I just bought a new Rand McNally TND 740 (ongoing review thread)

CMT

Well-Known Member
#24
Well, my review of the Rand Mcnally TND 740 began yesterday evening, and ended this afternoon.

Stopped in at Dow Chemical in Freeport this morning to make my delivery. Go inside to watch the safety video because my card expired a few years ago. Come back about an hour later, and the unit is no longer on the map screen (just like the previous night). This time, it is on some dark screen that has options for updates, GPS repair, and something else. I click the x to get out of that screen, and nothing. Click it again, and the whole screen flickers, third time, it actually left that screen.

Get unloaded, go to leave and set my destination for Fort Smith, AR. It decides to save me a few miles and route me straight through the woods, through an area that flat out sucks to drive through. I figured this would be a good opportunity to see how it recalculates a new route when I ignore this one's desire to send me over to 59. I reach Houston and turn up 45. GPS is freaking out, tries to put me on 10 to get me over to 59. I ignore it, and continue up 45. it then tries to get me onto 610 to take me over to 59. Ignore it and continue on, it tries to put me on the beltway to get me over there. Still ignore it, and it tries to start u-turning me at exits.

Continue on further, and it has me exiting about 20 miles up the road to cut across over to 59. Ignore that, and a few other options, and by the time I am in Huntsville, it tries to send me across highway 19. I'm laughing at this point as I take Exit 118 and swing into the Peelot. From the Peelot, it wants be to go back down to highway 19 to get back over to 59, lol. Take GPS from window, put it back in the box, grab receipt, and into the store I go.

Hand the box and receipt to the clerk, and exchange it for the Garmin DEZL 580. Thought about the 770, but after putting the RM 7 inch screen up in my windshield, decided to just stick with a 5 inch screen.

Unbox, plug it in, and low and behold, it picks the correct route. I get to the Dallas area, and low and behold, it doesn't have the speed limits all screwed up.

Call me crazy, but I bet if I get on the Dallas North Tollway now, this GPS won't try to drag me into residential areas because it thinks there is a low bridge on the tollway.

One last thing, the Garmin with the little 5 inch screen is easier to view than that 7 inch RM was.

Looking to buy an antique map made of paper? Rand McNally is the place to go. Looking to buy an actual quality GPS? Go with Garmin, the people who know how to actually build a quality GPS.

I've gone thru 2 of the RM GPS systems over the course of my driving and have come to the conclusion they are garbage for routing & so called live traffic updates. It amazes me that RM, the king of road maps has so much incorrect crap on their GPS systems. Both I've owned were their top of the line at the time of purchase & just a waste of money, in my opinion.

Speed limits are incorrect all over the place, so why bother even song them. My company can tell when I've gone 5 mph over the speed limit in any given area, but RM can't get posted limits right for some reason.

Routing is a joke. Both GPS systems I owned had a mind of their own. It'll route you over the river and thru the woods instead of just staying on the interstate for 3 more exits and your destination is a quarter mile off that exit.

God forbid you pull off into a rest area a matter of feet off the highway because it'll completely change it's route once you pull back into the highway to get rolling again.

I deliver to a lot of Sam's Club locations, but it can't find certain stores when you type in the address, yet those particular Sam's clubs are listed as the same exact address in their Wal-Mart/Sam's quick stop icon...super annoying..

It'll direct you into a facility then once you take that same road out of there, it'll blare that you're now on a truck restricted road..what gives, RM?

Dealing with their customer service is a joke..you'll get a different answer from each person who tries to assist you. Sending the unit in for repair takes an act of congress, I swear. Then they tell you they require a signature at the time of delivery to receive the fixed unit. That's bs because it'll just get left on your porch without a signature requirement.

I honestly thought my original RM GPS was just a "Friday afternoon" GPS I just happened to get with quirks, so that's why I bought another one from them about 5 years later, but to no avail, the new one sucks just as bad too.

