Geotab T-Mobile 3G to 4G Upgrade Program

T-Mobile 3G Sunset 12/31/2020

 

T-Mobile has announced they will enforce the published date to deactivate 3G GPS tracking devices. This means Fleetistics customers with GPS devices using the T-Mobile 3G network need to plan now.  Those devices will stop reporting at the end of the year. Fleetistics has several programs in place to aid customers in transitioning from TMO 3G to the newer 4G technology.

AT&T and Verizon customers are not affected by T-Mobile’s plan. They have committed to maintain their 3G networks until 12/2022.

Customers must be in good financial standing to participate in the upgrade program.

 

T-Mobile Telematics

Call

877.467.0326

TMO 3G Upgrade Program (Geotab customers only)

 

  1. Existing ProPlus and Fleetistics rental customers automatically get replacement devices in Q4 of 2020 or at Geotab’s discretion with a service agreement that extends past 2020. Now is the time to call Fleetistics customer service and schedule 3G upgrade for Q4 to be sure GPS devices are available.
  2. Current customers not on the ProPlus service can qualify by upgrading to Pro Plus prior to 1 July 2020.  They will then be eligible to receive free replacement devices in Q4 with a 12 month ProPlus service term. ProPlus service includes a host of upgrades, such as road-side assistance, that make being a ProPlus service customer an excellent value. Click here to learn more about ProPlus features.
  3. Customers not wanting to upgrade to ProPlus may purchase a replacement device at a deeply discounted and subsidized price. Contact Fleetistics for details.
  4. Customers not wanting to purchase a 4G device may receive a free T-Mobile 4G device with a minimum service agreement of 24 months. If you love the Geotab platform and never plan to leave the most robust fleet management solution available, why not take advantage of this free 4G upgrade offer.

Changing Cellular Network Carriers On Upgrade

In some situations network coverage changes and a customer may feel a different carrier is now a better option. Since this program is T-Mobile specific the free upgrade program does not offer carrier switching. However, for a nominal fee, customers may choose to replace T-Mobile device with an AT&T or Verizon telematics device. Contact your Fleetistics account manager or customer service for pricing and details.

GO GPS Tracker from Geotab

Installation Requirements

To avoid undue delays and administrative fees you will have 5 days to install the replacement devices from the date of delivery before the old 3G devices are deactivated. If you have more GPS trackers than you can replace in 5 days Fleetistics will work with you to provide multiple deliveries for the cost of shipping.

The goal is to make this exchange process for customers across the United States quick and efficient.

Replacing Devices In MyGeotab

It is  important that you replace the old GPS devices with the new devices in your MyGeotab account. The linked document, Geotab Replacing A Device, walks you through this process.  Be sure to contact us with the serial numbers of the devices you have replaced so they can be deactivated.  Failing to do this step will result in double billing. It is recommended that you open a support ticket in MyFleetistics asking customer service to verify everything is correct once you feel the replacement is complete.

After swapping the GPS devices, replacing them in MyGeotab, and confirming with Fleetistics customer service, the 3G T-mobile devices can be disguarded since they will be deactivated and cannot be reactivated.

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DOT Compliance For Small Business

Small Business Explanation

This blog is designed as general information for the small business operator who is unsure if their line or volume of work requires being DOT registered and compliant. The video will help distinguish between a weekend warrior and commercial entity. It will guide you through some of the most common requirements so when you are eventually pulled over you are prepared. It also gives you an idea of how to respond if you are not a commercial entity so you can get on your way quicker. Be sure to check your local regulations and read the FMCSA website for details.

 

Does My Business Need to Be DOT Compliant

Knowing if you need to be DOT compliant as a small business may be confusing. There are a few questions to answer to make this determination. Once realized, you can work to get compliant in an organized manner.

The first criteria is whether your power unit (truck) is being used to generate revenue. Are you acting on behalf of a business to make money?  Second is gross vehicle weight.  Does your power unit and trailer have a combined GVWR over 10,001 lbs?  The gross vehicle weight rating is marked on the decal inside the door jam. Most heavy duty pickup trucks have a GVWR over the 10,001 lbs limit. When you add a trailer to the power unit, it is easy to exceed 10,001 lbs.

Last, where is the vehicle operating? If the vehicle is operating state-to-state, the vehicle is considered to be a commercial vehicle. There are mileage exceptions to this.  Most widely used is the 100 air mile short haul exemption.  A commercial vehicle that stays withing a 100 mile radius of the work reporting location, and returns to that location within the work day may be exempt.  There are also agricultural exemptions for a 150 mile radius.

