Compliance has never been easier than with Samsara’s fleet management solution. Check out this review of the best ELD for ultimate safety and bottom-line savings.
Electronic logging devices, also known as ELDs, are the norm now for truckers across America thanks to the 2015 ELD mandate made by the FMCSA. Regardless of how you feel about the mandate, truckers and fleet managers know that a well-designed and fully encompassing ELD system is the difference between a chaotic or smooth-running operation. Since passing the mandate, the ELD market has exploded with tons of brands and products, each with exclusive features and options.
With so many ELDs to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to know which ELD is the best for your needs. Whether you have a 10,000 truck fleet for a major carrier or are an independent owner/operator, it’s critical to have an ELD system for compliance. However, the right ELD system can do more than just put you on the right side of regulations. Samsara is a fleet management system that can increase driver safety, savings, and driver competency to keep your company competitive and thriving.
- Keep An Eye To The Future
- Electronic Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports
- Dash Cams and Driver Training
- Samsara Is The Solution
- Cloud-based & Wi-Fi Enabled
- GPS Tracking
- Routing & Dispatch
- Fuel & Maintenance
- All-In-One App For Drivers
- What Managers Say
- Extra ELD Fun
- How Does The Samsara Do On The Road?
- Our Take
Keep An Eye To The Future
When looking for an ELD, it can be tempting to skimp on price and get a system that meets the bare minimum requirements from the FMCSA. This is fine and will keep you in compliance, but it might put you behind the times. Many manufacturers are starting to make ELDs with smart, 21st-century features. While you don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles, you also don’t want to fall behind other carriers. Even for independent owner/operators, the return on investment for a smart ELD can outweigh the start-up costs. If you do have the budget to splurge on more forward-looking tech, here are some next-level features to look for as you compare ELDs.
Electronic Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports
The next generation of ELDs includes tech that allows for electronic DVIR. With the touch of a button, drivers can now submit DVIRs, and admin can be sure to prioritize trucks based on their repair needs. These features save time for the drivers and money and risk for any company. Potential dangers disappear when they’re immediately caught and addressed thanks to this technology.
Dash Cams and Driver Training
You’ll also notice more and more ELDs are selling add-on dash cams. These are excellent tools for training, coaching, and protecting your drivers. While some drivers may feel uncomfortable thinking that big brother is watching, dash cams are less about surveillance and more to improve driver performance and exonerate wrongfully accused drivers. More and more companies are using these dashcams to check in with drivers based on data from the ELD and to provide real-time coaching for and analyze dangerous driving conditions like harsh weather.
If you’re going to invest a high-tech ELD, you might as well benefit from their network of partners. Before you purchase an ELD license, check out their partners and third-party apps that are available. It would be a shame to have so much data and not thoroughly analyze it for your industry. Third-party apps can typically pair and receive data from your ELD so that you can quickly meet the needs of your sector.
Samsara Is The Solution
If you’re strategic in your planning, you know that this high-tech, future-focused approach is the smartest long-term investment for your company, or fleet, or truck. Samsara’s ELD is the solution you’re looking for that combines your business acumen and care for safety and compliance.
At its heart, Samsara is a tech company. However, they have come to understand the needs of drivers and compliance managers to bring a product that saves lives, increases productivity, and reduces environmental impact. Samsara offers solutions for a wide variety of industries, including food and beverage, transportation & logistics, K-12 busing, construction, and state and government contracts. No matter your sector, Samsara combines sensors, telematics, HOS logging, and documentation all in one place. With this system, drivers, fleet managers, and companies win. Let’s take a look at some of the key features that make Samsara the best ELD on the market.
- Easy to Install
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- App for use with any smartphone or tablet
- Great customer service
- Some customers claim app can be glitchy on tablets
- Long contracts
- Does not have some aspects of fleet maintenance
|Fuel & Maintenance||● Maintenance scheduling & service history tracking
● Fuel management
|Routing & Dispatch||● Real-time route tracking
● ETA alerts
● Historical route analysis
|Admin Features||● Document sharing
● Electronic DIVR & IFTA mileage reporting
|Install time||10 minutes|
Cloud-based & Wi-Fi Enabled
Even if technology isn’t your thing, you want an ELD that you can be confident will securely store your data. Samsara’s IoT gateway takes in your engine data, which transmits to the Samsara driver app and admin dashboard. All of this data is simultaneously shared with and stored in the Samsara cloud. This storage solution means your information is always secure, exactly where you need it, and doesn’t require any special software downloads.
All Samsara ELD products come with a built-in, high-speed LTE Wi-Fi hotspot so that data can be transmitted regardless of cell coverage. This is critical so that drivers crisscrossing the U.S. and Canada can still record data that they need to stay compliant and receive alerts to stay safe on the road. The built-in Wi-Fi also means that drivers and companies can access their data on any smart device by downloading and logging into the Samsara app. You will save money by skipping out on expensive, proprietary hardware that you’ll see for other ELD manufacturers.
With the Samsara ELD, you’ll be fully compliant and able to track HOS easily. However, Samsara goes a step above with exceptional GPS tracking to increase efficiency, meet customer expectations, and prevent unnecessary waste. Users of Samsara love the unique helicopter view of drivers so that admin and customers can track movements and delays in real-time. You can optimize your fleet by using Samsara’s Geofence Alerts, giving you notices of when a truck leaves, arrives, or anything in between, making for a safer, more productive trip.
