Samsara ELD$99 + $33 monthly fee
Ease of Use7.8/10
Suitable for fleets7.1/10
Features & Technology7.4/10
- Comparatively easy to use
- A modern and intuitive design
- “Plug and Play” hardware
- Easy to install
- 24/7 U.S.-based phone support service
- When being used on a tablet, the driver app sometimes freezes
- The durability of the actual hardware leaves something to be desired
- Some users have claimed that it drops its data connection
- Lose connection may result in loss of data entries
Are you interested in buying a new electronic logging device for your commercial truck? Many drivers are looking to buy an ELD lately. And, they always want the best one to meet their needs. But, it is hard to decide which one is right for your trip and which is not.
Samsara ELD is quickly emerging as a new player in the ELD device industry. Samsara is already competing with other major players like Rand McNally and Garmin, with only a few years of existence. Given that most buyers, especially commercial truck drivers, are looking for an affordable ELD device that can fully comply with federal regulations and has additional benefits like connectivity to smartphone apps, Samsara has become an instant choice in the industry.
I must say that the buzz surrounding the Samsara ELD device seems to be both well-deserved and completely understandable.
In this Samsara ELD device review, we will talk about Samsara ELD’s pros, cons, cost, app, and features.
- Why Samsara ELD Device?
- A Bit of History
- Samsara ELD Tools and Technology
- Notable Features of Samsara ELD
- Why is it Convenient?
- New Features os Samsara
- Customer Support
- User Review
- Final Take for Samsara ELD
Why Samsara ELD Device?
With all the choices out there, why would you buy a Samsara ELD? The Samsara Electronic Logging Device is a reasonably new hour of Service mandate compliance device in the world of professional transportation companies, particularly those with larger fleets of vehicles.
This ELD device is considered one of the most versatile electronic logging devices available on the market right now. When it comes to hours of service, electronic logging devices (ELDs) are a blessing for professional drivers. One of the most flexible ELDs out there is the Samsara ELD. This device was created with a mission that was “Easy on Truckers, Easy on Compliance.” Their capabilities include but are not limited to:
- GPS tracking
- Real-time vehicle location and speed alerts
- Idle time detection
- Trip replay options
- Vehicle maintenance remindersDriver behavior monitoring and reporting
Basically, the Samsara ELD is the ultra-cool new kid who just moved into the corner and has all the latest cool stuff that all the other neighborhood kids want. It’s sleek, comes in both hard-wired and Bluetooth versions (for flexibility’s sake), and is affordable.
A Bit of History
Samsara ELD was founded in 2015. Almost immediately, Samsara began helping trucking companies advance at an astounding rate by enhancing the efficiency and company safety issues inherent in their inner function and practices.
In short, Samsara has been innovating and improving in the ELD technology industry for seven years. All this while, they have built up a stellar reputation for quality services and fine-tuned their technological goals as a company.
Samsara ELD Tools and Technology
It is a well-known fact that new ELD devices are packed with capabilities and tools that focus on enhancing the safety and efficiency of the fleet’s vehicle. However, despite the challenges this presents, Samsara still manages to save the client money on costs.
From transportation and logistics firms to food production and transportation businesses to even construction companies, ELD systems are a must. The Samsara ELD will not only save you money in comparison to its many competitors, but it will still manage to provide access to the best possible sensor data for your vehicle fleet.
Between the ELD hardware and office tools, you’ll be getting a proven solution that will increase your company’s efficiency.
What would a product review be without a comprehensive pro vs. cons list? Entirely one-sided, that is what it would be.
So we will start with a list of positive feedback associated with the Samsara ELD.
- Comparatively easy to use
- A modern and intuitive design
- “Plug and Play” hardware
- Easy to install
- 24/7 U.S.-based phone support service
- No need to install complex software, ever
- Sealable and secure
- For fleets numbering up to 10,000 vehicles
- Custom hierarchies
- Goes far beyond basic, simple logging
- Makes everyday management tasks easier
- Makes planning for your fleet a snap
- Comprehensive hardware portfolio
- Many, many other features to explore
In the interest of fairness and full disclosure, here is a list of cons or drawbacks commonly reported among the company’s customers.
Some of them seem to directly contradict certain aspects of the Pros list, but this is a samsara ELD review, and we are in pursuit of objectivity, after all.
Here are some of the problems users experienced with Samsara.
