Truckers are no strangers to stress. Tight deadlines, the alertness required to drive safely for long periods, and cabin fever can all take their toll on even the most dedicated haulier. While some of these issues simply come with the territory, some are avoidable, or at least can be minimised. That’s why TomTom, who have been developing highly regarded satellite navigation systems since the early 2000s, have created and released a satnav specifically tailored to meet the requirements of those professionals working in haulage jobs.
What Can a Satnav Do for Me?
For those who are new to the industry and who not yet drove a HGV, you’ll soon find your satnav an invaluable partner. Satellite navigation is included in smartphones as well as specialist devices, and is able to plot the quickest legal route between any two points, taking into account one-ways and pedestrianised zones. Those working in haulage jobs tend to find them a welcome replacement for the now-redundant A-to-Z.
A good satnav is able to make educated time estimates based on traffic, and can also warn of the presence of speed cameras. It can help you out of a tight spot when you suddenly find yourself facing an unexpected road closure and need to find an alternative route. Whereas many road users no longer feel the need to have a dedicated satnav (smartphones have largely replaced them), they can be especially useful when carrying out haulage jobs.
What’s Special About TomTom’s New Product?
TomTom’s haulage-specific satnav is the latest in a long line of products providing technological solutions to some of the industry’s biggest problems. The unit offers all of the bonuses of a standard satnav, along with some features specifically for HGV operators. Especially worth mentioning the function by which you enter your vehicle’s dimensions and the nature of the cargo, after which the device will use this information to calculate the best possible route for you, avoiding, for example, small roads, weak bridges and low overpasses.
Of course, haulage jobs are rarely confined to one country, and as such, mobile data usage can quickly rack up exorbitant roaming charges. Fortunately, TomTom have foreseen this and their HGV-specific satnav is available with a built-in SIM card and no roaming charges at all. If you’ve been using your phone as a satnav, you might find the savings on roaming charges quickly adding up.
The benefits will be visible off the road too: better information means quicker deliveries and happier employees, not to mention customers. The MyDrive app is also set to improve efficiency: the driver no longer needs to programme the journey just before setting out. Instead, they can map a journey whenever they have a free moment on the clock, for example, while waiting for a load or during an oil change, and this can then be synced to the satnav as needed.
TomTom’s haulage-specific release has loads of promise. People working haulage jobs on the road will reap the rewards as they enjoy well-planned, stress-free deliveries, while fleet managers will be able to quickly see the benefits in terms of employee morale, efficiency, and consumer satisfaction.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage jobs with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.