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Top 5 Best Fleet Management Companies: 2020 Guide

You may already know that the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate or “ELD Final Ruling” passed into law in February of 2016. Consequentially, ELD usage is mandatory for most commercial vehicles as of December 18, 2017. Therefore, all commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs. must now use electronic logging devices.

It is now 4 years post ELD-mandate. As a result, the ELD market is starting to mature. Most fleets can choose from over a dozen options in different price categories. Electronic logging devices plug into a vehicle’s diagnostics port. This allows them to record driving time, vehicle fault codes, and engine data. Most come with on-board GPS, motion sensors, and analytics. These can help administrators to track vehicle location and calculate and cut costs. In addition, most offer preventive maintenance tools. Therefore, it makes sense that ELD ties into fleet management. Many providers now offer driver management, fuel management, vehicle maintenance, and safety tools. These are in addition to hours of service logging. While not all solutions offer these services, many do.

ELD Cost and Time Savings

As mentioned, ELD is required by law for most fleets. However, ELD might actually help you save money by reducing costs – including cutting paperwork costs, improving routes, and improving safety and fuel usage.

The Regulatory Impact Analysis for 2020 Final Rule is a 2-year analysis of the impacts of HOS. It estimates that the average ELD-equipped fleet saves on paperwork alone. The FMCSA estimates a yearly savings of over $1,000 per truck for most fleets. They quote yearly savings of $705 per driver. The FMCSA broke this down into monthly cost savings at:

  • $40.50 for driver filing record of duty status logs
  • $4.60 sending logs
  • $10 clerk filing logs
  • $3.50 paper logbooks

So, while ELD is mandatory, it also saves drivers time. That translates to cost savings for you, which helps your bottom line. Importantly, that’s before calculating extras. Most ELD offer Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports, IFTA fuel tax calculations, and load inspection reports. Many ELD solutions offer these services as basic features. Therefore, you can see even greater savings than listed above. Essentially, ELD and fleet tracking can be a business advantage. In short, you should consider current costs, possible savings, and long-term goals when choosing a provider. Eventually, an ELD should pay itself off and improve business with smarter data.

If you are looking for a fleet management provider, these top 5 best fleet management options are just a few of your choices.

Samsara

Best for an all-in-one solution

Samsara is a mid-size fleet management and ELD company based in the United States. The company was founded in 2015 and today serves about 15,000 fleets. Samsara offers mid-range pricing and flexible contract offering. It focuses on transport and trailer management tools. Consequentially, the brand a great one-size-fits-all solution.

  • ELD Compliance
  • FMCSA Certified
  • Dispatch monitoring
  • Plug & Play devices
  • DIVRs
  • IFTA Fuel Tax management (with driver receipt upload)
  • Dashcams
  • Driver coaching
  • Offline mode
  • All-in-one ELD tablet
  • Trailer and asset tracking
  • Driver workflows
  • Refrigerated truck monitoring
  • GPS with Geofencing
  • 1, 3, or 5-year contract

KeepTruckin

Best Budget Solution

KeepTruckin is the largest and most well-known fleet management company on the market. The brand lives up to its name, with a wide range of fleet management and ELD tools. These are delivered at a budget price. KeepTruckin was founded in 2013. Today, it serves software and hardware to 100,000+ fleets. They also have positive reviews across every platform they are on. Essentially, KeepTruckin is a great deal for brands looking for budget ELD.

  • ELD for DOT Compliance
  • FMCSA compliance
  • Dispatch monitoring
  • Plug & Play devices
  • DIVRs
  • IFTA Fuel Tax management (with driver receipt upload)
  • Dashcams
  • Driver coaching
  • Offline mode
  • All-in-one ELD tablet
  • Trailer and asset tracking
  • Driver workflows
  • GPS with Geofencing
  • 1-year contract
Unique offerings:
  • CSA Score management

Coretex

Best for Mixed Fleets

Coretex is a New-Zealand-based telematics company with holdings in the U.S. and Europe. The company’s core offerings include a fleet management platform with an all-in-one ELD tablet. They also offer customization options for different vehicles. For example, drivers can customize inspection reports per vehicle. Coretex also maintains one of the best reputations of any ELD provider.

  • 3-year contract
  • ELD for DOT Compliance
  • FMCSA compliance
  • Dispatch monitoring
  • Plug & Play devices
  • DIVRs
  • IFTA Fuel Tax management (with driver receipt upload)
  • Dashcams
  • Driver coaching
  • Offline mode
  • All-in-one ELD tablet
  • Trailer and asset tracking
  • GPS with Geofencing
Unique Offerings:
  • Customizable rulesets
  • Customizable DVIRs
  • Customer portal for delivery times, proof of service, etc.
  • Waste management
  • Agriculture support
  • Oilfield support
  • Delivery Asset Tracking

SwitchBoard

Best for Small Fleets

SwitchBoard is a mid-size fleet management company offering budget ELD solutions. The brand offers basic ELD software with no monthly subscription. It also offers a premium subscription. Switchboard heavily focuses on ELD and work optimization. In short, this makes Switchboard extremely popular with small fleets, owner-operators, and freelancers.

