The HOS Mandate 2019 is already in effect. This means most of you truck drivers and fleet owners operators out there are reaching out to get the best ELD devices available. Of course one of them, together with Keep Truckin ELD is Big Road ELD, make sure you check these reviews!
But remember, being hasty about making such a purchase isn’t the smartest thing to do. Especially when it is something you use to create your daily logs, maintain your data, and during inspections. If you are someone who gives concern to where his money goes, then you’re in the right place.
Big Road DashLink provides the perfect ELD device solution for all commercial drivers and fleet owners. The Big Road ELD device is reliable and versatile to cater to all your electronic logging needs. So you won’t ever have to go through paperwork again.
The Big Road DashLink ELD Device – At a Glance
The Big Road DashLink is a quick, easy and affordable way to make compliant engine-connected logs. It can be switched between vehicles and drivers, and there is no upfront hardware cost.
Similarly, you can record driver duty status, driver availability, and vehicle drive time automatically, prevent HOS violations. Also, you don’t really need an in-cab printer or other accessories of that sort to go with your Big Road ELD device. It can be easily installed to generate inspection ready logs, instantly.
This page will provide a complete review of the Big Road ELD and Big Road DashLink for all those who believe in making an informed purchase. We will give you a detailed overview of all its aspects. Including usage, accessibility, benefits, and drawbacks so you can make a perfect choice yourself.
What Makes the Big Road ELD Device the Best Option for Me?
If you’re someone who needs a simple, user-friendly device which complies with all the latest HOS regulations, then this device is perfect for you.
Especially if you’re a first-time user, you’ll be surprised how easy this is to use. It won’t take you more than three minutes to install it. This is great for short-term leased vehicles and owner-operated fleets. This way, taking the device out and shifting it on another vehicle will be a breeze.
Furthermore, the device offers a range of commendable features as well. Such as two-way messaging, GPS tracking, and the latest updates on HOS compliance policies. Also, the Big Road DashLink is designed to work under extreme temperatures and conditions. It’s durable enough to endure impacts, and very cold or hot temperatures.
Any negative side?
Honestly, this device may not be suitable for fleets who are looking for a full-featured high-end telematics solution complete with rich ROI possibilities.
Namely, it does not have idling reports, MPG and engine fault codes, DVR tracking and alerts, Macros/Workflow, and other such advanced management features.
Nevertheless, the device works flawlessly with all the features it is equipped with, which is enough to get most drivers and fleet owners through their logging hassles.
We all know that the trucking industry is on a roll lately. All sorts of new amendments and regulations are being introduced, which can get confusing.
Advantages and Disadvantages
However, this solution is tested and designed to comply with all the rules and help you follow them effectively. To make things easier for you, here’s a list of the basic pros and cons for the Big Road DashLink, before we dive into further details.
Big Road ELD Device Features & Reviews
|Price||Hardware Rating||E-Log App Rating||Fleet App Rating||Support Rating|
|$ 25 per month, $1440 per year||4 / 5||4.5 / 5||4 / 5||3.8 / 5|
Big Road DashLink ELD Device – the Perfect Choice
There, we said it. Obviously, the question bothering you right now, is why? The long list of products offering all kinds of features is enough to baffle even the most experienced drivers and fleet owners.
Below, we have compiled the undeniable warrant and data to back our claim. Check out the features on the Big Road ELD Device and DashLink in detail to see for yourself.
A Pioneer in the Field
We started back in 2012. Back then, Big Road was one of the first electronic logbook apps at that time, which was available on the App Store.
Since then, the innovative minds at our company have made sure that truck drivers and fleet owners who operate it are happy and satisfied. The Big Road DashLink App is free to download. But there is a fee for each person who can access the data, whether a dispatcher or driver.
The Dashlink connects to a truck’s diagnostic port and sends information back to the Big Road App automatically. It has a separate monthly fee. Still, Big Road’s E-log App and Dashlink ELD provide a good solution at a fair price when used together if you want to be compliant with 2019’s ELD Mandate.
