The Magellan RoadMate 9270T-LM is a GPS system designed especially for commercial trucks. Inside the box is the GPS unit along with an elevated base frame equipped with suction cups that provides fast and secure attachment to nearly any type of truck dashboard regardless of size or shape. The enclosed AC adapter works in any type of standard plug-in outlet found in the North American continent. A USB cable allows for connecting with a laptop or PC in order to obtain software updates. The software is compatible with Mac or Windows platforms. There is also a 12-volt adapter for connecting to the vehicle’s 12-volt power source and a basic user’s manual.
The unit comes with lifetime maps updates and provides live traffic updates transmitted via WiFi with no additional fees. The company recommends updating map information up to twice a year. The 7-inch touch screen offers adjustable brightness and contrast for day or night viewing The large display is easy to read and user-friendly. Drivers can use the device to enter in specific vehicle dimensions, load types and destination. Let the Magellan choose a route or program the route manually. The device also maintains information for multiple drivers.
The Magellan capably follows common truck routes and makes adjustments for large trucks traveling through areas in which the device does not have extensive familiarity with all of the roads. Though featuring many points of interest that truckers find helpful, the device does not feature information concerning Blue Beacon truck washes, which some view as a drawback.
While driving, the GPS system alerts truck operators of upcoming turns well in advance, which begin at a distance of about two miles. The alert appears again upon immediate approach. The unit also chimes at designated turns and highway off-ramps. If a turn or exit is purposefully or accidentally missed, the system automatically recalculates with new settings.
|Garmin dezl 760LMT||Rand McNally TND 730||Magellan RoadMate 9270T-LM|
|Screen Size||7 inch||7 inch||7 inch|
|Screen Resolution||800 x 480 pixels||640 x 480 pixels||800 x 480 pixels|
|Live Traffic Updates||Yes||Requires Subscription||Yes|
|Free Lifetime Map Updates||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Similar to texting on a smartphone, the Magellan RoadMate has an autotype feature that assists the user in entering the name of streets or cities, which eliminates the need to type the entire entry. The onscreen keyboard display is large and makes typing easy for large fingers. A special program also verbalizes each letter or number entered, which helps prevent entry errors.
The 9720T-LM features a display that illustrates remaining distance, estimated time of arrival, vehicle speed and elevation. The display also provides direction of travel via a digital compass. However, this functions seems rather unreliable. All of the information remains hidden on a pop-up bar that is only accessed by tapping the screen. After a few seconds of display, the bar slides back down. A trucker can display one aspect of this data in the lower right corner if tapping and holding the item you wish permanently displayed.
The unit does handle multi-stop routes, which allows the driver to enter all of the information before the trip. However, the mileage distance displayed only spans from the current location to the next stop and not the entire road trip. This may prove inconvenient if a trucker must know total trip mileage. However, the unit calculates routes relatively quickly.
The device also does not allow for manually adjusting average prediction speeds, which may vary depending on whether driving in town, on local highways or the Interstate. Though having speed limit data for some roadways, the information contained within the unit is somewhat incomplete.
Using the “One Touch” menu option in the upper right corner, drivers have the option of entering up to 20 frequent locations or multi-trip stops. The device then keeps this information, which prevents the need to continually enter the same data repeatedly. The speaker on the back of the device provides ample sound that is easily heard while driving. Additional features include Bluetooth connectivity and an audio/visual input allows for connecting cameras, iPods or DVD players.