Garmin's Cheapest GPS Truck Navigator Means You Don't Have to Risk It All With Google Maps

Garmin's most affordable truck navigator 7 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Garmin
Garmin's cheapest truck navigatorGarmin's cheapest truck navigatorGarmin's cheapest truck navigatorGarmin's cheapest truck navigatorGarmin's cheapest truck navigatorGarmin's cheapest truck navigator
If you drive a truck and you're tempted to use Google Maps or Waze for route guidance, I feel you. These two applications are incredibly helpful behind the wheel, as they find faster routes and typically help avoid traffic jams, accidents, and other hazards that could significantly slow you down.
On the other hand, truck drivers are supposed to be experienced motorists and know that Google Maps and Waze aren't by any means proper arsenal for fighting traffic jams.

These mobile navigation apps don't take your vehicle's dimensions into account when generating routes, and this simple shortcoming could lead to a horrible experience behind the wheel. A large truck sent to a narrow road with sharp curves could eventually lead to massive traffic jams, especially if, you know, the vehicle gets stuck.

This is why dedicated GPS truck navigators are still a must-have piece of technology. Garmin is one of the companies investing heavily in this product category, and its most affordable device is living proof you don't have to risk it all using Google Maps in a truck.

dezl OTR610 is Garmin's budget proposal for truck drivers, coming with almost the same features as the more premium siblings but with a smaller display.

Garmin's cheapest truck navigator
Photo: Garmin
The 6-inch screen is likely the biggest shortcoming for a truck driver. The display is almost the same size as an iPhone 14 (the smartphone actually sports a 6.1-inch screen), so if you believe you're okay using the mobile device for navigation, Garmin's navigator should be the right choice for you.

The number one feature is the full truck routing integration. Garmin's GPS navigator offers custom routing based on the size and weight of the truck. You can provide all information in the configuration screen, including the size of the tractor and the cargo dimensions. Once this data is available, the GPS navigator compares the dimensions with the road information in the database and generates a proper route.

The device analyzes not only the width of the road but also possible road restrictions. Once it becomes aware of the truck's height, weight, length, width, and even possible hazardous materials, the suggested route is always the best for your rig and load.

Needless to say, this isn't all it does for truck drivers. The device also includes real-time shower availability at Love's Travel Spots and Pilot Travel Centers integration and parking information through Pilot Travel Centers. This feature requires the dezl smartphone companion app, as the device needs to pull information from the web.

And speaking of the mobile companion app, it also powers additional functionality, including travel plaza loyalty points and built-in PrePass notifications. You can also get live traffic, weather, and fuel prices on your GPS navigator when connected to the smartphone.

And speaking of the connection to a smartphone, the GPS navigator comes with built-in Bluetooth. But in addition to the functionality mentioned above, dezl OTR610 also allows hands-free calling. In other words, the GPS navigator connects to your smartphone wirelessly, so whenever someone calls you, the name of the call appears in a side panel on the screen. You can also make calls hands-free, as the device integrates Garmin voice assist.

Garmin's cheapest truck navigator
Photo: Garmin
The navigation experience is as intuitive as it could be, as it offers essential information, such as the current speed, the distance to the destination, and the next-turn data. In addition, you also receive next-break information, so you'll know in advance when it's time to stop, as well as details on weigh stations and other critical data.

The split-screen UI mode allows you to keep the route guidance uninterrupted while also accessing other details, such as call information, smartphone notifications, and weather forecast.

At the end of the day, this small GPS navigator has almost everything a truck driver would need to make the time spent behind the wheel safer and more convenient. And above all, it also receives frequent map updates, so the routes it generates are typically the best based on your truck's dimensions. The new map versions can be installed wirelessly, so you won't have to connect the GPS navigator to a computer for the whole thing.

If you don't mind the 6-inch screen, which I still think could be a problem, especially in split-screen mode, dezl OTR610 is at least worth a chance. The price tag makes it fairly affordable, as the device is available in the United States at $350 (and even lower during holiday sales).

It comes with a vehicle suction cup mount, so you can install it right away in your truck, and a USB-C vehicle power cable with a 12-volt adapter for charging. Garmin says its battery life should reach one hour per charge, so it's probably better to keep it plugged in all the time to make sure you're not running out of battery during a long drive.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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