The TomTom Trucker 600 is a dashboard-mounted GPS system optimized for the needs of the trucking industry. Most notably, unlike a standard GPS, it includes and tracks critical information regarding road height, overpass height, and commercial carrying restrictions. This enables truckers to not only plan their route, but to do so without being unintentionally directed through areas where their vehicle is not allowed, does not fit, or which otherwise presents a suboptimal route for a large commercial vehicle.
This is primarily achieved by the TomTom’s custom software, which enables truckers to input the size and weight of their vehicle, along with the sort of cargo being carried, to have the Trucker 6000 automatically route them around potential problems. This includes everything from tunnels and low overpasses to residential neighborhoods where such vehicles are prohibited. There are also options to route around toll roads, as well as means of including certain refueling or check-in spots on the way.
The new TomTom also can connect via Bluetooth to a trucker’s phone, where the MyDrive app can be used to plan a route, avoid likely hazards and traffic, as well as transmit and confirm proposed routes to the customer or management. Additionally, the route can be programmed at a central office or at the driver’s point of departure, and then uploaded to the GPS wirelessly upon the start of the trip. This helps drivers to coordinate with their managers or customers in advance, enabling the driver’s status to be estimated or determined live without needing to bother the driver during the trip.
Additionally, the Trucker 600 comes with lifetime map and traffic updates included in the price. This ensures that the Trucker 600 is not only aware of changes in road layout or traffic patterns over time, but that it can re-route to more optimal routes in the event of adverse weather or accidents. This helps to eliminate much of the guesswork in route planning and also avoids getting lost due to road construction. As such, it is superior to traditional GPS options which require an SD card or other manual offline method of updating, or phone-based GPS apps which are not optimized to account for the sort of problems a truck driver is likely to be concerned about.
However, the Trucker 600 is not limited to being a solely commercial device, suitable only for truck drivers. The software architecture is based on the standard TomTom models, with the trucker options serving primarily as extra upgrades to the base system. This means that the GPS system is only a few screen taps away from being used in any vehicle, making it ideal for owner/operators who want to use it as a personal GPS, or RV owners who tow a smaller vehicle. Up to four vehicles can be stored in the device, enabling the device to quickly switch between stored vehicle types and plan optimal routes accordingly.
The Trucker has a simple snap-mount system, enabling it to be quickly and easily placed anywhere convenient. A basic mounting setup is provided with the system. The click-n-go setup is easy to install and provides a firm mounting point that will not jostle around or come loose over time. Additionally, as it is a standard that has been used for a long time, and numerous mount options are widely available on the market, making third party mounting options easy to find. The system has a 6″ touchscreen with variable brightness settings and automatic night dimming. The onboard battery will last up to two hours and can be recharged via a MicroUSB connection, although the system is better served by a permanent connection. A 10V DC cable is provided, and it is possible to hardwire the system, although it requires special cables. The 16GB of internal memory can be expanded by a MicroSD card slot, which accommodates up to 128GB of storage.
Overall the new TomTom offers considerable advantages over standard GPS systems and smartphone-based GPS software. Primarily this is centered around the device’s ability to know and understand typical road hazards relevant to truckers, i.e. height and load restrictions. This helps drivers avoid the most common problems caused by standard GPS units, most notably the unintentional routing of trucks down roads too small, narrow, or with insufficient clearance for a large vehicle. The fact that the system does not have any sort of built-in Wi-Fi connection and is dependent on the user’s phone and an app is inconvenient, but the fact that the software can be programmed using a phone or desktop computer and then updated instantly so long as the device is connected to a phone is certainly convenient. This makes the TomTom Trucker an excellent option for those who need a truck gps system.