Routing & Dispatch
With advanced GPS tracking, it’s easier than ever to follow and manage routes so that no resources are wasted. Dispatchers can also provide live route updates to their drivers without having to call or switch platforms. Drivers enjoy this system as well because it maximizes their time driving rather than waiting for directions.
Fuel & Maintenance
Users can also expect to save big on annual repairs to their trucks and to decrease the risks to their drivers. Samsara predicts that unanticipated damage to a truck can end up costing four times more on average than if it received routine care. The gateway eliminates wasteful spending by providing real-time data about the vehicle’s batteries and engine so that you are aware of necessary repairs before a big blow-out. Fleet managers can also track historical data on how often a vehicle needs servicing to schedule routine maintenance based on these factors rather than guesswork. Samsara keeps a service record as well, so that you always have an eye on preventative maintenance.
Samsara also has an exclusive Fuel Report that gives managers the information they need for budgeting and billing. With this tech, you can schedule reports as frequently as you’d like to help plan for future spending and catch abnormal activity.
All-In-One App For Drivers
Drivers love Samsara because of its simplicity. The Samsara app is an all-inclusive platform where drivers can access everything they need at any time during their trip. With Samsara, drivers can easily log their HOS, and there are hassle-free options for editing logs if they make a mistake.
Since Samsara tracks both driver hours and engine data, this ELD can accurately provide real-time alerts for when drivers are nearing the end of their shift. The HOS countdown clock ensures that drivers are safe and receiving adequate breaks to avoid any violation. Drivers never need to worry about being out of compliance, and all the data logs make for more straightforward and painless DOT inspections.
Drivers will also appreciate how fast and reliable Samsara makes communication with the many players involved in their routes. The app has two-way messaging and document sharing so that drivers, dispatchers, and managers are never in the dark when solving a problem together. Better communication with ELDs like Samsara can significantly improve teamwork and morale.
Increased communication also helps to keep the roads safer. With Samsara, pre- and post-trip inspections on their vehicle take only a few clicks on a phone or tablet. Drivers can send pictures and notes to ensure all cylinders are firing before they hit the road.
What Managers Say
Any reliable ELD should make life easier for compliance and fleet managers that are tracking drivers and inefficiencies. Samsara takes all of the guesswork out of managing drivers remotely and puts data on the forefront so that every decision is strategic. Managers have come to rely on Samsara for its user-friendly interface, which makes previously tedious tasks, like assigning hours, a breeze.
Managers also enjoy the many alerts, notifications, and reports that can be programmed to keep everyone informed. Samsara’s smart design also means less work on complicated rulesets to keep drivers in compliance. One feature, in particular, is that rulesets on the Samara ELD automatically update based on the regulations of the driver’s location.
Samsara not only saves money in terms of upkeep on vehicles and reduces risk, but also allows you to reallocate resources away from mundane tasks to big-picture thinking. The document sharing and messaging systems mean less time scanning and filing and more time considering your next move to cut costs and increase profits. If sustainability is a concern for you and your company, Samsara’s electronic document sharing reduces paper waste for a greener office environment that’s great for marketing.
Extra ELD Fun
If you’re trying to boost your company’s safety, efficiency, and morale, Samsara also carries an AI dash cams and tons of solutions for implementing a driver coaching program. Samsara claims that their driver safety and coaching program results in 50% fewer accidents and 60% lower costs for companies that introduce a video-based safety program.
Even without their formal training program, the Samsara AI dashcam pairs with your gateway so that coaching can be driven by real-time data and produce the outcomes you’re hoping to achieve. There is in-cab voice coaching through the camera to support drivers when navigating challenging road conditions or just learning the ropes.
Also, buying into Samsara means gaining access to its app marketplace. Samsara knows that each industry using its services might have its reporting requirements or specialized needs for keeping goods safe. You can pair any of the apps from their library with the Samsara app to easily share and analyze data to fit your purposes.
How Does The Samsara Do On The Road?
Overall, truckers and managers both widely praise Samsara as an ELD. One confirmed user describes their positive experience with this tech by writing, “Samsara has been a great tool not only in organizing and managing out vehicles and assets but has allowed us to successfully defend against false claims.”
They then mention some of the bugs inherent to new technology, commenting, “Samsara is such a value additive software, that it dampens my frustration with the many bugs and problems evident in rushed development and poor testing for certain features.”
While this is only a tiny glimpse at what customers are saying about Samsara, it captures the general sentiment best. Samsara is an amazing product that will satisfy drivers and admin, but given its advanced technology, it can sometimes have unexpected glitches.
Regardless of which ELDs you are considering, you’ll want to test it out at a small-scale to ensure it’s the right fit for your company. Start earning a return on investment today by calling Samsara and inquiring about a demo of their product. You’ll soon see that Samsara is a one-stop-shop to increase safety and savings.
Now that ELDs are the way of the land, it makes sense to invest in a solution that will streamline processes and foster communication. Samsara’s ELD technology will bring organization and eliminate any guessing in your daily work. With a solution like Samsara, drivers can focus on safety and timeliness, and admin can spend less time shuffling papers and more time creating change.