A GPS is a helpful tool for any driver, but for a trucker, it is an absolute necessity. If you spend all day driving, knowing where you are going should not have to be a hassle. A smart, intuitive GPS system in your truck will change the game.
As GPS technology gets more and more advanced, GPS systems for trucks are becoming more abundant and more affordable – which is great news for truckers. The problem is, there are so many available now, it can be hard to pick the right GPS for your needs. This guide is meant to help you out by reviewing six of the most highly-rated truck GPS systems on the market. Whether you are an individual owner and operator of a truck or have a whole fleet to manage, you should be able to find what you are looking for on this list.
All of these GPS systems come with different features and different prices. For a few more tips on picking out the best one for you, check out our friendly buyer’s guide at the bottom of this article.
At a Glance:
- Garmin dezl 770LMTHD: a 7 inch, truck-specific navigator with built-in truck data and programmable routes, as well as logging features.
- CARMATE GPS Navigator: a simple 7-inch navigator for cars and trucks. Very easy to use and clear to understand.
- (Our Top Recommended) Garmin Nuvi 57LM: a 5-inch navigator for cars and trucks, with a highly user-friendly interface, backup camera compatibility and plenty of special features.
- Rand McNally TND 540: a 5-inch truck-specific navigator with a fast, modern system. Wifi compatible and intelligent updates.
- TomTom Trucker 620: a 6-inch truck-specific navigator, compatible with Bluetooth and smart device for real-time fuel and traffic updates.
- Rand McNally TND740: a high-end, 7-inch truck-specific navigator, with logging features and customizable routes.
Remember, these are all great GPS navigators, but some of them will serve your needs better than others. Read on to learn more about each of them in detail.
The Best Truck GPS on the Market 2019
#1 Garmin dezl 770LMTHD
We’ll kick this list of top Truck GPS off with a modern product from one of the best brands on the market. This Garmin navigator is affordable, user-friendly and super popular with truck operators.
- 7-inch touchscreen
- Clear navigation commands
- Designed specifically for use in trucks
- Built-in truck and trailer services directory
- Foursquare pre-installed – search restaurants, stops, etc
- Logging features – keep track of maintenance, hours, fuel, etc.
- Customized routing according to the size and weight of your truck
- Bluetooth compatible
- Affordable option from a reputable brand
The Garmin dezl line of GPS navigators is one of the best for truck owners and operators. This 770LMTHD model is one of their most recent and among their best, despite being incredibly affordable, compared to other brands.
This GPS is designed just for trucks. That means you can customize routes according to your truck – weight, size, time limits, etc., taking all of the guesswork out of your route. You can also use this navigator to log data along your drive, so you can keep track of hours, fuel, maintenance costs, and dates, etc. The 7-inch touchscreen is simple to use and read, and audible navigation is loud and clear.
The traffic system in this GPS is incredibly fast. It receives automatic updates on traffic conditions as often as every thirty seconds, so you won’t be surprised by sudden traffic on your route. It is also compatible with Bluetooth, allowing you to make hands-free calls on the way.
All-in-all, this is a great GPS system for truck routes. If there is any downside, it is that it requires some updates to keep it running smoothly – but that is just to ensure the quickest, smartest route planning and traffic alerts. We would recommend it for all truck operators.
#2 CARMATE GPS Navigator
This Carmate navigator is designed for use in a car or truck. It has a sensitive touchscreen and clear display, and can sync with your phone to play music or make calls. This is one of the most affordable options on our list.
- 7-inch touchscreen
- Overhead and street views
- Clear navigation
- Bluetooth compatible
- Mounting bracket and accessories included
- High-contrast images on the map
- Easy to use interface
- Built-in music player
Carmate is not one of the better-known navigation brands out there, but this product is simple, effective and a great budget option. It does not come with as many truck-specific features as others, but it is easy to use and will get you where you need to go.
This navigator has a 7-inch highly-reactive touchscreen and comes with the mounting bracket you will need to install it in your vehicle. It charges with a generic cigarette-lighter power cord. The interface is very simple and user-friendly, ensuring you will not be distracted on the road trying to set a new route. The map is very clear and intuitive to read, and can display in overhead or street view, according to your preference.
The Carmate GPS does a little more than just navigate – it is Bluetooth compatible, to make calls and send texts, and it doubles as a music player. All-in-all, it is a great multipurpose navigator. The one downside is that it is not specifically designed for trucks, so it does not support truck-specific data like low bridges, weigh stations or service points. However, it is modern and fast, and you can use it to find whatever you need on your route.
We would recommend this GPS to truck owners or ordinary vehicle drivers.