Our extensive research has shown us that Big Road’s e-log app has a rating of 4.5 - one of the highest ratings. While it is there for all to see that other similar brands score only up to 4-star ratings. This makes it one of the most popular electronic logbooks available to truck drivers at present.
Moreover, the app is compatible with IOS and Android devices and can be downloaded absolutely free from the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.
We think the reason why it always gets good ratings from commercial drivers is that the app is easy to use and simple to learn. You can check out the hundreds of downloads which make that evident.
Not only can you use it as a stand-alone app, but also pair it with Big Road’s Dashlink ELD, to make it more effective. The device sends information back from the engine to the app. Managers or owners of all small fleets should consider this device when switching over to e-logs since it is already popular among many drivers.
The user-friendly app keeps it simple, offering basic functions. These include, easy to view Recap hours, HOS time remaining display, E-logs that you can edit on the go, and many more.
Getting to the interface, the big button at the top left of the screen allows drivers to set their current status, and most users love this function.
However, apart from the core features, the other functions it supports are somewhat feeble. Although the map display does provide satellite imagery, night view, and traffic, all its other purposes are more or less decorative.
On the plus side, the two-direction messaging works flawlessly, enabling drivers to communicate via text with dispatchers and other company drivers.
You can start a new chat, upload documents that can be sent to dispatch or anyone else via email. Also, you can check in your current location and send email alerts right off your messaging screen.
Popular Stand-Alone App
Big Road is a popular stand-alone app to keep logs on phones. More recently, the company has added ELD hardware that allows the app to connect to the data of the truck engine.
This system is a simple, well-priced, and user-friendly option. It doesn’t have too many functions, but easy-to-use log compliance is insured.
It works with any Apple or Android phone or tablet like many BYOD options – all you need to do is install the free app.
There is no upfront cost. Unless you choose to set up some sort of mounting hardware to attach the device to your dashboard. You’ll need an Apple or Android mobile device with a data plan as well.
Besides that, you can connect the device to the vehicle and pair it with your Big Road Mobile App via Bluetooth. The switch between DashLink equipped and non-DashLink equipped vehicles is seamless.
Moreover, you can probably get a free device with a service contract and a basic data plan for around fifteen dollars a month. This is what makes Big Road one of the most affordable options on the market right now.
ELD Driver Card and Malfunction Guide
If you’re a newbie, you need to have access to a copy of this card to get through any hassles effortlessly. It gives you clear, step by step guides about how to use the DashLink. Also, it offers instructions on how to carry out a roadside inspection using DashLink. Also, it has the pointers you’ll need during some common malfunctions as well.
It’s easy to download the copy from the official website of the producer or request a laminated card be sent to you.
Apart from that, you can also download a guide from the website to learn how to install your DashLink DL-200 ELD in your vehicle and link it to the Big Road Mobile App. You don’t need to have a printed copy of this guide in your vehicle. But it might be a good idea to save it to your mobile device so that you can easily access it if needed.
The ultimate goal of the app is simple. But it does have some nice extra features, such as a Google map showing traffic and location. You can also install a separate app for navigation.
The Big Road app also enables basic two-way messaging between the office and driver. The driver can view their upcoming recap hours easily and print, email, or fax their logs from the device.
In addition, drivers can certify that an inspection was done and comment on any defects via a basic inspection form.
Website for Fleet Managers
The dashboard/web app may look like it was designed years ago. But the user experience is actually pretty good, even though the interface is definitely dated.
The web dashboard, like the Big Road e-log mobile app, is straightforward, providing the basic tools of fleet management. The dashboard gives fleet owners, managers, and dispatchers real-time GPS location and tracking for all vehicles equipped with Big Road.
The web app also lets dispatchers receive and send messages from each fleet driver using Big Road’s E-log App.
If you’re using the Big Road App, you don’t need to be concerned during an inspection. That's because there are multiple tools at your disposal to produce logs from the device, including fax, email, and print.
In the end, simply sign off on the inspection form to certify that an inspection was done and comment on any deficiencies.
Accessible Installation and Usage
The Dashlink is a self-installed, plug n’ play Electronic Logging Device. The compact device is connected to a vehicle’s JBUS diagnostic port by means of an adapter.
