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Zonar 2020

6 Total Score
Full featured fleet management, with some cool options

Zonar 2020 has been largely eclipsed by the newer Zonar Connect device. Both share some unique features. The EVIR vehicle inspection system alone makes them worth a look for fleets trying to improve maintenance.

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Up Front Cost Monthly Cost 3-year Total Cost
$0 $70 $2520

  • New and modern
  • EVIR system for vehicle inspections
  • Sturdy display hardware

  • Newer product, still working out some kinks
  • Driver workflow can be confusing
  • Log correction process is awkward and slow

Zonar has been in the business of electronic vehicle inspections for 14 years, but are relative new comers to the world of Hours of Service and ELDs. They launched their electronic logs product in late 2014, running on their android-based proprietary “2020 Tablet”. While ramping up a new technology in a new market segment involves some growing pains, they’ve had some good initial success (including signing Knight Transportation as a major customer).

While not directly related to electronic logs, the feature of Zonar that most catches the eye is their Electronic Verified Inspection Report (EVIR). This is basically an electronic DVIR, with one very cool innovation. Small scannable RFID tags are stuck on the truck and trailer at various inspection locations. In order to complete their vehicle inspection, a driver must take his Zonar device and scan each one of these RFID tags. This makes filling out each part of the inspection easy for the driver, while also ensuring that he/she is actually physically looking at each section of the vehicle requiring inspection. Fleets looking to enforce better Pre and Post-Trip inspections and improve their proactive maintenance get a lot of value from this feature. The EVIR system is available as a stand-alone device, or as an add-on to Zonar’s 2020 ELD system.

Beyond the EVIR system, the 2020 ELD is a product with a lot of potential, but some room for refinement. The interface is modern and sharp, though less tech savvy drivers may find it somewhat unintuitive at first. The tablet hardware is sturdily built, and the touchscreen is fairly accurate and responsive. Some customers complain of early units shipping Dead On Arrival, but the situation was always made right by Zonar support when this occurred. As of our experience, one weak area is the process of making log corrections in the back-office. The process is a little cumbersome for office staff, and the driver’s process for approving edits made to the log is confusing and tedious. But we believe the development team is working to improve this. Being new to the HOS / ELD market, customer support is still growing into its new role. Some representatives did not seem very familiar with trucking or Hours of Service rules. As time goes by though, we believe this will only improve.

A final consideration for some fleets is that installing the device is a rather involved process. It is a fully wired system that prefers to plug into the ECM backbone, rather than the JBUS diagnostic port. For fleets with a constantly changing lineup of Owner Operator or rental trucks, this may be a difficulty, particularly if also using the RFID tags for the EVIR system.

Overall, we have very high hopes for Zonar, and believe we’ll continue to see them refine their product and improve into a top notch solution. Having large customers like Knight on board will only help to drive progress. The solution is somewhat new and the company is a bit green in the HOS arena. But this is already a good ELD product, with the potential to become a great one.

Click to see Specifications


Display Device

Type: Dedicated / Proprietary



Two-way messaging


Engine Info (MPGs, faults, etc)

Drivers can make log corrections

Price per unit

Up-front cost: 0

Monthly cost: 70

3-year Total Cost: 2520


Complies with latest ELD Mandate standards: Not yet

Vendor: Zonar

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  1. Reply
    Anonymous October 13, 2016 at 2:37 pm
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    If I am not mistaken -we were using Zonar in 2005. They have 365/24/7 customer service that is the best we have ever seen, or experienced.

    + PROS: Well thought out by people that know OTR and Pupil Transportation.
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    • Reply
      Sergio fausto June 26, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      Well I was to all this information about the zonar,but after 3 years on the market today still the same no changes no improvement many bugs.

  2. Reply
    Jerry October 11, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Are you units IFTA and IRP compliant ? Are they also registered with the FMCSA

    • Reply
      ELD Ratings October 11, 2017 at 8:59 pm

      Hi Jerry,
      Zonar is self-certified on the FMCSA registry. They have actually released a newer product called “Zonar Connect” that replaces the Zonar 2020 above. We have not yet had the opportunity to review the new device, but if you contact Zonar directly I’m sure they’ll be able to answer your questions about IFTA and IRP features. Thanks, have a good one.

  3. Reply
    Dan October 31, 2017 at 10:40 pm
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    I have had this piece of crap in my truck for 3 weeks now. The zonar 2020 is garbage. The first thing to complain about is the tablet and the tags you have to scan. The tablet doesn’t work in cold weather 27° and colder customer service told me to wrap it in a blanket to keep it warm. Second the tablet and the docking station doesn’t keep the tablet charge. The third thing is the dam thing shuts off and reboots while driving down the road. Which means you have to stop and pull out the zonar card then plug your pin number in and then start driving again. Which is a waste of time. I will be removing the zonar from my truck and will spend extra money on people net at least they are easier to get answers from and diagnosed the problem quicker than the run around at zonar. Should have never left people net.

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  4. Reply
    Bruce November 14, 2017 at 9:44 am

    “Some kinks”? That’s funny.
    1. Scanning the “buttons” for Pre/Post-trips, good luck with that. You practically have to rub the scanner on the button to get them to read it. BTW: no where in the ELD Mandate does it say you have to “scan” your Pre/Post-trips.
    2. Correcting logs when a mistake has been made? If you go to off duty status and the Zonar system fails to recognize the change, you can be off for your 10 hour or 34 hour break and get back into your CMV and log in to find out you have been On-duty for the past several hours or days. You can make a correction to the log, but with Zonar, you have to wait until it gets “Management Review” before the changes take effect. Now mind you, leaving at 2:00am isn’t going to get done for several hours. BTW:No where in the ELD Mandate does it say Management has to review the drivers changes, but it does say drivers have to approve any changes made by management.
    3. CoPilot— WTH: I have a GPS unit I use in my truck, this CoPilot navigation system is a dangerous driver distraction problem. Going thru a city like Chicago, Detroit, Lansing, Toledo, etc. etc. and having to stop for any reason, the CoPilot pops up on the screen bright white, blinding you to what may be in front of you. Yes, there is a way of making the entire screen go blank, but the have a “babysitter” in side this little box telling me when to take a break or when I’m in violation, I want to see this thing at all times. If Zonar does not arrange a way for the Drivers to disable this option, I will be filling a formal complaint with the powers that be.

  5. Reply
    Just another driver December 10, 2017 at 12:38 am
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    As far as an ELD, it’s fine. BUT Zonar is so determined to keep me safe that they really turn this tablet into a piece of junk! If they would just let us as drivers decide what we can and can’t do with the tablet, it would be a whole lot better. They weren’t even intelligent enough to put an auto day/night feature for the display so we have to constantly change it manually. As soon as the vehicle moves the screen locks and gets so dim you can’t even read it. The dim part doesn’t really matter because they won’t let anything show on the screen while the vehicle is motion anyway. We have to come to a complete stop before it will unlock so we can change our duty status and half the time it won’t unlock then so we have to fight with the thing to get out of drive status. I have complained to Zonar several times with no success. Any of the people I have talked to at Zonar don’t seem to know as much about the device as I do. They sell you the tablet and when you get it you find out any of the extra features you have to pay extra for. Navigation, Text, Pre-Trip Inspection etc.

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  6. Reply
    Ray Smith December 12, 2017 at 9:58 am
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    Not what we thought we were getting that s for sure. No IFTA ability reporting, and tablets are junk. some great ideas but they don’t work and they don’t finish them so functions work in accordance with mandate.

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