PrePass ELD is a preferred electronic logging device used by an array of fleets to ensure full compliance and make transportation safer and easier.
The PrePass ELD is designed as a single platform to support compliance, safety, and weight bypass needs. As part of a suite of products from the PrePass Safety Alliance, it is designed to emphasize commercial transportation safety, while also offering drivers a reliable resource. Is it a good solution for you or your fleet? This full PrePass ELD 2020 review will help you determine if the app and device are what you need for your firm.
What is Compliance?
It has only been a few years since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation) began to require electronic logging. Since 2017, however, most commercial transportation providers have been required to use an ELD or electronic logging device.
Why the switch from the classic paper log and paper trail? The DOT saw a marked increase in deaths and accidents that involved commercial vehicles. Evaluating the data showed them that around 15% of all of these incidents were linked to driver fatigue. Because of that, the ELD mandate makes it essential for most commercial motor vehicles to be equipped with the gear.
ELD mandates don’t apply to vehicles with pre-2000 engines, tow away drivers, drivers not obliged to maintain RODS (record of duty status), and drivers who maintain RODS but for less than eight days in any 30-day window.
The ultimate goal of ELDs is to eliminate paper logs and automatically document driver duty status and HOS information. This means that any ELD has to be tamper-resistant.
Who Must Comply?
Does it mean that every trucking company or driver must comply and use the ELD? The rules through the FMCSA say that you must use an ELD if:
- The gross or gross combination weight rating is over 10,000 pounds
- A truck weighs more than 10,000 pounds
- The vehicle is made to transport at least 16 people including the driver for non-compensation purposes
- The vehicle is made to carry at least nine individuals for compensation
- The vehicle is transporting any hazardous materials in quantities requiring a placard
- If the truck was produced after 2000
- If the truck must travel 150+ miles from the point of origin
- If the company has more than eight logbook records each month
Falling within any of those guidelines means that the ELD is required, which means almost any driver is going to need the tools and resources that the PrePass ELD offers.
The PrePass ELD Offers the Essentials
To understand why the PrePass ELD is a preferred option, it helps to understand the basics of any ELD. Whether an ELD is limited to equipment or is equipment paired to a mobile app, it can monitor and/report:
- Driver’s hours on the road (including date, time, engine hours, number of miles, and more)
- Driver’s habits
- Vehicle location
- Whether or not it is parked or in motion
- Whether or not a truck’s engine is running
- Transfer electronic data
- Prevent tampering
The current array of ELDs typically interact with a smartphone or a tablet and may offer interaction with a fleet manager to optimize the results of using such devices. For example, it may stream information to the manager to enable up to the minute documentation or even to provide an opportunity for the manager to communicate with a driver.
The most important part of any ELD is its ability to track HOS or Hours of Service. This documents time spent driving, off-duty, and at rest. It reports most of this to headquarters and helps to ensure that inspections, audits, and other requirements are accurate and even submitted.
Failing to comply with the mandate can mean heavy penalties and fines, and this is where the PrePass ELD can step in and save the day. The good news is that it meets all of the basics, and offers additional features and functions.
PrePass ELD as a Single Platform for Safety, Compliance and Weight Bypass Needs
The nonprofit organization that created PrePass ELD says that it is "simple, supported and affordable…easy to use, complete and economical way to comply with the federally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) requirement for truck drivers, offering straightforward operation that only records the data required by law." As the producer of the "the nation's first and most reliable truck weigh station bypass system. PrePass ELD provides high-quality service from a trusted name that's been in trucking technology for more than two decades." A list of its specifications or features would include:
|Easy to Read Display||With a glance, drivers can see the number of hours remaining for driving and non-driving work, as well as the hours driven.|
|HOS Log||Skip the fines with the easy to read and use logging feature.
The PrePass HOS automates the majority of the logging process. The OBD collects only key data and information required for compliance. The HOS feature ensures that vehicle inspection reporting is accurate, and enables fleet managers to access data for evaluation
|DVIR||Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting streamlines trip inspections. It does this by completing the formal records that confirm the driver has done their due diligence (pre-trip inspection and post-trip inspection) daily.
This is not just a savvy safety step, it is required for fleet compliance, and the PrePass ELD ensures that a carrier can easily keep their DIVRs on hand for the 90 days after submission.
|Central Web-Based Management||Simplified performance tracking is accessible through the PrePass user portal. In this portal, fleet managers and drivers have access to real-time reports on the trucks and the drivers. This feature enables connectivity with a vehicle to manage driving modes.|
|Bring Your Device||BYOD means you can install easily and without any further hassles or equipment purchases.