#3 Garmin Nuvi 57LM (Our Top Recommended)
The second Garmin navigator on our list is not a truck-specific navigator, but it is super modern and comes with plenty of convenient features for all drivers. The 5-inch screen and clear directions make it a simple, effective navigator.
- 5-inch touchscreen
- Simple, direct access navigation to major landmarks
- Foursquare pre-installed – find restaurants and stopping points along your route
- Friendly, easy-to-understand audible navigation – uses clear landmarks rather than street signs
- Backup camera compatibility – can easily connect to a rear-view camera (sold separately)
- Free lifetime map updates
- At-a-glance info: speed, street name, and arrival time constantly displayed
- Works vertically and horizontally
The Garmin Nuvi is not designed specifically for trucks, but it is on our list of top truck GPS navigators because it is such a versatile, handy navigator all-around and works just as well for use in a big rig as in any car.
The 5-inch screen makes this navigator a little smaller than some others on our list, but that also means you are less likely to be distracted by it. It gives very clear directions out loud, and selecting a route is easy with the Direct Access function. Your speed, the name of the street you are currently on and your approximate arrival time is constantly displayed on the screen for at-a-glance updates along the way.
This device comes with Foursquare pre-installed, so you have an instant directory of top restaurants, stops and POIs along your way. It is not compatible with Bluetooth, but it is compatible with any wireless backup camera – a huge plus for parking and navigating in urban areas. Free maps updates for life means that this GPS system will never go out of date.
Overall, we would recommend this navigator to most truckers and drivers – it is lacking pre-programmed truck-specific information like weigh stations and service points, but it can easily find those points with its clear navigation system. This is a great navigator for a mid-range price.
#4 Rand McNally TND 540
Next up on our list is a truck-specific navigator from Rand McNally. This is a very modern, wifi-compatible device with quick updates and tons of features specific to big rig drivers.
- 5-inch touchscreen
- Real-time updates on weather, fuel prices, traffic, and local POIs
- Enhanced routing features including route comparison, warnings and fuel logs
- A quad-core processing system for instantaneous updates
- Windshield mounts included
- Intuitive interface, easy-to-read icons
- Comes with lifetime map updates
Rand McNally is another navigation brand popular with truck operators, and for good reason. This little navigator is designed with trucks in mind. It connects to wifi to continuously update you on weather conditions in your area, traffic updates and fuel prices. You can also use it to keep track of your fuel, log your hours and compare routes to find the fastest way.
This navigator mounts to your windshield with an included suction cup mount. It is simple to use, and its display features obvious, clear icons to update you at a glance without losing your focus on the road. It can guide you through your truck’s internal audio system.
The modernity of the TND 540 makes it faster than just about anything else on the market. It works much like a computer; continuously updating and with twice the storage space of other systems, so that it will hold data and remember your route preferences. It is also Blue-tooth compatible to make calls and send texts along the way.
One place this navigator loses out is with the intuitive, user-friendly navigation system of others – but it is still very clear, and will work great for anyone who spends a lot of time on the road. We would recommend this Rand McNally navigator to any truck owner or operator.
#5 TomTom Trucker 620
This is the only TomTom navigator on our list, but it is one of their best. This modern system comes with updated truck-specific maps, compatibility with Bluetooth, Siri, and Google, and can program specialized routes according to your truck.
- 6-inch touchscreen
- Intelligent, real-time traffic updates
- Long battery life
- Connects to the smartphone for instantaneous updates
- Hands-free calling and messaging through Bluetooth and other devices
- Lifetime truck maps updates
- Programmable routes according to truck weight and height
- Windshield mount included
This TomTom navigator is designed with big rig operators in mind. It is modern, fast, and can connect through your smartphone data to instant updates and services.
The six-inch touchscreen display is clear to read and intuitive. It mounts to your windshield, and the battery can last for up to an hour when unplugged – which means that if your truck’s battery dies, you will still be able to use the navigator to make a call or find the nearest service point. Hands-free calls and messages are easy with Bluetooth, Siri, Google Now or other hands-free systems.
One of the best features of this navigator is that it can be programmed specifically for the height and weight of your rig to find the ideal route. That means it will plan your fuel stops on the way and help you avoid low clearances. It can also clearly navigate you to the necessary service and rest points.
This navigator is available for a mid-range price. It does not come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but it does come with lifetime maps updates. We would recommend it for modern, tech-savvy drivers who will be able to connect it with their smartphone or device to get the most out of its features.
#6 Rand McNally TND740
Wrapping up our list of the top truck GPS systems is another Rand McNally TND. This is a more high-end option, but you will get the best features out of what you pay for. It is intelligent, easy to use and designed for truck operators.
