Motor Carriers’ Atlas vs GPS – Every Professional Driver Needs To Know This


1When you are starting out as a professional truck driver, you will definitely need some help to locate routes and plan your trips accordingly. This will help you to cut down on unnecessary expenses that you would otherwise incur when using longer routes or getting lost. To make things easier, you should consider using a motor carriers’ atlas or GPS when starting out. However, it may be challenging to decide on which option to go for. That is why we bring you an exclusive comparison between the two, highlighting their features and functionality to help you make a better decision. Take a look.

Motor Carriers’ Atlas Features

Detailed coverage of state designated truck routes and National Network routes. This enables professional truck drivers to reach their destinations on schedule while using the best routes provided on the map.

Laminated pages which are capable of withstanding any stains or liquids.

Motor Carrier’s Atlas is durable and its high quality pages are not prone to tear and wear.

It has a mileage directory with many pages which helps to estimate trips as well as costs to be incurred.

Spiral bound pages which enables the book to remain flat or be folded hence looking new all the time.

Motor carrier’s atlas also has direct links to information for industry and other construction projects. This helps the professional truck driver to plan while on the route.

Excellent locations for low clearance, rest area and weight stations for the truck that are well displayed on the map.

GPS Features

Route calculation features. This makes it possible for the professional truck driver to calculate the distance to be covered and therefore plan accordingly

Fuel logging. This amazing feature enables the truck driver to estimate the consumption capacity of the truck and know the amount of fuel that is still left. This will help him in deciding when to refuel.

Highly compatible with other applications to provide electronic logging as well as vehicle inspection reporting.


Comparing The Motor Carriers’ Atlas And GPS In Functionality And Use

A professional driver may opt to use motor carriers’ atlas as opposed to GPS for a variety of reasons. To begin with, motor carriers’ atlas has a very detailed coverage of state designated truck routes and national network routes. This kind of information is very important when you are starting out as professional truck driver. You will be able to know precisely which routes to follow and have ample time to revisit the pages in case you miss out any important details. You are also in a position to locate national network routes so that you do not find yourself using the wrong routes. This therefore has the overall advantage of enabling you as a professional trick driver to reach you destination on schedule while using the correct routing. This will help to prevent unnecessary delays in transporting goods to the destination while keeping you on the right roads to avoid unnecessary tickets or problems.

On the other hand, even though a GPS may also have the correct details of the route, over reliance on technology may hinder you from accessing the right information. It is also not appropriate for people who have limited IT knowledge. You may easily be misled and begin to use the wrong routes hence wasting time and money. This will cause you to incur enormous unnecessary expenses.

The fact that motor carriers’ atlas pages are laminated makes it a better option to use it as a professional truck driver. These pages are not subject to contamination by stains or any liquids including rain water. They are just neat and intact. In other words, the essential details that will guide you on the way are all extremely visible and are shown on a much bigger scale than a 4 or 7 inch screen. There are no worries that your Motor Carriers’ Atlas will fail you in locating the correct trucking route. This simply does not occur in Carrier’s Atlas Maps unless the driver using the map doesn’t know how to correctly utilize the map.

Conversely, GPS devices have small screens which easily catch dirt when handled carelessly with filthy hands. This may obscure visibility to some extent hence hindering you from seeing important details that may help you while driving on your route.

Motor carriers’ atlas is durable because of its high quality pages that are not prone to wear and tear. Any professional truck driver will definitely go for a guide that will last for long. However much you use it, the pages will still retain their original quality. This is very important because it will help you to save the long run. You will not need to replace the map every year or pay for updates. I usually only replace my Atlas every 3 years. And usually I purchase the prior year’s Atlas at the end of the year on clearance.

On the other hand, a GPS device is very much prone to damage and technical hitches. It relies a lot on technology which makes it delicate and susceptible to failure. Once it falls, it may either function inefficiently or fail completely. Imagine you are driving on a highway in a route you are not familiar with and this happens to you. You will be very much disappointed. In addition, a GPS unit is expensive to buy and maintain. The maintenance costs of a motor carrier’s atlas are almost negligible.

The mileage directory that a motor carriers’ atlas comes with simply makes it the best fit for you as a professional truck driver when starting your journey. The directory can be up to 21 pages, giving you important information on various distances to different locations. This information is significant because it will help you as a truck driver to estimate the distance of your trips and also enable you to calculate the costs. Once you know how far you will be traveling, you will also be able to know how much fuel your truck will be consuming. The longer the distance, the higher the amount of fuel consumption and thus the higher the costs.

On the other hand, even though a GPS unit may help you to calculate distance, it does not give you a wide range of information about mileage. It limits you substantially as far as distance is concerned. You only rely on calculations. Furthermore, wrong or inaccurate entry of details will result in inaccurate results.

The spiral bound pages of a motor carriers’ atlas makes it excellent to use as professional truck driver. Your book may either remain flat or folded. Neither situation will have a negative impact on it. It therefore allows you to go through the pages the way you want and keep your book in any position that you may chose while helping you to truck distance. It is simply flexible and user friendly.

When compared with a GPS unit, the device has to be kept in the appropriate position and at the right place. Poor storage location and position will result to damage.

The links to information for industry and other construction projects that motor carriers’ atlas has may help the professional truck driver to plan accordingly. He may easily decide where to deliver construction materials or industries from where to pick materials from and thereby transport to appropriate destinations. This may not be provided in the GPS unit.

Motor carriers’ atlas has excellent locations for low clearance, rest areas and weight stations. This will help the truck driver to follow the routes where he will be charged less for clearance and weighing the truck and thus reducing on costs. This is good for savvy drivers. A GPS unit may not have features to make this possible.



In conclusion, it is quite evident that motor carrier’s atlas is more advantages than using a GPS unit and it is also less expensive for drivers that are just starting out. It is more convenient, durable, accurate and above all, user friendly.  GPS relies much on technology and therefore requires some technical know-how in order to use it appropriately. Therefore, Motor Carrier’s Atlas wins against GPS.


Get Your Motor Carrier’s Atlas On Amazon