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Old 09-23-2020, 05:54 PM   #1
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You trusted your GPS? Really?

The internet was made for ranting, right? Buckle up, me buckos!
A true life horror story is also included, FREE!

As a Geography major, topo map maker, US Navy officer and pilot I would humbly suggest that I have some street cred when it comes to finding my way around on the land, sea, or air. About 8 years ago the wife insisted that I dip my toe into the GPS waters, previously uncontaminated by said toe. In deference to her wishes not to disappear into history should my non-GPS route finding skills (aka compass and topo map) fail us on a somewhat daunting trek in Tierra del Fuego I bought the top-of-the-line hiker's model Garmin. Man, was that a waste of $450! It had the most illogical user interface that some sadist could possibly have dreamt up! Basecamp, at least then, was also nearly useless. I eventually paid through the nose (neither Garmin nor the Argentine gubmint had diddly in the way of topo maps to buy) and downloaded some satellite photos and got my route waypoints entered. I would have been better off just taking a sextant, except that you rarely see the sun in Tierra del Fuego. And boy, howdy, does that Garmin eat batteries! I think I figured I would need 5 pounds of batteries for a 5 day trek. In the 8 years since I think I've used that thing about 5 times, maybe.

In 2016 I bought a new F150 with the dreaded GPS. It kinda works OK, sometimes. Actually where it surprises me is when I go 4 wheeling! It shows some seriously obscure roads that you better have darn good clearance and a locking diff for! On one trip last year in California's White Mts my friend and I were on the home stretch of a pretty serious little drive. I'm not into the winching and towing thing but top speed was definitely below walking speed at times. So the 'road' was definitely improving and we figured we were only about 8-10 miles from something resembling pavement when we came upon this scene. Somebody was a trifle too trusting in their GPS, huh? Dunno if it was a Garmin but this ol' boy got hisself in a world o' hurt! Yup, thems concrete blocks on the trailer! It appeared to us that he got the drive wheels over some big rocks that he couldn't drag the trailer wheels over and snapped his drive line. Now we were rather concerned for the trucker as this was about 7000' and it was hot and very dry. We couldn't imagine your typical trucker hoofing it to the pavement 10 miles in these conditions. We had to retrace our steps for a few miles and then make a lengthy detour so we could get to the pavement and drive to cell phone coverage. The 911 operator told me the trucker unloaded his forklift and drove it to the highway! LOL
Woulda loved to see what the local wrecker charged to recover that mess!
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:24 PM   #2
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This guy could do it.


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Old 09-25-2020, 10:05 AM   #3
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UNBELIEVABLE! I feel for that poor trucker!
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Old 09-25-2020, 11:42 AM   #4
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I think he may have been blind too because for at least the previous few miles it would have been obvious to even Ray Charles that the terrain was going to get a LOT STEEPER! I still have the pic of his driver's door with the name of the company. Shall we start an office pool to see who comes closest to pegging how soon he got fired?

It was even steeper than it looks in this pic!
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Old 09-25-2020, 12:01 PM   #5
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I guess Miller's Towing out of Lone Pine made some good money that day! John Miller and his crew make a good living collecting the "Stupidity Tax" from a lot of deserving people in that part of the world.
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Old 09-25-2020, 04:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Gammel View Post
I think he may have been blind too because for at least the previous few miles it would have been obvious to even Ray Charles that the terrain was going to get a LOT STEEPER! I still have the pic of his driver's door with the name of the company. Shall we start an office pool to see who comes closest to pegging how soon he got fired?

It was even steeper than it looks in this pic!
Let me guess Swift Transportation? I think they still run some flatbeds.
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Old 09-25-2020, 05:49 PM   #7
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Back in 2012 there was a gentleman in Whittier Alaska drove his car off the ferry and straight into the harbor, guided by his gps of course.

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/arti...or/2012/08/23/
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:19 PM   #8
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A GPS should be used for amusement purposes only. Trust your paper map
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:38 PM   #9
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interesting...I've been using GPS for well over 15 years without any major issues...and I drive for work. Now granted its just in the US...but I love them. Especially Google with live traffic.
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Old 09-25-2020, 11:18 PM   #10
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SilverBob, yes John does well by boneheds. He told me about some hotshot jeepster who got completely stuck in mud north of the Bristlecones. John charged him $2500! With that in mind that semi musta run up a good $10K bill, huh?

RRR, it was a building supply outfit out of Carson City. Pretty sure the guy was hauling that block to the communications complex atop Mazourka Pk.
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Old 09-26-2020, 02:14 AM   #11
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A GPS is just another tool for routing. Helpful to get from point to point.
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Old 09-27-2020, 02:41 PM   #12
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Thanks for geting the terms correct - concrete block not cement block.

We don't have any plants close to there so happy it wasn't one of ours. Usually, in remote areas, our customers give us suitable directions rather than rely on GPS. Driver must have had the settings wrong to route that way.

By the way, I've been using Garmin's for 20 years and have been pretty happy with battery life and routing. Used a handheld in 2005 to go to Alaska. Mounted it on the dash in a little holder and a cigarette power cable. Still have all the waypoints I marked in Mapsource. Somehow I managed to get that program running on Windows 10.

I now use a 770 backed up by a 478. The 478 is a marine/auto combo which also backs up my 3210 on my boat. In auto mode, it does show some pretty remote roads that the 770 does not.
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Old 09-27-2020, 02:53 PM   #13
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As a Geography major, topo map maker, US Navy officer
A GPS is just an aid to navigation, kinda like a single line of bearing. No single aid to navigation or line of bearing can be relied upon to navigate without peril.
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:51 PM   #14
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Gotta love those fold up GPSs the highway department leaves at rest stops. The price is right, batteries never go dead and I've never had one steer me to someones driveway by mistake. That said I do use the GPS on my ancient iphone quite a bit to find my way around cities but out on the highway I just use the ones from the highway department.
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