Not a lot of bells and whistles, but it provides ELD compliance and a very good driver experience at a great price.
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- Low cost
- User friendly for the driver
- Easy to install
- Lacks many non-HOS features that are standard in more expensive products
- Easily disabled
BigRoad is a very popular stand-alone app for drivers to keep logs on their phone. More recently they have added ELD hardware that allows the app to connect to the truck engine data. This system really shines as a simple, user-friendly, affordable option. There are not a lot of extra bells and whistles, but it does the job of of providing easy-to-use log compliance at a great price.
Like many BYOD options, the system works with any Apple or Android phone or tablet. Just install the free app. Drivers pay nothing to install the app, and fleet owners pay $15/driver/month for access (There is also a $15/mo charge for any office users that need to access the system). To make the solution into a true ELD also requires a $10/mo DashLink device which plugs into the truck’s diagnostic port. So there is no up front cost, unless you choose to provide some sort of mounting hardware to attach the device to the dash (soon to be required per the ELD mandate). You’ll of course also need an Apple or Android mobile device with a data plan. Drivers could be asked to provide their own, but if the company is providing them you can probably get a free device with service contract, and a basic data plan for something around $15/mo. So all in you’re looking at $40/mo, plus any mounting hardware you buy up front. That makes BigRoad one of the most affordable options on the market right now.
The app itself is very user friendly, and many drivers are already familiar with it. It provides a simple display of HOS time remaining, and drivers can edit their own logs as needed. The main goal of the app is simplicity, but it does provide a few helpful extra features, such as a google map showing location and traffic. Navigation is not provided, but of course a separate app of your choosing could be installed for that. The BigRoad app also allows basic two-way messaging between the driver and the home office. The driver can easily view their upcoming recap hours, and can email/fax/print their logs from the device. There is only a very basic inspection form allowing a driver to certify that an inspection was done and comment on any defects. Beyond these basic HOS features, there are not a lot of other capabilities.
BigRoad gives back office users GPS tracking, simple messaging, and a nice snapshot of current HOS compliance. There are also a few reports that show things like miles per state for IFTA reporting. Missing are many of the more advanced management features like idling reports, MPG and engine fault codes, DVIR tracking and alerts, Macros/Workflow, and official out-of-the-box TMS integrations.
For fleets looking for a full-featured telematics solution with rich ROI possibilities, this may not be a good fit. But for fleets looking for simple, user-friendly ELD compliance, BigRoad seems a great choice. Drivers like the app. Installing the unit takes all of 5 minutes, making it very good for Owner Operator fleets and short term leased vehicles. Sales and support staff are friendly and well educated on the product and HOS regulations. And best of all, you get a good experience for a great price.
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