Went back to Garmin and now I no longer drink heavily...
 

dchawk81

Well-Known Member
#25
I've gone thru 2 of the RM GPS systems over the course of my driving and have come to the conclusion they are garbage for routing & so called live traffic updates. It amazes me that RM, the king of road maps has so much incorrect crap on their GPS systems. Both I've owned were their top of the line at the time of purchase & just a waste of money, in my opinion.

Speed limits are incorrect all over the place, so why bother even song them. My company can tell when I've gone 5 mph over the speed limit in any given area, but RM can't get posted limits right for some reason.

Routing is a joke. Both GPS systems I owned had a mind of their own. It'll route you over the river and thru the woods instead of just staying on the interstate for 3 more exits and your destination is a quarter mile off that exit.

God forbid you pull off into a rest area a matter of feet off the highway because it'll completely change it's route once you pull back into the highway to get rolling again.

I deliver to a lot of Sam's Club locations, but it can't find certain stores when you type in the address, yet those particular Sam's clubs are listed as the same exact address in their Wal-Mart/Sam's quick stop icon...super annoying..

It'll direct you into a facility then once you take that same road out of there, it'll blare that you're now on a truck restricted road..what gives, RM?

Dealing with their customer service is a joke..you'll get a different answer from each person who tries to assist you. Sending the unit in for repair takes an act of congress, I swear. Then they tell you they require a signature at the time of delivery to receive the fixed unit. That's bs because it'll just get left on your porch without a signature requirement.

I honestly thought my original RM GPS was just a "Friday afternoon" GPS I just happened to get with quirks, so that's why I bought another one from them about 5 years later, but to no avail, the new one sucks just as bad too.

Went back to Garmin and now I no longer drink heavily...
Maybe your second one was also made on a Friday. Or worse...Monday morning. Before the coffee kicked in.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
#26
One of RMs beta testers had a thread over at TTR, and had a few things that might shed some light on some of this....

I've gone thru 2 of the RM GPS systems over the course of my driving and have come to the conclusion they are garbage for routing & so called live traffic updates. It amazes me that RM, the king of road maps has so much incorrect crap on their GPS systems. Both I've owned were their top of the line at the time of purchase & just a waste of money, in my opinion.

Speed limits are incorrect all over the place, so why bother even song them. My company can tell when I've gone 5 mph over the speed limit in any given area, but RM can't get posted limits right for some reason.
That is part of the road database. It's only as good as the reporting by local authorities when they change speed limits. If Podunkville changes the speed limit on Main St, but doesn't report it like they're supposed to, it's not going to be reflected in the database purchased by either RM or Garmin. Even if they do report it, there's going to be a time lag until it gets entered in the 3rd party road database, then it has to be included in a map update by the GPS vendor, and then you have to get around to tearing yourself away from whatever distraction you're involved in during your 10s to actually download a GPS update.

Routing is a joke. Both GPS systems I owned had a mind of their own. It'll route you over the river and thru the woods instead of just staying on the interstate for 3 more exits and your destination is a quarter mile off that exit.
That's influenced by the settings that you've selected. It sounds very much like you chose "shortest route." The "fastest time" setting will usually keep you on the interstate.

God forbid you pull off into a rest area a matter of feet off the highway because it'll completely change it's route once you pull back into the highway to get rolling again.
That can be a couple of things... it's usually either the road database shows a back way out of them that only rest area employees use that is incorrectly identified as a general use road, or when you get back on the road a recalculation in shortest route mode now reflects a slight change making a different routing a little shorter.

Another effect is a recalculation by the RM units after you exit an interstate to go to a truck stop for example. It will recalculate your routing based in the turn you made via some secondary roads back to the interstate. It's because that's the shortest or fastest way back to the preferred route using the turn you made instead of continuing on the current road to a legal (it thinks) U-turn. None of these guys will necessarily recognize all truck stops as an intermediate stop unless you specifically designate them as a destination.

If you're running a long, complex route, the routing algorithm sometimes may be constrained in the number of route choices it considers when you first enter the route. This can be a function of the time it takes to analyze the routing, limits programmed into the software or just how the routing algorithm is constructed. When you eliminate some of the problem by traveling a good portion of the route, a better solution may be selected during a recalculation - you simplified the problem by shortening the route.

