• ITVI.USA
    15,341.400
    78.550
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    24.780
    0.360
    1.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,289.500
    66.220
    0.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.690
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.550
    -0.030
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.030
    -0.080
    -2.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    0.150
    11.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.910
    -0.030
    -1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.700
    -0.040
    -2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.020
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    120.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,341.400
    78.550
    0.5%
  • OTRI.USA
    24.780
    0.360
    1.5%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,289.500
    66.220
    0.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.690
    0.010
    0.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.550
    -0.030
    -1.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.030
    -0.080
    -2.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.450
    0.150
    11.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    2.910
    -0.030
    -1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.700
    -0.040
    -2.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.020
    -0.010
    -0.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    120.000
    0.000
    0%
NewsTechnologyTrucking

Outages hit PeopleNet electronic logging devices

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is “aware of and monitoring” the situation.

Drivers using PeopleNet electronic logging devices (ELDs) are reporting a higher-than-usual number of outages, along with sluggish log-in times and other system malfunctions.

“They’ll log in and it [the ELD] just thought and thought and just wants to think the whole time,” said Tom Kuehl, owner of Kuehl Transport in Heron Lake, Minnesota.

Kuehl said several of his drivers have encountered difficulties with the system over the past two days. 

PeopleNet parent company Trimble Transportation (NASDAQ: TRMB) did not immediately respond to FreightWaves’ requests for comment.  

A spokesperson for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said the agency is “aware of and monitoring” the situation.

Drivers are also experiencing longer-than-usual customer service wait times. “Please get more PeopleNet support staff for phones, a 121-minute wait time is unacceptable,” tweeted one irate driver on Dec. 19.

One of his drivers who contacted the PeopleNet service line on Jan. 2 was given a case number of 1,300, according to Kuehl. The usual case number is in the hundreds, he said.

“They [PeopleNet] said they were swamped,” Kuehl said.

Anecdotal reports suggest that problems with PeopleNet may have increased just after the Dec. 16 deadline that required drivers using automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) to convert to ELDs. Sluggish wait times could point to problems with the server, which might be overloaded as a result of the ELD mandate.

Michael Vanidestine, an over-the-road driver at Wisconsin-based Ecklund Logistics, said in a Facebook post that the company’s PeopleNet system went down Dec. 31. He speculated that the ELD malfunctioned because the computer system did not recognize the calendar year of 2020, although there is no evidence to suggest that is the case.

“We’re on paper logs until they correct the problem,” Vanidestine said.

Quincy Johnson, an over-the-road driver, told FreightWaves his problems with PeopleNet started Dec. 29. “When I woke up, the GPS was out, the Wi-Fi was out,” he said.  

“I tried turning it off, turning it back on — nothing. It’s just down,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who works for a Denver-based carrier, said he plans to get the device fixed once he returns to the yard. He is now using a paper log. “It reminds me of the early days of trucking,” he said. “I guess it’s good for my math skills.”

The PeopleNet outage is the latest in a series of high-profile fleet management system breakdowns. An Omnitracs shutdown Nov. 2 left tens of thousands of truck drivers with malfunctioning ELDs. Two weeks ago an outage hit Truckstop.com, one of the two biggest truck freight-matching platforms in the U.S. 

According to the Trimble website, PeopleNet products are used by approximately 1,500 truckload, LTL, private and regional fleets in the U.S. and Canada.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to lbaker@freightwaves.com.

22 Comments

    1. I doubt they’ll be going away anytime soon as they do serve a practical purpose. This is why we’re allowed to run paper logs as a backup.

      There’s definitely some bugs that need to be ironed out and with any electronic, there’s always the possibility of an issue.

      1. The system is flawed .

        First they want to mandate ELD’s to prevent tampering through their hocus pocus safety propaganda .

        Then when there’s a “glitch” in their mandated “system” , they come back full swing allowing paper logs that can be tampered with , LOL !

        So when their so called “safety” mandate is unreliable , they allow you to use an “unsafe” logging system ??? ROTFLMAO !

        Now THAT is negligent on their part ! It’s freaking preposterous !

        Hey , I’m just pointing out a point .

        This my friend is insanity at it’s best !

        In my humble opinion ………….

        1. In an attempt to remove any ambiguity it what I’m suggesting .

          Logging devices are unreliable , whether electronic or of any sort , and should not be regulated . They should be optional for internal affairs .

          A truck driver should not be required by law to abide by any sort of logging rules nor HOS . Nor should they be judged by law concerning anything a logging device may contain .

          Do you understand what that means ?

          However, due to the “freedom” and independence this abolishment would provide , we drivers need to stand together to prevent any sort of abuse . We need to be reasonable and mature . WOW what a concept !

          In my humble opinion ………..

    2. Support was helpful once I got through. My highest time in que was 151 minutes.
      Better option is to leave a number and have them call back.

  1. GPS clock is the issue for the most recent failure, resulting in my fleet being on paper. Updates are being OTAP’d to 56,000 units.

    This is a separate issue from the delays caused by software hangups, which are currently costing us more than $10k a week in payroll.

    We will be on a different system by February 1st, ending an over 10 year relationship with Peoplenet which began crumbling when Trimble bought them.

  2. people net system for me before the mandate worked great.
    im sure they spent millions of dollars to have An outstanding standing system. *****NEWS FLASH***** the new system sucks. its like people net went back operating windows 95. what a joke.
    im not i.t guy but im pretty sure the old system could have been tweak just a little to keep us all compliant.

  3. The most horrible customer service ever. The change from AOBRD to ELD is the worst software debacle I have ever seen. When you do get in touch with support, they are of no help whatsoever. I am pushing to go somewhere else for our ELD…anywhere else. A clipboard hooked to a car battery would give better results!

  4. Same thing happened with Omnitracs on November 2, 2019. It’s most likely the same type of issue. My MCP 200 is still not fixed. It’s not because of the ELD mandatory switch from AOBRD. I wish writers would actually investigate before writing. There are only a few differences between the two types of electronic log systems.
    The main difference is how law enforcement gets our logs.
    My company completed a year long transition to ELD and most of it was transparent. This is probably satellite issues. They will have to do a software update to fix it. Use paper logs its not the end of the world.

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