Today we will discuss GPS and Cell Phone mounts for trucks and rigs. Mounting a device in a truck has unique requirements that differ from placing it in a car. A truck has a much deeper reach to the windshield so a basic suction cup mount will prove to be inconvenient.
Thinking about the suction cup mount furnished with most GPS units, these are a few inches long at best. It’s difficult for a truck driver to reach forward that far so a suction mount that’s really long is what’s needed. I have also found that truckers are more receptive to bolting a mount to their dash versus your everyday car owner. Another unique requirement of a truck mount is it must withstand more vibration than a car mount.
First we will discuss the suction cup route. As already mentioned, we need a suction cup mount that is somewhat longer than a typical windshield mount. Ideally we want a metal support to minimize the shake and need it to fit our GPS or phone model. We also want it to be easy to install and remove and durable enough to do this continually.
The Arkon Extended GPS Mount in the photo that accompanies this article fits the requirements outlined. It extends from 14 – 18 inches, the arm is made if metal and it includes adapters for the latest Garmin and TomTom models. This includes the 17mm ball that is common to the back of all Garmin Nuvi cradles. Just remove the cradle from the current car mount and snap onto this mount.
For your phone, the same company makes an extended phone mount. This is a nicely made mount that also extends from 14 – 18 inches and includes a universal expandable cradle that fits phones from 4.4 to 7.5 inches high. This means it fits not only the most popular larger size phones but even tablets up to the size of an iPad Mini. This expandable cradle also will fit most protective cases such as LifeProof and Otterbox (my favorite). I have personally used this mount in my SUV and it is very stable.
I mentioned that truck owners are a bit more receptive to bolting their mounts to a flat surface such as the dash. There are a wide variety of mounts available to do this.
The criteria for a flat surface phone mount in a rig is a steady hold with a universal cradle. The cradle needs to hold your phone tightly but be easy to remove and install it. Unlike a suction cup mount, you probably will not remove the mount but will retain it within the vehicle and since it’s bolted on, you will not need to worry as much about theft of the mount. We wrote a detailed article on RAM’s X-Grip line and continue to recommend this line for phones. RAM’s X-Grip Flat Surface Mount is a good choice for use in a truck. The base has pre-drilled holes for mounting. You just supply the bolts and a screwdriver.
Another location for a cell phone mount in a rig is the floor or seat bolt. This location is good when not needing to consistently look down at your phone. It keeps it off your passenger seat and you don’t need to worry about it slipping between the seats.
Unlike a mount for a car, you will need to select a mount that is taller, made of metal and includes an expandable cradle. Consider the Arkon 22″ Seat Rail Phone or Tablet Mount. It fits all of the criteria. The 22″ stalk is made of a flexible gooseneck so that you can bend it to the best angle for your viewing pleasure. While I would not use this for use as a GPS, it’s ok for keeping it off the passenger seats.