I deliver to a lot of Sam's Club locations, but it can't find certain stores when you type in the address, yet those particular Sam's clubs are listed as the same exact address in their Wal-Mart/Sam's quick stop icon...super annoying..
The mailing address that is used as the physical store address by some carriers business directories is not always the same as the physical jurisdiction that a receiver is actually located in. That's a problem with either the carrier or Sam's Club. It's easy to get around this - use something like Google Maps - drop a pin on the entry into your receiver, and get the latitude and longitude coordinates - enter them in the GPS as the destination. Your GPS will route you right there.

It'll direct you into a facility then once you take that same road out of there, it'll blare that you're now on a truck restricted road..what gives, RM?
3rd party road database problem. Garmin has the same problems. There's a new Kroger DC in Forrest Park GA. I have a Garmin Diezel that spazzes out because it still thinks it's an Army post housing area. RM works just fine there.

Dealing with their customer service is a joke..you'll get a different answer from each person who tries to assist you. Sending the unit in for repair takes an act of congress, I swear. Then they tell you they require a signature at the time of delivery to receive the fixed unit. That's bs because it'll just get left on your porch without a signature requirement.

I honestly thought my original RM GPS was just a "Friday afternoon" GPS I just happened to get with quirks, so that's why I bought another one from them about 5 years later, but to no avail, the new one sucks just as bad too.

Went back to Garmin and now I no longer drink heavily...
It helps if you know where you're going, and how you're going to get there in the first place. You can catch routing problems by knowing the general location and roads around your destination in the first place.

If you don't update these units frequently, new roads, changes to local conditions, etc aren't incorporated into their databases. Also, the routing is only as good as the information contained in those databases - both Garmin and RM purchase that data from 3rd parties.

Also, understanding how your choices in the various settings affects routing eliminates a lot of the problems associated with those units. Just because a GPS says to turn down a certain road doesn't mean that you have to or should.

On US60 near Cairo IL, my Garmin Diezel insists I should take a certain exit, while my RM routes me on US60 across the Mississippi River bridges. If I take the Garmin route, it will lead me to a truck restricted route to a ferry that won't accept a 18-wheeler...

That same Diezel unit totally spazzes out in certain rural towns when I use the RM routing. It will suggest I take roads that clearly no big truck should ever be on to get to a different road on the other side of said little town, because it's routing database is slightly different.

To get to the Grovesport OH DCs, both units want me to go via much longer (different) back routes into the area rather than the best direct route everyone uses that is truck legal from I270 via Alum Creek Rd. Both are just fine when I ignore them and take the best route that I just described.

These things are just tools that have clear limitations and weaknesses. Understanding those problems are part of using them that separates us as professional drivers from the wheel grippers that blindly follow their commands - and end up on the evening news or on YouTube after doing something incredibly stupid. Because the GPS told them to.
 
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#27
One of RMs beta testers had a thread over at TTR, and had a few things that might shed some light on some of this....



That is part of the road database. It's only as good as the reporting by local authorities when they change speed limits. If Podunkville changes the speed limit on Main St, but doesn't report it like they're supposed to, it's not going to be reflected in the database purchased by either RM or Garmin. Even if they do report it, there's going to be a time lag until it gets entered in the 3rd party road database, then it has to be included in a map update by the GPS vendor, and then you have to get around to tearing yourself away from whatever distraction you're involved in during your 10s to actually download a GPS update.



That's influenced by the settings that you've selected. It sounds very much like you chose "shortest route." The "fastest time" setting will usually keep you on the interstate.



That can be a couple of things... it's usually either the road database shows a back way out of them that only rest area employees use that is incorrectly identified as a general use road, or when you get back on the road a recalculation in shortest route mode now reflects a slight change making a different routing a little shorter.