- When being used on a tablet, the samsara ELD driver app sometimes freezes.
- The durability of the actual hardware leaves something to be desired. Although Samara is excellent about replacing defective units, or units that have ceased to function, some clients report that this is far too frequent an occurrence.
- While Samsara claims that its ELD system is designed never to lose its connection, some users have claimed that it does drop its data connection, and frequently.
- Lose connection may result in loss of data entries, random and “odd” data changes to existing entries and even the spontaneous creation of entirely new data entries that never existed at all before the connection dropped.
- Samsara’s contract is reported to be inflexible and heavily bent in favor of the company as opposed to the client.
- Finally, clients have reported a plethora of issues surrounding video retrieval. These issues range from extremely time-consuming processes for identifying and retrieving videos for specific periods and locations, to the fact that only one minute of video can be downloaded at a time, resulting in a waiting period of several hours for complete videos to be ready for viewing by the client.
- GPS tracking reports have been found to lack insignificant detail.
Notable Features of Samsara ELD
The Samsara ELD is distinguished by a number of distinctive features that set it apart from the competition. The features are as follows.
The Samsara ELD is certified by FMCSA (The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) to meet all requirements. I don’t know about you, but that seems somewhat essential to me.
However, Samsara goes beyond standard compliance; the device offers features that surpass simple e-log to provide data that helps to streamline the fleet’s business operations. The device offered by Samsara retails for half the price of its competitors, but it has more features than most other products in its class
Dispatch and Routing Features
With the Samsara ELD, fleet routing and dispatching is an absolute breeze. The app has a ton of features that make managing a large fleet incredibly simple, and it’s obvious to see why customers are so happy with this aspect of the app.
Samsara is superb with fleet management, and there is no need to call drivers to find out their exact locations. The Samsara gives real-time locations on all vehicles at any given time. Similarly, fleet managers will be able to share their “live tracking” with their drivers when and if needed.
However, some clients have reported issues surrounding these features, which we covered pretty extensively in this review’s ‘Cons’ section.
A unique feature of the Samsara ELD is that, unlike its leading competitors, it actually provides in-cab Wi-Fi hotspots for drivers who have the Samsara ELD unit attached to their vehicles. The device comes with 500Mb of data per month, per individual vehicle.
And this wildly convenient feature serves multiple purposes, one of which is improving the productivity of drivers by encouraging them to use mobile productivity apps, such as CRM, Work Order, HD video, and messaging and email apps specific to their company. Drivers can even take advantage of the Wi-Fi connection to download and update new apps without using up their mobile data plan.
But what if your drivers don’t have smartphones? No problem: The Samsara ELD tablet has 4G connectivity built right into it. You can buy additional tablets for your drivers at a reasonable price per month.
They’re an ELD tool and an advanced safety feature of the Samsara product. Dashcams are equivalent to having “computer vision” or even “artificial intelligence” aboard each one of your vehicles.
Samsara hardware includes dual-facing HD dash cams and also features a front-facing HD dashcam. These samsara eld cameras are capable of catching every nuance of any possible incident of interest or concern and uploading it directly (and automatically) to the cloud storage. Thus making these cams extremely important, for several reasons.
One reason is that the Samsara dash cams can capture essential incident footage. And therefore, it helps in eliminating the problems of hazy human memories, he-said-she-said debates, and suspicious-sounding stories involving accidents or other occurrences in question involving employees and company assets.
The Function of the DashCams
The cams allow owner-operators and fleet managers to review footage involving near-misses and suspected dangerous driving behavior and track collations if and when necessary.
The dash cams can even automatically detect and tag signs of distracted driver behavior, which ultimately go a long way toward a dramatic reduction in the frequency of accidents. However, life is random and shocking, and accidents are bound to occur from time to time.
And when they do, Samsara’s HD dual dash cams are handy tools throughout the accident investigation process. The cams help identify the responsible party so they can be held accountable.
Just be prepared for the process to take some time, as there have been reports of extremely long download times for this type of video footage.
Of course, it would be better if no accident ever occurred in the first place, which is why Samsara’s ELD HD dual cameras are also great for identifying risky driving behavior before it has a chance to cause a problem.
The identified truck drivers are then given further education and samsara ELD instructions on remaining safe and behaving appropriately when back on the road.
Elements of Routing and Dispatch
A lot of Samsara ELD’s numerous, innovative features involve dispatch and routing. The Samsara is a superstar at fleet management, making fleet routing and dispatching an absolute breeze.
