Should A Truck Driver Use a GPS?
There are a lot of misconceptions on if a truck driver should use a GPS. Many have heard stories of a driver hitting their trailer on a low bridge because they relied on their GPS. Many have heard that there is no issue, and put blind faith into the technology.
Let’s take a minute and look at the pros and cons of utilizing a GPS.
Using GPS brings many benefits, such as:
- Familiarity. You likely are already familiar with a GPS in your personal car.
- Turn by turn directions. When you are in a city it is really helpful for when the GPS tells you that you need to turn left onto Ogden Street in a 1000 feet versus trying to read small road signs.
Yet, with all of the positive uses there are things that truck drivers have to be aware of versus the person in their own personal vehicle.
- It’s going to fail. The GPS is only as good as the person who programs it. You might encounter things like:
- You could end up on a non-truck route.
- Construction changes our road ways constantly. If your GPS hasn’t been updated yet, you could find yourself in a tricky situation.
- You could encounter a low bridge. Perhaps that bridge wasn’t a low bridge 3 years ago, but due to new asphalt it is now too low for your tractor and trailer.
- Your directions might unexpectedly change. If you are blindly following the audible directions, you could find yourself turning on first street versus second.
With all these potential risks, should a truck driver make the investment into a GPS unit? Actually, yes. When you are aware of the potential risks you can use GPS as one tool in your toolbox. When partnered with your atlas and things like Google Maps, a GPS can be a lot of help. When used correctly, it could make you safer out on the road and help remove distractions like reading really small road signs with traffic all around you.
- Get a GPS unit that is built for truck drivers. We recommend either of these brands:
- Rand McNally
- Update your GPS! As stated earlier, roads are ever changing. Make sure your GPS has automatic updates, or that you are looking to update the software. This will help keep you safe!
At Veriha, we encourage each driver to have a GPS in their truck. We have a payroll deduction program that can help spread out the cost of your GPS unit versus one lump sum. Speak to your Fleet Leader or Recruiter to learn more!