Another effect is a recalculation by the RM units after you exit an interstate to go to a truck stop for example. It will recalculate your routing based in the turn you made via some secondary roads back to the interstate. It's because that's the shortest or fastest way back to the preferred route using the turn you made instead of continuing on the current road to a legal (it thinks) U-turn. None of these guys will necessarily recognize all truck stops as an intermediate stop unless you specifically designate them as a destination.

If you're running a long, complex route, the routing algorithm sometimes may be constrained in the number of route choices it considers when you first enter the route. This can be a function of the time it takes to analyze the routing, limits programmed into the software or just how the routing algorithm is constructed. When you eliminate some of the problem by traveling a good portion of the route, a better solution may be selected during a recalculation - you simplified the problem by shortening the route.



The mailing address that is used as the physical store address by some carriers business directories is not always the same as the physical jurisdiction that a receiver is actually located in. That's a problem with either the carrier or Sam's Club. It's easy to get around this - use something like Google Maps - drop a pin on the entry into your receiver, and get the latitude and longitude coordinates - enter them in the GPS as the destination. Your GPS will route you right there.



3rd party road database problem. Garmin has the same problems. There's a new Kroger DC in Forrest Park GA. I have a Garmin Diezel that spazzes out because it still thinks it's an Army post housing area. RM works just fine there.



It helps if you know where you're going, and how you're going to get there in the first place. You can catch routing problems by knowing the general location and roads around your destination in the first place.

If you don't update these units frequently, new roads, changes to local conditions, etc aren't incorporated into their databases. Also, the routing is only as good as the information contained in those databases - both Garmin and RM purchase that data from 3rd parties.

Also, understanding how your choices in the various settings affects routing eliminates a lot of the problems associated with those units. Just because a GPS says to turn down a certain road doesn't mean that you have to or should.

On US60 near Cairo IL, my Garmin Diezel insists I should take a certain exit, while my RM routes me on US60 across the Mississippi River bridges. If I take the Garmin route, it will lead me to a truck restricted route to a ferry that won't accept a 18-wheeler...

That same Diezel unit totally spazzes out in certain rural towns when I use the RM routing. It will suggest I take roads that clearly no big truck should ever be on to get to a different road on the other side of said little town, because it's routing database is slightly different.

To get to the Grovesport OH DCs, both units want me to go via much longer (different) back routes into the area rather than the best direct route everyone uses that is truck legal from I270 via Alum Creek Rd. Both are just fine when I ignore them and take the best route that I just described.

These things are just tools that have clear limitations and weaknesses. Understanding those problems are part of using them that separates us as professional drivers from the wheel grippers that blindly follow their commands - and end up on the evening news or on YouTube after doing something incredibly stupid. Because the GPS told them to.
Just use an atlas and maps. It's not that hard
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
#28
Just use an atlas and maps. It's not that hard
Yeah I've got one of them too. It was even printed in this century.

If I want a reasonably accurate ETA, for example, using my RMCA, I have to stop, add up the mileage, and go from there.

I can get that from a keystroke or so on the GPS, and a little 4th grade arithmetic done in my head. Technology when used properly is a great timesaver.

But you have a point. If I was Truckin' in Cannuckistan - I wouldn't need a GPS or a calculator either. It's a lot easier when you can count the number of usable roads on one hand.

:wink:
 
#29
Yeah I've got one of them too. It was even printed in this century.

If I want a reasonably accurate ETA, for example, using my RMCA, I have to stop, add up the mileage, and go from there.

I can get that from a keystroke or so on the GPS, and a little 4th grade arithmetic done in my head. Technology when used properly is a great timesaver.

But you have a point. If I was Truckin' in Cannuckistan - I wouldn't need a GPS or a calculator either. It's a lot easier when you can count the number of usable roads on one hand.

:wink:
What, you drive for Walmart now too? So many acronyms :confused-96:

I'll use an atlas for trip planning. Maps for final in state/in city driving. Call the customer for directions.

All these people that rely on a gps makes me shake my head. When I was a rookie I relied on a gps more. Now I say pee up a rope, technology sucks.

