Best Trucker GPS Units of 2021 – Ultimate Round-up

Don
| Last Updated: February 6, 2021

Driving a truck takes both skill and training. But, you need to have a proper route chalked out to your destination as well. 

This is something that a trucker GPS unit helps truck drivers with. These units come with maps and many other features that help drivers.

So, let’s have a look at the best trucker GPS units currently available in the market to help you choose one.

Our Top Picks for Best Trucker GPS

  • Customize signals
  • Lane guidance
  • Wide display
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  • Easy to connect
  • Many pre-loaded maps
  • Accurate speed limits
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  • Best for the Money
  • Live traffic updates
  • Pair with phones
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Comparison of the Best GPS Units for Truckers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Customizable warning alerts to suit your needs
  • Advanced lane guidance and assist
  • Comes with 7 inches wide display included
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  • Comes with Bluetooth wireless connection option
  • Wide range of pre-loaded maps for your convenience
  • Speed limit updater provides real-time updates
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  • Best for the Money
  • Live traffic updates for quicker and safer arrivals
  • Can be paired with mobile devices for hands-free calls
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  • Free lifetime updates for detailed maps
  • Alerts for upcoming bridge heights
  • Free traffic updates for quicker and safer arrivals
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  • Comes with a 7 inches wide display included
  • Free traffic and weather updates
  • Truck and trailer services directory
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What Makes a GPS Great for Truckers?

A GPS can be the perfect aide to truckers when it comes to traveling off to faraway places. No matter how many times you cover a route, you can still forget the turns and other significant points. So, a GPS unit helps you stay on track in spite of the number of times you have been to a place. Here is what makes GPS units so great for truck drivers.

Easy Navigation

Even if you have very clear instructions of the routes you are to take, you can still make mistakes. But, this is something that you do not have to worry about with a properly working GPS. 

Garmin dezl 770LMTHD

Traffic Updates

Most of the GPS units also give drivers live traffic updates. This helps them get an idea of the speed limits as well as the density of traffic on the route. 

Quick Take - Best GPS Units for Truckers

Before you go any further, here are the best GPS units for truckers:

  1. Rand McNally TND 740
  2. Garmin dezl 770LMTHD
  3. TomTom Trucker 620

Review of the Best GPS Units for Truckers

Now that you know how GPS units for trucks work, you should be looking for some models to buy. Keeping this in view, we have reviewed some of the best units that you can go for.

Rand McNally TND 740 IntelliRoute Truck Navigation GPS with 7' HD Vibrant Display

PROS

  • Warnings are customizable
  • Diagnostics via two USB ports
  • Vibrant HD display of 7 inches
  • Lane assist increases ease of use
  • Free lifetime map updates offered

CONS

  • Works only till the warranty runs out

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are quite happy with the purchase of this Rand McNally GPS for trucks. They are particularly fond of the high definition display that has amazing graphics. They also liked its free lifetime maps updates that helped them stay on the right routes. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

It stands out to us with its interface that has a simple layout. This makes it easy for users to understand and use it in the right way. The GPS unit also has customizable warnings that let you change the warning settings according to your needs. 

Moreover, there are two USB ports in it that you can use to connect diagnostics. This helps you get a clear idea of any probable issues that your vehicle might undergo. 

Also, it comes with a driver’s scorecard that helps you track miles, vehicle fault codes, and MPG. 

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is that it comes loaded with useful features at a highly affordable price. So, you can get it without deviating from your budget. Thus, you should go ahead and buy it to reach your destination without getting lost. 

Garmin dezl 770LMTHD 7-Inch GPS Navigator-(Renewed)

PROS

  • Variety of preloaded maps
  • Supports FM traffic feature
  • Built-in microphone for calls
  • Bluetooth technology-enabled
  • Includes a speed limit indicator

CONS

  • General speed limit indicator only

What Recent Buyers Report

People have approved of this trucker GPS unit because of its pre-loaded maps. Since it comes with most maps of the US and Canada already programmed in it, it is quite reliable. They have also taken to it positively due to its accurate traffic updates. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We have chosen it to be the runner-up due to its Bluetooth technology. It not only helps users connect their smartphones with it but also enables hands-free calling. 

