Rand McNally vs. Garmin: The Complete Comparison

By now, GPS systems are a popular feature, either included in each vehicle or available as an add-on post-market. One part that you might hear about from time to time is multi-destination routing.

This is the ability to have multiple destinations in one optimized route. You enter more than one destination point, and the GPS will ask which one is to be the final destination, then plans the trip based on the most optimal route in order.

Some GPS systems can automatically plan a route around multiple destinations. Two well-known manufacturers have implemented this technology into their GPS devices. These companies manufacture many of the tools truck drivers purchase every year.

Features to Look for in a Truck GPS

Before we get started, there are several features that one may want to look for in a GPS. The list below is a sample of features that one may want to look for, but it is by no means exhaustive:

  • Identifying Speed Limits: Knowing the speed limit for vehicles is critical to avoid tickets, of course.
  • GPS Navigation System: The primary feature for users is to know the directions.
  • Traffic Information: GPS systems collect traffic flow data from observation points and offer real-time alerts.
  • Screen and Display Settings: This provides access to various settings, including the display of distance and unit choice.
  • Waypoint and POI Identification: Look at the database of places and POIs installed, such as the nearest gas station, or even know where to find specific landmarks and buildings.
  • Highways: Information on the position of primary and secondary roads.
  • Driver Properties: A device may offer a person control over the driver settings; this means users can use their profile for each drive.
  • Smartphone Integration and Alerts: Some may want to have integration with a smartphone.
  • Performance: It is safe to assume a user wants the lowest number of errors and problems possible.
  • Frequent updates: A function of the high-quality device is a constant update scheme. Without this frequency, maps can get out of date, which leads to poor directions.

There are more features and considerations to take into account. We have written a few articles on these topics, including the one below.

Effortless Route Planning is Just a Click Away

Upper’s free route planner helps you automate route planning & optimization. You can import stops in bulk, set preferences, add delivery constraints to avoid, & then generate the route.

Rand McNally – A Closer Look

Rand McNally is a company that specializes in navigation and mobility technology. Founded in 1856 in Chicago, Illinois, it is one of the oldest technology companies in American history. It delivers innovative products and services with the utmost quality, efficiency, safety, and connectivity. The company does not disclose its revenue, but it has a 50% market share in truck GPS systems and 60% in the RV category.

Rand McNally has plenty of products on the market, all categorized by use (Trucking, Commercial, RV, etc.):

  • In terms of its trucking GPS systems, its most popular device is the TND 740. It features a trip planner that lets you see complex upcoming junctions, live traffic, live weather, custom warnings for road hazards, and even calculates tolls for the most optimized routing—this a great way to blend GPS with route optimization.
  • The Rand McNally Road Explorer 7 is one of the top-selling systems for cars. It has advanced lane guidance, calculates tolls, and allows you to choose between primary and alternate routes. You can even use it to calculate fuel economy. Systems like this are great, but they can run you a lot of money.
  • The Rand McNally OverDryve 7 RV GPS is a versatile and advanced navigation device designed for trucks and other professional drivers. It offers advanced GPS navigation with turn-by-turn directions, truck-specific routing, voice assistance, and plenty of other features. These features enhance navigation, connectivity, and the overall driving experience.

In all of Rand McNally’s truck GPS systems, you will find simple and easy-to-understand user interfaces:

  • Select the “Choose Destination” option, then click “Multi-Stop Trips.”
  • Select “New Trip,” then enter a name for your trip to save it.
  • From there, you open the folder for your trip and save as many addresses as you need. You can add new addresses by searching from your history, an address book, or for points of interest.

Garmin – A Closer Look

Garmin is another company famous for its navigation and mobility technology. This company is not as old as Rand McNally, but it should not be considered less influential. It specializes in GPS technology for automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and sports activities. Its market share is slightly smaller, around 15% for automotive and mobile, but its smartwatch devices had a 52% market share in the outdoor and fitness market in 2019.