Due to Samsara’s ability to provide real-time information on the location and status of any vehicle in your fleet, there is never a need to call your drivers to check in on their location.
It does not get any more convenient, efficient, or simple than that process. However, some clients find that the location function leaves something desired in terms of the precision of the exact location.
And many clients have reported outstanding capabilities where this function is concerned.
Sharing and Capturing Documents
What Samsara has done to improve your company’s ability to handle, share, and capture documentation may surprise you.
These are features that have been proven to go above and beyond. And also enhance customer service capabilities for your trucking business. The features show the status of the Samsara ELD as head and shoulders above the competition in the world of professional transportation management and, specifically, the world of electronic logging devices in general.
The Samsara ELD has an innovative, built-in capability that allows you to eliminate the need to scan, sort, and file certain documents manually.
The device allows you to upload and access these documents from a central location. It makes it possible for your drivers to use their smartphones or tablets to document their receipts and bills.
And you are also making them available to you within seconds of the drivers’ documentation, no matter their current location. Some clients have had issues with this driver app function repeatedly freezing.
This system also automatically uploads important documentation to the cloud. This allows fleet managers and other executives to view them from their Dashboards. Also, this feature is useful for processing relevant payroll documents, and it makes customer invoicing a snap.
The Samsara ELD features some of the highest quality and efficient GPS sensors available in the industry. There is absolutely no question that access to the very best GPS sensors out there provides a serious upward boost to your business.
These GPS sensors provide you with real-time information on vehicle uses and fuel consumption. The GPS also provides a close look at route performance and even driver behavior. And thus allowing you to monitor vehicle locations in real-time.
In a nutshell, these highly efficient Samsara ELD GPS sensors provide all kinds of vital information about drivers and their vehicles.
Samsara even provides an aerial view option, in real-time, of the actual vehicle or current location – That is, some next-level GPS monitoring. The benefits offered to fleet management by these innovative features are absolutely fantastic.
The importance of cost-effective monitoring, control, and compliance for transportation companies that handle refrigerated assets cannot possibly be overstated.
Visibility and control are incredibly essential when it comes to reefer monitoring. Luckily, the Samsara ELD has all your reefer tracking needs covered, in spades. These are unique features, unlikely to be found in any competitors’ ELD products. The Reefer Monitoring feature is a perfect example of Samsara ELD’s status as a superior ELD product.
Take the absolute need for visibility and control over your reefer operations. For instance, Samsara offers a powerful combination of two-way reefer control, wireless sensors, and instant alerts to provide essential visibility and control over the efficiency of your entire operation.
Why is it Convenient?
- This system features instant alerts and wireless sensors, which provide enhanced visibility and control over your fleet.
- The company provides an FMCSA samsara eld compliant solution, thus eliminating the need for manual record-keeping and on-demand temperature records.
- The sensor devices even enable you to provide temperature data on Proof of Delivery documents, which is an excellent enhancement for every companies’ customer service capabilities.
- The constant temperature monitoring data records will also allow you to show proof to your clients of how well you cared for their goods.
- Another benefit of the Samsara ELD’s sensors when monitoring reefers is that if the temperature in a reefer deviates from the pre-set range, you will be notified instantly, which can prevent all sorts of problems and damage to loads that are heat sensitive.
- Samsara’s affordable reefer management solution even controlled temperatures in transit, preventing product spoilage and rejecting deliveries of temperature-sensitive cargo.
New Features of Samsara
This fleet management provider continues to add many useful features with its ELD fleet management solution. And recently, they announced additional features.
Ford Vehicles’s Integrated Fleet Management Solution
This new Integrated Fleet Management Solution was built together with Ford and rooted in the user’s feedback. As a result, data from Ford’s factory-installed telematics systems can be migrated seamlessly through Samsara’s fleet management software.
It’s equipped with built-in connectivity devices for qualifying Ford commercial vehicles, starting the model year 2018 or newer. This allows fleets to manage their Ford vehicles effectively, whether they have been connected through built-in telematics or aftermarket gateways.
And it helps you to carry rich, Ford-specific data into the single, centralized system of Samsara to control all of your assets in one environment.
This successful innovation helps in bringing fully-managed integration between Samsara and Ford Data services. Thus helping to share customers’ actionable data gathered from the broad spectrum of Ford vehicles and make the data available for viewing on the Samsara platform.
