Lorries hitting low bridges could be a thing of the past thanks to a satellite navigation unit designed specifically for lorry drivers. The TomTom GO 7000, which is now available from leading trade body the Freight Transport Association (FTA), makes it possible for trucks to avoid narrow roads, low bridges and unsuitable routes, hopefully bringing to an end familiar stories of lorry drivers coming unstuck after using sat-nav units designed for cars.
FTA policy manager James Firth said:
"It was over two years ago that FTA challenged the satellite navigation industry to develop a product aimed at HGVs. The result is a product that is more appropriate for HGVs and will help drivers to avoid obstacles on their delivery routes, saving money and time and preventing chaos along our urban and rural road networks. It also has a greater bias for motorways and major roads meaning it will tend not to send large vehicles down small country lanes even where there is no statutory restriction."
All drivers have to do is enter their vehicle’s weight and dimensions into the unit and it will provide them with information on clearance heights, weight restrictions, speed restrictions and problematic sharp turns. The unit can be adapted to suit a variety of different size vehicles, and a map share function allows drivers to make corrections to their map by adding their own access restriction information.
For those who already have a TomTom GO unit, a Truck Navigation SD card is available on its own, which enables drivers to turn their existing unit into one which is appropriate for trucks.
"However impressive the technology there can be no substitute for common sense. Drivers should not just rely on sat-nav instructions to make their decisions for them, but should pay attention to other indicators, like road and bridge signs."