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Semi-truck driver talks avoidable GPS confusion many operators face

The pressure any semi-truck driver faces can be extinguished by knowing how to operate the...
The pressure any semi-truck driver faces can be extinguished by knowing how to operate the 40-ton machine and trust in their equipment.(WKYT)
Published: Feb. 3, 2020 at 10:39 PM EST
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The pressure any semi-truck driver faces can be extinguished by knowing how to operate the 40-ton machine and trust in their equipment.

The tanker was supposed to be heading to Richmond, but officials say the driver's GPS told him to head south across the bridge.

The tanker would later spill 5,000 gallons of the Butyl Acrylate onto the railroad tracks below the narrow bridge.

Semi-truck drivers say anyone that had a GPS system made specifically for a truck driver would not have made that mistake. A normal GPS works to find shortcuts through rural areas. A truck driver’s GPS eliminates any roads that semi-trucks are not allowed to travel along with small rural roads where the rigs would not be able to easily maneuver and turn around.

“If you follow a car GPS, it thinks you are a car,” said 37-year veteran Tom, a truck driver out of Tennessee. “If you have common sense, you know you aren’t supposed to go in that neighborhood.”

Tom says a huge problem is the price of a GPS specifically made for a truck driver. According to online retailers, they can be nearly triple the price of a generic GPS.

“Guys just starting out don’t have money for it.”

The law says semi-truck drivers must be hands free while driving – meaning no opportunity to make GPS adjustments. Many communities also hold strict regulations on where and when semi-trucks are able to drive in towns.