Geotab ELD—A Leader in Trucking Telematics

Geotab has provided a wide array of telematics services to fleets of all sizes for more than fifteen years. To find out more about which ELD services they offer, keep reading our review here.

After the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) introduced their final ELD (electronic logging device) policy in 2015, vehicle fleets have been required to keep electronic logs of their drivers’ hours. Though the new policy may have cost firms that hadn’t yet upgraded their logging systems, in the long run, it has kept drivers from working overly long stints, which can be dangerous for both drivers and others on the road. Furthermore, new ELD policies have increased efficiency by tracking drivers’ locations, fuel mileage, and any needed repairs.

For over fifteen years, Geotab has offered both ELD software and hardware to large, medium, and small businesses across the USA, in compliance with FMCSA standards. Acting as a supplier, they have also reached an international market by working through resellers. Rather than selling directly to consumers, Geotab functions through a series of partners to enter the most extensive market as possible.

They have worked strenuously to steadily broaden and improve their electronic logging and tracking products and services. They aim to offer flexible solutions for a host of different needs, and, with their software and hardware, they hope to encourage safer roads and help businesses run more smoothly with technology. In this article, we will look at a few of their features, the functionality of their products, pricing, and some user ratings on Geotab’s ELD services.

A Look at Functionality

Geotab is a go-to service for any company looking to remove or reduce the risks associated with transportation. These risks can range from vehicle investment and maintenance, productivity and efficiency, reducing costs, and complying with government regulations. With Geotab, you can rest easy knowing that their equipment and programming are working to keep you and your fleet safe.

Through tracking technology, Geotab allows fleet managers to analyze data that has been gathered over several months. Managers can also assess problems and develop solutions to issues as they arise in real-time, thanks to automatic defect detection. Having access to trip data pre-and-post journey allows you to better control your fleet and drivers, serving to improve productivity over time.

Geotab software is designed with a web-based format so you can use it on either a desktop browser or a mobile device. Whether you use iOS or Android products, Geotab is sure to be compatible with your phone or tablet. While sticking to a desktop option is likely preferable in the office, fleet managers can keep track of drivers and vehicles at all times by making use of the mobile option. This software works with all Geotab telematics hardware such as the GO9 and the GO RUGGED—which connect to a vehicle’s engine diagnostic port—and can integrate with several major transportation management systems.

Features

 

Geotab ELD Specifications

 

Services

 

Hardware & Software

 

Platform

 

Mobile App and Desktop Browser

 

 

Hours of Service Tracking

 

FMCSA compliant

 

Generates daily logs

 

IFTA Recording

 

Tracks fuel consumption and efficiency

 

DVIR Logs

 

Intuitive in-app forms

 

Pricing

 

Unclear

The number of features you receive from Geotab will depend on which payment plan you are subscribed to. Geotab offers a range of service plans, and as you pay more, you receive a more comprehensive array of services. The most basic plan is focused mainly on tracking drivers’ Hours of Service (HOS), Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR), and data regarding the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). With more expensive payment plans, you can add on services such as GPS tracking and even temperature control for refrigerated trailers.

Let’s go through a few of the basic services and break down what they mean for you.

Hours of Service (HOS)

Hours of Service (HOS)

With the most basic package, Geotab lets you track and manage drivers’ Hours of Service using a mobile app called Geotab Drive. This service will keep you in compliance with federal regulations regarding how long drivers can be on the road by tracking their work hours. Keeping track of this information can improve their standards of safety and reduce the risks of accidents, which could jeopardize the driver, the delivery of goods and services, and other people on the road.

Geotab also includes a well-rounded alert system designed to help reduce the number of driver violations. If drivers begin to exceed their number of hours, the Geotab app will provide warnings for managers and generate real-time alerts for drivers. If drivers go over their hours, Geotab will keep track of any violations, as well as driver logs and their remaining work hours.

International Fuel Tax Agreement

In the transportation industry, keeping an accurate record of miles driven, and the amount of fuel your vehicles have consumed is paramount. To profitably maintain a fleet of commercial vehicles, you have to know just how much is being spent on transport. With Geotab’s ELD software, you can track precisely how much fuel a vehicle is using and at what level of efficiency the engine is running.

In the long-run, Geotab ELD fuel tracking could save your company thousands of dollars by eliminating inefficiencies. You will no longer have to rely on by-hand tracking techniques, which are prone to human error. By only checking the driving log, you will receive completely accurate data.

Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR)

Likewise, maintaining your fleet is of the utmost importance. In the transportation industry, if you’re vehicles are off schedule due to defects, you’ll lose credibility and customers. Time is everything, and without a tight schedule, your business will not be able to last long. With Geotab ELD, managers and also drivers have complete access to their inspection workflows. They may pick defects, look over inspections, make comments, and more. You can sort through reports by categorizing them into those with defects or just the basic DVIRs, allowing for thorough insight into the health of your fleet.

