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


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

CONS:
  • 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

Specification

Display Device

Type: Dedicated

Features

DVIR

Two-way messaging

Navigation

Engine Info (MPGs, faults, etc)

Price per unit

Up-front cost: 0

Monthly cost: 70

3-year Total Cost: 2520

General

Transmits logs to DOT via: Telematics (Email / Web Services)

Vendor: Zonar

19 Comments
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  1. Reply
    Anonymous October 13, 2016 at 2:37 pm
    4
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    80

    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.
    Helpful(7) Unhelpful(1)You have already voted this
    • 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
    0.5
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    10

    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
    0.5
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    10

    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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    10

    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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  7. Reply
    Dav January 17, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Zonar ELD is slow in loading and can’t find exact location or keep fetching for location too long
    Rate = 0

  8. Reply
    Anonymous January 24, 2018 at 5:28 pm
    1
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    20

    Poorly made, freezes up so you’re not allowed to update status. Touch screen is a joke. Losing valuable time because of this tablet. This is my second tablet in thirty days, expecting a third. Poor customer service

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  9. Reply
    Trucker Lady February 6, 2018 at 9:57 am
    0.5
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    10

    Product is below average. Freezes constantly. AND, don’t even get me started on their customer service! If I could give negative stars, I definitely would. Eric Seymour is the absolute worst, shadiest person I’ve dealt with in any company. He’s rude and a liar. Avoid at all costs—pun intended.

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  10. Reply
    Richard Murray February 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm
    0.5
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    10

    The company skimped on quality. The touch screen at best is poor, unable to read in daylight, poor response to touch. I have a $30 tablet which is superior in quality compared to this junk. The company failed in designing a useful tool for the driver, software is poor.

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  11. Reply
    Truckered February 22, 2018 at 7:35 pm
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    10

    Slow… you waste so much time waiting for the device to change status you could gain a 14 minute extra break every day.
    If I was in charge of purchasing I would never use this devise.

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  12. Reply
    L Jenning February 25, 2018 at 5:17 pm
    0.5
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    10

    1- The z-log crashes 3or 4 times a day.
    2- The gps drops connection, I have to type in my location and mileage at most stops.
    3- The unit won’t scan the pods without contacting the unit to the podmultiple times…not fun during a storm.
    4- The system freezes up when changing duty status.
    5- Screen locks the driver out when moving, can’t see when we need to stop for a break without pulling off the road.
    6- Only charges when truck is running. Battery in unit is dead after 34hr restart. Can’t unplug unit to scan pods for pretrip with a dead battery.
    8- Unit don’t work or charge below freezing. We can’t work because it’s cold out?!
    9- Customer service is horrible. I’ve called about all these issues and was told multiple times “it’s operator error”. Getting service is a joke…isn’t there a part of the mandate that states repairs must be done in 8 days? Is Zonar going to pay for the drivers violations because of the lack of service?

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  13. Reply
    Anonymous March 12, 2018 at 5:42 pm
    0.5
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    10

    This software is terrible. This hardware is terrible. Customer service is atrocious. Save yourself the hassle.

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  14. Reply
    Jack April 21, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Have replace tablet 3times,both wiring harnesses and gps unit twice, might work for a while,maybe not , tablet locks up, location of towns may be 50 miles away,looses signal and have put town name and milage in manually, my 80.00 dollar gps knows where it’s at and doesn’tlose signal. Now they say it’s the truck, they want to cut into the main wiring harness at the ECU ,not happening. Was sold on easy operatingtablet and key pad, can’t see the tablet unless stopped and push return button or hope screen,then comes the so- called inspection process, after scan and enter your pin number if it works, take the tablet out of cradle and it goes dead, if it does work,you can’t get the scan buttons to work,try this in a northern climate , was sold as a scanner,but have to rub or tap it. I could go on and on about this unit, just not as it was represented to us as stated from the beginning.

  15. Reply
    Alejandra Harvey May 16, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    If I could give this company a zero I would. Was very excited to get the products, received everything installed and then we had tremendous issues w the cords trucks dying etc. Reached out to customer service didn’t hear back for over 2 months!!! Finally was switched to a new person another month later. I went ahead and uninstalled everything and asked for a cancellation due to terrible customer support and malfunctioning in equipment and they refuse to cancel or reimburse me. You would think in a good faith effort of being a great business they would cancel the contract or even send someone to help and it’s a small contract!!! But they refuse and have even had their lawyers send me an email explaining that they don’t intend to help in any way and will hold me to my monthly pavement even though I am not even using their products anymore. Terrrrrrible company do not recommend!

  16. Reply
    Anonymous June 10, 2018 at 1:12 pm
    0.5
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    10

    Would add a reply, but all the negative comments above are exactly true .This system has so many problems I would advise no one to purchase until all problems are resolved and I am not sure that’s possible .

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  17. Reply
    Dave July 10, 2018 at 9:48 pm
    4
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    80

    I havent had a issue with my Zonar yet but the CoPilot needs some serious updating

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