BigRoad ELD will provide the correct cable to connect the device, usually a 6-pin or 9-pin plug. This depends on the make and model of the vehicle. It does not have 3g wireless connectivity itself.
Data is sent to the Big Road E-log App via Bluetooth. There is no other hardware provided by Big Road – that’s what BYOD stands for (“Bring Your Own Device”) – see above for clarifications.
Users can download the E-log App that the engine data is transferred back to from the ELD can be downloaded on any Android or Apple device. This gives fleet managers and owner-operators plenty of flexibility and options.
The company has an access fee per month, but the charge is not on the app itself, which is free. Big Road costs $15 per driver or office for one month of access.
However, you can easily change this mobile app into a complete electronic logging device. You just need to pay $10 per truck per month for the Big Road Dashlink ELD. Upon that you can achieve full functionality, according to the regulations.
The final cost amounts to $25 per month per truck plus the price of the mounting device, which is charged only once.
This makes it a relatively well-priced option at $25 per truck per month. The amount is liable to increase if you have many people looking at the data on another end. That’s because the access fees will apply in that situation, on per person basis.
Additional Features And Market Comparison
One of the more pleasant features of the Big Road dashboard is the report showing miles traversed per state for the aims of IFTA reporting.
On the low side, it lacks some features that other high-end ELD devices have. These include engine diagnostic fault codes, downtime reports, miles per gallon (MPG) and DVIR alerts.
Although these features do little to add to the main logging function of an ELD, they are great for managing large fleets and effective fuel control, etc. Apart from that, if you need a device which does its job properly to the optimum level, then the Big Road DashLink ELD is the one for you.
Disadvantages of Big Road DashLink ELD Device
As every product ever created, the Big Road DashLink has some faults as well. However, they do not make it any less productive as an ELD device. But the choice totally depends on the user’s needs, expertise, and budget. Let’s take a look at them for an honest representation of the product.
Constant Phone Charging
Your Big Road ELD device will run smoothly when connected to your smartphone through Bluetooth until you get that low battery notification. Obviously, all mobile phones tend to lose some of their connectivity when the battery goes down, especially when you’re on the go.
Consequently, you will have to keep your phone plugged in for charging at all times while operating the DashLink ELD. If your phone is fully charged the Bluetooth connection will work to its optimum level, and your device will run properly.
That’s not much of a problem if you’re prone to keeping your phone fully charged at all times. Or, if your smartphone has never faced any overheating or overcharging problems. Other than that, if you have a smartphone which doesn’t retain charge well, then you might face problems with your overall ELD operation.
One Device at a Time
Well, the above-mentioned notion doesn’t mean that you cannot connect the Big Road ELD to two devices at a time. Actually, it will easily pair up with more than one device, but that will affect its overall working.
It’s favorable that you sign in to the Big Road DashLink app one device at a time. For instance, if you’re connected on both your tablet and cell, the DashLink will try to connect to both. This way, it will cease to work properly on both devices in functions such as driver location and status logging.
However, if you don’t need to sign in to two devices at once, and logging your HOS on one device works fine for you, then this isn’t a problem for you at all.
Final Words for Big Road ELD Reviews
Now that you have all the details and in-depth information about the Big Road ELD, we need not say anything further!
The BigRoad DashLink ELD is an affordable, simple and functional solutions. It’s not very fancy, but it does make it possible to have log compliance at a price anyone can pay. However, if you or your fleet need a better return on Investment or full-featured telematics, you would probably need to keep looking. There are much better options out there for such clients.
Generally, this device is a low-cost, entry-level option for owners and managers of small fleets who want to stay compliant with the ELD Mandate. Learn the ropes, and potentially upgrade to a better, more full-featured system based on the experience. Alternatively, you can just stay with this trusty device throughout your trucking career, and it will serve you well.
Wrapping this up, all we have to say is the best ELD device for you is not the most expensive one with a sparkly package of features. It’s the one that fits your needs precisely without stretching your budget. So choose wisely and drive safe!