Truck Attributes

Why truck data?

Truck-specific routing is a matter of time and costs: For the best and most cost-efficient route you have to avoid situations where trucks get stuck and have to take a detour.

You also want the individually best route for each vehicle, according to its height or weight or its type of cargo: The best route for a heavy truck with hazardous goods might not suite a light truck loaded with food.

Truck data allows you to calculate the best route according to the size or weight of a vehicle, or according to its type of cargo, and to the time of day at which a restriction may be valid or not. (Yes, regular maps do include general truck blockings. But these only help you avoid forbidden roads completely, no matter which size, weight, load etc. your vehicle has.)

What does truck data include?

  • Physical limitations of a road, such as a maximum height, weight or width. They are also called “hard restrictions”.
  • Strict legal limitations for a certain type of vehicle load, such as hazardous goods.
  • Other legal limitations restricting the passage of a road under certain circumstances. For example, some streets may only be entered by a truck when making a pick-up or delivery. This is sometimes called a “soft restriction”.
  • Truck points of interest (POI) such as weighing stations or designated truck parking areas. Not used in PTV products so far.


Which PTV products can use truck data?

Truck data can be used with the following PTV products:

  • map&guide
  • PTV Developer Components
  • PTV TruckNavigator also contains truck data, but in a proprietary format which can be used directly with the PND device.

Coverage and updates

PTV keeps improving the data quality, following the data suppliers as closely as possible in two perspectives:

  • More Countries
  • Higher Detailing in the countries: suppliers begin with the higher class roads (motorways, highways), followed by urban main streets.

PTV provides truck data for the Europe City maps twice a year. (Please note: This doesn’t mean customers get updates twice a year.  Updates for the customers depend on the update plan for the product / the respective map.) But the real world changes quickly. If you or your customer should detect an error, you can supply this information to the Logistics Support Team. They will counter-check your input and make an error report.

Coverage (PTV Developer Components)
as of February 2011*:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Great Britain
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Switzerland

*For more information on coverage please leave a comment or contact PTV AG.

Should I prefer NAVTEQ or Tele Atlas data?

There is no definite answer to this. Both suppliers provide dimensional restrictions (weight, height, width, length) and blockings for hazardous goods. Both provide time dependent information where applicable. Warning signs (curves, slopes, lateral wind etc.) and information about exemptions for deliveries are only provided by NAVTEQ.

The amount and coverage of truck data is quite different in the datasets of the two providers. Basically Tele Atlas covers more countries. However, the quality always depends on the country and the road classes in question and cannot be answered in general. If in doubt, you can consult your Account Manager about the current situation in a specific geographic area.

What are “preferred routes”?

Preferred routes for trucks have country-dependent implications:

  • In Europe, “preferred routes” are usually non-obligatory route recommendations for the driver in order to avoid restrictions. However, the newly introduced so-called ADR tunnel restrictions come with pre-defined, obligatory detours. Both types of information are not captured in truck data for Europe yet. PTV truck navigation does however contain the ADR tunnel codes on the affected roads (without the preferred routes).
  • In North America and Australia, preferred routes are always obligatory for the driver. They vary to a great extent from state to state and depend on the type and amount of vehicle load. Preferred routing for trucks is currently not supported by PTV technology but has been made a top priority for the product road map.

If you are interested in more information regarding this topic, don’t hesitate to contact your account manager, write to or leave a comment on this post.

By Martina Beck

Martina Beck has been working for PTV since 2000. As certified computer scientist she was originally responsible for providing customers with technical support and she later moved on to the Product Management division. Since 2011 she has been working for PTV as an online marketing manager in international marketing with an emphasis on social media (et al. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube). The PTV Developer Blog is the PTV Developer Components' lead channel. The posts on important topics and trends originate from close cooperation with developers, the product management and other experts.