Every time you turn around it seems as if even some of the biggest players in the ELD market are turning to the BYOD dongle style of devices. This might provide a great option for freelancers or sleek fleets, but larger, more established operations can seriously benefit from the metadata that a more comprehensive ELD can provide. Enter Omnitracs with what is easily one of the more robust ELDs we have seen–in both good and bad ways. Still, while not for everyone, the Omnitracs IVG is an impressive piece of technology for the right companies.
- Over 99% system up-time
- Easy Installation in 30 minutes or less
- Hard-wired to the ECM for security and reliability
- Driver-friendly, hands-free functionality including an easy-to-read screen and intuitive alerts
- Flexible options for network connection and integration
Omnitracs seems to be taking the position of a market leader by pricing their product higher upfront with lower monthly subscription rates. This is a similar model for most top-end data management products which is essentially what ELD has become. That said, Omnitracs has long been one of the market’s big players and the IVG begins to border on a diagnostic tool its functions have been expanded so. Still, as one of the highest cost ELDs on the market, the Omnitracs is not for the faint of heart.
First thing’s first: if you do not have a legitimate fleet of vehicles to worry about, it will be pretty difficult to justify the price of the IVG. On top of that, Omnitracs requires a minimum 5-truck fleet before you can even purchase the IVG. This is because the IVG is meant to be a gateway into telemetric data that is then analyzed to find ways to increase overall efficiency. Obviously, the Omnitracs IVG offers far more potential benefit than a “simple” cost ratio analysis, but that is really where the company makes its bread and butter.
Now if you do need or could seriously benefit from advanced telemetrics, the IVG is a no-brainer. Aside from the fact that it provides some of the most comprehensive and customizable information available, the Omnitracs analytics service set the industry standard–in a large part by creating the industry standard in the first place. As such, the stiff, up-front price requires the kind of volume to justify the cost–even if you pay it off in installments. So even if you meet the 5-truck fleet requirement, you may not deal with the logistical processes that would really benefit from advanced telemetrics.
Of course, Omnitracs does offer its own BYOD model in the XRS, but that still requires some form of service subscription. When you factor the long-term costs, the IVG provides far more information and opportunity to identify problems before they impact the workflow. Of course, the RDC actually provides that service for you, identifying the appropriate balance in the newly evolving legal landscape. But the IVG provides the most important information right at your fingertips and offers an impressive breadth of customization with which few others can compare.
That said, when you judge the Omnitracs IVG, it is based more on its interactivity as the functions will be based on your subscription service. In this instance, you essentially have to compare the IVG to your personal smart device whether a tablet or phone. This being the case, resolution and ease of interactivity will be some of the biggest features. Of course, all too often, this comes back to the programming which is an area where the Omnitracs IVG excels. For directly interfacing, the Omnitracs IVG offers a large 8” touchscreen with 1024 x 600 resolution, or SuperSD. With the whole body extending less than ½” past the screen on either side, this is actually a reasonably compact device.
Still, ELDs need to be easily navigated to prevent the device from distracting you from the road. This is an issue for any kind of device that requires you to physically touch it with your hand. It does not matter whether you are using buttons or a touchscreen, using an electronic device with your hands while driving is illegal. That said, the voice recognition software used with most smart devices leaves a lot to be desired. This is not the case with the Omnitracs IVG as the Omnitracs IVG has a Multi-Core ARM Cortex A9 processor running at 800MHz coupled with 1GB DDR RAM. Also, the microphone is designed to filter the general white noise of the truck. This is coupled with two 3W speakers that may not be good for music but are perfect for the alert and voice systems.
Another excellent feature of the IVG is the sheer number of connectivity options. This ELD can connect via Bluetooth or WiFi and can even serve as a WiFi hotspot for other devices. If you prefer the reliability and zero-latency of a direct connection, the IVG also comes with 2 USB A ports. That said, the IVG does require a hardwired installation, though this is little more than 30 minutes of time and a single plug-and-play hook up. Once the IVG is properly installed, you can actually dismount out quite easily. This allows for the transfer of a single unit between multiple trucks, assuming they have the hardwire connection already set up.
- Display: 8”
- Resolution: 1024 x 600
- Connectivity: 2 USB, Bluetooth, and WiFi
- Interface: Button, Touchscreen, Voice
- Dimensions: 8.8”W x 6.8”H x 1.5”D
- Install: Hardwire
- Memory: 32GB microSD
In the end, the Omnitracs IVG is a high-end device that certainly lives up to its billing, but it also requires a large enough setup to get the most out of it. On top of that, the IVG does not actually provide the analysis itself and serves as an interface for the Omnitracs telemetric services. However, if you have a large enough fleet or can get about $50 per month worth of savings from running advanced telemetrics, then the IVG is a must-have. The sheer breadth of options and information available to the IVG pales in comparison to pretty much every BYOD out there–including Omnitracs’ model.
If you are ready to take your shipping company into high-gear, then the Omnitracs system is one of a few reasonable options. If you have enough experience to know what you are looking for, the IVG provides all of the information you need. But if you do not have the workload or the experience necessary, you might want to look elsewhere.