But it is nice not to have to use a pay phone to make phone calls
:biggrin-2:
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
#31
What, you drive for Walmart now too? So many acronyms :confused-96:
Rand McNally Motor Carrier Atlas.

I'll use an atlas for trip planning. Maps for final in state/in city driving. Call the customer for directions.
Been around for more than a minute? Most of us can quote the route without looking at the map. Call th' customer? Works until you get the trippy dippy who doesn't understand that you can't fit a semi through a 12'-3" clearance underpass. It's a best guess on their part, and should be treated that way.

All these people that rely on a gps makes me shake my head. When I was a rookie I relied on a gps more. Now I say pee up a rope, technology sucks.
When I was a rookie you either cracked a RMCA (you catchin' what I'm pitchin' yet?) or th' more experienced guy ridin' shotgun gave your brainbucket a roundhouse you wouldn't forget. Then you'd better have it written down.

Hey! Ouch! :eek-64:

Truck-specific GPS units weren't something you could waste your money on... yet.

But it is nice not to have to use a pay phone to make phone calls
:biggrin-2:
You had phones???

:eek-64:
 

Hammer166

Instigateur №166™
Supporter
#32
The mailing address that is used as the physical store address by some carriers business directories is not always the same as the physical jurisdiction that a receiver is actually located in. That's a problem with either the carrier or Sam's Club. It's easy to get around this - use something like Google Maps - drop a pin on the entry into your receiver, and get the latitude and longitude coordinates - enter them in the GPS as the destination. Your GPS will route you right there.
This right here is why I wanted to throw the RM out the window. The way Garmin looks up addresses is far superior, as a minor mis-format in the address doesn't require using GPS coordinates.

Mind you, as I've mentioned before, they are little more than toys and upcoming corner finders to me, so the routing is something I do on my own anyways. I never have the voice on for that reason, they're always SO disapproving of my choice of routing! Athough as @Mike noted, the RM hangs on to it's initial route entirely too long before adjusting to your new route.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
#34
This right here is why I wanted to throw the RM out the window. The way Garmin looks up addresses is far superior, as a minor mis-format in the address doesn't require using GPS coordinates.
That's not a minor formatting error. It's a disconnect between the business address quoted by the front office that corresponds to a post office zip code that may be miles away from the physical jurisdiction the business resides in. As @mndriver pointed out, the truck entrance can be miles away from the business address. Picking out a GPS coordinate isn't a chore. Takes about 1 second while you're checking out the satellite view fer a lay 'o th' land inspection.

Mind you, as I've mentioned before, they are little more than toys and upcoming corner finders to me, so the routing is something I do on my own anyways.
I pretty much do the same thing- but having my route programmed into the thing offers an informational benefit in the post Mandated Monday world.

I never have the voice on for that reason, they're always SO disapproving of my choice of routing!
Yeah, but you get to win all those arguments with dear Samantha!

:biggrin-2:

Athough as @Mike noted, the RM hangs on to it's initial route entirely too long before adjusting to your new route.
That isn't hard. You just have to know how to force the thing to recalculate (just go to the modify current route page, and push the start trip button,) or add a waypoint that constrains the routing algorithm. This ain't exactly rocket science ya know.
 
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dave350

Well-Known Member
#35
I used a gps for upcoming turns like was said earlier. It’s a good tool to have (for upcoming turns) at night, early morning, rain and fog. I used an atlas for general planning, I’d call the customer and if I thought there might be an issue I’d pull up Google maps.
 

ironpony

Professional Pot-Stirrer
Supporter
#36
I used a gps for upcoming turns like was said earlier. It’s a good tool to have (for upcoming turns) at night, early morning, rain and fog. I used an atlas for general planning, I’d call the customer and if I thought there might be an issue I’d pull up Google maps.
Yep, but this is the world of post Mandated Monday... where everyone whines that, "I can't make no money no more because of that evil ELD!"

:throwfit:

Well gee whiz. I should have gone bust years ago then. I've been on elogs since 2010.

