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The 395.15 and 395.16 component to the regulation require engine connectivity which most cell phone applications do not have. There are exceptions, such as Xata Turnpike which uses an application on the handset paired with a device (Route Tracker) tied to the engine.
The Qualcomm MCP device is only one measuring stick for unit price. There are other devices on the market, such as XATA Turnpike, which only has a monthly service fee of $35/truck/month with no equipment costs (the equipment for the Route Tracker is built into the monthly service fee). This particular solution requires a cell phone and a data plan which many drivers and fleets already have.
It is likely that EOBR vendors will produce a ‘log only’ version, however this can miss out on many of the ROI factors that a fleet management solution can bring (increased fuel efficiency, navigation, trip reporting, black box reporting for accident reconstruction, driver scorecards and better adherence to the spotlight that CSA brings to the forefront).
The market for EOBR providers is more comprehensive than the original post suggests – today this industry is extremely fragmented. While Qualcomm has had a dominant market share on-board communications, it can be argued there are more units from other vendors running e-logging applications. Other vendors in this space include Cadec, CarrierWeb, DriverTech, International Telematics, JJ Keller, PeopleNet, PeopleNet, Safefreight, Teletras, TransCore, Trimble, WebTech Wireless, XATA, Zonar.
All vendors in this space will need to make changes to both hardware and software to be compliant with 395.16 regulations and it can be difficult to understand what solutions are compliant with what regulations (e.g. 395.15 vs 395.16). It is likely more vendors will come to market if the expansion of 395.16 reaches to all ERODs based trucks.
These vendor companies offer a Fleet Management System (FMS) of which EOBR functionality is a component. In some cases there are modules that are specific to a regulation such as Hours of Service of IFTA filing, but a majority of systems are focused around fleet management, not just Hours of Service. If the NPRM passes, it’s probable that FMS vendors will offer a logs only solution.
Before this consideration of a mandate for EOBRs, firms needed to see an ROI from a system before buying. Paper work reduction is one ROI, but most fleets see much bigger return from increased fuel efficiency, management of driver’s time, fuel tax reporting automation, better asset utilization, and safety and compliance tracking. Removing a paper log book can help companies prove to their shipper… more »
Links to other vendors (This is NOT a complete list!!)
XATA offers XATANET: (http://www.xata.com/fleet-management-solutions/xatanet-enterprise-fleet-management/) and XATA Turnpike (http://www.xata.com/fleet-management-solutions/xata-turnpike-enterprise-fleet-management/), PeopleNet: http://www.peoplenetonline.com/, Qualcomm: http://www.qualcomm.com/qes/ – MCP110 and MCP200 lines, Teletrac: http://www.teletrac.net/, DriverTech: http://www.drivertech.com/, Cadec Global: http://www.cadec.com/, JJ Keller Encompass: http://www.kellerencompass.com/, Zonar: http://www.zonarsystems.com/, CarrierWeb (http://www.carrierweb.com/), Trimble: http://www.trimble.com/gps-fleet-tracking/.
There are many more, and there will be new entrants to the market as the standards are set.
The FMCSA’s Cost Analysis (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/final/On-Board-Recorders-for-HOS-Compliance.aspx) notes that “The least expensive device that satisfies the requirements of the rule was found to be the RouteTracker sold by Turnpike Global” (The Turnpike offering is from XATA).
If companies don’t see an ROI they won’t use the technology. While the cost justification component focuses in on the log component, a broader view of the FMS systems can show a more complete picture.
From our experience, trucking companies are looking to get the most out of their EOBRs, and expect them to last at least the length of their trade cycle for the vehicle. Considering this can be 5-7 years, 10 years may be on the long end of the cycle. Most warranties from the major vendors EOBR vendors are 3 years although I’ve seen some as high as 7, and as low as 1.
That being said, as it sits today, if you buy an EOBR today that is 395.15 compliant, it will be grandfathered into the 395.16 program until 2014, at which point you will need a 395.16 compliant device. If you buy a truck after June 4, 2012 that device must be 395.16 compliant (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.aspx?reg=395.16… more »
Another consideration is the speed of which new Fleet Management Systems (FMS) will adapt new hardware technologies. We have seen mobile phones go simple phones to computer desktop replacements in less than 2 years. Using 10 year old technology may not bring the same business benefits as a newer FMS.
At Xata we see benefits to the use of e-logs daily. Here’s 20 reasons:
1. Paper work time savings: it’s simply a pain to keep track of paper logs. XATA often sees 15 to 30 minute improvements in time for filling out the logs in the proper form and manner.
2. Convenience: electronic logs are easier to use than paper through the level of automation provided.
3. Added time in a day: A minimum stop for paper log is 15 minutes; electronic logs can get down to the minute for an accurate stop. If you do many stops in the day, your drive time increases.
4. Detention billing: EOBRs as part of a performance management solution, especially if industry wide, give proof to location and time spent at a shipper’s yard. The biggest criticism to an EOBR is a driver having to start their day… more »
Trucks that are purchased before June 4, 2012 using a 395.15 compliant device can use that device for the life of the vehicle compared to just 2014. Also, the devices must be 395.16 compliant (not 395.15) after June 4, 2012.
It sounds like you’re talking about an alternative EOBR, one that is not part of a Fleet Management System. Is that right? FMCSA is interested in collecting data about the availability and cost of EOBRs. Do you have any links that you could share with information about other devices on the market (like the XATA Turnpike)?
This is a great comment with a lot of useful information that FMCSA is looking for.
What do other users think about ryanbarnett’s comment? If a logs-only EOBR were offered, would trucking companies be interested in purchasing this?
thank you moderators for this opportunity to voice our opinions and to those who set up the regulation room, thank you as well.