Semitruck driving directions can be retrieved online using Global Positioning Systems, Internet-connected devices and truck-specific maps. Online systems enable truck drivers to quickly determine the route and time to get from their current location to the next; the truck-specific maps often contain valuable general information, such as the location of low bridges or permits needed, that might not be available in online systems.
Truck drivers can use either a car or truck-specific GPS. The driver enters the cargo type, weight, height, length and width of the truck and creates a route avoiding roads with size or weight restrictions, low bridges and cargo restrictions, such as hazardous materials. GPS units usually are small enough to be attached to the windshield and speak the directions aloud, so the driver can focus on the road not the GPS.
Online Mapping and Resources
Online mapping systems are widely available for smartphone and laptop or e-reader devices and can be used to retrieve directions. Typically, the driver enters current location and destination and gets turn-by-turn directions. These systems generally produce directions for cars. Other online resources are also available for some locations. For example, the states of California and New Jersey provide online guides to truck routes.
A semitruck driver needs to keep a truck-specific map onboard in case his online systems are not working. Road atlases for trucks contain maps for all 50 states and Canadian provinces, as well as state/province-specific weight, length and width maximums, locations of low bridges and designation of permit vehicles. Maps are available that show the locations of low bridges for specific cities such as New York, New York or Chicago, Illinois.