The real key is to be very efficient with your 11 and 14 hour clocks. If you want to push those limits now you need very accurate ETAs and accurate forecasts of where you will be when your time runs out. Pulling over on the shoulder of a limited access busy highway to futz with your map is dangerous, and pressures you to drive unsafely... while you watch your 14 evaporate.

Your GPS is a tool, and I certainly don't rely on it, especially for figuring out how I'm going to get somewhere. It's very handy for finding that poorly marked road, and reminding you that a route change is coming up. It's super for comparing different routes, and it'll do that kind of stuff faster than you can with a map. Need to quickly figure how a detour around a wreck will affect your trip? You'll get it done faster using a GPS.

It's really great for calculating an ETA or knowing within a mile where you'll be when time runs out.

It's the kind of tool that makes you more efficient than the competition. That's how you beat the next guy now.
 

CMT

Well-Known Member
#38
If you're running a long, complex route, the routing algorithm sometimes may be constrained in the number of route choices it considers when you first enter the route. This can be a function of the time it takes to analyze the routing, limits programmed into the software or just how the routing algorithm is constructed. When you eliminate some of the problem by traveling a good portion of the route, a better solution may be selected during a recalculation - you simplified the problem by shortening the route.
Yeah when I ran long haul out east I'd always force it to recalculate a few times closer to my destination to get a better route. I'd map it out first, write my route on the back of my trip sheet then compare it to what the GPS showed. I'll never understand how some folks follow their GPS on every single step..that crap will get you in trouble real quick.

I did try both fastest and shortest route settings but the quirks continued. It would even warn me that my route was going to take me down a dirt road in 900 feet when all I was doing was driving along my merry way. Umm, I'm on the interstate folks.. Where'd that come from?

The first customer service rep I spoke with at RM told me the reason it was acting up is because it was on 12v power plug & I needed a prong plug for it to work correctly. Umm, really? It's a GPS for my truck, not my couch..

I'd reset them multiple times a day because of the quirks & the freezing up. Both had great features which I really wish Garmin had on theirs, but the RM systems just became too much of an annoyance before they each crapped out. I've sent them in for repair and nothing really changed with them after I got them back, so I moved on. I do like the Garmin live traffic updates better tho. Much more accurate based on my experience from the RM's.

The couple of Sam's locations I was referring to were never recognized when manually keyed in. I even tried by zip code instead of town and some were never found. I'd have to Google it to get their crossroads and enter that, then the Sam's club logo would pop up on the GPS at those crossroads, I'd tap on it and it read the same exact address & town I was typing in but it wouldn't let me manually enter it for some screwy reason.

Yeah, what are the odds of getting 2 screwy ones 6 years apart from each other? They both eventually died of the same issue..the screen would fade to white and shut down. I'm going to send them in for repair one last time to RM in Skokie then list them on eBay as is. I've had my share of fun with them so maybe someone else wants the pressure of dealing with them.
 

CMT

Well-Known Member
#40
Yep, but this is the world of post Mandated Monday... where everyone whines that, "I can't make no money no more because of that evil ELD!"

:throwfit:

Well gee whiz. I should have gone bust years ago then. I've been on elogs since 2010.

The real key is to be very efficient with your 11 and 14 hour clocks. If you want to push those limits now you need very accurate ETAs and accurate forecasts of where you will be when your time runs out. Pulling over on the shoulder of a limited access busy highway to futz with your map is dangerous, and pressures you to drive unsafely... while you watch your 14 evaporate.

Your GPS is a tool, and I certainly don't rely on it, especially for figuring out how I'm going to get somewhere. It's very handy for finding that poorly marked road, and reminding you that a route change is coming up. It's super for comparing different routes, and it'll do that kind of stuff faster than you can with a map. Need to quickly figure how a detour around a wreck will affect your trip? You'll get it done faster using a GPS.

It's really great for calculating an ETA or knowing within a mile where you'll be when time runs out.

It's the kind of tool that makes you more efficient than the competition. That's how you beat the next guy now.

Exactly!! :cheers: