Check Out the Features, Benefits, and Weaknesses of the ELD
Considering the AwareGPS ELD for your trucking fleet? Read on to learn the features, benefits, and drawbacks of using the system to see if it’s right for you.
It is essential for businesses that have fleets of vehicles, such as trucks, to maintain records of duty status. In the past, this was often done on paper, but in today’s technological world, we’ve moved to using computers. It is now a requirement for fleet vehicles to be outfitted with FMCSA-certified devices that will make tracking hours, ensuring the vehicles are properly maintained, and more much easier. Finding the right ELD for your business is essential. The AwareGPS ELD 2020 review can help you determine whether it’s the right choice for your business.
We will be discussing the features and benefits that this system offers, as well as some of the problems that some users have had with the device. The review and information that follows should help you to make a more confident decision on whether you want to use the AwareGPS ELD system for your fleet of vehicles.
Pros and Cons of the AwareGPS ELD
There are many benefits of the AwareGPS ELD, as you will see throughout the review. However, before getting deeper into those benefits, as well as weaknesses, let’s look at a list of the pros and cons to give you a quick idea of what you can expect.
- Easy to install
- Connects to the tablet using Bluetooth
- Tablet is portable for easy inspections
- Dedicated data plan
- Driver performance raging
- Real-time alerts
- Quality customer service
- Some users have said that the device has sent out false alerts for driver performance
- Some have found that location reporting can sometimes be inaccurate
Specs of the AwareGPS ELD
Here’s a list of some of the important specs and info you will want to know about the device before you make a purchase.
|Device||Tablet or JBus Device|
|Customer Support||Available Online and by Phone M-F 7 AM to 7 PM and Sat 9 AM to 4 PM CST|
|Basic Features||Hours of Service, Records of Duty Status, Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports, Imminent Violation Alerts, Location|
|Payment Made||$149 device one-time fee and two options for monthly payments for tracking|
Features of the AwareGPS ELD
Aware GPS is FMCSA-certified, and the company can offer quality dedicated devices and data plans, which can make things easier on your fleet. It means you will not have to buy extra devices and data plans to then use with the system, and that you won’t have to rely on your drivers’ phones and data plans. The devices and ELD service the company offers has a range of features and benefits that help to make them a quality company to consider. Let’s get a closer look at some of those features.
What Does the ELD Package Contain?
The ELD setup from AwareGPS features a tablet and ELD module that can record the hours of service, records of duty status, and driver vehicle inspection reports. The tablet that is included with the system already has all of the software that will be needed for logging data, as well as analyzing the data and reporting it. The tablet works on an Android operating system, it’s a touchscreen, and it is easy to use. In addition to the vehicle’s data and the driver hours, it can also be used for calls, messages, and GPS mapping.
The system also comes with GPS tracking that you can use. This will allow you to get live updates on the vehicles when they are in motion, so you can always track where they are. You also could set up geofences, so you can know if the vehicle is taken off route, which could indicate a problem. For example, it’s not unheard of that vehicles get stolen when they are out.
You can even set specific times at which the vehicle can be used by the driver. If the driver, or another party, is driving the vehicle during those restricted times, you will be able to track the movements.
The system can gather and keep data on what happened during each of the trips, as well. Once the route has been completed, the managers can check the route that was taken, the mileage for the trip, the amount of fuel that was used, the performance of the driver, and more. There is even the option of replaying the trip on an animated map that will show each of the activities and where they occurred.
One of the major benefits of this is helping to ensure that the routes being taken are the best option for the drivers. You may find that choosing an alternative route, even though it might be slightly longer, is faster and will use less fuel.
With all of the data and monitoring features that are available with the system, it can help companies to cut down on their fuel costs substantially by correcting routes, reducing idling time, and checking on the behaviors of the drivers.
Reminders and Alerts
Another nice feature of the AwareGPS ELD is the ability to monitor the duty status of your drivers, along with their hours of service. When the drivers are approaching what would be considered a violation, your company will be alerted so you can let the driver know. This helps to ensure that they are not driving more hours than they should on a given day.
Additionally, the device will be able to track the vehicle inspection reports and can provide reminders when the vehicle will require maintenance. The company can also receive alerts if there are instances of hard braking or periods where the vehicle is idling for an extended time.