In addition to Bluetooth, there is a built-in microphone for calling. Also, it has a 90-day warranty that lets you use it and check if the product has any faults. So, if there are any issues in the unit, you can get it replaced or repaired promptly. 

Furthermore, there is a free lifetime update of maps and routes, which lets users stay on the best possible routes to their destination. 

Bottom Line

To sum up, this is an incredible trucker GPS unit for modern-day truckers. It has a great display with clearly readable directions. So, you do not have to look at the screen for too long. Just glance at it, and you will be able to read all the instructions quickly without having to be distracted from the road. 

Best for the Money:
TomTom Trucker 620

TomTom Trucker 620 6-Inch Gps Navigation Device for Trucks with Wi-Fi Connectivity, Smartphone Services, Real Time Traffic And Maps of North America

PROS

  • Accurate arrival time predictions
  • Comes with a built-in Wi-Fi adapter
  • Has updated maps of USA and Canada
  • High brightness screen is readable under sunlight 
  • Pre-loaded 1500+ points of interest for large vehicles

CONS

  • Application settings are tricky

What Recent Buyers Report

This GPS unit has left its mark on customers with its smart usage. The six-inch LCD is compact enough to adjust in their vehicle without crowding the front. At the same time, it is adequately sized for them to get maximum information within a few seconds. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

TomTom Trucker has impressed us with this GPS unit as it has an amazing display. The screen has ultra-brightness for better readability in sunlight. 

This makes it easy for truckers to look at and understand the maps without having to squint their eyes to focus. This comes in handy, particularly when you are driving on hot and bright summer days. 

In addition to this, there are 1500+ points of interest already fed into its database. They help you get an idea of the nearby fuel stations, restaurants, and other relevant places.

Bottom Line

Summarizing it, this trucker GPS unit is worth the investment because of its price point. It also has all the features that a trucker might need when it comes to navigation. You also get to enjoy hands-free calling and smartphone messages with it. So, what else is there to ask for?

Editor's Pick:
Garmin dezl 580 LMT-S

Garmin dezl 580 LMT-S, Truck GPS Navigator with 5-inch Display, Free Lifetime Map Updates, Live Traffic and Weather

PROS

  • Allows you to plan breaks easily
  • Truck and trailer services directory 
  • Free live traffic display and updates
  • Bluetooth enables hands-free calling
  • Customized routing according to truck’s weight

CONS

  • Does not show bridge heights

What Recent Buyers Report

Garmin has earned a reputation on the market with its high-quality products. This GPS unit is no different as it has gained the trust of several users lately. Most of them love its free live traffic updates, which help them change routes and avoid being stuck in traffic. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Garmin dezl 580 LMT-S has made it to our list with its customized routing. Drivers can set up its directions according to the weight of the truck. If it is loaded, you can just configure your unit accordingly to avoid any inconvenience. 

Along with this, there is an easy break planning feature in this GPS unit. It helps you get an idea of the places where you can stop and find things that you might need. 

Since it has built-in Wi-Fi, it is easier for you to stay up-to-date with all the changes and modifications of routes. 

Bottom Line

Wrapping up, it is another great option that you can go for. The display quality and accuracy of maps make it more reliable for users. As it has a truck and trailer services directory, you won’t have to worry about anything, even if something goes wrong in your truck. 

Honorable Mention:
Garmin dezlCam 785 LMT-S

Garmin dezlCam 785 LMT-S, GPS Truck Navigator with Built-in Dash Cam

PROS

  • Lane departure warnings included
  • Built-in dash cam to record the drive
  • Magnetic mount helps with installation
  • Customized routing for weight and size
  • Smartphone Link app for smart notifications

CONS

  • Pricier than similar models

What Recent Buyers Report

785 LMT-S by Garmin has succeeded in winning the trust of people with its magnetic mount. Users do not need any accessories or complex tools to fix it in its place. This convenience of installation and then the easy-to-use layout makes it a favorite of many.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This trucker GPS unit deserves to be the honorable mention on our list with its latest technology. It has a customized routing for your truck, both in terms of weight and size. 

