truckers Route GPS Routing Features

A trucking route app can only do so much – guide your truck drivers on planned routes. To make sure you’re routing your addresses in the most optimal way, avoid unnecessary windshield time, minimize truck fuel consumption, and make more money, you should consider choosing a complete routing solution for trucks.

For example, Route4Me’s truckers route GPS routing software can help you:

  • Plan and optimize the shortest truck routes
  • Navigate the planned routes with voice GPS navigation for trucks
  • Track route progress, truck driver behavior, and logistics KPIs and metrics

Planning truck routes on truck routing software for commercial vehicles and CMVs with truck road restrictions

 

4. Choose the Truck Navigation App With Road Restrictions Monitoring Capabilities

One of the things that can set apart the best trucking GPS app from a mediocre one is the ability to account for ALL road restrictions that your truck drivers might encounter while navigating their routes. If you want to ensure compliance and driver safety, you should go for a capable app for truckers that can factor in:

  • Bridge and tunnel heights limit
  • Truck weight restrictions
  • Commercially-approved roads
  • Other Class 1- 8 vehicle restrictions

Truck profiles for commercial vehicles with maximum weight per axel and other parameters on truck routing software

 

5. Make Sure the In-App GPS Navigation Accounts for Live Traffic

Aside from ensuring that the truckers route GPS app has updated maps, you also need to check if the truck navigation app has a live traffic layer. When having real-time traffic updates at hand, you will be able to avoid traffic jams during a rush hour, provide accurate ETAs, and avoid excessive truck idling.

Live traffic updates on trucking GPS app with navigation and turn by turn driving directions for truck drivers

 

6. Search for Toll Roads and Highway Avoidance Features

Tolls and highway use taxes can make up a substantial percentage of your operating expenses. For this reason, you should look for a trucking GPS app that enables you to avoid toll roads and highways.

The Route4Me Route Planner for commercial routing offers you the ability to exclude toll roads and freeways from your truck routes.

Avoiding highways and toll roads when planning routes for trucks on truck routing software.

 

7. Go Over the Fuel Consumption Management Capabilities

When trying to make your trucking company more efficient, truck fuel consumption is definitely worth your attention. The best truck navigation app should allow you to track the fuel consumption of your trucks.

Route4Me enables you to monitor your trucks’ fuel consumption and gather historical data about it and analyze it to identify patterns or trends.

Truck routing software with fleet fuel management to track fuel consumption of trucks and cut fuel costs

 

8. Prioritize Data Management, Reporting, and Analytics

Although important, fuel consumption is not the only thing you should be able to track. The best truck navigation app should help you gain full visibility into your trucking operation in terms of relevant logistics KPIs and metrics such as:

Truck routing software with logistics KPIs and reports with truck routing data for tracking truck driver performance

 

9. Check If the Truckers GPS App Has Voice Navigation

Voice navigation is a must-have feature when it comes to the best truckers GPS app. The Voice navigation will help your truck drivers focus on the road and stay safe while navigating their truck routes.

In addition to voice navigation, Route4Me trucking software offers truckers the convenience to enable the night mode and left-hand mode whenever necessary.

Available languages for voice navigation for truck drivers on the best trucking GPS app

 

10. Ensure the Fleet Management Features Are Right for Your Trucking Business

Every trucking company has its unique needs and requirements. With this in mind, you should look for a truck navigation app or truck routing software that can accommodate your business needs.

Route4Me offers you the flexibility to choose from multiple routing features so that you can customize your truckers GPS app as you need. With Route4Me, you don’t have to pay for unnecessary features.

Truck routing software features for commercial vehicles including scheduled breaks for truck drivers and truck routes

 

What Is a GPS Device?

GPS stands for Global Positioning System and consists of a network of 31 satellites, radar stations, and GPS receivers.

A GPS device, also called a trucking GPS unit, uses GPS receivers that can be dedicated or integrated into smartphones, cars, and other objects to calculate their geographical position. To calculate the geographical position, GPS receivers and devices use software that captures and processes signals sent by at least 4 GPS satellites at once.

Dedicated GPS devices are mobile mapping and navigation devices that can be used in cars to provide driving directions on routes. Dedicated GPS devices can also be hand-held and used for hiking, biking, etc. On the other hand, integrated GPS devices are built-in components of smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices.

Aside from indicating your geographical position, a GPS device can also:

  • Calculate the speed of your vehicle
  • Determine the direction you’re heading towards (bearing)
  • Track vehicles
  • Calculate the route distance
  • And more

 

Is There a Special GPS for Truck Drivers?

