On January 9, 2016, the Wall Street Journal featured Jurgen Henn’s video recordings after he recorded the 100th time a truck had struck a low bridge in Durham, North Carolina. The railroad bridge over Gregson Street, now undergoing an upgrade to lift it up higher, has for decades risen up to a mere 11 feet and 8 inches.
That makes the low clearance bridge more than two feet shorter than the 14 feet recommended by the federal government and over a foot shy of the maximum truck height of 13 feet and 6 inches in most states.
Big rigs crashing into low bridges is a major issue for the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and across the U.S.
Want to Avoid Low Bridge Crashes?
Top 10 low bridge strikes in New York –abc7ny
Low clearance bridges in California, for example. Source: Coach-Net
The American Trucking Association (ATA) blames the crashes on many truck drivers not having accurate GPS for trucking or the best navigation app to help them know which routes to avoid when driving an over height vehicle.
But using the best GPS routing apps for truckers can help you do more than solely avoid low clearance bridges in the U.S.
What are the Benefits of Using the Best Truck Route GPS Apps?
A dedicated truck route GPS app can help you:
- Avoid a fatal bridge strike, collapse, or other related injuries
- Include truck-specific updates and information to help you filter truck-friendly routes from the rest so you can make more successful, timely, and cost-effective deliveries
- Reduce fuel costs by taking the shortest, least congested routes on your path, as well as avoid having to turn back to avoid a restricted bridge or road
- Avoid hefty fines and truck repair costs that come with hitting a low clearance bridge or crashing down a low-weight overpass
- Save time by guiding you away from heavy traffic and congested or unnecessary toll stations
Those benefits are the very reason not to use a car GPS in a truck.
So, getting the right GPS navigation app for truckers is an investment you do not want to skimp.
We have made this guide a quick list of the best GPS truck route tools so that you can pick your favorite soonest. It includes tips on the factors to consider when choosing the best truck route GPS apps for truckers.
TruckBook is special in multiple ways. While many truck GPS routing apps serve general motorists or are light on trucking-specific features, TruckBook offers the following benefits.
- Up-to-date digital truck maps for real-time navigation
- Works perfectly with mobile devices, including larger tablets for improved clarity and convenience on the go
- Free accurate to precision GPS for real-time navigation even without a data connection
- Access to emergency roadside assistance
- Lifetime navigation updates
- Easily locate essential truck parking,
- Excellent library of points of interest along a route—truck repair services, weighing and toll stations, as well as restricted bridges/roads on a route so you can adjust in time
In many respects, TruckBook is suitable for truck drivers, fleet owners, and trucking companies.
2. CoPilot GPS
CoPilot Mobile Navigation also comes with a GPS routing feature that is dedicated to truckers.
Here’s what you can do with CoPilot GPS:
- Like TruckBook, access it anywhere on your Android or IOS mobile devices
- Save money avoiding fines, out-of-route mileage and reduce fuel usage
- Driver-friendly non-distracting guidance
The app comes with a 14-day free trial before you can start paying a monthly subscription to continue using it.
3. Sygic Truck GPS Navigation
Sygic includes a vast map to help truckers figure their routes in advance so that you can choose the safest, fastest and most cost-efficient paths to the receiver destination.
Here’s what else you can do with the Sygic trucking app:
- Decent library of points of interest, including fuel stations and live traffic updates
- Avoid not suitable truck roads
- Lane assist
You can use the app’s 14-day free trial before deciding to pay a monthly subscription fee going forward
4. Trucker Path
Trucker Path is a decent truck route app for professional drivers with dedicated features for more than just viewing directions and a traffic map.
- Find rest areas and access real-time truck parking spots, including Walmart truck parking
- Find several different points of interests such as open or closed weigh stations and fuel stations
- See truck stops and washes
Don’t expect truck assist here, though.
You can also search available loads along your chosen route to fill your truck capacity.
5. PTV Navigator
PTV’s truck routing app packs several years of truck navigation experience in it. With the Android or IOS mobile app, you can:
- View and get driving guidance based on your truck dimensions, weight, and local truck restrictions
- Avoid heavy traffic with its TomTom HD traffic information updates
- Find truck stops, rest areas, and truck parking wherever you are in the country avoid toll stations where possible
- Find truck stops, rest areas, and truck parking wherever you are in the country
- Avoid toll stations where possible
- 14-day trial period before requiring pay for continued use
But you can’t use the truck navigation app to save locations, choose points on a map ETA, or access lane assist.
Waze is best for use as a complimentary map tool for truckers. It is built with the backing of Google. That means you can expect the familiar routes you’d see on Google Maps.
But Waze goes further since it offers:
- Real-time road conditions updates such as traffic jams, police stops, crashes, and construction
- Learn new, old, and updated routes from other drivers using the same route
- Calculate your destination arrival time
- Compatible with Android Auto if you have it in your dash
Quick Tip: Set it up to the “shortest” route instead of “fastest” if you only want Waze to direct you through the main roads and avoid tight turns in residential areas.
7. DAT Trucker
The brand offers three different truck driver apps for the work another top truck route app, such as Truckbook, gives in a single app.
For truck routing specifically, you’ll need to download the Trip Planning/Parking app for mobile devices. It will let you:
- Find points of interest such as parking spots, Walmarts, fuel stations, and fuel prices
- Find nearby services and updated traffic information
- See nearby accommodations and food parlors You won’t find lane assist here, though.
8. Google Maps
Because Google Maps does not have a truck route function for truckers, avoid using it as your primary GPS truck routing app.
But Maps is on this list because you can use it to:
- As a backup to your dedicated truck route GPS
- Compare the fastest routes
- Zoom on entrances, parking, and other tight areas
Over to you
Using one of the best truck route GPS apps can help you access reliable truck navigation information when you need it most.
If you are on a tight budget and can’t afford an expensive GPS for trucks, pick one of these, and you’ll be ready to roll off in time.
Want a complete truck routing app for truckers wanting more than getting traffic directions and seeing a traffic map?
Download TruckBook for free, and it’ll help you find the fastest and safest routes on your path.