Other than this, there is a built-in dash cam that records all the activities on your drive. This helps you in making summaries and reports of the drive easily later on. This is particularly helpful for those who are in the shipping business. 

Moreover, there is a Smartphone Link app for this unit, which shows you all the notifications on your phone. 

Bottom Line

Keeping all this in view, this is a great choice for those who do not have a strict budget to stick to. The features like lane departure warnings and built-in Wi-Fi make it an even better option. 

How Does a Trucker GPS Work?

A trucker GPS works much like the GPS on other devices, but there is one major difference. There are sometimes patches on the roads where the usual cellular GPS does not work. This is something that does not happen with trucker GPS. Truck GPS units get a consistent stream of data from satellites. This data displays on the screen in a readable format to help truckers stay on track.

Does GPS Work Without Wi-Fi?

Yes, GPS can work without Wi-Fi, but your GPS unit should have maps already loaded in it. The GPS radio stays in direct connection with the satellites to provide you the required information, even in the absence of Wi-Fi. 

Why Do GPS Trackers Need a SIM Card?

Sim cards are necessary for GPS trackers to form and maintain a connection with the satellites. They help in transmitting both audio and visual data via local transmission channels.

Does GPS Use Cell Towers?

Although GPS works like cell phones as it also uses radio waves, instead of cell towers, the GPS units connect with the satellites orbiting the earth.

What to Look For When Buying a Trucker GPS

Buying a trucker GPS does not take any major head-scratching on your part. You just have to be aware of what you are looking for in order to get the right unit for your truck. This is why we have jotted down the most important things that you should look for in a GPS unit.

Display Size

The first thing that you have to consider is the display size of the trucker GPS unit. This is because it has to have the right dimensions. If you want something compact and practical, then a five-inch display is fine. But, if you want a bigger and clearer display, then go for a seven-inch screen. 

TomTom Trucker 620

Layout Type

The type of layout of the display and software settings is important as well. The layout should be easy to understand and configure. This helps in setting up an interface that suits your needs the best.

Live Traffic

Live traffic and weather updates are significant, too, as they help you stay prepared for the journey ahead. These kinds of heads-up make the journey more comfortable as you already know what to expect. 

Bluetooth Connectivity

You have to be careful of the Bluetooth connectivity of a GPS unit as well. This is to help connect your smartphone with your vehicle for easier use. 

Pros and Cons of GPS for Truckers

A GPS can be a true game-changer for truckers as it helps them in several ways. Here is a brief summary of the pros and cons that a GPS unit has for truck drivers: 

Pros

Let’s first have a look at the pros of GPS that truckers enjoy.

Legalities

Many states have banned the use of smartphones for truck drivers when they are driving. This rules out the possibility of using their cellular GPS for directions. So, getting a trucking GPS can help truckers in this regard. 

Garmin dezl 580 LMT-S

Truck-Specific Routes

Trucking GPS devices have truck-specific routes. This helps truckers choose the routes that are best for them, according to large vehicle speed limits, weight, and size. 

Fleet Management

Another great benefit of GPS units is that they help fleet managers keep an eye on the whole fleet. You just have to log in all the trucks, and then you can monitor their routes and activities easily. 

Cons

Here is what can cause inconvenience for truckers. 

Need Constant Updates

Trucking routes keep getting upgrades based on the height limits and the amount of weight allowed on roads. So, you need to update your GPS unit frequently to keep up with all these changes. 

How Do They Compare?

Next up is a comparison of the most commonly used forms of trucker GPS units. This will certainly help you decide which one you have to settle for.

Trucker GPS vs Regular GPS

Trucker and regular GPS work on the same principle, but they have contrasting features as well. Both use radio waves for the transmission of signals. They both transmit data to and from GPS satellites via these waves. 

