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VDO RoadLog Plus

4.5 Total Score
Built in printer. For smaller fleets.

The original VDO RoadLog is designed for owner operators and very small fleets. The new "Plus" version brings changes to support somewhat larger fleets. But the features are still pretty thin given the up-front price tag.

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Up Front Cost Monthly Cost 3-year Total Cost
$700 $20 $1420


PROS:
  • Built in log printer
  • Stable hardware
  • Relatively inexpensive overall

CONS:
  • “Plus” is a new, untried product
  • Not many telematics features, for the price
  • Substantial up front hardware cost


VDO RoadLog Plus is the brand new generation of Continental’s regular RoadLog product. The older product is designed almost exclusively for individual owner operators and very small fleets (just a few trucks). It is a stand alone unit that does not communicate with the back office. Driver’s must put their logs onto a USB stick and hand them to office staff in person to load into the back office software. This works well for an individual driver, or two or three trucks that return to home base frequently. But of course the by-hand transfer process quickly becomes unmanageable for larger fleets.

To address the needs of larger carriers, Continental is releasing RoadLog Plus. This device has cell capability so it can communicate with the back office to send logs and other data over the air. It runs on the same RoadLog device as the older product, which is well respected and reliable. It will also continue to have the built-in thermal printer that allows a driver to quickly print off a paper log during a roadside inspection.

The RoadLog plus, like its predecessor, is designed mostly for simplicity; so its telematics features are limited. It does logs, DVIRs, GPS tracking, and IFTA mileage reporting. Future versions may include messaging and engine diagnostics, but those features are still in development. It does not provide any options for GPS navigation or document scanning. Drivers cannot at this time edit their own logs, or email them from the device. Back office tools and reports are available, but fairly basic. The updated product is just now hitting the market, but it seem to have a long way to go before it is compliant with all the new ELD specifications (data transfer methods, driver edit capabilities, etc.)

So, without many bells and whistles, the focus here is clearly on simplicity and affordability. That said, while the recurring service cost of $20/mo is on the lower side, the up front hardware cost is still around $700. That initial cost seems more in line with full telematics platforms like the Omnitracs MCP 50, not a simple compliance device aimed at smaller fleets.

Overall, the RoadLog Plus is built on solid, reliable hardware, and it has the potential to grow into a nice ELD system in the coming years. But for now the Plus is too new to feel confident about. There is a lot of work to be done before its features can compete with its other hard-wired competitors like Omnitracs, Peoplenet and Rand McNally. At this price point, we’d expect a little more bang for the buck, but we’re interested to keep an eye on the product as it comes of age in 2017.

Click to see Specifications

Specification

Display Device

Type: Dedicated / Proprietary

Features

DVIR

IFTA

Price per unit

Up-front cost: 700

Monthly cost: 20

3-year Total Cost: 1420

General

Complies with latest ELD Mandate standards: Not yet

Vendor: Continental

7 Comments
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  1. Reply
    Rich March 15, 2017 at 2:17 pm
    2
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    40

    Currently using one unit on a trial basis. Sales rep has been fantastic. We did run into one system problem that we are waiting on an answer. Apparently our unit did not handle split sleeper birth correctly (per our driver) it appears the unit did not give credit for a 2 hour break when then driver then took an eight hour break giving him the required ten hours off to restart his driving time. The unit indicated driver still had two hours to remain off duty after his eight hours.

    Also we could not find any help screens on how to edit the logs if driver made an incorrect entry. The screen size also was a little small for our liking.

    Helpful(8) Unhelpful(3)You have already voted this
  2. Reply
    Rich April 8, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Must apologize, I was working with bad information from my safety department. We have been misunderstanding the way the split sleeper birth provision works since its inception. We were telling drivers that the clock would start over after they completed the second break (2/8 or 8/2) which gave them 10 total hours. Thus we assumed the VDO Roadlog was not capturing the data correctly.

    Again with my tell between my leg, I should have researched this issue further before my incorrect post. Learned a valuable lesson not to trust everything you hear without first investigating yourself.

    Understanding the split sleeper provision correctly now, our trial of the VDO Road log functioned as advertised and I would recommend it to other carriers in their search for a ELD solution

    • Reply
      ELD Ratings April 10, 2017 at 7:42 am

      Hi Rich, thanks for clarifying. The 8/2 split rule is certainly complicated, and its a source of confusion for lots of people. Thanks for the updated info!

  3. Reply
    Stel June 14, 2017 at 8:41 am
    0.5
    Add your rating
    10

    At this moment I do not recommend to go for it.
    After using it almost 3 weeks. Observing device behaviour. Testing transfer data between device-back office, info on portal, transfer, speed of device reaction on live,etc.
    I have concluded that it is somehow over-engineered, not quite friendly user.
    The sad part it is that they DO NOT want to accept returns.
    So. If you plan to spend 700-800$ , and concluding that it is not the right option for you. Feel free to buy it.

    Helpful(4) Unhelpful(4)You have already voted this
  4. Reply
    Bobby Z July 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm
    0.5
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    10

    I tried one of these for 2 weeks and I concur with STEL’S review above. The support was great but unit interface seemed like Windows 95 tech. For a company that has the market in Europe I would have expected from Continental.

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  5. Reply
    Joe White July 14, 2017 at 2:20 pm
    5
    Add your rating
    100

    I have been using Roadlog for months and I love it! If you know the law then this is the device to own! I believe Roadlog with its print out get me through DOT.

    Thanks
    Joe

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  6. Reply
    Laurin Owens October 24, 2017 at 12:37 pm
    0.5
    Add your rating
    10

    Customer Technical support is a joke, have been trying to set this system up for five days. Calls go to eternal hold then hang up, emails get no response.

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