Always refer to the FMCSA guidelines and FAQ to be sure your vehicle qualifies for an exemption.  If DOT compliance is in doubt, contact your local FMCSA filed office for guidance.

 

FMCSA Compliance Made Easy

Once you are designated as a commercial operator, you are required to implement electronic driver logs for hours of service compliance. This can be a daunting realization. Failing to be compliant can lead to all sorts of terrible consequences such as DOT fines, higher insurance rates or even being dropped.  On top of that, reduced delivery times with limited driving hours and a host of computer related activities will suck up your time and financial resources.

In contrast, compliance with a full featured ELD system eliminates wasting time correcting paper driver logs, a second set of books, and potential DOT fines.  Ultimately it rewards you with happier drivers and  less turnover. In the end, your investment in ELD generally pays for itself in many ways.  Fortunately, Fleetistics offers ELD, DVIR, IFTA and other services in a single platform to facilitate FMCSA compliance and save you time and money.

 

Basic DOT Compliance Checklist

  • Read and follow your State & FMCSA guidelines
  • Train your drivers and test their knowledge as your first line of defense to a DOT audit
  • Issue and train drivers how to use paper logs if your electronic logging device goes down
  • Carry a correct and properly mounted fire extinguisher
  • Carry a box of three roadside triangles
  • Display your company name, IFTA decals and DOT number on both sides of your vehicl
  • Always keep spare fuses on hand for the vehicle type
  • Have available in cab the proper registration, insurance, ELD documents and CDL
  • Track time on duty and mileage by state for IFTA
  • Maintain annual inspection and documentation

 

Check out our other blogs on:

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Securing Trailer Cargo

Securing Trailer Cargo For Safety

Unsecured or poorly secured trailer cargo is fairly common on the road.  We all see painting vans with a half dozen ladders on the roof, a mattress on top of the car or a carpet hanging out the back doors.  Often the body rubs the wheels due to being overloaded. By all means if you want to be pulled over, attract attention to yourself by being this guy. Anyone can be pulled over for being unsafe but the more obvious you are about doing a great job securing your cargo, the less likely you are to get pulled over.

 

Calculating Working Load Requirements

One of the most interesting aspects of securing cargo is calculating the number of straps and the working limit of each. This is covered in the video below but the general rule of thumb is that the straps have to be rated for 50% of the load weight. For example, you have an 8,000 lbs backhoe, your straps or chains need to be rated for 4,000 lbs.  You need one in the front and one in the rear. If the cargo is over 10,000 lbs, you must strap all four corners for a working load limit of 50% or higher.

One thing that I learned, and not until watching the video for the second time, is critically important.  If your strap loops around the equipment, the strap rating is cut in half. Why? The video doesn’t say but it likely has to do with how the strap was tested and that angles on the equipment may cut into the strap under extreme loads.

What looks to be a smooth rounded edge may decrease the strap strength by 40% when 2,000 lbs of pressure is applied.  Consequently if you have to have 4,000 lbs in straps and each strap is rated for 2,000 lbs, if you wrap around the equipment and do not use the hooks, your straps are considered to be only 50% of the listed 2,000 lbs working load. To compensate you will need four 2,000 lbs straps which are considered 1,000 lbs each to get the 4,000 total, or 50% of the 8,000 lbs.

 

Securing Accessories Or Implements On Your Equipment

Often times trailer cargo includes equipment with a boom, grapple, mower or other implements that attach  to the equipment. Implements require a separate conversation to ensure they are also secured. There are two ways to secure an implement.

  1. Utilize a factory locking mechanism
  2. Use straps or chains

A factory locking mechanism includes a pin or spring loaded locking handle that keeps the implement in place. These generally are designed for transporting the equipment with the implement attached. As a rule of thumb, if in doubt strap it down. Additionally, if a DOT officer can easily see you have taken the extra steps to secure your load, he/she will likely opt to pull over the truck next to you that did not take great care to be safe.

 

Securing Trailer Cargo Checklist

  • The better it looks, the less likely you are to get stopped. If it looks good, odds are you already did a good job.
  • Straps or chains are sufficient
  • Under 10,000 lbs, 1 strap in front and 1 in the rear
  • Over 10,001 lbs, strap the 4 corners
  • Secure cargo if it will impact the vehicle handling during an emergency maneuver or routine driving
  • Leave the load rating labels on the straps
  • Teach your drivers how to calculate the needed straps or chains based on cargo weight
  • Secure to immovable components, like the frame, not a brush grill
  • When in doubt, add more straps
  • Don’t overload the axles and tire max working load

Check the rules and regulations in the state you operate in and FMCSA for complete details.