A major difference between these two is that trucker GPS units have trucking-specific routes. They consider the size and weight of the trucks and then direct drivers on safe roads. 

Trucker 5" GPS vs 7"

Truckers go for both five-inch and seven-inch GPS units, based on their preferences. The two have similar basic functioning. They have the same kind of road mapping and navigation tools, which help the drivers stay on the right path. 

However, seven-inch trucker GPS units have a wider display, so they have a clearer layout. They can show more information in one go without cluttering the display.

As the name indicates, a seven-inch GPS unit has a seven-inch wide display. And the five-inch one has a width of five inches. So, the major difference is in the size of these two. 

TomTom vs Garmin

TomTom and Garmin are both widely used by truckers. Both have an accurate mapping system. This is because they have efficient software systems that maintain an unbroken connection with the GPS satellites. 

Garmin has more of a traditional screen with an extra layer over it. But, TomTom has a smart screen that is similar to the screens that smartphones use. This is why TomTom units have a wider display than Garmin ones. 

Garmin vs Rand McNally Truck GPS

Rand Mcnally and Garmin are both popular for their vehicle accessories. Both have realistic and precise road mapping. This helps users get an exact idea of the road conditions and the routes to choose ahead.

Garmin has been around for a longer time than Rand Mcnally, so they have more experience. This has helped them have a better customer care service and an overall better quality of products.

Conclusion 

Considering all this, getting a trucker GPS unit can be a great way of improving your driving experience. There are lesser misadventures when you know where you are headed and the right way of reaching your destinations. So, choose a unit that is closest to your needs. 

People Also Ask

A GPS makes it much easier for drivers to reach their destination. This is why more people now want to get a GPS for their trucks. Below, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions for you to clear any confusion. 

How Accurate is GPS?

A GPS is pretty accurate as the rate of data transfer between satellites and GPS devices is quite amazing. There is a mapping of up to 700,000 miles of truck-restricted roads, which increases the accuracy. 

How to Add a Weight Restricted Bridge on Trucker GPS

You can add a weight-restricted bridge on a trucker GPS by using the configuration software. These software are specific to each brand’s GPS units. You can also add the new information via a smartphone app linked to your trucker GPS. 

Where is the Reset Button on a 740 Rand McNally GPS for Truckers?

The reset button on a 740 Rand Mcnally GPS is for reverting all the settings to the default factory configuration. This helps you set up the device afresh if you feel that the settings need to change. You might need to use this button to erase all your data if you are selling your 740 Rand Mcnally GPS. 

What is a Trucker GPS?

A trucker GPS is a navigation system that helps truck drivers have better road mapping. Truckers can get an idea of the right route and speed limit for the journey using a trucker GPS. 

How Do You Switch a Rand McNally Trucker GPS to Car Mode?

Following are some simple steps that you have to take care of if you want to switch a Rand Mcnally Trucker GPS to car mode.

  • Go to the main menu of the GPS unit and select Preferences.

  • Then go to the vehicle tab and from there select Car Mode.

  • Finally, tap Back to save the configuration details. 

How to Put Google Maps in Truck Mode

Google Maps does not work in truck mode, so you have to look for a trucking specific navigation system.

How Much Does a Garmin GPS Cost? 

There are multiple Garmin GPS models on the market that have different prices based on their features. But, on average, the price ranges from $22 to $26 for these units.

Do Truck GPS Units Have Hazmat Specific Routes?

Yes, some brands do offer truck GPS units that have hazmat-specific routes. These routes are basically categorized according to the weight and cargo of hazmat.

Can a Truck GPS Help Me Monitor the Condition Of the Goods I Am Transporting?

A truck GPS helps you monitor the routes and landmarks around the roads. But, they do not tell you about the condition of the goods being transported.

Don

After spending years on the road, I had a lot of time to think about the hardships that came with the trucking industry. I realized there was an opportunity to lend a hand a create a resource for truckers by truckers. With the help of my tech-savvy son, I built Trucker Geek as a way to show people that becoming a driver doesn’t need to be a stressful headache.