  • ELD for DOT Compliance
  • FMCSA compliance
  • Dispatch monitoring
  • Plug & Play devices
  • DIVRs
  • IFTA Fuel Tax management
  • Dashcams
  • Driver coaching
  • Offline mode
  • All-in-one ELD tablet
  • Trailer and asset tracking
  • Refrigerated vehicle tracking
  • GPS with Geofencing
  • Yearly Contract
Unique features:
  • Weigh Station Bypass
  • Door monitors
  • Panic buttons
  • Route optimization and scheduling

Verizon Connect

Best for Enterprise Fleets

Verizon is one of the largest companies in the world. They support a full range of IOT solutions including fleet management and ELD. The brand delivers fleet management solutions to hundreds of thousands of drivers. These range from owner operators to enterprise fleets. As a result, Verizon’s Connect is suitable for most fleets. However, its solution is most ideal for big fleets with new vehicles.

  • 3-year contract
  • ELD for DOT Compliance
  • FMCSA compliance
  • Dispatch monitoring
  • Plug & Play devices
  • DIVRs
  • IFTA Fuel Tax management (with driver receipt upload)
  • Dashcams
  • Driver coaching
  • Offline mode
  • All-in-one ELD tablet
  • Trailer and asset tracking
  • Driver workflows
  • Refrigerated Truck monitoring
  • GPS with Geofencing
Unique offerings:
  • Integrations library for dozens of fleet management tools
  • Field service management
  • Integration into onboard ELD

HoS Mandate & Compliance – What Your Business Needs to Know

The ELD Final Ruling passed into law in 2016. The mandate is an update of regulation that has existed since 1938. The ruling, and its predecessors, aim to reduce fatigue-related accidents. This is important because drivers often over-estimate their ability to drive safely when tired. For example, a driver is very likely to drive a few more hours to finish up a trip on the same day. Therefore, breaks improve safety.

HOS limitations state that an individual cannot drive for more than 8 consecutive hours without a break. Therefore, drivers must take 10 hours off-duty to drive again. It also requires drivers to take a minimum of a 30-minute break after every 4 hours of driving. Many drivers find these regulations to be restrictive. Yet, the FMCSA links 13% of all commercial roadway collisions to driver fatigue. And, the FMCSA shows that HOS measures genuinely reduce fatigue and fatigue-related accidents. Consequentially, the mandate makes driving safer for everyone. It also follows that fewer road accidents are cheaper for the fleet.

ELD Requirements

Most commercial motor vehicles must comply with the ELD mandate. The FMSCA maintains a list of requirements on their site. Vehicles need an ELD if:

  • They weight more than 10,001 lbs.
  • The gross vehicle weight rating is 10,001 lbs. or higher
  • The gross combination weight rating is 10,001 lbs. or more
  • It is designed or used to transport 16 people (passengers + driver) without compensation
  • The vehicle is designed or used to transport 8 people (passengers + driver) with compensation
  • It transports hazardous materials and requires placards

There are separate rules for light duty and short haul vehicles. However, most fleets are required to have ELD. You can check the official rules and determine compliance for your vehicles with the FMCSA.

The ELD ruling was last updated on September 29th, 2020. Those changes include general updates to rules and exceptions. Most ELD providers already updated those changes into their software algorithms. Therefore, most ELD software is plug and play. You just have to install it to get full HOS compliance.

Fleet Management Solutions: Further Reading

Choosing a fleet management company can be difficult. Most fleets face a choice of dozens of options. Unfortunately, there are often no real clear differences between them. You can start by researching the brand, its reputation, and offerings. The official brand website is a good place to start. ELD and fleet management websites like ELDFocus or FleetOwner can simplify this process. Most collect data and reviews to offer easier comparisons. Eventually, many large ELD companies offer similar services and features.

In conclusion, the only real differentiator will likely be budget. You should also consider how the provider fits into your brand’s overall strategy and goals. For example, some ELD providers focus on fleet and driver management and others on compliance and safety. Similarly, some are high end and others work to keep total costs as low as possible. Some also offer specific integrations for vehicles, software, and tooling. This might add efficiency or value for your company. You likely also want to consider location and how access to customer service might affect your experience. Eventually, the best fleet management solution is the best fit for your brand.

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