Described by industry experts as the most flexible solution, it enables you to use smartphones or tablets – but it will require multiple vendors for the full solution. There will also be data costs associated with a BYOD solution.
|Stand Alone Service||Does not interact or share data with the PrePass weigh station bypass transponder.|
|Self-Certified ELD Solution||Streamlines roadside inspections and saves a great deal of time and money. Avoids out of service orders, and other money-wasting delays.|
|OBD Wireless Connection||Using the Bluetooth between a vehicle’s diagnostic port and a mobile device means that the PrePass ELD installs in moments.|
How Does the PrePass ELD Work?
All modern vehicles, whether commercial trucks or family SUVs, have an OBD or “on-board diagnostic” port. It is a device that allows a diagnostic computer to be plugged into the car and evaluate any issues, do a reset of a system, and so on. The OBD often monitors mileage, speed, emissions, and a lot of other data. As an example, when the “check transmission” light illuminates, the OBD can often tell a diagnostic computer used by a technician just what is going on.
The PrePass ELD works with the OBD II (on-board diagnostic) device. The ELD is tethered to it and uses it to record everything from driver hours to a truck’s movement. It syncs up to the engine in the truck or vehicle (via WiFi or Bluetooth) and then communicates with the mobile device that the driver has chosen to use. They simply download the Android or iOS app and begin using its many features.
As the makers of the PrePass ELD explained, they “developed an ELD to provide a simple and economical way to comply with the ELD mandate.”
PrePass ELD Pricing
The PrePass ELD is an app that requires only $14.99 per month per license and is reduced to $12.99 per month when bundled with the PrePass weigh station bypass service. The bypass service is a hugely popular feature from the company. As the company itself explains, it is a service that enables fleets of any size to “bypass weigh stations, ports of entry and agricultural inspection facilities across the nation. PrePass is the only provider to offer the benefits of a bypass app and transponder. PrePass also offers integrated toll management and electronic payment services on tolling systems throughout the U.S. Also, INFORM™ data applications extend the value of PrePass far beyond weigh station bypassing.”
The INFORM Data Suite provides insight into a fleet’s ISS or Inspection Selection System score that can reduce costs and boost efficiency across the fleet. They also have toll management platforms that enable easy toll payment and even consolidation or discounted rates.
Describing their services and technologies as a complete weigh station bypass platform, the company also offers apps like the PrePass ELD to give insight and controls that maximize fleet performance.
What Drivers Say
Naturally, there is a lot to be learned by asking drivers and verified users of the PrePass ELD about their experiences, and it currently has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating via the Apple App Store. As one driver said, they began “using just to see what else was like ran it with my paper log after 2 weeks decided this would work thanks. Still using and love it, during inspection the officer didn’t even want to review logs would recommend to everyone thanks this logging AP is great has never failed or giving me any trouble. Has passed every inspection without question very useful tool for any company.”
Another reviewer got a lot more specific, saying that they “really like it that you can set it to per minute instead of just 15-minute intervals….I like it also that it so diverse and can send copies to dispatch each day if I want.”
Another driver boasted that they couldn’t “think of a word to help tell you how easy this app is to use. I tell you what quick story DOT man in Mississippi told me let him look at my log books. Gave him my phone put it on DOT inspection he said that’s good enough for him! If an old-timer like me can learn how to use it anybody can. Best thing since GPS.”
An Industry Response to ELD Mandates
At the time of the ELD mandate going into effect in 2017, experts agreed that instruction in the use of ELDs might be helpful. One firm offered formal courses designed to instruct motor carriers and fleet managers in the best ways to manage an ELD system. This would alleviate stress and ensure that everyone got the most out of the technology.
The design of the PrePass ELD was meant to make formal training far less necessary as it utilizes an easy to read touchscreen with intuitive commands. When combined with the other apps and services, it is a comprehensive solution that most drivers can appreciate without also having to take a few courses just to learn how to use the system.
PrePass is Helpful in Multiple Ways
It is interesting to note that on the day that ELD compliance became mandatory (which was in mid-December of 2017), the maker of PrePass ELD announced that its application was officially available. They deemed it a low-cost solution for drivers in need of compliance with the federal ELD mandate.
The PrePass ELD is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and takes only seconds to install. You follow a simple signup process and can begin using the device. You will have to establish a PrePass Fleet Manager account and order OBD connector devices that enable the app to communicate with the vehicle. You will also need to remember that additional fees will apply on top of the monthly app fee (such as your mobile device service and the costs of the OBD connector devices).
Designed to meet the needs of medium and smaller carriers eager to comply, the firm’s RFID-based transponder technology is still a more accurate method than many others and yet remains incredibly affordable.
A preferred choice among many drivers, the PrePass ELD is part of a suite of well-designed solutions that ensure safety, compliance, and ease of use.