First day of ELDs hit KeepTruckin, Omnitracs, and BigRoad with technical issues

Frustrated truckers lash out on Facebook

On Monday, December 18, the ELD mandate went into effect. Thousands of new users who had waited until the last minute to configure their systems plugged in and turned on for the first time. Several ELD vendors, from KeepTruckin to Omnitracs, BigRoad, and One20 saw massive spikes in usage and service calls. Drivers reported a plethora of problems with their ELD devices—and even if outages were not officially acknowledged by the ELD providers, users still experienced severe lags and impaired functionality.

KeepTruckin seems to have experienced the most severe disruptions to its service on the first day ELDs were required to be on every truck. KeepTruckin tried to roll out a new update to their system last weekend, just before the mandate hit, but it wasn’t available on Monday. Brian Elston of Stout Transportation said, “both their dashboard [and] driver KeepTruckin accounts have been offline and unavailable.” KeepTruckin said that it bought extra server capacity in anticipation of a surge of new accounts, but underestimated the volume. “The request volume spiked far beyond expectations, due to the extremely high number of users connecting for the first time,” the company said. 

The disruptions were mostly isolated to new users, KeepTruckin said, and that “drivers who have already logged into the KeepTruckin app and connected to their ELD can continue to log their hours as they normally would.” A Dec. 18 Facebook comment from KeepTruckin customer Damir Usanovic, belied the company’s official line: “Since this morning it’s not recording status changes at all, even though [Dashlink] is connected. Too bad, as it was bulletproof 7 previous months since I installed it.” KeepTruckin customer Yuriy Fabyan wrote “Keep trucking stopped recording and also wouldn’t connect to the app in my dad’s semi, his company also got a few guys with issues… I don’t think they were ready for this,” at 1:09 AM Tuesday morning on KeepTruckin’s Facebook page. Clearly the technical issues were not limited to new users.

Omnitracs users reported difficulties logging into their accounts; the company said that the issue was with a customer portal, not with the ELD product itself. Phillip Pedro wrote on Omnitrac’s Facebook page on the morning of Dec. 18: “I am sure Omnitracs is aware that the ELD Mandate started today. You’re customer portal is down and/or degraded, your terms. We have no visibility to make sure we comply with the mandate because you were not ready for TODAY! Your support for the last couple of weeks has been lacking at best. Lack of confidence in your ability to help carriers stay compliant. Nothing on your website about the degraded portal so I thought I would put it on your facebook page so others know that you have a HUGE problem.!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

On Facebook, BigRoad customers reported problems with their ELDs—Joe Baker wrote on the afternoon of Dec. 18, “we originally had 1 to 2 units glitching, now we’re up to 7 units glitching and randomly jumping to on duty while driving”—and customer service delays. John Joseph wrote on BigRoad’s Facebook page on Dec. 18, “Tech support is by far the worst I’ve ever seen.”

FreightWaves will continue to cover this story as it develops.

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John Paul Hampstead, Associate Editor

John Paul writes about current events and economics, especially politics, finance, and commodities, and holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan. In previous lives John Paul studied Shakespeare in London and Buddhism in India, but now he focuses on transportation and logistics in the heart of Freight Alley--Chattanooga. He spends his free time with his wife and daughter herding cats, collecting books, and walking alongside the Tennessee River.

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