 

Check out our other blogs on:

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Ford OEM Telematics Program

Ford - Geotab Partnership

Understanding Ford integrated telematics

Telematics Program Overview

 Ford, like other OEMs are installing a telematics solution in vehicle prior to delivery. Geotab is establishing relationships with OEMs to put the telematics data into the Geotab platform. Geotab is relying on companies like Fleetistics to implement and support fleet customers with either the OEM or Geotab GO device.

In this article we explain the pros and the cons of the OEM approach as well as the Geotab GO device approach. Fleetistics’ mission is to help customers select the best option for their fleet situation without preference or bias.

 

Who Is Eligible?

There are only a few requirements and if you have additional questions contact Fleetistics at 877-467-0326.

  • FIN code issued to fleet operator after fleetaccount.ford.com account is setup
    • Purchase 5 or more Ford vehicles at once
    • Have more than 15 commercial fleet vehicles in service from any manufacturer. Vehicles on blocks do not count.
  • Vehicles purchased Q3-Q4 2019 or 2020 with pre-installed telematics

Current Fleet Vehicles

  1. Contact Fleetistics and express your interest and an account manager will be assigned to walk you through the process and review the pros and cons to both approaches.
  2. Send a list of VINs and FIN to Fleetistics.
  3. Complete the Fleetistics order.
  4. Fleetistics sets up Geotab account.

New Fleet Vehicles

  1. Contact Fleetistics and express your interest and an account manager will be assigned to walk you throgh the process and review the pros and cons to both approaches.
  2. Create and setup your Ford account. fleetaccount.ford.com
  3. Send a list of VINs and FIN to Fleetistics.
  4. Complete the Fleetistics order.
  5. Fleetistics sets up Geotab account.

 

1. Q: What is the contract term?
A: It ranges from month-to-month to several years depending on customer selected options.

2. Q: What if I have a mixed fleet?
A: A Geotab GO device can be used on any vehicle or asset that does not have an OEM telematics device
installed.

3. Q: What about asset tracking?
A: It is not part of the program but Fleetistics can handle that with a Geotab device.

4. Q: Who will bill me for service?
A: Fleetistics handles all telematics services

5. Q: Is there a fee for the installation or GPS unit?
A: No. There is a small setup & implementation fee per vehicle.

6. Q: Who do I call if I have an issue?
A: Fleetistics 877-467-0326

7. Q: Can I see the rest of my fleet in the Geotab portal?
A: Yes. Ford data is integrated into your current Geotab portal.

8. Q: How long does the process take?
A: 1-2 weeks under normal conditions and if everyone works together.

9. Q: What other manufacturers is Geotab integrated with?
    A: Currently Ford, GM, Volvo, Mac and John Deere. More are in development.

10: Q:
       A:

11. Q:
       A:

Go to www.fleetaccount.ford.com

Select Get Started Here or email (reply in 1-2 business days) the name and email of the first account administrator to fcs1@ford.com

Navigate to the Vehicles menu. Your deal should have the VIN already entered. If not, contact Fleetistics and we will look into it for you. If you create a temporary user for your Fleetistics account manager, the account mananger can go into your account and do the setup for you.

Add vehicles if necessary. If a FIN code was not available at the time of purchase you will see unverified. You must email proof of ownership to Ford Customer Service (3-7 day turnaround).

Select the vehicles you want to activate telematics service on and choose Add Consent.

 

Select Geotab as the telematics service provider.

 

Send a list of VINs which have consent to your Fleetistics account manager so they can be added to your Geotab account. If you are a new customer an account will be created and you will be contacted to schedule training. The login page can be found at www.fleetistics.com/login

Ask your account manager about logging in with Active Directory , dash cams or tablets.