Fleet Electrification Report
The fleet electrification report provides a consolidated assessment of your fleet’s light-duty vehicles, the best possible option to replace with EVs. This consolidated analysis report gives vehicle data insight and enables the fleet company to gather the right data and evidence.
And this data and evidence will be used to convince your investors that an electric vehicle would get the job done even more than a traditional vehicle.
Samsara utilizes six significant factors to decide whether or not a vehicle is a right choice for electrification:
- Annual emissions saved
- Annual fuel savings
- fuel efficiency
- Average daily range
- Vehicle age
- Max range
Driver Coaching Tools
One of the newly added features to the Samsara ELD is the new driver coaching tools that make the identification of coachable driving moments even more effortless.
This new feature also provides drivers with relevant feedback that improves performance. As a result, it allows the user to easily track their impact over time with dynamic charts showing harsh events, crashes, as well as speeding trends.
The fleet manager can flag events needing coaching and delegate them for review to a particular safety manager, thus simplifying how you share responsibility and enhancing accountability.
Samsara additionally aggregates coachable driver events and provides suggested scripts to optimize feedback.
New Documents fields
The company designed its Documents feature to make it even more comfortable as possible for fleet drivers to capture data on the go using the Driver App. Therefore, information such as fuel receipts and proof of delivery can be easily captured.
While using the Driver App’s Documents feature, fleet vehicle drivers can forward information back to the fleet managers or the back office.
A document may contain photos as well as text that the truck drivers may enter in their app for some different reasons. As a result, it allows drivers to capture two new pieces of important information using Documents: dates and times.
Besides, the company enabled the fleet manager to create required fields or even create a new field type (multiple choice).
Samsara also introduces Document Submission Alerts so that notifications can be received when necessary forms are submitted, and this further improves the effectiveness of the fleet’s back offices.
Camera ID for Assigning Driver
Samsara introduced Camera ID, one of the best new features that use face detection as well as advanced algorithms to recognize and add drivers to vehicles, trips, and event video, to streamline driver assignments.
Wake On Motion for Unpowered Assets
Fleet owners might have already known that they can set a custom check-in rate for their unpowered asset gateway. However, this new update AG pings the location of the assets more regularly than the default 12 hours.
And, if you’ve got AG45s on assets that are theft targets, this new release feature is for you. With wake-up on motion, fleet managers or owners can set up an alert that triggers when an asset appears to have already been stolen.
For instance, whenever the asset is detected from outside geofence, you can make adjustments automatically to the device to check in every five minutes instead of every 12 hours.
Higher check-ins assist in tracking assets effectively and quickly. And with this new feature, the company dropped the potential time for asset recovery from a max of 24 hours to nearly real-time on a stolen asset.
Planned vs. Actual Report
The Planned vs. Actual Report is another powerful tool that the Samsara fleet management solution provider brought to the table. And this new feature can be used to maximize performance on the route. In the report, you can compare the route plan, the time, and the distance it truly has taken to complete a route.
Fleet managers can recognize which fleet vehicle drivers take much more time at a specific route stop with route or customer stop-level insights. They will also be able to know the stops that appear to be taking longer than anticipated, and sometimes even evaluate on-time performance trends for specific customers.
Text to Speech (TTS)
Many commercial fleets adopt the Samsara Two-way Messaging feature to try to keep their truck drivers updated and safe. However, this year, the Samsara fleet management solution added a new feature that can help keep fleet drivers up-to-date while at the same time focusing their eyes on the roads.
The new TTS features enable Incoming messages to be played out loud with Text to Speech (TTS)—providing a safe, distraction-free, and safe way for drivers to receive updates on any phone or tablet.
Messages may be sent to individual vehicle drivers or sent to groups.
Rolling Stop Detection
Using the safety feature of Samsara’s AI Rolling Stop Detection, the CM31, and CM32 dashcam models will assess when a truck driver fails to come to a full stop at a stop sign and also add such occurrences to the Safety Inbox.
When a fleet vehicle driver rolls through a stop, Samsara can immediately track and also upload footage for review as well as coaching into the Safety Inbox.
You could even configure the speed sensitivity within your dashboard to detect rolling stops via the Camera & Safety settings.
Vehicle’s DVIR Templates
With this new feature, fleet managers can create custom defects, and DVIR templates and also assign them to individual vehicles or trucks.
