BigRoad Dashlink

UP FRONT COST MONTHLY COST 2-YEAR TOTAL COST
$0 $25 $600

 

PROS:

  • No upfront cost
  • Simple installation
  • User-friendly software

CONS:

  • Certain functions hard to navigate to in Driver App
  • Web app for dispatchers in need of redesign and makeover
  • Google Maps plugin is not useful, does not provide navigation

 

Cost Hardware Elog App Fleet App Support Total
4.5 / 5 4 / 5 3.5  / 5 3./ 5 4 / 5 3.8 / 5

 

Intro

BigRoad is one of the first electronic logbook (E-log) apps to launch in the App store back in 2012.  It has received positive feedback from truckers who own their own trucks. The app is free to download but there is a charge for each person who can access the data, whether a truck driver or a dispatcher.  

BigRoad’s Dashlink is an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) that connects to a truck’s diagnostic port and sends information automatically back to the BigRoad App. DashLink has a separate monthly charge.When used together, BigRoad’s E-log App and Dashlink ELD provide a good solution at a fair price for trucker’s looking to get compliant with 2017’s ELD Mandate.

 

ELog Mobile App For Drivers - 3.5 / 5

Ratings are one way to sort the wheat from the chaff with respect to what apps and devices make the cut and are worthy of consideration. BigRoad’s E-log App is rated 4.5 stars, which makes it one of the top rated Electronic Logbooks currently available to truck drivers.  BigRoad is available for iOS and Android devices and is available to download for free in Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.  

Given that most E-log Apps are rated under 4 stars, BigRoad’s user rating means it’s definitely worth consideration.  The biggest reason that BigRoad gets high ratings from drivers is that it is simple to learn and easy to use  - and that is why the app has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.  BigRoad can be used as a stand-alone App or with BigRoad’s Dashlink ELD which sends data back to the app from the engine.  Since it is already popular amongst many drivers, it is definitely one of the apps the owner or manager of a small fleet should consider when switching over to Elogs in 2017.  

The user-friendly app keeps it simple providing basic functions like HOS time remaining display, easy to view Recap hours, E-logs that can be edited by the driver, etc. BigRoad provides the basic functions very well. The big button at the top left of the screen that allows drivers to choose their current status is a favorite amongst users.  

The app’s non-core features are not as strong or useful.  There is a Google Map display that shows location, satellite imagery, night view and traffic, but does not provide navigation. It is seemingly more decorative than functional.

 BigRoad’s two-way messaging works well allowing drivers to communicate via text with dispatch and other company drivers. From the messaging screen, drivers have the ability to start a new chat, check-in at their current location and email the check-in, and upload documents that can be sent to dispatch or anyone else via email.

Drivers using the BigRoad App don’t have to stress during an inspection as they have multiple options to produce their logs from the device including email, fax and print. The inspection form allowing a driver to certify that an inspection was done and comment on any defects is very basic compared to some of the competitors but it works fine.

 

Website For Fleet Managers - 3 / 5

BigRoad’s Web Application / Dashboard looks like it was designed a decade ago.  The User Interface is definitely dated but the user experience isn’t bad at all.  Like the BigRoad E-log mobile app the web dashboard is pretty simple providing the basic tools of fleet management.  The dashboard  gives fleet managers, owners and dispatchers real-time GPS locations and tracking for all of the trucks using BigRoad.  The Web App also lets dispatchers send and receive messages from each of the fleet drivers using BigRoad’s E-log App. HOS Reports and Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports are simple to access and easy to view.  

There are also a few reports that show things like miles per state for IFTA reporting. Missing are many of the more advanced management features like idling reports, MPG and engine fault codes, DVIR tracking and alerts, Macros/Workflow, and official out-of-the-box TMS integrations.

 

Additional Features / Comparison to Market - 4 / 5

One of the nicer features of the BigRoad dashboard is the report showing miles per state for IFTA reporting purposes.  There are several features that some of the more expensive competitors provide that are noticeably missing from BigRoad’s offering including engine diagnostic fault codes, miles per gallon (MPG) and truck idling reports, and the ability to get DVIR alerts.

 

Device / Installation / Connectivity - 4 / 5

The Dashlink is a plug n’ play Electronic Logging Device that can be self-installed in 15 minutes or less.  The device itself is a small black box that connects to a truck’s JBUS diagnostic port via an adapter.  Depending on the make and model of the vehicle, BigRoad will provide the correct cable to connect the device, usually a 6-pin or 9-pin plug.  

The Dashlink does not have 3g wireless connectivity itself, but instead uses bluetooth to send information to the BigRoad E-log App.  There is no additional hardware provided by BigRoad as it is BYOD or “Bring Your Own Device.”  The E-log App that the engine data is transferred back to from the ELD can be downloaded on any Apple or Android device, giving owner operators and fleet managers plenty of flexibility and options.

 

Cost - 4.5 / 5
BigRoad charges for access on a monthly basis, but not for the app itself. BigRoad costs $15 per driver or office user per month for access. However, this bare bones level does not make it a true or complete electronic logging device. To do this, you need to also pay $10 per truck per month for the Dashlink ELD.  The cost will thus be about $25 per month per truck plus the one time cost of the mounting device).

BigRoad, at $25 per truck per month, is a pretty reasonably priced option, as long as you don’t need more than one other person looking at the data!

 

Conclusion - 3.8 / 5

BigRoad is an affordable solution at $25 per truck per month and only have one person who needs to access the data. On initial use, it seems simple and functional. It’s kind of bare bones, but it does enable you to have log compliance at a price point that won’t drive you crazy.

However, if you or your company need a full-featured telematics, or a better Return On Investment, there are probably much better options.

Summing Up - BigRoad is low cost, entry level toe in the water of Fleet Management and get compliant with the ELD Mandate , learn the basics, and then based on the experience, upgrade to a better, more full-featured system. It’s a decent choice for owner-owned trucks. The support team has a decent reputation.

 

Specifications

 

Display Device
Type: BYOD (Bring your own device)
OS: Android and iOS

 

Features
                 Two-way messaging
                 IFTA
                 Document Scanning
                Drivers can make log corrections

 

Price/Unit
Up-front cost: $0

Monthly cost: $25

2-year Total Cost: $600

 

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