Which Rand McNally truck GPS is best?
If you drive a truck for a living, you know the importance of navigation and finding the easiest, most efficient route to get where you’re going. You also know that common GPS mapping apps such as Google Maps don’t take into account the unique needs of big-rig drivers. For that you’ll want a dedicated, truck-specific device. Rand McNally has been in the mapping business for a long time, and its Rand McNally TND Tablet 85 Truck GPS is a top choice.
What to know before you buy a Rand McNally truck GPS
Why a truck GPS
GPS systems are ubiquitous these days, easily accessible on most people’s phones and integrated into many cars. But if you’re driving a large truck, a basic GPS won’t take into account places you can’t go — bridges you’re too heavy to cross, for example, or underpasses that are too low. That’s why you need a GPS that knows the specifications of the vehicle you’re driving and plans your route accordingly.
Navigation for trucks
A good truck GPS has a large, easy-to-read screen and voice guidance. It also offers advanced routing features that lets you compare routes and plan routes with multiple stops. Maps stay current with road closures, construction and new roads. The system not only knows current traffic issues, but also daily and weekly traffic patterns for all locations.
Points of interest
As with other GPS systems, truck GPS systems can locate points of interest along the route. But a truck GPS pays special interest to those with relevance to trucks. That means accessible fuel stations (with current prices), weigh stations, service and repair stops, restaurants and rest areas with suitable parking, and things such as speed limit changes and sharp curves in the road ahead.
Another feature sometimes offered by truck GPS systems is integrated logging of truck data, including odometer readings, maintenance history and alerts, fuel usage and more.
What to look for in a quality Rand McNally truck GPS
Rand McNally has been in the map business for over 160 years. In modern times it’s gone digital with fleet management, connected vehicle and navigation devices and software. For independent truck drivers, a product from its Connected Truck lines should suit your needs.
OverDryve Pro II
This all-in-one device comes in two models, one with an 8-inch screen and one with a 7-inch screen. The system combines Rand Navigation, GPS, adjustable dash cam, satellite radio and an Android tablet.
The TND 750 or TND 550 is a dedicated truck GPS that focuses on the core needs of truck drivers: navigation and routing, alerts, weather, points of interest, and mileage and fuel logging. The 550 has a 5-inch screen while the 750 has a 7-inch screen and a more powerful processor.
The TND Tablet 85 combines the truck GPS features of the TND 750 with a directional dash cam and an Android tablet for access to apps such as email and news. The Tablet 85 has an 8-inch screen.
Each of these products uses Rand Navigation 2.0. This is Rand McNally’s advanced routing software, which includes maps with 3-D views, traffic information, crowd-sourced point-of-interest reviews and current fuel prices. This system is the most important, most highly regarded feature in every Rand McNally truck GPS system.
How much you can expect to spend on a Rand McNally truck GPS
At the low end, the TND 550 goes for $300. The 8-inch OverDryve Pro II is $600.
Rand McNally truck GPS FAQ
Do I really need a truck-specific GPS?
A. Other mapping systems will get you where you’re going. Truckers got by for years with paper maps. But GPS mapping with truck-specific details can save you a lot of time and headache by rerouting you away from hazards that would stop your truck in its tracks.
How good is a Rand McNally truck GPS?
A. Truck drivers have a lot to say and it’s not always positive. Although many remain happy with their Rand McNally truck GPS systems, a vocal minority complains about cheap build quality, slow processor speed, and buggy and limited app integration.
Does Rand McNally include map updates?
A. Yes, every Rand McNally truck GPS is eligible for lifetime map updates to keep your system current.
What’s the best Rand McNally truck GPS to buy?
Top Rand McNally truck GPS
What you need to know: The TND Tablet 85 has all the features you’ll need plus more in a large 8-inch screen.
What you’ll love: Rand Navigation is the main reason to love any of these truck GPS devices. In addition, the Table 85 has a built-in dash cam with loop recording capability and automatic collision detection. The modernized interface is easy to use and understand.
What you should consider: The direction of the angled dash cam can only be adjusted by moving the entire tablet. You can angle the tablet toward you, but if you want the camera to face perfectly forward you won’t be able to fine tune the screen angle for your viewing comfort. The tablet uses a third-party app store, not the Google app store, so app options are limited.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Rand McNally truck GPS for the money
What you need to know: The 750 doesn’t offer all the extra features of other Rand McNally truck GPS devices, but Rand Navigation might be all you really need.
What you’ll love: The simplicity of Rand Navigation without worrying about apps or cameras makes this a nice minimalist option.
What you should consider: For an even better bargain, consider the 5-inch TND 750, although the slower processor in this version elicited complaints from some users.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The most feature-rich of all the Rand McNally truck GPS systems is also the most expensive.
What you’ll love: Rand Navigation will be your most loved feature, but this also gives you a fully adjustable dash cam and a built-in SiriusXM receiver. Entertainment, social media, email and texting are all accessible through the tablet. Choose from 7- or 8-inch versions.
What you should consider: Some users complain of persistent bugs and glitches with the software.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Michael Ray writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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