Fleet News

On test: Road Angel Navigator 6000

‘I’M the world’s worst technophobe,’ I warned the man from Road Angel when he called to offer me a system to test.

He didn’t seem fazed at all, but assured me that however stupid I was (my words, not his!) I would be able to operate this unit with ease.

It didn’t look promising when it arrived. The box contained loads of little bits and pieces and the instruction manual was thick. To cap it all, you need a PC to keep it updated and I use an Apple Mac.

In fact when the Road Angel man called me back a couple of weeks later to ask how I was getting on, I had to rather shamefacedly admit that I hadn’t taken it out of its carton yet. Truth was I had, but had replaced it again when I couldn’t work it all out.

The day finally came when I could put it off no longer. I had little work to do, so I turned off the radio, poured a coffee and got down to business.

That was a couple of weeks ago. Today I’m wondering a) what my problem was and b) how I ever managed without a Road Angel before.

He was right – even a dribbling idiot could follow the book and the touchscreen is a piece of cake to use. In fact it was so easy that I hardly needed the instructions, except for a few of the more complicated manoeuvres. And that, to me, is exactly how it should be. In my book, if you need a manual to work out how to use something, it has failed straight away.

Even my problem with the Apple Mac isn’t that much of a headache – my girlfriend uses a PC so I simply blagged that for a couple of minutes to get registered.

But the greatest thing about this unit is not its ease of use or even its relatively low price of £249.99. What I love about it is the way it not only acts as a sat-nav unit but also warns me about dangers ahead – dangers being little rotters like GATSO cameras.

I’m not saying I go round breaking the speed limit all the time but there are inevitably occasions when even the most careful driver can get caught out.

And it doesn’t stop at GATSOs either. I get warnings about accident blackspots and even junior schools ahead.

Of course there is a downside – local low-lifers will be all too happy to relieve me of my Road Angel if they get the chance, so after every journey I not only have to detach the clip from the windscreen but I also have to wipe the windscreen clean (thieves apparently delight in smashing your side window if they see a round sucker mark on the front window as they think you will probably have left the unit in the glovebox) and take the whole kit and caboodle into the house.

Verdict

Security problems aside, the Road Angel deserves top marks – it’s a great little unit at a very reasonable price which will not only save time and money for busy van drivers but will also help protect their licences.

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