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Omnitracs XRS

6 Total Score
A solid BYOD option

XRS provides a simple but flexible BYOD solution that is fairly affordable and provides most of the same features as many more elaborate products.

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Up Front Cost Monthly Cost 3-year Total Cost
$0 $41 $1476


PROS:
  • Inexpensive, very little up front cost
  • Works with high-quality consumer tablets/phones
  • Easy to install / remove

CONS:
  • Driver process is a bit rigid, easy to make mistakes
  • All communication is via the tablet. Easy to disable
  • Multiple vendors involved. XRS and cell provider


XRS is a great product for fleets looking for low cost of entry, and a Bring Your Own Device hardware model. XRS provides a simple “Relay” box which plugs into the truck’s diagnostic port. The Relay then communicates with any Android device of your choosing, wirelessly via Bluetooth. The Relay is in charge of detecting engine status and GPS, while the tablet displays information to the driver and sends logs and messages back to the home office.

One of the biggest advantages here is that there is almost no up-front cost. Monthly service plans start at $23/mo (with 3-year contract) for a basic ELD, and range up to around $39 with all the extra features. A mid-range plan with logs, IFTA, and some other useful fleet management tools is around $26/mo. Of course you also have to provide a tablet or phone with cell service from a major US cell company (Verizon, Sprint, etc). With most cell companies, you can get a free Android tablet with a 2 year service contract, so again no up-front cost. A 4G data plan for the device will likely run around $10-15/mo. Of course a fleet could opt to have drivers provide their own phone/tablet, thus eliminating this cost entirely, but introducing some headaches that come with managing devices you don’t own.

There are certainly pros and cons to the BYOD idea. Drivers get to use consumer-grade tablets or phones, which usually have much better touchscreens than what you get from many of the ELD providers that manufacture their own. On the downside, the devices are very easy to turn off, thus ending all communication from the system. These general purpose tablets can also be used for other apps. This may be a pro or a con for your fleet. Some type of mobile device management software is recommended for limiting how the tablets are used, which brings a bit more monthly cost (around $4/mo).

Overall the driver experience with XRS is pretty simple and easy to understand. The unfortunate exception is the somewhat rigid driver login and pre-trip process. Both steps are easy to do, but if the driver forgets either one, they can drive the truck without drive time being captured on their log. There is very little warning to help the driver notice he forgot to this, thus mistakes will happen that need to be corrected by your back office staff. Training goes a long way toward avoiding this, but its an unfortunately easy mistake.

Beyond that one strange caveat though, the driver experience is very good. Similarly the back-office tools are simple and easy to work with. Making log corrections is relatively easy, and there are many useful reports and dashboards to help you manage the compliance and operation of your fleet.

All around XRS is not quite a top-shelf solution, but its a solid pick for the budget conscious fleet.

Click to see Specifications

Specification

Display Device

Type: BYOD (Bring your own device)

OS: Android

Features

DVIR

Two-way messaging

Engine Info (MPGs, faults, etc)

IFTA

Price per unit

Up-front cost: 0

Monthly cost: 41

3-year Total Cost: 1476

General

Complies with latest ELD Mandate standards: Soon

Vendor: Omnitracs

19 Comments
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  1. Reply
    edwin leonard lewis January 27, 2017 at 8:35 am

    this sounds good i have sprint can i hook it up my self or wht have to do

    • Reply
      ELD Ratings January 27, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Hi Mr. Lewis,
      Yeah XRS and many of the other bring-your-own-device ELDs are very easy to hook up yourself. You can essentially just plug the XRS device into your truck’s diagnostic port and set it on your dash and you’re done. You’ll also want to find some way to mount your Sprint phone/tablet so you can see it while you’re driving. If you have any other questions feel free to contact us:

      http://eldratings.com/contact/

  2. Reply
    Frank Kirmeier Sr April 17, 2017 at 10:46 am
    0.5
    Add your rating
    10

    I’m an owner operator, I’m leased to a large company, I had my unit installed in Fontana. Now my company is telling me that the personal conveyance option, off duty driving, is set at 20 minutes daily fleet wide with no exceptions for owners, I go home on weekends, 150 miles one way and I have bobtail on duty, that is unfair, I’ll be looking for a company that doesn’t use your system, obviously your against independent truckers. Sad, I’ve been here 10 years, I am happy with the company but not with your system

