Using Google maps vs. Dedicated GPS unit:

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Russian Rabbit, Nov 26, 2022.

  1. Russian Rabbit

    Russian Rabbit Road Train Member

    Jan 3, 2016
    What are your thoughts on using google maps on phone, which admittedly works pretty well ASIDE from the non-truck aspect, versus a dedicated GPS unit?

    If you're involved in an accident, then the other side could say that you were using a phone, which is technically correct? Although it could be proven that it's hands-free etc., it still doesn't look good?

    Your thoughts?
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  3. CargoWahgo

    CargoWahgo Road Train Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    Louisville, Kentucky
    Gps doesn't lose service as much as your phone.

    Just get a real gps. A few hundred bucks isn't crap in the long run.

    Good thing about the phone is it auto updates the map. Anytime I would get near Montreal my GPS wanted to freak the hell out no matter how many updates I gave it.
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  4. TruckerPete1990

    TruckerPete1990 Road Train Member

    Jul 16, 2012
    Bentonville Arkansas
    I run both and here's why I use Google maps. It gives live updates on accidents speed traps and traffic. If there is traffic I'll start looking for away around it if it's bad. Common sense goes a long ways while using it though.
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  5. Texnmidwest

    Texnmidwest Light Load Member

    Mar 6, 2015
    Google maps is made for cars not trucks. Google maps is a fantastic app for a car. But! It will route you down places you shouldn't go with a truck. A decent Truck GPS unit will save you a lot of hassles and the Garmin truck GPS has a phone app that will allow you live updates on traffic. Spend the money. You will not be sorry; Run both as I do if you like. But trust neither 100%. JMHO
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  6. CargoWahgo

    CargoWahgo Road Train Member

    Jan 10, 2012
    Louisville, Kentucky
    You need an app for that now?

    Mine would always have a little bubble either green yellow or red in the screen for traffic to the next waypoint.
  7. Grumppy

    Grumppy Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Dec 11, 2010
    West Monroe, La
    Yeah, I use both too. I rely on my truck GPS when I aint sure, but if I aint ever been there I use both. Truck GPS rules when there is a question. I use Google maps on my phone if I want to do a street level & see if any trucks are on that road & if I see any no truck allowed signs or low bridge signs, etc. Both are handy & useful. I also use satellite view on Google maps. But again, if there is a question or concern... truck GPS rules.
    88 Alpha, PacoTaco and tscottme Thank this.
  8. DannyB

    DannyB Light Load Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    Jackson Mi
    Do you mean using google maps to trip plan or for enroute navigation? I hope you don't just plug an address into a device and take off with no planning at all.
    I liked to use google maps satellite view to look at the destination.. Find the truck entrance and plug the grid coordinates into a gps rather than the street address which might not be where my truck will fit. Usually a company address is for the office drones, not trucks.
    As for avoiding traffic snarls, I depended on the CB.
    Albertaflatbed and tscottme Thank this.
  9. F4T6UY

    F4T6UY Medium Load Member

    Oct 24, 2017
    Very South Texas
    This. And I OCD my trip planning. I’ll even break out the atlas.

    I never just punch in an address and go. I’ll use google streetview as mentioned, and satellite the address to plan my entrance/exit.

    I use them both for trip planning, but mostly rely on my notes and signs for what exits/turns to take.

    Just gotta remember that google thinks you’re in a hatchback.

    Garmin has sent me down foul paths before. Neither is fail proof, and just plugging an address in and rolling is asking for trouble.
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  10. Terlingua

    Terlingua Medium Load Member

    Oct 24, 2021
    I used my PFJ points to get the Garmin Deal 710 a couple weeks ago. So far, I love it. There's still a place for Google Maps, like with street view, but I never really liked using my phone for navigation. The Garmin seems to have pretty up to date traffic info and will route you around issues. It also shows satellite imagery for your destination. I have a little more trust in the Garmin suggested detours as far as truck routes than Google Maps. With Google, I usually didn't follow detours if I wasn't familiar with the area. I know you can't blindly trust it, I'll still keep my eyes open and use common sense. It routed me around a shutdown on I-10 in West Texas last weekend that would have otherwise caused me to run out of hours before getting to the destination.
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  11. JC1971

    JC1971 Road Train Member

    Jul 29, 2013
    You can use Google satellite view, the atlas, and sometimes a city's online municipal code to determine the truck route, and put pins to set the waypoints that correspond to the truck route. Use the Bluetooth on the radio for audio turn-by-turn directions. You can do this with a GPS also but I think Google Maps is quicker to set up the route. It's usually easy to pick out the truck route using the satellite map only. If the road goes through an industrial area with warehouses you figure trucks are allowed, however, I was surprised by No Truck signs on Ramona Blvd in Perris, CA today.
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