Geotab Drive release 2004 – What’s New?

Ready for what’s new in Geotab Drive release 2004? To see all of the coming Geotab Drive updates vist Geotab’s blog. Here are the highlights:

Geotab Drive

Starting and Ending Odometer

In Compliance Print view on the Drive App, the system now automatically populates the starting and ending odometer fields for the vehicles used by the Driver.

Updated DVIR and DVIR attestations in Geotab Drive release 2004

New DVIR attestations are available for jurisdictions that require a specific declaration. Primarily, this is to assure compliance for our Canadian clients. Also, new DVIR fields address Canadian DVIR requirements.

Updated Clock-in/Clock-out feature

Custom code required for the Clock-in/Clock-out feature has been removed. Instead, the Clock-in/Clock-out feature is now available when Feature Preview is enabled.

Added Media Clearances to default Drive App clearance

With the new capabilities to add media files to DVIR records, additional clearances have been added to the default Drive App security user type. This allows drivers by default to administer and view media files.

Updated HOS Logs assignment

In MyGeotab, administrators can now select the correct driver using the drop down menu on the HOS Logs page. If the selected driver is not indicated as a co-driver on the HOS log, the system ignores the logs edited for the original driver and suggests new logs for the selected driver. Correcting availability for both drivers in a single edit in Geotab Drive release 2004, simplifies admin log corrections. The suggested logs for the new driver are in a requested state.

Messaging is out of Feature Preview

After several updates, the Messages feature is now out of Feature Preview. As announced in the previous release, the Messages feature has been updated.

In Geotab Drive release 2004, easily stay connected with your drivers using the new consolidated messaging feature. Threaded views provide conversation-style messages with simple to use input controls such as adding links and canned replies. Messages can be sent to devices for anyone driving the vehicle to see, or directly to users for private two-way communication. Unread messages display in tab titles for easy detection, or as shortcuts under Notifications on the main title bar. Messages can be searched using date and display filters for accurate and friendly searches.

As seen in the images below, there are now designated sections for messages to the vehicle and messages to the logged-in user. In the section for user messages, the dispatch can privately communicate between the drivers. Drivers can now communicate without first selecting a vehicle, as well as message the dispatch through the vehicle messages section or by clicking the Message Dispatch button.

FMCSA Revisions to HOS Rules – Drivers and Dispatchers Respond

FMCSA Coming Revisions to HOS on 9/29/20

For quite some time we have been hearing about revisions to the HOS rules intended to provide more flexibility for drivers. At long last, several are slated to be implemented the end of next month. We reached out to some of our current clients to get their take on the coming rule changes, and the response was quite positive.

What are the coming FMCSA revisions?

  • The on-duty limits for short-haul operations will increase from 12 to 14 hours and from 100 air-miles to 150.
  • The adverse driving provision will extend the driving window two hours if the driver encounters adverse driving conditions. In the final rule, the definition of adverse driving was modified so that the exception may be applied based on the driver’s (in addition to the dispatcher’s) knowledge of the conditions after being dispatched.
  • In addition to splits of 10/0 and 8/2, drivers will be allowed a split-sleeper option of 7/3. Also, the qualifying period doesn’t count against the 14-hour window.
  • The 30-minute break provision will be modified to require the break after eight hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break.
Happy Trucker

What are drivers and dispatchers saying?

They all sound like positive changes that will be helpful to drivers and dispatchers.
Scott Olson

Maier's transportation and Warehousing

I really like the changes to the 30 minute break provision. Now I won’t have to take a break after sitting at a terminal waiting to be loaded or unloaded.

Mike Zeug

Driver, Maier's Transportation and Warehousing

Most Outspoken Response

One of our clients was dead set against ELD from the beginning. He expected it to be a royal pain with drivers unwilling to embrace the new technology, and he fought it kicking and screaming, but in the end, had to comply. After implementing and using ELD for some time, his response was utterly shocking. Monty now agrees that ELD implementation is a good thing, and that it simplifies the driver’s record keeping saving time and frustration.

Regarding the FMCSA coming revisions to HOS Rules,

It should have been done a long time ago. It moves us from making political sense to using common sense. Most important are the sleeper berth changes. It allows a driver to make better use of unanticipated situations, for instance if the highway traffic is backed up he can pull off at a rest stop to take 3 hours sleeper berth time. Since it does not count against his 14 hour window, he can make up his lost travel time after the traffic clears.

Monty Hack

Fleet Manager - Safety Director, JS Weipz

OOIDA’s Response

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association expressed support for the final rule by filing formal comments. They say the new rules will accomplish FMCSA’s intended goal of providing drivers with more flexibility and control over their own schedules.

Geotab Drive “Must Have” Add Ins & ELD Reports

Geotab Drive with ELD Reporting – Free Marketplace Tools

 

Geotab Drive makes ELD compliance easy, but many users miss the free add-ins and reports that truly simplify a fleet manager’s life. In this post, we present the options that we feel are “Must Have” applications for our clients. Everything shown can be downloaded or directly installed in your system from the Geotab Marketplace. Just click on “Marketplace” at the bottom of your main menu and open up a world of possibilities.