    Helpful(6) Unhelpful(4)You have already voted this
    • Reply
      ELD Ratings April 17, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Hi Mr. Kirmeier,
      Thanks for the feedback, and sorry to hear you’re having trouble with your company’s personal conveyance policy. Just so you know, the XRS system actually does allow your company to set different Personal Conveyance limits for different trucks. Your company may not be willing to do this as a matter of policy, but XRS does support it if they choose to do so. They could accomplish this by creating a sub-Organization for owner operator trucks within the XRS admin system. This owner Organization could then be given a longer Personal Conveyance limit. If they need help doing this, I’m sure Omnitracs support can assist them, or they’re welcome to contact us for help as well:
      http://eldratings.com/contact/

      Best of luck, thanks for writing

  3. Reply
    Tom June 14, 2017 at 7:09 am
    0.5
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    10

    The app overrides my Google maps and screen locks me out constantly. Delivering equipment in downtown L.A. being stuck in multiple cycles of stop lights and slow/stopped traffic this is a major inconvenience. Now I drive one handed constantly unlocking my phone and closing the omnitracs window so I can see my map. We have over 20 guys using this at work for a month now a still nobody completely understands we just wing it daily but the company is happy we are using it. ?

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  4. Reply
    Terry June 27, 2017 at 8:43 pm
    0.5
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    10

    The problems I have with the xrs is when I go off duty on in sleeper I log off on the tablet and the program locks up and leaves me in service, so I’ve been in violation all the time, your system is crap

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(2)You have already voted this
  5. Reply
    Mad Dog September 6, 2017 at 7:35 am
    0.5
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    10

    Our fleet was using People Net and we switched to XRS. We miss PN! XRS is cheap and the service is terrible! If you have to call their help desk it will be at least 48 hours before you get a response. And then the normal response is “we have elevated your issue” which means you are out another 3 or 4 days at minimum. XRS does not call back, you have to call them. When you have issues with an ELD system you can’t afford to wait a week before someone gets back with you.
    We have a fleet of 600 units. We made a poor choice based on cost and now we are paying the price. XRS talks a good game, but their product and service suck. I will not recommend them.

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  6. Reply
    JIM September 6, 2017 at 8:08 am
    4.5
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    90

    I have been using XRS for 3 months and it’s worked great for me. No glitches or issues. Big bonus was the online training Omnitracs provides but many carriers don’t even give to their drivers! Also notice you have $55 upfront and we didn’t pay anything upfront. Aslong as you have phone or tablet it’s just the monthly plan. Why do you have that? Also I pay only $28 per month and they sent me the full pricing. The most they charge is $46 a month not $55. Time to update you stats here

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
    • Reply
      ELD Ratings September 6, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Hi Jim,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad to hear XRS is working out well for you. The $55 up front is a one-time activation fee, but you’re right that XRS often waives this fee. The $55 per month includes an estimate of $10-15/mo for a data plan on your phone or tablet. We include this cost for all BYOD systems, to make it a better apples-to-apples comparison between BYOD and Dedicated systems that include their own data plan. You can read more about how we estimate total cost on the About Us page.

      Thanks again for the feedback on XRS

  7. Reply
    Wayne September 18, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Really wish your xrs was iPhone or iPad compatible

  8. Reply
    Anonymous October 4, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Never buy this product, first trip use it in a week, the box dead lock several times, when truck moving, it won’t Chang to driving statue automatically , unnatural product,

  9. Reply
    Glen October 10, 2017 at 8:41 am
    5
    Add your rating
    100

    We have a fleet of 300 trucks using XRS on Android smart phones, it works great! I’ve personally trained most of our drivers, and as expected they are negative at the start, but then quickly change to very positive when they see how easy it is. Once the cord is connected to the engine Jbus, the rest of the installation is incredibly easy. Very easy to upload our tractor, driver, device info into the system, and easy to edit and manage the logs. One of the best priced options we found, and after testing several, one of the most user friendly to use. I highly recommend it!!

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  10. Reply
    RO October 11, 2017 at 8:27 am
    5
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    100

    We are closing in on 300 XRS relays installed with our final number of 650 to 700 in operation by the spring of 2018. I have read the comments above and have seen these issues. We learned our initial problem was going with a very inexpensive tablet. It struggled to handle the volume of information with XRS and other apps running at the same time, so we upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy Tab E corporate version and the problems ceased.

