All That's Trucking

Is that GPS in your truck going to steer you wrong?

September 27, 2012

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Earlier this week, we reported that one U.S. senator wants some sort of federal standards for commercial truck use of GPS navigation systems.

In today's news, a story from the Fort Wayne, Ind., Journal Gazette provides a perfect example of why this might just be a good idea.

"The Spencerville Covered Bridge has a clearance of 12 feet, 6 inches," the paper says. "A sign at the entrance states this fact. However, on Wednesday afternoon, a tractor-trailer rig exceeding the height limit rumbled through the historic wooden bridge, thrashing the roof trusses throughout the structure."

The driver caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to the bridge, which has been in use since it was built in 1873.

The truck driver admitted to driving through the bridge, telling officers his GPS device had directed him to.

The article didn't say, but I strongly suspect he was using a device used for passenger-car drivers. There are plenty of trucking-specific navigation devices out there that route trucks over routes approved for their size and type. There's no excuse for not using one. Yes, they cost a little more -- but isn't it worth it to know you're not going to end up stuck under an overpass or trashing a historic bridge?

Update, 10/2/2012: The driver has been charged with a Class D felony of criminal mischief, driving a commercial motor vehicles while disqualified, and a false report of record-of-duty status (aka logbook).

Related Stories

9/27/2012 Feature: Save Fuel, Ease Stress with in-Cab Nav

6/17/2011 Blog: Does using GPS rot your brain?

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Deborah Lockridge

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All That's Trucking blog is just that – the editor's take on anything and everything related to trucking, with the help of guest posts from other HDT editors. Author Deborah Lockridge's career as an award-winning trucking journalist started in 1990.


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