And these lists of defects will reflect the vehicle or truck they are associated with the Samsara Driver App.
Also, this new feature makes it much easier to customize the DVIRs of the fleet to suit any individual needs.
This enables you to create custom lists of defects, so drivers know what to check for, such as levels of fluid, ladders, mirrors, mufflers, and much more.
Through the new asset scheduling tool, fleet managers can manage all their jobs as well as asset assignments effectively in their dashboards. Thus giving all teams visibility on the relevant information they need to have in one centralized location.
Fleet managers can see at a glance which assets are engaged in a job as well as how long they will need to get the job done.
This feature helps fleet management plan for the future and also reduces the complexity of booking. The new Asset scheduling feature helps to keep track of the location of the assets as well as the job they are allocated to if you own and lease equipment.
To know more about all the 87 new features that Samsara added this year, the company launch a new webinar series called “Samsara Quarterly Update,”
Meeting the expectations of customers at present is no easy process – particularly as it relates to delivering accurate ETAs.
Samsara has revamped the Live Sharing features that will make it easier to satisfy your customers. With a modern look, fleet managers can interact with drivers in real-time and also get details for vehicles or the company’s assets.
Also, you can create a personalized Live Sharing link to any truck or route in just two clicks.
You will consider the quality of customer service when deciding on an ELD provider. And this means you can fix any issues efficiently and have operations running smoothly.
Customers can reach the samsara eld phone number 24/7. The professional samsara eld support teams are always prepared to answer any questions and help resolve any problems.
Customers will have access to online services offered by the company, and the samsara eld manual. Likewise, there are plenty of samsara eld training videos, educational materials, and tips that teach customers how to make more effective use of Samsara’s products.
As described above, all fleet management systems from Samsara are built around the company’s unique requirements, and therefore, all quotes are unique to individual needs.
You will note that there is an upfront samsara eld price to bear the expenses of setup and subscription payment to cover the hosting. Prices are approximations as Samsara does not disclose them. So we gathered unofficial online Samsara ELD price data. The Upfront Cost and samsara eld pricing are as follows.
Initial investment costs for Samsara ELD are much lower than average. Users are expected to pay $99 per unit upfront.
The monthly expense is where it gets even pricier. Customers pay an average of around $33 per month for each device.
However, Samsara requests that its customers sign a 3-year contract.
The average cost per unit for three years amounts to about $1,287. And this includes all the monthly expenses as well as the upfront investment of $99.
We research a lot of review sites to see what real users think about Samsara’s ELD solution and get the full picture of the product’s users’ experience.
Many customers gave the company a favorable assessment of how effectively their fleet operates due to the ELD solution. And also, some customers said they like the Simple, easy, real-time GPS Helicopter View, which makes Samsara ELD’s mobile app extremely simple and enjoyable.
Some Samsara customers, however, have experienced some glitches. Few users gave samsara eld complaints that, Although the ELD system has been easy to install and set up, there are few bugs there. Without prompt, it continually switches the duty status of the drivers.
And also, other customers argue that the device does not recognize the exemption when working under an AG Exemption. Another user shows dissatisfaction because their three literally sitting trucks are still on a locked lot, but somehow samsara ELD shows them driving for two to three hours.
All of that said, these issues have not proved universal. And it could be due to user error.
Final Take for Samsara ELD
After thoroughly reviewing and examining the:
and overall value of the Samsara ELD system, there are only a few logical conclusions at which to arrive.
I want to mention a few of them here, although…
Of course, the final decision is always for the consumers to make. There are, of course, cheaper alternatives to the Samsara ELD app on the market.
However, the Samsara ELD’s array of standard features and functions outperforms these alternatives.
Even when taking into account the list of ‘Cons’ contained in this review; it is important to remember that a minimal number of Samsara clients report those problems and issues. The majority of users report entirely positive experiences with the Samsara ELD app and system.
Competitors’ ELD products, which are priced similarly to the Samsara ELD, simply cannot compete with the quality, function, user-friendliness, and high standard of client satisfaction of the Samsara ELD.
Samsara has produced an exceptionally high-quality product in the world of electronic logging devices and the transportation industry.
After carefully considering both the benefits and drawbacks reported by a broad cross-section of clients, we recommend Samsara ELD. The product is worth its price tag.Please share your review below, so other truckers can have more information, thanks!