At VanQuoteDirect we often warn commercial vehicle owners to be wary when it comes to using traditional sat-navs to guide them to their destinations, as certain roads are inaccessible or dangerous for large or heavy vehicles. This is why many commercial vehicle fleet managers choose to invest in sat-navs that are specifically made for commercial vehicles, however these can often cost hundreds of pounds each.
Luckily, mapping, data and routing experts PIE Mapping have recently created the UK’s first free online route planner for commercial vehicles. Discussing the new site, PIE Mapping’s CEO Freddie Talberg said: “The Freight Journey Planner allows commercial vehicle operators to plan routes, free of charge, tailored to vehicle size and weight. Navigating Britain’s roads continues to get tougher for freight operators, with lots of restrictions governing vehicle movements.
“We’ve been developing the Freight Journey Planner to directly address this issue and are delighted to launch this free service using high quality freight specific data from an array of sources, including directly from councils. We hope this helps operators and drivers to comply with the preferred routes and rules of local authority road networks.”
Furthermore, Mr Talberg states that the company will continue to work with local authorities in the future in order to improve their service, and adds: “This local authority data will make the routing even more accurate and help the Freight Journey Planner to become a valuable day to day tool for freight operators throughout Britain.”
In order to use the Freight Journey Planner Map, drivers must visit the PIE Gateway website and then enter the details of their commercial vehicle. One of the most useful aspects of the planner is that drivers can add the height, width and weight of their lorries in detail, meaning that they won’t be caught off-guard by a bridge or road that is slightly too small or low for them to pass through.
The online map also provides commercial vehicle drivers with other useful pieces of information such as where HGV petrol stations, lay-bys, lorry parks and loading/unloading bays are situated along their route. Not only will this provide a safer journey but also a journey that is much more comfortable for drivers, especially those that have to travel long distances on a regular basis.
As the Freight Journey Planner has only recently gone live we have yet to seen any reviews from users, which means those that are using it for the first time should still be cautious before heading out on the road. One of the easiest ways to ensure that the route suggested is suitable for your vehicle is to invest in a map and compare the routes suggested before heading off. However, you can also leave feedback on the map via the Freight Journey Planner site, which we are sure will be used to improve the service even further in the future.
Each year a large number of commercial vehicles are involved in accidents due to the fact they are on roads which are unsuitable for them, and while most are only minor some can be extremely dangerous. Naturally, if you are involved in an accident your van insurance provider will help you get back on the road as soon as possible, but avoiding an accident by only driving on suitable roads would be preferred by all.
If you would like to try the Freight Journey Planner for yourself visit:
The PIE Gateway website also provides other services that could be of benefit to commercial vehicle drivers including the London Lorry Control service which shows drivers the exclusions that apply to each area of the capital. By using this service drivers will be able to avoid fines that could be up to £550, as well as ensure that they are safe while driving on London’s roads.
If you have used the Freight Journey Planner to plan your journeys we would like to hear what you think of it on our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages. Even if you have never used it before we would like to hear what you think of it, and whether you feel that it could benefit drivers in the years to come.