Regular Vehicle Navigation vs Commercial Truck Navigation

Commercial vehicle routing is significantly different from routing for regular vehicles for multiple reasons. Numerous special state regulations, traffic restrictions, physical road constraints, etc., make routing for commercial vehicles more complex.

Aside from oversized and extremely heavy vehicles, the commercial vehicle category can also include regular trucks. Vehicles with more than 2 axles, HAZMAT restrictions, and special height, width, weight, bridge, and tunnel avoidance can’t drive on most public roads. Such Class 1- 8 commercial vehicles are mostly prohibited from driving through most tunnels, bridges, overpasses, and so on.

Not driving a commercial vehicle on designated roads can result in danger to public and driver safety, law violations, fines, and penalties.

That being said, using route planning and optimization software for regular vehicles to plan routes for commercial vehicles may provide extremely inaccurate and dangerous driving directions, false ETAs, etc.

Route4Me’s Truck Navigation App is designed to provide the most accurate and efficient driving directions exclusively for commercial vehicles. With our in-app commercial navigation, you can account for overweights, minimize accident risks, avoid fines and penalties for using non-commercial roads, and more. You can define the exact parameters of your commercial vehicle(s), and Route4Me will automatically choose the best commercial roads for your specific parameters.


Examples of Commercial vs Regular Navigation

Since commercial routes must include only commercially approved roads, the distance and travel times of commercial routes, as a rule, are noticeably different than those of the routes for regular vehicles. Moreover, when using the same addresses, in most cases, commercial routes and regular routes will have different stop sequences. Taking into account all restrictions of commercial routing, using “consumer-grade” software for optimizing commercial routes can result in false and dangerous driving directions, as well as inaccurate drive times and distances. For example, the route optimized for a regular car most likely will be more dangerous or even illegal for a heavy-duty straight truck. Below you can find examples of the routes that have identical stops/locations and were first optimized for regular vehicles and then re-optimized for commercial vehicles.


Location – New York, NY, USA | Heavy Duty – 28 Double Trailer

The example below shows the difference between navigation for regular vehicles and commercial vehicles (Route4Me iOS Route Planner). The example below demonstrates how a route that was planned for a regular vehicle was re-optimized into a route for a commercial vehicle and how it affected this route’s total distance, time, navigation directions, stops sequence, and other parameters.

Regular and commercial navigation can have different driving times, distances, and directions.

 Vehicle ProfileTravel DistanceTravel Time (HH:MM)Route SequenceDriving Directions
Regular VehicleNo Restrictions24.87 miles01:35DefaultDefault
Commercial VehicleHeavy Duty – 28 Double Trailer43.95 miles04:01ChangedChanged


The example below shows how the driving directions on the re-optimized route changed and what roads that could be used by a regular vehicle were avoided for a commercial vehicle (Route4Me Android Route Planner).

Commercial navigation can avoid bridges, tunnels, overpasses, and other non-commercial roads.

 Vehicle ProfileAvoided Roads/Structures
Regular VehicleNo RestrictionsNo Avoidance
Commercial VehicleHeavy Duty – 28 Double TrailerLincoln Tunnel; Queens Midtown Tunnel


Location – Indianapolis, IN, USA | HAZMAT (Flammable) – 53 Semitrailer

Commercial voice-guided navigation vs regular mobile navigation on Route4Me's iOS Route Planner.

 Vehicle ProfileTravel DistanceTravel Time (HH:MM)Route SequenceDriving Directions
Regular VehicleNo Restrictions29.57 miles01:31DefaultDefault
Commercial VehicleHAZMAT (Flammable) – 53 Semitrailer25.97 miles02:23ChangedChanged


HAZMAT voice-guided navigation vs regular mobile navigation on Route4Me's Android Route Planner.

 Vehicle ProfileAvoided Roads/Structures
Regular VehicleNo RestrictionsNo Avoidance
Commercial VehicleHAZMAT (Flammable) – 53 SemitrailerI-70 and I-65 Interstate Highways


Location – Boston, MA, USA | Heavy Duty – 48 Semitrailer

Driving directions and ETAs can be different for commercial and regular mobile route navigation.

 Vehicle ProfileTravel DistanceTravel Time (HH:MM)Route SequenceDriving Directions
Regular VehicleNo Restrictions19.47 miles01:38DefaultDefault
Commercial VehicleHeavy Duty – 48 Semitrailer22.76 miles03:24ChangedChanged



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About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 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.