This year at the Mid-America Truck Show I stumbled across a booth in the west wing that surprised me. TOMTOM had a booth to showcase their new Trucking Industry Specific GPS system, as well as fitness trackers. Many of you I am sure recall the days of hearing TOMTOM advertisements for stand alone GPS systems for cars.
They have now entered the trucking industry with their Trucker 600 Navigation System. It is geared towards drivers, is feature packed, and is at a competitive price. To be clear I have not had an opportunity to use one of their GPS systems yet. This information is from MATS as well as conversations I have had with them since then. Just from the specification side as well as the price point I think that this is a unit that is worth being considered by any driver looking for a new GPS. If you are going to be the Great American Truck Show in Dallas August 24-26, 2017 stop by their booth 22020 to see some of the offerings that have for drivers and decide for yourself.
TomTom globally launched a truck specific GPS unit in June of 2015 and brought the first North-American Truck Specific unit in August of 2016. With their mission of trying to get people where they want to go faster. It seemed to be a natural fit to bring their technology and expertise the trucking community. With the development of TomTom Traffic, they cover all roadways and combine data from millions of drivers to give traffic information so accurate it will pinpoint the exact start and stop of traffic incidents.
As we all know there is a large variety of GPS solutions available to drivers. Ranging from non-trucking specific services like Google Maps, Trucking Specific Apps such as ONE20, company provided devices, and units such as Rand McNally and Garmin. TomTom differentiates themselves by developing and owning their own maps. They believe this gives them the most accurate, and up to date maps and information. They do quarterly map updates and additional updates as needed to ensure that drivers have the information they depend on.
An important feature that is included with the TOMTOM Trucker 600 Navigation System is their MyDrive Service. This is a free service that sends real time information to the navigation unit from a smartphone or tablet that is connected to the internet and running the MyDrive app. TomTom collects information from a large number of systems that generate real time traffic flow data. They send this information from your smartphone or internet connected tablet, using your Bluetooth connection to your Trucker 600. This allows you to get real time data and routing recommendations. Please note that this WILL use your data plan on your connected device!!!
Their pricing for physical units is extremely competitive. Full retail is 299.99, and I have seen it on sale for less at various truck stops. It has a 6″ display screen which for the price is very competitive. Most non-trucking specific tablets are not the overly durable and may have screen glare from bright light. From personal experience using tablets on the truck. I have had issues seeing it in bright sunlight. As well as I have broken more tablets than I care to admit to by dropping them or other mishaps. (For those of you who are curious tablets do NOT enjoy drinking coffee…) While there are extra durable tablets on the market. The cost of them is often more than my wallet can bear, (at least for my wallet).
Also, with many phone apps, if you’re in an area with poor signal, may have issues with updating information and routing. As well as if you’re using your phone for a call, it may interfere with the routing, or be hard to hear the voice telling you when to turn next. From personal experience I have a preference for a non-phone based GPS, such as a tablet or GPS stand alone unit. While I normally prefer a unit that can do multiple functions. I have a personal preference towards stand alone GPS units. Mainly this is based on cost reasons and personal preference.
TomTom’s goal is to make a device that is easier for drivers to use. It is designed with a great deal of reliability, a simple update process, and an exceptional customer service team to give drivers the support they need to maximize uptime and make using a pleasant experience. TomTom believes they have made a high-quality product, that will be easy for drivers to use, and provide maximum value to drivers.
I am always glad to see new products being introduced into the market. It allows for greater competition, spurs innovation, and gives the driver more choices. From the technical stats side, this unit appears to give drivers a solid choice for those wishing a stand alone unit. I am looking forwards to seeing drivers feedback on this device, and how it compares to the other offerings over the long haul.
Thanks to Alex Choup National Account Manager for Business Development, with TomTom for his help and information for this article.