I'm 29 years old and I live in the Birmingham area with my husband, 3 year old son and 9 month old baby girl. I love to share what I have learned with other people in the hope that it can make other peoples lives easier!
Low Bridge, no problem, this is the best truck sat nav
Clear instructions, many extra features, avoids all trucking hazards .
Almost too large, expensive to purchase
Ease of Use
Look & Feel
Value for Money
Durability & RobustnessVery Strong
Display sizeVery poor
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Problem - My husband is a trucker and travels all over the country doing different routes virtually every day, He uses a Tom Tom GO as a basic Sat-nav which is great, but does not take into consideration any of the extra hazards that LGV drivers encounters daily. He therefore was looking for the most reliable sat nav designed for truckers, and settled on this one.
At around £450 it certainly isn't an easy decision to make to purchase one, and seeing as they are only distributed by the makers, you won't find it much cheaper than that either. The S7000 is the 'big brother' of the S2000, it has identical Sat-nav software, but on a much larger screen and the unit also has another couple of brilliant extras, which certainly make life on the road a bit nicer.
The Snooper Sirius S7000 Truckmate is the same as the normal Snooper Sirius S7000, but it has been loaded with a special truck version of the sat-nav software which is made by a company called Truckmate, so it is a sort of colaberation between the two companies. You can get two versions - the UK & Ireland and the UK and Europe. My husband owns the latter, but they work identically, it just depends if you plan on going to Europe or not (The Europe one is about £30 more expensive). To start with, looks the machine has a sleek black finish and is completely flat, at about 2cm thick, It has a 7" flat screen which produces an excellent quality picture. It comes with a hefty mounting bracket to enable you to stick it to the inside of the window, and various external aerials to enable you to get the best reception for all the applications you require (However you don't need to use these if you are just using it as a Sat-nav, so its not complicated, I promise) Here comes the only real problem, Truck windscreens might be huge, but it is difficult to get the sat nav in an optimum position without it interfering with your view down the front of the cab, so my husband says, have a go in various situations before you set out. There is a power cable which works in either 24V (truck) or 12V (car) sockets, so you can use it in any vehicle, however the unit is large and doesnt last long without being charged, so I recommend that you plug it in whenever it is being used.
The sat nav part of it - When you turn on the machine before you set out, you can enter the details of your truck; height, width, length, weight and number of axles. When you set the S7000 to travel to a destination it uses the dimensions that you have entered to ensure that it chooses a route that avoids any obstacles that will be a problem; low bridges, width restrictions, weight restrictions, humped bridges, grounding hazards and anything else you can think of. Now before you get too excited, the Sat nav, like the truckers atlas and other such things, does not have EVERY SINGLE problem entered into it, so please don't just follow it and end up in the middle of a river (like people used to do with normal sat nav) These things are still designed only as a guide, and as usual with driving, you still have to use common sense! Having said that, My husband very rarely encounters something which the S7000 was not aware of. When directing you, the instructions are clearly said out loud (and yes you can get the machine to almost shout so you can hear it above the noise of the truck) There are clear arrow directions made simple, so if the motorway is splitting in front of you, the sat nav will draw two lanes and put an arrow on the side you need to take - simple. You can make it do a multiroute, so if at the start of your shift you are given a long list of places to go to, you can add them all in first thing and when you arrive at the first it will then take you to the second and so on, which is quite handy and saves you checking paperwork at every stop.
It is reasonably simple to use on the whole, I would recommending reading the instructions when starting to use the machine, but there is only about 12 pages, and the rest is on the CD-ROM supplied. I would say that the paper manual is enough to use the S7000 on a daily basis. Some of the menus take a bit of getting used to if you have been used to a different brand of Sat-Nav, for example whereas a lot of sat-navs ask you if you want to avoid toll roads if one comes up on a journey, with this one you have to manually enter it, Its not a problem as such, just a different way of working.
Truckmate advertises that on average its users use 16% less fuel as it prevents you making wrong turnings and getting stuck in places you can't get in or out of, so if you are running your own truck, I would say that it could be well worth it. It also incorporates a Speed Camera warning system, which by connecting your sat-nav regularly to your PC you can update your machine regularly, this does cost money as you have to pay a subscription to it
This facilites on the S7000 also include bluetooth handsfree for your phone, many different POIs including service stations, garages, hospitals, train stations, you name it, they are on there. You have an MP3 player and MP4 player (which I admit we havent invesigated yet) and a built in DVB-T digital TV, You just plug in the aerial and scan for channels like on a normal TV and hey presto you have TV to watch. When you are stuck in a truck on a break or because you have ended up with a night out, it is nice to be able to watch a bit of TV, This is subject to getting reception where you are at the time, so you can't always get all the channels and sometimes you might only get one or two, but its brilliant anyway and the screen is just large enough to be able to sit back and enjoy it for a bit. It also has an active traffic management system, so it will alert you to a traffic problem and enable you to ask the S7000 to re-route you and avoid the problem.
So, is it worth the money? Class it as an investment, if you are self employed you can claim it as expenses, so why not give it a go, Yes its a lot of money to find especially as many of you will already have a regular Sat-nav, but I would say this is well worth the money, you can use it in the car too, it enables you to select that option and it works as just a normal sat-nav, you can use it if driving a motorhome or towing a caravan, so if you are into that, it would work (although I am aware there are similar items available specifically for that). Hubbie doesn't know how he survived without now to be fair and he says that it was well worth the expense as it has saved him from many problematic situations.