The ELD Mandate starts in
days
8
4
hours
0
6
minutes
1
2
seconds
4
3

Blue Tree Systems ELD

4.5 Total Score
Pricey and under construction

Given the expensive price tag, Blue Tree's newest ELD and fleet management offerings may not be quite ready for prime time yet.

User's score
Add your review  |  Read reviews and comments

Up Front Cost Monthly Cost 3-year Total Cost
$995 $40 $2435


PROS:
  • Covert, tamper resistant
  • Extra features for reefer fleets
  • Garmin / Tom Tom Navigation

CONS:
  • Expensive
  • Software still feels “Under Construction”
  • Fairly time consuming to install


Blue Tree Systems has been in the international telematics industry for nearly 20 years. They focus on larger fleets, and have a particular emphasis on reefer monitoring. Despite the long tenure, Blue Tree’s current generations of ELD and fleet management products feel very new. Drivers use the ELD with either a  Garmin or a TomTom. The device connects via WiFi to Blue Tree’s BT500 hardware, which plugs into the vehicle to record motion and engine data. Most of the standard features you’d expect are present: logs, DVIRs, messaging, navigation, engine codes, IFTA, etc. The app feels fairly modern and easy to understand.

However the feeling of newness continues into less pleasant territory. Some parts of the software don’t seem quite completed yet. Drivers cannot yet email or fax their logs from the tablet. Daily recap hours for the upcoming week are not easily visible. There is a general purpose Android app that would allow the system to be used on a driver’s personal smartphone or tablet, but it currently has limited features and does not support HOS recording. Also partially under construction is Blue Tree’s new fleet management software for back office users. The new software is web based and much more modern than their older desktop software. However,  not all functionality has been moved to the new system yet. So fleet managers still find themselves accessing the old system to perform functions such as correcting logs or assigning unlogged driving. The older software is dated and clunky, so continued migration to the new web-based platform will be a welcome change.

Given the work-in-progress feeling of some of the software, the price tag may be a tough pill for many fleets to swallow. At nearly $1000, the up-front hardware cost is among the most expensive on the market. That price gets you the BT500 hardware and the Garmin option. Going with TomTom increases the price somewhat. Monthly service too is on the higher side at $40/mo. Financing options are also available which include both hardware and service for around $60/mo on a 5 year contract. Some larger fleet budgets may support this, but many smaller customers will likely find more bang for their buck elsewhere.

While Blue Tree may still have work to do on their newer core products, they do have some interesting features that might make them worth the price tag for certain fleets. For one, the unit can be installed completely behind the dashboard, making it more covert and resistant to tampering. Not many products on the market are designed to work well when hidden under dash panels, so this is an interesting advantage for fleets worried about theft or drivers disabling their e-logs. The fact that the system runs on Garmin and TomTom gives the driver built-in, truck-specific navigation. The app also has some interesting tools like HOS coaching which is designed to help a driver plan their day and get the most out of their driving and on duty time. Being a long-time player in the industry also means Blue Tree tends to have existing integrations with a lot of major software providers like TMW, McLeod, etc.

So the system has some compelling features. Large fleets, especially those in the reefer business, may find them worth a serious look. But much of the newer software does not seem quite ready for prime time, and most fleets might be wise to wait a while and see how the product shapes up. Once all the missing pieces are put together, Blue Tree may have a very robust (if expensive) product. Right now, it’s hard not to make the case that it is overpriced. Check back on this review for updates as the product continues to develop.

Click to see Specifications

Specification

Display Device

Type: Dedicated / Proprietary

OS: Android

Features

DVIR

Two-way messaging

Navigation

Engine Info (MPGs, faults, etc)

IFTA

Document Scanning

Drivers can make log corrections

Price per unit

Up-front cost: 995

Monthly cost: 40

3-year Total Cost: 2435

General

Complies with latest ELD Mandate standards: Soon

Vendor: Blue Tree Systems

2 Comments
Show all Most Helpful Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. Reply
    Joe Shoemaker February 12, 2017 at 6:30 pm
    2.5
    Add your rating
    50

    As a driver,it’s useless. The navigation does not work..*(.atleast for me,)i might be dumb but atleast I’m tough. Lol,I still put every trip in it,change settings around here and there to see if something might make it usefull,but to no avail?it doesn’t tell or show you turns. The visual is terrible (I’ve tried every option)my phone works,Google just takes me places i shouldn’t have 18 wheels and 13’tall,lol but i can back out of anywhere i pull forward in to. What would make it useful is the wi-fi it shows up but i can’t figure out how to connect my phone,lap top or tablet to it?anybody have that figured out?

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(1)You have already voted this
    • Reply
      ELD Ratings February 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Joe, thanks for sharing your experience on here. That’s a good question about the WiFi. Their tech support could probably tell you for sure, but I believe the WiFi you’re seeing is only used by the Blue Tree tablet itself to communicate with the device that reads your engine data. So you probably won’t be able to use its WiFi with your personal phone/tablet/laptop, unfortunately.

      If you ever have other questions about ELDs, give us a shout:
      http://eldratings.com/contact

Leave a reply

Your total score

Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0