Truck routing and commercial vehicle navigation are more complex than regular GPS navigation. For instance, trucks are not allowed on certain road types and have weight and height restrictions. For this reason, truckers cannot use mapping services like Google Maps, which is designed for personal use only. Truck drivers need a special truckers GPS app that accounts for all the road limitations for commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).

There are mapping and routing apps for truck GPS and truck navigation that provide turn-by-turn driving directions while factoring in all the necessary CMV parameters and road restrictions necessary to keep truck drivers safe and compliant with traffic laws and regulations.

Aside from trucking GPS apps, truckers can also use dedicated truck GPS devices from providers such as:

 

GPS trackers or dedicated GPS devices are also known as GPS units among logistics professionals. Depending on their power source, GPS trackers can be:

  • Plug-In GPS Trackers
  • Hardwired GPS Trackers
  • Battery Powered GPS Trackers

When looking for a complex trucking GPS solution or a truckers GPS app, you need to keep in mind that dedicated GPS devices for truckers can be expensive. Sure, you could find devices with very basic features for under $150. But the best truck GPS devices can go way beyond $300. Unlike expensive GPS hardware, such as Garmin trucking GPS, trucking GPS apps can be more financially convenient and just as efficient as any GPS device.

Moreover, if you’re going to invest in a complete truck routing software solution that offers GPS navigation for trucks among multiple other features, you can make more money, save time, and utilize your fleet resources better.

 

Can You Set Google Maps for Trucks?

The Google Maps route planner is a free online mapping tool, useful for planning personal trips with up to 10 stops. Google’s routing service will not optimize the sequence of destinations, arranging them in the same order in which you input them. These are the main reasons why Google Maps is not suitable for planning multi-stop delivery routes, let alone truck routes.

As previously mentioned, truck routing is a more elaborate routing process than regular routing. Routes for CMVs need to account for certain road types, bridges, and tunnels as per the vehicle’s weight, height, and other commercial vehicle parameters. Therefore, Google Maps is not suitable for trucks – at least not for route planning.

Google Maps can be useful for truck drivers – but not as a truckers GPS app for navigation. Truckers can use Google’s route planner to find parking lots, restaurants, gas stations, landmarks, and more.

 

What Is the Best Trucking GPS App for Truckers?

Ideally, the best truck navigation app for truckers should be able to do more than just guiding truckers on their routes. A capable trucking GPS app for truckers should also offer route planning capabilities, accurate navigation directions, voice navigation, and other important features for a trucking company. The most popular GPS apps for truckers in 2021 include:

 

What Types of Commercial Vehicles Should Use Truck GPS Apps?

Commercial vehicles come in many shapes and sizes – from trucks, semi-trailer trucks, and vans to buses, trailers, heavy equipment, and even taxis. Even though there can be minor variations from state to state, in the United States, any vehicle that is registered to a company is a commercial vehicle. As per this broad classification, not all commercial vehicles have road restrictions. On that note, if a regular car is used for business, it is considered a commercial vehicle.

Aside from the business-related classification criterion, any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of more than 26,001 pounds is considered a commercial vehicle. On that note, there are 8 weight classes for commercial trucks in the U.S.:

 

Light Duty Commercial Vehicles

  • Class 1: commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 6,000 pounds (mini-vans, utility vans, pick-ups, etc.)
  • Class 2: commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating from 6,000 to 10,000 pounds (mini-buses, step vans, etc.)
  • Class 3: commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating from 10,000 to 14,000 pounds (walk-in trucks, city delivery trucks, etc.)

 

Medium Duty Commercial Vehicles

  • Class 4: commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating from 14,001 to 16,000 pounds (conventional vans, utility trucks, etc.)
  • Class 5: commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating from 16,001 to 19,500 pounds (bucket trucks, large walk-in trucks, etc.)
  • Class 6: commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating from 19,501 to 26,000 pounds (rack trucks, beverage trucks, single axle trucks, school buses, etc.)

 

Heavy Duty Commercial Vehicles

  • Class 7: commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating from 26,001 to 33,000 pounds (refuse trucks or garbage trucks, fuel tank trucks, tow trucks, city transit buses, truck tractors, etc.)
  • Class 8: commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating above 33,000 pounds (dump trucks, sleeper trucks, fire engines, concrete mixer trucks, intercity buses, etc.)

 

By now, you probably know what the best trucking GPS apps should look like. Now it’s time to see one in action.

Start your 7-day free trial today!

 

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About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 34,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.