Features 

  • Service plans
  • Integration, 3rd parties
  • Accident data
  • Activation/Setup
  • AEMP 2.0
  • APIs
  • Asset tracking
  • Battery on crank
  • Battery monitoring
  • Cell carrier options
  • Check engine light
  • Driver Feedback Buzzer
  • Driver ID
  • DTC
  • ELD service
  • Electric vehicles
  • Engine Hrs
  • Fuel
  • Harsh driving
  • Installation
  • Memory Out of Coverage
  • Modular harness, IOX
  • Vehicle Manufacturer
  • Move GPS device to next vehicle
  • Odometer
  • Roadside assistance
  • Season service
  • Update rate
  • Track Resolution
  • Warranty, Lifetime

Ford

  • Base (LITE) & Pro
  • Limited
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • AT&T
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • Yes
  • No
  • No
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Forward, backward
  • None
  • 8 hrs
  • No
  • Ford only
  • No
  • No
  • No
  • Yes, limited
  • 30 seconds
  • 30 seconds
  • Matches vehicle

 

Geotab

  • Base, Compliance, Pro, ProPlus
  • Yes, 200+
  • Yes
  • No with GO device
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • AT&T, VZN, T-Mo
  • Yes
  • Yes, heartbeat
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes, all directions
  • Yes, OBD port
  • Yes – J-Bus, OBD, CAT, etc.
  • 30,000+ logs (weeks)
  • Any
  • Yes
  • Virtual and Vehicle
  • Yes, ProPlus
  • Optional
  • As needed. 10 to 300 sec
  • 1 sec
  • Limited lifetime

Features listed include many optional services that require additional fees. The lists are to demonstrate the general capability and flexibility of each platform. Contact a consultant for more details. 855.300.0527

Ford Pro  |  Ford Portal Ford Data Sets

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How To Properly Connect A Trailer

Properly Connecting a Trailer

 

The importance of training employees to safely connect a trailer is undeniable.  Still, many small service businesses use trailers and take for granted that employees know the law and how to properly connect trailers and cargo. There are several small but important things to train yours drivers to do, such as crossing the chains to avoid being put out of service.   Just because you are under 10,001 lbs, it does not mean you do not have to follow State DOT and FMCSA law as a commercial entity.

Trailers pulled by pickup trucks are the dominant configuration for small and large fleet operators outside the trucking industry. Moving a piece of equipment such as a skid steer, lawn equipment or debris likely makes up 90% of the small fleet towing. In this blog we discussing the typical pickup truck and trailer using a ball hitch with a GVW of less than 10,001 lbs.

Accountability for Proper Trailer Connection

It is important to explain to drivers they are responsible for following the law. To hold them accountable you must train them to the standards of the law and test their comprehension. This enables you to transfer responsibility to the driver should he or she get a ticket or be placed out of service. It is also important that your insurance carrier be aware of your training program and overall safety program, including what you do with telematics.

Most important is keeping your employees and other drivers safe. Faulty connections or worn parts can lead to dangerous situations. A trailer coming off the truck at 70 mph can easily cause a rollover, serious injury and fatalities. Something as simple as the trailer tongue coupler not being all the way down and locked on the ball can lead to a major issue.

Trailer Connection Failures

In a personal situation I trusted someone else to attach the trailer to my F-250. Within a 1/4 mile the trailer came off the ball and began to slam around. Fortunately we were going slowly in a residential area and a speed bump caused the separation. The trailer began to slam around as the chains held. The chains didn’t stop the trailer from swinging left and right and slamming into the truck. At that slow speed there was only minor damage. Since then I have learned to always double check since it is my truck, my insurance and my liability as the owner and driver.

In a commercial fleet any damage will result in a lawsuit from the other party and likely one from your employee as well. This topic should be covered annually and for new hires. Get ahead of the issues and proactively train. For consistency, create and maintain a company training library where you create outlines for your staff to use to lead training. One of the best and most consistent training organization is the National Safety Council. Check out their website for good ideas and examples of how training can be documented and executed.

 

Trailer Connection Checklist

  • Ensure trailer connections are tight and secure
  • Look for worn chains, wires and connectors
  • Cross the chains and keep them off the road
  • Check the breakaway braking cable & secure it separate from the chain
  • Ensure the load matches the truck, ball, hitch and receiver
  • Properly inflate tires, replace worn tires, and spec the tires to the trailer max GVW
  • Check all lights and safety equipment
  • Properly secure cargo. Over secure when in doubt. Chains are not required.
  • Properly mark commercial vehicles and carry the needed paperwork
  • Carry approved triangles and a fire extinguisher
  • Ensure the driver is trained and knowledgeable in connecting a trailer

 

Check out our other blogs on:

GEotab GO9 GPS Vehicle Tracking
Fleet Management Platform
Mobile Phone GPS Tracking App
Fleet Weather Service

GPS Tracking

Fleet Management

Phone Tracking

Fleet Weather

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