Samsara ELD Review [2022] : Worth it or not?

Samsara is a well-known name in the fleet industry, with its presence in several countries. As a part of a comprehensive fleet tracking and management solution, Samsara also offers ELDs to its users for complete compliance.

Over the past few years, Samsara has successfully carved a niche in the ELDs industry by providing all the necessary ELD functionality to the drivers, owners, and fleet managers.

Samsara ELD is an affordable device with a plethora of features. It has a user-friendly interface that is updated with the latest technology.

ELD Compliance Solutions Samsara

About Samsara

Samsara was founded in the year 2015. The company is known as one of the leading Industrial IoT (Internet of Things) manufacturers. In the present day, over 20,000 organizations in the world use Samsara to lower fuel consumption, automate manual processes, prevent accidents, and improve product quality.

Samsara has developed a profile of complete IoT solutions, combining hardware, software, and cloud. They are continuously investing in new products and services that increase their customers’ safety, efficiency, and sustainability.

Why consider Samsara ELD?

Samsara is a highly multifunctional ELD and is suitable for all-size fleets. Samsara does not impose any limit on the number of vehicles you own for ELD compliance. Anyone can get the Samsara ELD, be it a large fleet manager, family-owned trucking business, or the owner of a commercial truck.

Still, confused? Check out our guide on How to Choose the Best ELD for your Truck or Fleet?

Samsara ELD Specifications

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Dimensions and Weight

The Samsara ELD dimensions are (4.6 x 2.7 x 1.0) inches with a weight of 118 grams.

Connectivity

This ELD device has an OBDII diagnostic port to connect it to the vehicle. It also has a built-in Wi-Fi Hotspot and a USB port.

Compatibility

The Samsara ELD is compatible with all Smartphones, tablets, and laptops and the Samsara Drivers App is available on both Android and iOS devices.

Type

Samsara is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) ELD. One can easily connect this device to their vehicle.

Battery

Although this ELD draws the power from the vehicle, the device also has a built-in battery. In case of a power cut-off, the backup battery comes in handy.

Key-Features of Samsara ELD

Samsara is relatively new in the ELD market, but the company has managed to impress its customers through the best quality and highly functional devices. Their ELD is running successfully everywhere. It has helped dispatch staff of fleets to manage the entire fleet in an organized manner. Here are the main features of the Samsara ELD.

Built-in WiFi Hotspot ★★★★☆

Samsara ELD is a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) ELD. You do not need an external device to connect it over BlueTooth. It comes with an in-cab wifi hotspot. Therefore, you don’t require any separate cellular plans to operate the ELD.

Samsara has done away using the cellular data plan and keeps your fleet compliant in the areas with no cellular network. It will also save the battery life of the device as Bluetooth can drain the battery faster.

Simplified HoS Management ★★★☆☆

Samsara ELD allows the entire driving team to work together with proper coordination. This single device can help you monitor and keep a log of the entire team. The first driver can log other drivers as a team. They might take turns while setting the duties and status accordingly.

Smooth Log Tracking ★★★☆☆

Samsara has streamlined log tracking and certification, which means the drivers will find it easy to keep the logs on the app and maintain their service HoS compliant.

Plug-and-Play Device ★★★★☆

The Samsara ELD is an easy-to-install device. You don’t need the assistance of a technical person to install this device. You just need to connect the device to the vehicle’s diagnostic port via the connectivity cable and activate it over the internet.

Message Safely ★★★★☆

None of the ELDs support as safe messaging as the Samsara ELD. The best part is that it won’t allow the drivers to send or view the messages while driving. On purchasing the text to speech feature, it will read aloud a message for you.

Is Samsara ELD Compliant?

The Samsara ELD is an FMCSA-approved ELD. It can connect to your vehicle’s engine through the OBDII port. The data is transmitted in real-time, so there is accurate logging of the engine power on and off, speed of the vehicle, diagnostic codes, harsh braking, and acceleration.

For Drivers

Samsara driver app helps the drivers to record their Hours of Service. They can select from the options of “on duty”, “off duty”, or “driving”. The data of the driver’s record of duty status and the engine data combine to form a complete structure of compliance with the ELD rules.

For Managers

Fleet managers can monitor and track all the logs and data through one dashboard. They can take action if the drivers are violating the Hours of Service regulations and ensure their fleet remains compliant.

Vehicles that are equipped with Samsara ELD will be compliant across all phases of the ELD mandate.

Pros

Plug-and-Play Device

The Samsara ELD is designed for easy installation and you don’t need an expert to install the device on your vehicle. You can start the device just by using a simple plug-and-play option. To start the device, you need to connect the device cable and plug one end into the device and the other into the vehicle OBDII port

User-Friendly App

For any BYOD device, the app should be user-friendly and Samsara has kept this into consideration. It has proper navigation so that you can easily use all the functions of the device.