Drivers are supposed to conduct inspections of their vehicles to make sure they are in proper working order. When the driver completes their inspection through the app, the system will be updated and the information can be sent to the managers. Some of the types of checks that will be included are signals, lights, tires, brakes, and steering.
Having all of the information available through the app can also make it easier to get through roadside inspections. This will ensure that the drivers are getting back onto the road faster.
Reports on the Drivers’ Performance
The ELD system will provide managers with driving statistics, which will allow you to keep track of the performance of your drivers. It will let you know the number of miles traveled, whether the driver was speeding, the amount of time spent idling, and more. The information that can be gleaned from the data can provide you with the information needed to find drivers who may have some bad habits.
It could also help you to learn more about the routes they are taking and whether they might need to be changed. Some routes, for example, might have heavier traffic than they did a few years ago. Rerouting might be able to save time and fuel since the driver will not have to sit in traffic as long.
Syncing with AT&T Cellular Network
The ELD module will collect data from the vehicle’s computer and send that to the tablet using a cable or Bluetooth connection. The tablet will then send the data over the AT&T cellular network so that it arrives at your company.
The company chose to use this network because it has a large coverage area, and there should not be many blind spots. However, it is important to remember that those blind spots can still sometimes occur, which could mean the location reporting is not always accurate. It’s a small issue, but one that should be considered.
Price of the System
You will find that when compared with other options, this ELD has a similar pricing structure as most. It’s not the cheapest option available, nor is it the most expensive. The tablet is $149, as is the JBus device. There is an option for the data plan, which currently costs $29.99 a month per vehicle for the basic ELD service. However, if you also want to have GPS service included, the price is $39.99 per month per vehicle. To have full access to ELD, GPS, and IFTA, the cost is $49.99 per month for the vehicle currently.
Consider what features and options you need for the vehicles in your fleet and then choose according to your needs and your budget.
Problems with the AwareGPS ELD
As you have seen above, there are many great reasons to consider using the AwareGPS ELD. However, it is also important to touch on some of the issues that some people have had with the system to give you a better overall picture of what you can expect when using it.
Even though AT&T has a wide coverage area, some users have found that there are also a lot of dead spots within that coverage. This means that there may be times when the location reporting is not accurate. While this is not a problem that crops up too often, it should still be something that you take into consideration when you are buying an electronic logging device.
There have also been some instances where there were false alerts about drivers’ performances. For example, there may times that your company is alerted that a driver braked hard, even though it did not happen. This is also rare, but it could result in issues with your driver performance reports and is something you should keep in mind.
The problems associated with the system are rare, and they are not enough to say that it’s not worth your time. With all of the benefits that it offers, it could still end up being a very good solution for you and your vehicle fleet no matter how larger or small it might be.
Benefits of Choosing a Quality ELD
The first benefit of choosing a great ELD is the fact that your company will comply with the law. There is a mandate in place that requires your vehicles to have these devices installed, and that the ELDs are FMCSA-compliant. However, while this is the main reason you will want to have an ELD, it is not the only one. You will also find that there are some great benefits, particularly when you have GPS added, as well, as you can do with the AwareGPS ELD.
You will be able to track the locations of your vehicles, create routes for them, make sure that the drivers are notified if they are getting close to a violation with their hours behind the wheel, and much more. It makes communication and transfer of logs faster and easier, and it can help to streamline all processes for your fleet.
Those who have a quality ELD will often see their company’s productivity increase, while they are better able to control the fuel consumption of their vehicles. Choosing an ELD that has all of the features that you need can make a massive difference for your business. Don’t make the mistake of just choosing any compliant ELD.
Conclusion: Is the Device Right for Your Fleet?
You know that you need to have a high-quality ELD for all of the vehicles you have in your fleet because of the ELD mandate. You’ve now seen what the AwareGPS ELD has to offer in terms of the features and benefits. For many, this will be a quality solution that will not only meet but exceed their expectations. From the ease of use to the quality of the customer service and the accurate tracking, it has a lot to like about it.
Even with the drawbacks, it could be a good system to consider. Take the time needed to explore this option and any others you might be considering before you make your choice. After all, you want the best for your fleet.