GPS Woes for Truckers

Sep 1, 2017

For a regular joe, the failure of a GPS can lead you to miss your favorite restaurant. But things are a little worse for a truck driver en route to deliver a load. GPS failure can be significant when you’re stuck on a route that bans trucks altogether or when you’ve reached a bridge with low clearance. Sometimes it can take you out of the way of your destination and lead you to a turn you just can’t make in a semi.

Although your GPS navigation system can be a convenient tool when you’re out of your normal environment, it’s still a bit of technology that can easily be thrown off or give information that is no longer accurate. There are a few things you should watch out for.

Only a few companies produce map databases, so if you find an error on one provider, it might be common to others.

Additions and corrections to maps are not always uploaded in a timely manner.

Using the shortest route could route you through unpaved roads, so make sure if you have the option to select a paved route you do so.

Watch out for areas with no cellular coverage. Downtime means your map will not update.

Most GPS units rely on data from multiple satellites. If you’re in an area that is short on satellite access you c0uld experience a delay.

You’ll want to pack your common sense along with your GPS system. If you suspect that a road will not be suitable for your load, you’ll want to find another route. Be prepared to make instant judgement calls while driving and if necessary, pull over to explore your options ahead of time. You should carry a road atlas and be prepared to make some calls to your point of delivery for assistance. The DOT can also be of assistance, so keep those numbers handy.

Let’s face it. You’re going to hear, “recalculating” from your GPS a lot, so just be prepared! The bottom line is that GPS is a great aid, but it still has its limits.