Document Capture and Sharing

All the commercial drivers are required to collect various documents. The documents such as a delivery note, fuel receipts, landing bills, etc. are used regularly. All these hardcopies are very difficult to manage. But if you are using the Samsara ELD, you can simply click the photos of the documents through your phone and upload them to the cloud. This allows both the drivers and the back officers to access them easily.

Efficient GPS Tracking

GPS tracking is an important feature of an ELD. Samsara has a very efficient GPS tracking and navigation system. It provides you a helicopter view and informs you about the fuel consumption, analyzing the route performance, and driver’s behavior. 

All these features allow fleet managers to run their fleet in an effective and organized manner. The dispatchers find this device very satisfactory as they can track the fleet vehicle locations in real-time.

Cons

BYOD Drawbacks

Many drivers appreciate the BYOD feature of the Samsara ELD, while some of them think that using a cellphone for operating it while driving is not a good idea. Samsara doesn’t have its own display and you will always need a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to operate it.

Mounting

Mostly, the ELDs come with a discrete mounting setup. You can mount the device to your vehicle securely through this smart setup. Some devices are provided with suction mounts, while others have adhesives on their back. But the Samsara ELD is not provided with any such mounting accessories. This ELD comes with a few zip ties that can be fixed into a relevant area of the vehicle, but it is not secure enough. 

It may be installed near the driver’s seat where they rest their legs. This can be uncomfortable and there can be a possibility of unplugging the device.

Final Verdict

Samsara ELD has become one of the most popular ELDs in the United States. It’s well-known amongst the top rankers such as Garmin, Big Road, Keep Trucking, and Switchboard. It offers most of the services that are available at this cost. The basic services like accessing the full platform, maintenance, connectivity, support, etc are available free of cost. 

Most of the reviews of Samsara ELD are positive and the customers are satisfied with the product and services. They have appreciated Samsara’s fast customer service, functionality, and easy installation. However, some customers criticized it to be a little buggy as the device may lag sometimes while used for automatic reporting

Overall, Samsara has a good reputation when it comes to providing ELD Solutions. It has offered excellent customer support and device up gradation in such a short period after launching ELD. While Samsara is not the best ELD producer, the company still has managed to make a good position in the market. They are also known for their effective fleet tracking solutions, cost-efficient hardware, and transparent pricing. Hence, Samsara is a good choice for your ELD solutions.

Customers Reviews (Capterra.com)

L. Houston S.(Fleet Manager)

  • Overall Rating ★★★★★
  • Ease of Use ★★★★★
  • Customer Service ★★★★★
  • Features ★★★★☆
  • Value for Money ★★★★★
  • Likelihood to Recommend 10/10

“Samsara is an excellent Fleet Management software”

Overall: I am pleased with Samsara overall. It has shown us how to take our business to the next level. As we’ve evolved, our requirements of Samsara have as well. Although Samsara could not anticipate this, I am eager to give helpful insight on how to help Samsara go even further!

Pros: I enjoy having the insight that it provides us. Literally, with what I can see on the road, and all of the back-end data it can provide us. Samsara helps us remain compliant in our industry. So its routing functions are a leading example of what vehicle tracking should look like. Lastly, the driver app is what comes in the clutch to wrap it all up. Our staff finds the app very intuitive, simple, and it rarely faults. It is official and its documents function helps us log valuable information that we turn into presentable data!

Cons: The system is buggy, and I find myself having to call in every so often to inquire about why I’m not seeing certain stats or images on my vehicles from their dashcams. The Driver app sometimes force quits and will sometimes refuse my drivers to log information.

Tate F.(Director of technical operations, growth, and development)

  • Overall Rating ★★★★☆
  • Ease of Use ★★★★☆
  • Customer Service ★★★★★
  • Features ★★★☆☆
  • Value for Money ★★★★☆
  • Likelihood to Recommend 7/10

“The smart, do everything, connected vehicle solution.”

Overall: Samsara has been a great tool not only in organizing and managing our vehicles and assets, but has allowed us to successfully defend against false claims. Samsara is such a value additive software, that it dampens my frustration with the many bugs and problems evident in rushed development and poor testing for certain features. I honestly can not say this for any other software I use.

Pros: Everything you need is included and in one place. Fleet tracking, cameras, HOS, safety, performance, and dispatch tools all live in one place. Additionally, the team is very responsive in creating one-off or custom integrations should you need them.

Cons: The cameras, the logic by which they record, and the dashboard for viewing them could use some work. You’re unable to retrieve segments more than 60 seconds in length at any one period of time. They offer a “hyperlapse” mode, but I find this to be a useless gimmick as the compression effectively omits frames making it difficult to identify incident times.

 

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