- 7-inch touchscreen
- Truck-specific navigation
- Specialized routes according to truck height and weight
- Logging feature – keep track of fuel, hours, etc.
- Real-time weather updates
- Clear navigation system
- Lifetime maps updates
- Points out weigh stations, truck stops and rest stops along the route
This Rand McNally navigator is one of the best on our list for truck-specific information and services. You can use it to log your fuel and keep track of hours and maintenance costs. It will navigate you to important points like weigh stations and rest stops, and you can use it to create a custom route for your truck’s height and weight.
This navigator has a 7-inch touch screen and mounts to your windshield. The mount is included. It can connect to your smart device for real-time weather and traffic updates, and it is Bluetooth-compatible for hands-free calls and messages. The navigation is clear to understand and direct.
This is a high-end navigator, and it does come at a high-end cost, but with a durable build and lifetime maps updates, you are guaranteed to get years of use out of it. We would recommend this Rand McNally system to any truck owner and operator looking for the best quality navigator.
How to Choose the Best Truck GPS
Now that you have had a detailed look at some of the top GPS navigators on the market for truckers, how can you decide which is best for you? There are a few factors you’ll want to consider before you make your purchase.
How much does the size of your navigator’s screen matter?
For ordinary vehicles, a smaller GPS screen isn’t usually a problem. Smaller screens are more compact and less likely to distract you while you are driving. For truckers, though, the general rule of thumb is, the bigger the better.
When you are driving through the day and night, squinting at a little screen gets annoying. You want something that is going to be clear to read in all light conditions. A bigger screen also means more room to display multiple features at once – for instance, if you want to check traffic conditions up ahead while keeping an eye on your navigation.
A 5-inch screen should be big enough, but it is verging on the smaller side. We would recommend 7 inches or more – especially for systems that have multiple applications.
Some of the navigators covered on this list were not designed specifically for trucks. That is generally fine – especially if they are simple navigators without many extra features.
If you are looking for all the bells and whistles, though, we would recommend a GPS system that is designed at least partially for truck drivers. These navigators will show you the kind of data ordinary drivers don’t need, like nearby weigh stations and a clearance height of bridges. Many of them also allow you to customize your route according to the size of your truck, so that you won’t get stranded without fuel or at a low clearance point.
An additional truck-specific feature is the ability to log data, so you can keep track of hours, costs and fuel. If you are not sure if a GPS has this feature, it is worthwhile to contact the producer before you purchase. It can just save you the headache of having to log data on your phone or manually.
Again, if you have another system for logging your data, or don’t care too much about truck-specific updates on your route, then an ordinary vehicle navigator will work just fine. We recommend getting one that at least has Bluetooth compatibility, so you can keep your hands free, and a real-time traffic update system. Both of those features are just a necessity for any long drive.
Alerts and Notifications
You’ll want a GPS system that can keep you as updated as possible on your route, to help you avoid unnecessary traffic stops or tolls and stay in the know about the conditions around you. A GPS with a very clear alert system will help a lot.
If your GPS is equipped with real-time updates, it should be able to alert you as soon as traffic or other conditions have changed. Some navigators, if they are programmed to audibly navigate, will alert you with words. Others may have a chime or ding that will alert your attention to the screen.
We recommend a GPS system that has very clear notifications. You’ll want to be able to look at something that pops up on your screen and immediately understands what it means, rather than having to take your eyes off the road to read a notification. Again – a larger screen will come in very handy for those scenarios.
All of the navigators we have reviewed on our list can be easily mounted on the windshield or dash to be in the driver’s line of sight.
However, if you choose a product that was not reviewed on our list, be sure that it is a portable, mountable GPS. If the navigator cannot be mounted in the driver’s eyesight, you may have to hold it or keep it somewhere unsafe while you are using it – or pay for expensive additional mounting equipment.
It may seem like a little thing, but make sure the mounting system of the GPS you choose is easy to install and can be placed clearly in your line of sight while you are driving.
A proficient GPS navigation system will totally change your routine. The right device for any truck operator will be easy to use, have a large screen for clear visibility at all hours, and accurately get you where you need to go. With these modernized devices, the days of digging through maps or taking your eyes off the road to navigate are over.
Whatever your budget, we recommend a GPS system that mounts easily on your windshield or dash. We also recommend Bluetooth compatibility so that you can make hands-free calls, and real-time updates of traffic and weather conditions. Truck-specific data like weigh stations and low clearance points along your route is an added bonus.
All of the devices we have reviewed on this list are built to last, and most of them come with lifetime free updates of their map systems. That means they will work for as long as you need them to, and will stay up-to-date on roads, landmarks, and points of interest. Investing in the right GPS for your truck now will revolutionize your drive for years to come.