View Full Version : Using a GPS device to route

06-17-2008, 11:45 AM
How is everyone doing...I am new to the industry...I've been planning my business over the past 3 weeks and plan on starting it up in the spring of 09...I have been on this site religiously and wanna thank everyone for the insite they have given me and other beginners...as it helps to deter making some crucial rookie mistakes...a big thing that I've red from a lot of different users is wasting gas is wasting profit...makes sense so I was wondering how many people use a GPS device to route there jobs to make everything the quickest possible...you may know your area well enough but this helps give out how many miles one job is from another and if a new job should be placed inbetween...again just wanna thank everyone for there responses.

06-17-2008, 02:40 PM
I have never used GPS to do my routes but it kinda sounds like a good idea. Though I don't know if it would be worth buying one if it only saves me a mile in my route. I could just do it using mapquest for free.

06-17-2008, 03:02 PM
I use my GPS now for resturants and stuff...but the thing I noticed...say you have 30 customers and you put all there names and addresses into the GPS it will tell you who is closest in order and you just work your way around from there...you won't have to spend the time mapping each location and who to go to first and all that...time saver overtime could save the money it cost and then some

06-17-2008, 03:40 PM
Generally speaking, Microsoft Streets and Trips will do what you want and will cost significantly less. I have a GPS but never use it for work - it's a cool toy but not practical for this line of work IMO.

06-17-2008, 03:42 PM
i use google to map my bids but a GPS is kinda like a toy for trips and stuff.

06-17-2008, 04:08 PM
Just a thought...if it works well ill let yall know...ifigure it won't hurt to try I have it, have used it for a year now...its already paid for itself.

06-18-2008, 12:24 AM
I use mine for every estimate I run to.

06-18-2008, 12:49 AM
I use it for estimates.

06-18-2008, 01:19 AM
The problem you will face is not every GPS is equal. I had a Garmin 340 until someone stole it, then replaced it with a Mio C230.

The Garmin's interface and mapping were easier and better but the Mio is faster to lock onto a signal, held a signal better, faster at recalculating, and had better installed maps.

Your plan may work great with a Tom Tom and not to your liking with a Mio or Garmin.

06-18-2008, 01:27 AM
For as long as I've had my garmin, I've never had a problem with it...I used to use the dell axim haldheld for the gps and it didn't work well at all...conteplating on using that for invoices to print from the truck

06-18-2008, 03:37 AM
I use my Garmin to locate estimates. I used map quest to layout my route the first time out. I thought I new the area well but I learned I was going out of my way many times. I bet I saved 1/2 hour every day of the week.

06-18-2008, 03:44 AM
Its worth the purchase price I'm sure...in the long run saving time and money not having to route routes yourself, more time to spend with the family or whatever else...I personally think it would be easier with a GPS...but I don't know much I'm a newbie

06-18-2008, 08:25 AM
i have used a gps for the past 2 years but i work in a different industry

it is fantastic ,

I use it in 2 modes

it has shortest route and fastest route

when it is peak hour i use shortest route and it takes me off the main roads and through the back streets which makes it quicker

other benefits

my garmin unit also has points of interest , a very important one is toilets ;)

the other extremely useful thing is it has a dashboard mode which shows actual speed , since i have this ont he window i never look at the car speedo anymore , i am always scanning between the gps and the road , eyes spend more time on the road

it saves huge amounts of time and also wasted miles of getting lost

06-18-2008, 10:33 AM
Though not as sophisticated as the big GPS units, I have VZNavigator on my blackberry, from Verizon. It is fantastic when going to new accounts. I have used it between existing accounts to see if I have been taking the most efficient routes. I think it works great. I think the GPS units sound like a great investment, based on some of the information in this thread.


dura to the max
06-18-2008, 11:58 AM
i use mine to bid. saves a lot of time and headache over getting directions from the customer. it is also usable in the field where google maps isnt available. i bid jobs whenever i can even if it puts me a few minutes behind in my route, so the gps saves me time.

06-18-2008, 08:48 PM
I have gps on my xv6800 from verizon. I use it to look for costumer address when im giving estimates. it has been very helpful. IMO

Big C
06-18-2008, 11:07 PM
I use a GARMIN 200W...not really to map my route but to locate first time customer's addresses.

06-19-2008, 01:07 AM
i use google earth...best of all, its free..maps it out for you and even has a 3d view and you can zoom in on the property...now i see in some areas, they are doing street level views, its like you are standing in the street looking at the house. unreal....

06-19-2008, 02:04 AM
Don't you guys know your own backyards? As a start up, if you're looking up a property on the map, it's probably too far. Gas here is at $4.25/gallon, and I'm turning away people ten miles away, ya know, if they don't have big bucks that is.
However, one valuable tool that I discovered via lawnsite is www.maps.live.com. All of the pics that I've seen are from last winter, and it has better coverage than google earth. I lean on this site hard. Also, I check Zillow.com for property value.

06-19-2008, 02:16 AM
Its not really about not knowing your own back yard, what I've leanred from the people on this site, if there is a customer 10 miles away you should have that planned into the cost your charging them...so its not about not knowing your own backyard, the GPS is more so getting from destination to destination without a glitch...you current route might be wasting a gallon of gas a day...route it with your GPS and you could save that...its about saving money every way possible, the smart business owners are doing that...every little bit of extra profit sets them further apart from the competitor

06-19-2008, 02:40 AM
best part of owning a GPS for work is when you have some off time ( lol what off time) you can go geocaching


06-19-2008, 09:27 AM
you do no need gps if your cutting theese yards every week- you'll know the route in a week. I use GPS for estimates, but not mowing.

06-19-2008, 10:23 AM
I'm saying more so if you add a new client and they have to be plugged into a schedule, your going to want to make it the most conviniet for you...and the GPS will plug that into the middle of an already routed schedule without any glitches.

06-19-2008, 08:36 PM
I'm saying more so if you add a new client and they have to be plugged into a schedule, your going to want to make it the most conviniet for you...and the GPS will plug that into the middle of an already routed schedule without any glitches.

Maybe I'm 'old school' but you can do the same thing with a $7 map from Costco and a smidgen of common sense.

06-19-2008, 10:20 PM
Maybe I'm 'old school' but you can do the same thing with a $7 map from Costco and a smidgen of common sense.

We could use a 386 with a monochrome monitor to view Lawnsite too but how much fun would that be?:laugh::laugh::laugh:jk

06-20-2008, 12:07 AM
Old school vs. New school...I bet you are against instant replay in baseball too? The technology is there why not intergrate into into our daily work lives...I would rather not have to sit down and waste time I could be doing something else to map out trips when something will do it for me, call me lazy but its more efficient.

06-20-2008, 10:33 AM
If you're into maps at least get that 30 or 40 dollar book one, I don't play with cheaper versions or fold outs.

On that note, GPS'es do share the little inconsistencies that paper maps have, too...
Such as showing roads that don't exist or the other way around lol