Waze is one of the most popular GPS apps. After all, not only is it free, but a community is providing updates to the system in real-time. This means that users of Waze are constantly being updated on anything that may hinder specific routes e.g. heavy traffic, accidents, or even police speed cameras. It is no wonder that many truck drives think this may be a good route for them. So, is Waze suitable for professional truck drivers?
Waze does not currently have a truck mode for professional drivers. Waze is an app designed specifically for those driving smaller vehicles (e.g. cars, vans, and motorcycles) on either a private or commercial basis. There currently does not seem to be any plans to incorporate a truck mode into Waze. Truckers may still be able to see some use for Waze, though.
Let’s go into a bit more depth on this. This is because you may be wanting to know why there is no truck mode for professional drivers built into the app. You may also want to know whether there are ways to get around this restriction.
Why Is There No Truck Mode In Waze?
As you may well know, Waze is an app designed to make navigation on the roads easier.
Unlike standard GPS route planners, Waze does not give a single set route for a driver to follow. Instead, the routes can change as drivers are on the road. This is all thanks to the community of drivers that are using the app.
For example, if a driver reports to Waze that there is heavy traffic in one area, then Waze will tell anybody following that route to take a different route to ensure that they are not caught up in any issues on the road.
The problem is that due to the weight and size of trucks, they are only able to follow certain routes. Waze does not take into account the weight or size of a vehicle when it is giving recalibrated routes. So, if a driver ends up driving a route given by Waze, then there is a good chance that they will end up driving somewhere that trucks are either not allowed to head or are not capable of heading to.
This is the same as most other GPS route planners. If you are driving a truck or a bulkier vehicle, then you will need to purchase a planner designed specifically for your vehicle size. If you don’t, then you are going to be running into all sorts of issues. Using the wrong GPS navigation system is why you hear those horror stories of trucks driving into bridges or getting stuck on narrow roads.
Will Waze Ever Have a Professional Truck Driving Mode?
Obviously, Waze is owned by Google.
If there is one thing that you likely know about Google, it is the fact that they like to make money. In fact, they love to make money. This means that with all of the products that they own, they are always trying to squeeze the maximum amount of cash out of them.
If Google sees a way that it can incorporate a professional truck driving mode into Waze, then you can bet your bottom dollar that they are going to be going down that route.
That being said, we don’t really see any indication that they are planning on doing this. Planning routes for trucks is always going to be tricky, and it requires specific programming to ensure that trucks are not sent down the wrong roads. This may be complicated to do with an app that has been designed to give dynamic routes.
We wouldn’t recommend that you hold out hope for Waze ever having a professional truck driving mode. If it did have that mode added, then you can be sure that it is probably going to cost you a small amount of cash. At that point, it is probably going to be best to pick up a dedicated truck GPS.
Can You Use Waze For Driving Trucks Professionally?
This isn’t to say that you can’t use Waze while you are driving your truck. You just shouldn’t be using it as a route planner.
We know of several truckers that use Waze as an alerts-only system. Waze is one of the best apps for this. If you leave it running on your mobile device, then you will always be able to get information on traffic conditions, accidents, etc. Even for truckers that are not using the route planning capabilities, this is the sort of information that will come in especially handy.
In addition to Waze, it is recommended that truckers get their hands on either a GPS app or complete standalone GPS that has been specifically designed for use by truckers.
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Drivers should always follow the routes given by their truck-specific GPS. However, they should always pay attention to any alerts or route changes given by Waze. If there is serious traffic in a particular area, then truck drivers will be able to tap this information into their normal truck GPS and get a route that works well for truckers.
We find that the combination of the two systems works best for professional truckers. It isn’t the ideal solution, and it would be much more preferable if Google did support truck drivers on Waze. However, until that time, at least you can still rely on Waze alerts. This combination is going to ensure that you get to your destination as fast as possible and with the minimum amount of hindrance.
Sadly, Waze does not currently support truckers. It has been designed for smaller vehicles only. This is because Waze is not programmed with information about which vehicles can travel down which routes. It is unknown whether Waze will ever introduce this functionality. For now, truckers should probably rely on Waze alerts only. They should have their own dedicated trucker GPS running alongside Waze. This will give the best of both worlds.