Improper GPS Systems in Big Rigs can Cause Big Trouble

11/19/14

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Recently a semi-truck driver followed GPS navigation away from commercial roadways and into a residential area to get to his destination.  When the driver realized the GPS navigation had improperly directed him, he attempted to turn around in a neighborhood park striking several pedestrian bridges.  Not surprisingly, the tractor-trailer needed to be towed to safely pass through the residential area, where families and joggers visit daily.

GPS systems are beneficial to all drivers, certainly to truck drivers who must quickly deliver goods to specific destinations.  However, the GPS unit must be appropriate for semi-truck drivers in order to avoid routes away from commercial zones and into residential areas.

GPS navigation lessons learned:

  • Use GPS tracking designed for trucks 
  • GPS navigation for consumers can route through residential streets and neighborhoods where trucks are not permitted.  Ensure that your fleet has the appropriate GPS tracking and navigation to avoid residential areas. 
  • When in doubt, call your dispatcher
  • Drivers must be reminded to stay aware of their surroundings and stop when something does not seem right. 
  • Semi-trucks in residential neighborhoods rouse spectators
  • Tractor-trailers get noticed when things go wrong.  Even when there are no injuries or significant damage, semi-trucks away from commercial roadways draw attention.  News reporters and bystanders may find a situation like this worthy of public comment. 
  • Tractor-trailer towing is expensive

Towing can cost in excess of $300 per hour for the use of a heavy wrecker or a rotator.  Be aware of all costs associated with towing your fleet.

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