Garmin has plenty of products that are also top-of-the-line:

  • The Garmin Nuvi has several models (some are discontinued, but some are still widely available) and is very popular among new truck GPS owners. For instance, the Nuvi 2539LMT is popular, has lifetime map updates, traffic updates, and lane guidance, and comes in two sizes (5″ and 6″).
  • The Garmin DriveSmart 61 NA LMT-S truck GPS is a more advanced model with live parking, Bluetooth, voice activation, smart notifications, and many other advanced route-planning features. As said before, a system with this many features is very convenient but can get very expensive. The Garmin Drive series has a trip planner app that the trip planner app can utilize for preplanning routes with multiple destinations. You can check out the Garmin Support Center for specific questions related to the software. It is a great resource.
  • The Garmin Dezl 580 LMT-S is the easiest break planning application designed specifically to assist drivers in finding rest areas, fuel stops, gas stations, and more if they’re tired after a long haul. The device’s Bluetooth is compatible with most smartphones for hands-free calling and will even display text messages.

Garmin’s trip planner technology is so advanced that you can input new locations while you’re already en-route to your original location:

  • Start the GPS and set your first stopping point.
  • Once you have started the trip, you can return to the first menu and add another stop the same way you added the first stop.
  • The Garmin trip planner will ask if you would like to set the inputted address or location as a new destination or a via point; select “Via Point,” and it will add the new stop between your starting point and the final location.

Upper Route Planner: A Modern Alternative to Traditional GPS Devices

While Rand McNally and Garmin have set the standard for traditional GPS navigation, the future of route planning lies in advanced software solutions like Upper. It’s a software solution sufficient to cater to your multiple routing requirements. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can revolutionize your navigation experience. Let’s see how:

  1. Get automated and optimized route planning for all your stops. You can even edit and add relevant instructions to each stop.
  2. There is no longer a need to plot addresses manually. You can directly import the stops by visiting app.upperinc.com and logging in via mobile app credentials.
  3. Optimize the routes by considering time or distance factors.
  4. Prioritize your stops, label them normal or urgent, and then plan the routes.
  5. Necessary delivery-related instructions can be added to serve recipients with better clarity.
  6. Dedicated service time can be added as per individual stop requirements.
  7. Collect proof of deliveries through photos, e-signatures, and notes.
  8. Client-preferred time windows can be added, minimizing the chance of missed or failed deliveries.
  9. Get entire route information, including the details of stops completed, scheduled date, start and end time of the route, etc.
  10. Reverse the existing route in just a tap; no need to go through the entire route planning again.
  11. Send automated alerts and delight your customers with live delivery updates.
  12. Export your routes in CSV or XLS file format.

Simplify Your Route Planning with Upper

Get over the hassle of planning manual routes and inefficient results. Instead, automate your multi-stop routing and delight your customers with precision and speed.


To set up a route with multiple locations on a Rand McNally GPS, input the addresses of your stops into the device. The route optimization technology will then take this data and create the most direct route to your destinations. While driving, the Rand McNally GPS will show a map of where you are and where your next stop is, just like any GPS.

To set up a route with multiple locations on a Garmin GPS, input your waypoints or addresses into the device. The GPS will show you a live map of your location and your waypoints, giving you an overview of your entire route. Garmin also offers Garmin Traffic, a service that provides directions with detailed and up-to-date traffic maps to avoid congestion.

Though Google Maps is useful for finding places like gas stations, restaurants, and rest stops quickly on your phone, it may not be the best navigation tool for truck drivers. Instead, a dedicated truck GPS like Rand McNally or Garmin is more suitable for their navigation needs due to features specifically designed for trucks.

RV Trip Wizard is a travel planner mainly used to find RV parks, fuel stops, and rest areas. You can also manage your general travel route through RV Trip Wizard, making it a convenient tool for RV travelers.

Truck GPS devices like Rand McNally and Garmin are suitable for those who find it difficult to carry smartphones or prefer dedicated GPS devices with features tailored for truck navigation, such as route optimization for large vehicles, specific points of interest for trucks, and compliance with road regulations.


Purchasing a GPS device can be expensive, especially if it’s a GPS with route planning. Using an alternative route tool such as Upper might be a better option for you. It allows you to set up a map with multiple routes to optimize your path at a lower price. You can create a multi-stop trip convenient for small courier companies, truckers, those in fleet management, etc.

Overall, if you’re in the market for a route-planning device, we recommend using an Upper service to plan your trips before making a major purchase for a GPS with multiple destination routing.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.