 

ELD Services – Settings Validator Add-In

There is a multitude of settings and entry fields presented to you when initially setting up your ELD drivers. When drivers begin to use the system, all of the static information that must be included in their RODS is pulled from these entries. Thus, if the driver’s license issuing state was not completed when the driver was created in the system, it will not show up on a compliance print when generated. Unfortunately, when this happens at a roadside inspection, you have likely ruined your driver’s day. Using this add-in assures that all required information is accessible to the Geotab Drive app, and compliance prints or RODS transferred to FMCSA will include all required information.

The ELD Settings Validator is a free add-in for Geotab. It identifies missing driver data and links you right to the form to correct the ommissions. Fields marked with an X are an indication that information is missing for that field. Select the information icon on the right-hand side for quick access to the driver’s User Settings. Simply fill in the missing information and select Save at the top of the screen. Drivers that are not missing information will not be displayed, only entries that need to be corrected.

ELD Settings Validator

ELD Add-In – Driver Access to
Support Help Desk

The ELD Information Add-In provides instant, driver-friendly access to the Reseller Support Help desk. View the latest ELD information documents that are required during a roadside inspection in accordance with ?395.22 (h), or stream the latest How-to videos for Geotab Drive. Please note that this add-in is currently only available for mobile devices running on Android.

With this add-in installed in your Geotab system, all drivers will see the add-in populated on their HOS Dashboard. The step by step instructions for using Geotab Drive are contained in the Data Transfer Guide, ELD Manual, and Data & Diagnostics ELD Malfunction Sheet Guide. All are launched right from the app in a single click. Most importantly, these are the documents required to be kept in the cab under the FMCSA regulations. By linking to the electronic documents you know you always have the latest version.

Workflow documents for HOS and DVIR are also available anytime a quick refresher is needed. Alternately, for drivers that prefer video learning, a playlist of video training is also linked to the app. The linked documents and videos are updated when changes are made to the app, so the latest information is always available to the driver.

Geotab ELD for FMCSA

Want Custom HOS Reports? Here’s a dozen to choose from!

Just download the report from the Marketplace and upload it to your database to get the most out of Geotab Drive.

Driver Availability report
Excessive Yard Moves
Drivers On Duty Report
Data Diagnostic & Malfunctions report
Drivers Approaching limit report
Total HOS Violations Report
DVIR Defects Report
HOS driver Violations
Severe violations Cost report
Excessive Personal Conveyance Report
Off Duty to Drive report
Unverified Logs report

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:

GPS Tracking

Fleet Management

Phone Tracking

Tablets & Data

Battery Power – More, Better, Faster

Battery power is always in the back of our minds.

rechargeable cordless drill In the Telematics industry, our clients communicate throughout the workday on smartphones. Also, many run apps on phones or tablets. We use portable devices to manage work orders, complete electronic forms, report issues, receive locations and update routes. Similarly other apps capture signatures, record work completed, and document damaged freight. Furthermore, field technicians use an array of battery-powered tools to get their work done. As a result, if we run out of battery power it all comes to a screeching halt.

More EV’s = More Battery Power

Now add to this the increased use of Electric Vehicles. Seems like we are becoming more and more dependent upon battery power. That raises another big concern. As the rate we are consuming battery power increases, there is a very real risk of a battery disposal crisis in our future. Is all this battery use going to be sustainable?

Improving Battery Technology

Improving battery technology is high on the list of hot tech issues to address. Environmentally friendly batteries that charge faster and last longer will head off the potential crisis. So what is being done about it? Here are some of the encouraging projects I found.

Saft Research Director Patrick Bernard recently shared 3 new technologies being considered.

NEW GENERATION LITHIUM-ION

These batteries use different active materials to increase both energy and power. They will have very long life cycles, typically charging/discharging thousands of cycles.

LITHIUM-SULFUR

This battery has a different type of internal structure. It uses sulfur in the positive electrode and lithium in the negative electrode. As it discharges, chemical changes occur inside the battery. The reverse occurs during the charging cycle.

SOLID-STATE

Solid-state batteries use a solid compound rather than liquid electrolyte. This will make the batteries safer. The solid electrolytes are not flammable. This technology promises higher voltages, and batteries that are denser, lighter, and last longer on the shelf. These may become the future battery of choice for Electric vehicles.

Electric Car Lithium Battery Pack And Power Connections Other Technologies Being Researched

Gold Nanowire Batteries are under development at UC Irvine. Researchers claim they can be recharged over 200,000 times with no material deterioration. Ultimately, this may result in a battery that lasts “forever.

Extreme Fast Charging or XFC charges batteries faster by charging them at higher temperatures. Using this method they say a 10-minute charge will add 200 miles of range on an EV battery.

Wireless Charging

Another research team reports initial success with an antenna that collects AC power from WiFi in the air and converts it to DC. It is being developed for use with battery powered medical devices. Instead of future surgeries to replace a batteries, the battery charges pretty much all the time.

Yet another startup is developing semiconductors made from organic materials. They are talking about 60-second cell phone charging and 5 minute EV charging if their research proves successful. Similarly a unique and promising technology under development uses ultrasound to wirelessly transmit electricity to a small receiver to recharge a device.

There are also preliminary reports of batteries made of foam and foldable materials, but the one that seems to be getting attention is the technology announced this past April by Nikola Corp. They plan to release details at their Nikola World 2020 conference next fall. They say they have a game-changing new technology that is more environmentally friendly than conventional lithium-ion and could double the range of passenger EVs.

One thing is certain. It will be very interesting to see what batteries look like 5 years from now.