Trip plan

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Calregon, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Calregon

    Calregon Light Load Member

    Dec 8, 2013
    We are learning trip planning with a road atlas. Very interesting and what a good thing to know. The atlas has more info than I ever thought. I was wondering with companies doing the planing for drivers and the use of gps. How many guys still use the atlas. Do truck gps show low bridges and city to city millage?
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  3. Knucklehead619

    Knucklehead619 Medium Load Member

    Mar 11, 2014
    Flyover Country
    Depends on he GPS. I've used Garmin and Rand McNally GPS's and both were able to with some accuracy keep me away from non-truck routes and low clearances. Most truck specific GPS should do that for you.

    That at being said, you need to keep an atlas with you on standby. Any GPS can put you on a wonky route because something in the system tells it to (my Garmin tries to route me off of a 120 mile stretch of I-80 because it's convinced the weight limit on the interstate is 8 tons). Also, if your GPS breaks on the road you're still responsible for getting where you need to... An atlas won't break.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
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  4. 77smartin

    77smartin Road Train Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    I dunno.
    I run to the same place everyday....still bring my atlas everyday.
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  5. RevKev

    RevKev Medium Load Member

    Jan 12, 2013
    Decatur, AL
    While I have a trucker GPS, I always check the route on my atlas, if it's a route I haven't been on previously. There are often times the GPS route, while "truck friendly", is still not the best route. Plus, I like seeing the route on the atlas before just blindly following the GPS. I like being able to picture in my mind where I am as I drive. Haven't been at this long enough to just recite from memory where all the roads are like a lot of folks are. Just listening to those folks zip off roads & routes is impressive, in my opinion.
    My company doesn't "plan" routes for me, but since my dispatcher drove for years, he often will provide directions or advice on possible/best routes. After I write the routes down, I still pull out the atlas to get a good picture in my mind. My company does often supply the pinpoint directions to a shipper or consignee though. However, I'll double-check those with another driver that's been there before. lol
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  6. MsJamie

    MsJamie Road Train Member

    I use the atlas regularly when running OTR. (Local dedicated, not so much.) The GPS doesn't tell you if you need to stop and get some cash for tolls; if you check your route in the atlas and see a green line, then you're going to be paying toll.

    The atlas is good for going city to city, but not so much for navigating around town. The GPS has all the streets.
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  7. terrylamar

    terrylamar Road Train Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I run two GPS' of different manufacture While I have an Atlas, I haven't opened it in years.
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  8. kw600

    kw600 Road Train Member

    Dec 9, 2011
    I see A LOT of drivers with two GPS systems on their windshields, and once in a while I'll see a guy with 2 gps systems, his iphone gps, and his qualcomm. So distracting everytime I see one, don't know how they drive with so much light shining on them.
  9. dfaf

    dfaf Light Load Member

    Oct 26, 2013
    My company uses an on board computer system and provides routing and directions in plain text. I also get dispatch sent to my GPS, which is built into the on board computer, for every stop. The GPS is very good but not perfect and following it blindly will get you lost. So I'll check the plain text directions against the GPS, if they match I can usually roll on down the road with some confidence. If they don't, I pull up Google Maps and get routing to match my plain text routing, then I'll pull out my Truck Atlas and recheck the entire route for low clearances/restrictions before heading out. Usually if I have an issue with the truck gps, it will catch up with me down the road and fix itself to the route I decided to take. Lastly, I can retrieve customer specific directions, which might differ from the routing, in plain text from the computer or I'll give them a call directly and get directions from a person, I'll also zoom in on the area with Google Maps satellite view and a good look at where the truck entrance is.
  10. Starboyjim

    Starboyjim Road Train Member

    Dec 10, 2011
    Weed, CA
    I use the QC GPS, my smartphone GPS, read written directions from dispatch, drivers notes, and always have that Rand McNally Truckers Atlas. The Atlas can show you the full route, national or state by state, something the small display on a GPS isn't good at. I use the Truckers Guide ("Bible") with these resources for trip planning. I think most drivers use multiple resources. I will buy the Rand McNally GPS soon, since they're the authors of my favorite road atlas. One thing I'm looking for is HazMat routing, and I think the RM will give me that.
  11. Wooly Rhino

    Wooly Rhino Road Train Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Liberty, Missouri
    I have a Garmin 560 LMT named Judy Garmin. She is very good at giving directions if the maps are up to date. There are times when it looks like I am flying because new roads have opened since the last update. I also us Co pilot on my laptop. Atlas are good getting you city to city but the GPS make getting to addresses so much easier. Also finding places to park in a hurry. If you only buy one, get the gps but the two work together very nicely.

    Today I am in Cincinnati. There was a major back up on I 75 north headed into here. The Garmin told me about the delay as soon as I saw it and all I had to do was push a button and off on a detour I went. Saved me a half hour of traffic. Doesn't take long to pay for itself.

    In the 70s when men were still men, I learned how to use a slide ruler for math problems. Very handy but times have changed. GPS is here to stay.
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