Truck GPS is more than just navigation

GPS devices built specifically for truckers are growing in popularity, and it’s no surprise. Truck drivers spend most of their working day driving so it makes sense if they make their job as easy a…

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The freight industry has different needs and as this article points out, they have quite different problems to other motorists. This means that car navigation devices made for use in cars (there’s something in that name) don’t fully meet their needs.

So what is unique about trucks?

First of all they need to be able to complete their journeys if at all possible because most of the industries they provide freight too run on a Just In Time basis. That means all sorts of other parts of the value chain they support also stop. That could be a factory making electric fry pans, or bananas set to ripen on the day they arrive on the shelf in the supermarket, planned in an intricate schedule from the day the crop was purchased (before it was picked) in Equador. It could be the lettuce to go on your next burger; you get the point.

What do truck drivers tell us? It’s noisy in the cab of a truck. They need to be able to hear instructions over the noise of the engine and breaks, over the music they use to stay awake and the chatter on the two way radio or CB.

They are an aging market (varies between countries but typically 45-65), but even if they weren’t they need to be able to glance at a screen very quickly, so they need a big screen.

The navigation routes need to take into consideration legal and safety issues on the roads. For example overweight or over dimension loaded trucks can’t go over some bridges, through some tunnels or on certain roads. This becomes particularly important when a major route is closed for maintenance or due to a crash. The diversions that the GPS navigation system provides, needs to know what roads they can or can’t go on.

Most Fleet Management systems don’t cater for navigation at all, other than route planning which is usually not done in the vehicle, but in the office of the Fleet Manager. Most car navigation systems do not support any unique data for large vehicles, including mobile homes, weather related information such as when snow chains are required, or other unique information such as truck stops or rest areas catering for those vehicles.

This exposes opportunities for both the car navigation and the fleet management companies. The numbers of units they can sell may be smaller and therefore the cost for the truck operators is higher, but the cost of getting it wrong, to the freight industry and their insurers and recovery support business is high.

See on Scoop.itLocation Is Everywhere

About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in Car Navigation, Fleet Management, GPS, GPS Navigation, Truck Navigation and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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