    Another item is that the hierarchy must be setup so the information flows from the resource groups up through the sub orgs to the parent org. If this is not done correctly numerous glitches will occur. Our company has an extremely complicated hierarchy and it took several calls and Skype meetings with XRS to get it right.

    Currently with approximately 300 relays in operation my dept. fields about 25 to 30 calls per week with XRS problems and the vast majority are driver error. Unless it`s a tablet failure all of these can be corrected with a phone call or using Go to Assist. We have worked closely with our Customer Experience Rep JL, XRS support, and our IT dept. to make our complicated hierarchy flow smoothly.

    We are almost two years into our contract with XRS and we are very satisfied with the product, service, support, and the vast amount of information we are now receiving via the XRS telematics system.

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  11. Reply
    John McNeilly October 20, 2017 at 11:44 am
    4.5
    Add your rating
    90

    We have over 100 units in the field right now. Tied to Verizon tablets and excellent coverage, there are few issues. Of the remaining issues, most are with drivers either not used to elogs and being unsure of what or how to do what comes next. There are also those old-school drivers so used to cheating on paper logs who go into multiple violations and expect us to edit the logs and get them out. Not happening! We explain the situation and advise them to plan better next time.

    We are currently experiencing weird issues in testing beta, but what do you expect with beta? We wouldn’t be using beta at this stage if the DOT had done the one thing they needed to do, decide, develop and distribute the protocols necessary to retrieve and upload driver logs from the device. They expect us fleets to be in place by December 18th 2017 when the one thing they needed to do has yet to be done, and I have my doubts as to whether it will be ready by the date we are required to be using them. THAT’s where our issues are. But otherwise this is a stable, relatively fair priced option with a pretty good interface. We came to elogs in 2013 and went with an earlier Omnitracs offering, XATA. Omnitracs treated us well and that’s why we have stayed with them. I would give them a 9/10 or better, and would not hesitate to partner with them if we were starting out today.

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  12. Reply
    Anonymous October 24, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    I tried it, lots of problems, freezing up when logging in and have to restart to locking up while driving and have to pull over to restart app. I was in beta test my personal conveyance stopped working and had more screen locking up. It forgot my username and I had to reload the program 3 times to get it to work again. It’s junk.

  13. Reply
    Shane Braby November 1, 2017 at 3:19 pm
    4.5
    Add your rating
    90

    We started using the XRS Relay in May 2015 in two of our trucks as a trial run. Since then we have added six more and will add more as needed. This system has proven to be user friendly and easy to manage on the Admin side of things. The Knowledge Base help menu that is included has yet to let me down. Even the most resistant drivers to the technology and ELD Mandate have adapted to the XRS Relay system. There are some occasional Bluetooth connectivity issues between the Android devices and the relay. We have found through trial and error that phones and tablets with phone numbers and data plans are more reliable than a tablet operating on Bluetooth alone. I’m not sure why but that is what we have found. We would like to see Apple and Omnitracs come to some sort of agreement.

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  14. Reply
    Ken Smith November 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm
    5
    Add your rating
    100

    We switched from Trimble dedicated machines to XRS with Samsung Tablets and it has been great. We have had an issue every now and then, but XRS Knowledgebase Help or an email to the Service Dept. has always fixed it in a timely manner.
    We have been using XRS almost 2 years and it has gotten better with the improvements and updates.

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  15. Reply
    Mark Massicotte November 2, 2017 at 7:03 am
    4.5
    Add your rating
    90

    We’ve been using XRS for years now and find it to be overall a good fit. Have had issues from time to time but has been usually been quite reliable. Drivers find it easy to use and management loves the reporting features. Support could be better…sometimes we get back very vague answers(usually a day later). Overall would trust this company over any of the many newcomers that jumped on the bandwagon when ELD’s got mandated. Haven’t had many connection issues. We are beta testing the ELD compliant version and it’s been a very smooth transition with no issues.

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  16. Reply
    Fernando Santos November 15, 2017 at 2:47 pm
    5
    Add your rating
    100

    I started using this system way back before it became Omnitracs XRS.
    It has improved since then. I am happy with the results. looking forward to new additions…

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