Geotab ELD will also keep track of all defects, which employee took note of the defect, and also who made the repairs. On top of that, Geotab ELD will automatically contact a mechanic whenever a repair is needed. By getting your fleet into the mechanic sooner, your vehicles will be repaired and back on the road more promptly, saving drivers those extra hours away from home.

Geotab Ease of Use

Geotab ELD is a compelling choice of software for small and medium-sized businesses. It offers business owners and fleet managers a clear and easy to follow map for tracking and supervising their fleet and a robust dashboard that can be understood intuitively. Every aspect of the program is designed to feed stable and accurate data into the storage cloud.

Through the online platform, GPS, and engine data from all Duty Status logs are processed and then transmitted to the Drive app. Included in these logs should be the drivers’ location and their on or off duty status. These reports will be generated every time drivers use their vehicles.

The hardware that corresponds with the ELD software is easy to install in your vehicles, so you won’t have to worry about outsourcing to an expert installer. There is no need to splice wires or connect devices to the antenna. You don’t even need special tools to install this hardware. Simply connect it to a vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port, and it will transmit data to the cloud. If your vehicle does not have an OBD-II port, do not worry. Geotab also has an adapter that will allow you to use their hardware.

More On the Geotab Drive App

More On the Geotab Drive App

As stated above, Geotab can be run in a desktop browser or by using their mobile device app—Geotab Drive. Their app works by syncing a Wi-Fi or cell connection to the MyGeotab cloud system and, even if you are outside cell range or lack Wi-Fi, it will continue to keep logs. After drivers first log into the app, the server will begin to update data continuously so that, even in cellular dead zones, the Geotab Drive app will gather data for reporting once a connection is restored.

Location tracking and engine data are stored within the device’s internal memory so you can rest assured that data is not lost even if connectivity is. Any data that might be missing from the log is returned to the Geotab Drive app once they are coordinated.

Drivers can also use the Geotab Drive app to change their on or off duty status easily. Once drivers switch to On Duty, the in-app DVIR will gather data on IFTA fuel management and prepare DVIRs, making paperwork and maintaining regulations so much smoother.

As Drivers approach the limit of their HOS, they and their fleet managers will be sent an in-app alert to prevent any violations. The warnings will give drivers ample time to pull over and safely finish out their shift.

This may sound rather complicated, but the Geotab Drive app comes with a built-in instruction manual that helps drivers and managers download information and duty logs from their vehicles.

Pricing

Unfortunately, Geotab is not transparent with their pricing. We were able to find out that they offer different levels of service at different prices but, to find out the exact amount, you must contact their sales department and go through the entire purchasing process.

Customer Reviews

Geotab is a Better Business Bureau accredited company that has received an A+ rating from the Bureau. They’re software and hardware have received generally positive reviews, speaking to the quality of their telematics. Despite some complaints that Geotab does not offer an option for customer support within the Drive app, Geotab is considered highly credible online.

 

Upon our review, it is true that Geotab does not openly offer a customer service contact number through the Geotab Drive app, which some users view as leaving them out to dry. This is also different from many other facility management services.

 

Rather than a corporate contact number, Geotab provides users with their approved resellers’ contact details. The intention is that authorized resellers can provide technical guidance or training on how to use the Geotab Drive app. You can find these details by locating the “Get Started & Help” option within the “Support’ section of the app. Drivers and fleet managers with a MyGeotab account can find the appropriate information here.

Besides this one complaint, Geotab’s Go hardware is easily set up, and a majority of the instructions for making a MyGeotab account are available through the app’s login page.

The only other drawback to using Geotab ELD is that the company is not transparent with their pricing or contractual obligations. This may be enough to keep some business owners from contacting the service. It may be seen as a potential waste of time if the terms of service or price are too severe.

If you don’t consider it an issue, working with Geotab is reasonably straightforward. You simply contact their sales team, and they will put you in touch with the nearest reseller. However, transparency is always lovely when you are working with another business.

PROS:
  • Geotab offers hardware and software
  • Easy setup
  • Hours of Service tracking
  • FMCSA compliant
  • IFTA tracking for easy paperwork
  • Intuitive online dashboard
  • Geotab Drive mobile app with alerts
CONS:
  • Limited customer support for Drive app
  • Opaque pricing and terms of contract

Conclusion

If you’re in the transportation industry, be it trucking, bus driving, vans, or even construction, you know that it’s crucial to keep accurate data on your drivers and vehicles. To maintain efficiency and in keeping with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidelines, installing and monitoring electronic logging devices is not only mandatory but a key step in managing your business. But don’t settle for just anything.

With Geotab ELD, you’ll be able to streamline your data into one location, track drivers’ hours of service, provide them will mobile alerts if they approach the limits of their service hours, manage fuel usage and efficiency, and follow vehicle inspections and repairs all from one intuitive online platform. Whether you are already using ELD hardware and need new software to improve it, or you require both, Geotab is the best option for you. Now is the time to update your business model from outdated pen and paper records to a modern and digital platform. Let Geotab help you!

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