Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) / On Board Computers (OBC) How to decide? Which option is best?

Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) / On Board Computers (OBC) How to decide? Which option is best?

From talking with many of our customers and associates across the industry, there seems to be a significant amount of confusion regarding these devices. One size and potentially one provider does not fit all fleets or segments of fleets. This document is intended to answer a significant number of questions.

First, the mandate for ELDs has been approved and we are waiting for the phase-in cycle and implementation deadlines. The expectation is that will occur within the next 12 -24 months.

The mandate also states that only devices directly connected to the engine are approved.

We would add that you require written verification from your provider that they will stand behind any DOT audit that involves Hours of Service (HOS) information collected or computed by their equipment. If the vendor you are talking with does not provide these fundamental requirements, we would suggest a different vendor.

Devices with the above capabilities will meet the mandate; however, we would suggest you also look for the following features:
• Engine Metrics (data collection and analytics)
• Messaging
• Integration with fleet management systems

These devices range in price from a few hundred to thousands of dollars (not including air time). The higher priced units have quite a bit more functionality, but you need to decide if you truly need that functionality for all or simply a portion of your fleet. Although there are several devices on the market that have all the capabilities we mentioned, BOLT System has spent a considerable amount of time evaluating and integrating four very popular units.

Listed in alphabetical order they are:
• PeopleNet
• Omnitracs (formerly QualComm)
• Rand McNally
• XRS (formerly XATA)

These devices span the technology spectrum from smart phones/tablets to proprietary
hardware and software designs. The vendors generally have a range of products from textonly to graphic displays (including video capability). Currently most vendors sell their
products with their own “air time package”. At this time XRS is the exception – allowing
you to purchase your display device and air time from a cell phone provider.

Keep in mind that your monthly charges can vary dramatically depending on the type of device, type and volume of collected information. BOLT has made the decision to support a mix of devices in the same fleet management implementation. Information collected from the various devices is analyzed – using the exact same set of formulas and displayed on the same screens. Our objective is to help you find the best price/performance solution to your fleet management issues.

If you would like additional information – or if you would simply like to discuss your options
or any of the information cited here, please call us at 888-424-4638 x3.

Benefits of BOLT

  • Set freight-based rules to optimize equipment utilization.
  • Streamline dispatch-driver communication with automated dispatch.
  • Store your data in one place for easy capture and analysis.
  • Selectively allow customers to log in and see status updates.
  • Pool high-volume loads for private/dedicated fleets and preferred for-hire carriers.
  • Automate EDI for greater efficiency and fewer errors.
  • Integrate your corporate ERP for a fully customized enterprise-wide solution.