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In-Cab Technology – Webinar Recap

CBDuring our most recent webinar, we looked at the rise in readily available trucking technologies and the impact that smartphones and tablets are having on the industry.

This webinar was presented by BigRoad’s co-founder Terry Frey, who highlighted some of the apps that are bringing a new level of affordability to smaller carriers. Ones, that in the past, could not justify spending on costly proprietary technologies.

Peter Schmidt of Nexlink Communications was also on hand during the discussion to tell us about hardware options that are available. Peter showed us some of the trucking options his company has to offer. This included devices like smartphones and tablets as well as a myriad of mounting hardware options.

We’d like to thank everyone who was able to participate. If we did not answer your question during the webinar you can find answers after thie video. If you would like a copy of the slides from this presentation you can find them here.

Questions & Answers

It was great to see that so many of you were new to BigRoad. Although the session was intended to provide an overview of the current state of in-cab technology, we realize that a lot of you were new attendees to a BigRoad webinar. As you may not be as familiar with what BigRoad does, here’s a quick overview.

BigRoad offers a free mobile app that can be used as a replacement for paper logs. With it, you can create, record and edit clean driver logs. The app features an inspection mode for roadside inspections and you can also access all your logs online any time.

With a subscription, you get access to all the fleet management tools available in the BigRoad web app. This allows you to keep track of your entire fleet, watching for potential hours of service violations and tracking driver availability and vehicle locations.

If you need an engine-connected electronic logging solution, then the DashLink option turns BigRoad into a 395.15-compliant automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD). DashLink plugs into your vehicle’s diagnostic port and sends the data wirelessly to a device running BigRoad. DashLink is ELD-ready, meaning that it will adapt to meet the final ELD specifications when they are published.

BigRoad is available for Android and Apple devices. If you would like to try all of BigRoad’s features, you can sign up for a no-obligation 30-day free trial.



Q. Can the BigRoad phone app be tied into the truck ECM or will that even be necessary if eLogs become mandatory? Are you going to be addressing the new FMCSA requirements of connecting the device to the ECU?
A. The BigRoad app can connect to the engine using the DashLink option. This changes BigRoad from an electronic logbook into an automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD) that meets current regulations. The FMCSA has proposed that Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) be required for all drivers who are already required to prepare driver logs today. When the final specifications for the ELD are published we will make sure BigRoad meets them. To learn more about the ELD mandate please download our ELD eBook.

Q.Who should I contact in regards to setting up the whole package (device, network plan, etc.) for our fleet?
You can contact us at 1-888-305-8777 or [email protected]

Q. How well will it work with small delivery trucks?
A: BigRoad’s engine connected DashLink option supports most heavy duty trucks and motor coaches of make/model/year of 2000 or later and with 6 or 9 pin adapters. 

Q. How do I get BigRoad in a store?
A. You can download the BigRoad app for free at any time from either the Google Play store or the Apple App store. If you want to try the engine-connected DashLink option, you can talk to our sales team at [email protected] to get started.

Q. I’d like to know how to use BigRoad on my phone?
A. This video shows you how to get started with the BigRoad app. If you need further help please call our support line at 1-888-305-8777 ext 11 and one of our support team will be happy to help you.

Q. Is it completely compliant and follow all guidelines for British Columbia Canada, including roadside inspections and audits? Are mobile phone log books legal with dot?
A. Yes, BigRoad provides a legal form of logging for both electronic logging and engine-connected solutions. Learn more about how to use BigRoad at a roadside inspection.

Q. Is there anything available that can capture state/ provincial mileage for IFTA purposes?
A. BigRoad subscribers can get access to State Mileage Reporting online. It uses odometer and GPS data collected through the mobile app and breaks down the mileage by state/province.

Q. In the US, are you required to be able to print the log and hand to a trooper during an inspection? And Canada.
A. If you are using the BigRoad app as an electronic logbook without an engine connection, then an inspector can request a printed version of your logs. Though it is legal to present your logs from the device, email or fax them, if an officer requests a paper copy, then the driver will have to print their logs. We have tested and can recommended printers that are inexpensive and easy to use for this purpose.

If you are using DashLink for engine-connected driver logs, you do not need a printer.

Q. What event triggers the change in duty status from on-duty to driving and vice versa?
A. If you are using BigRoad as an electronic logbook, duty status will change to and from Driving when your device GPS detects motion. If you are using the DashLink option, the change is triggered when the engine data reports that the wheels have started or stopped turning.

Q. Can BigRoad be used on a laptop? I have drivers that are using eLogs via their laptop now and have asked if they can use BigRoad on a traditional PC.
A. BigRoad also has a web app where you can look at logs and make edits. However, it isn’t designed for recording logs. The BigRoad electronic logbook is designed to work on smartphones and tablets as they offer more functionality than a standard laptop. This includes things you won’t find on most laptops like built-in GPS and the ability to automatically change duty status when motion is detected.

Q. When BigRoad is connected to the engine, are the logs still editable? I know I will be asked this by a driver.
A. When connected to the engine, a driver is not able to edit any of their drive time. Once they sign their logs at the end of the day, they won’t be able to edit their logs at all at that point. Any errors at that point that need to be fixed would have to be amended by their fleet admin.

Q. Is BigRoad going to remain free to use?
A. The BigRoad electronic logbook app is a replacement for paper logs and will remain free for users to download and create their logs. Users can also access logs online for free when they sign into their account.

Q. Is there a dispatch communication tool incorporated into your system?
BigRoad has built-in instant messaging and document sharing options that allow drivers and dispatch to communicate.

Q. How does a sleeper berth situation work, will both drivers be shown driving at the same time or is the driver in the sleeper able to edit his status?
A. Simply put, one driver can be in sleeper while the other is driving. If you follow procedures correctly both drivers will not be driving at the same time. Please call our support team at 1-888-305-8777 and they’ll be happy to walk you through the right process for your situation.

Q. How does BigRoad tie in to CyntrX GPS tracking devices?
A. CyntrX is a partner that sells BigRoad as an hours of service solution to complement their GPS tracking and performance monitoring system. We suggest that you also use our DashLink engine connected option with CyntrX for full compliance.

Q. When our drivers use the instant message option to check in, is there any way we could notify our customers as well? Are there any options or features for your product that allows drivers to share their information or selected information to a third party….ie: freight broker?
A. Your drivers can use the check-in feature of the mobile app to share their location with any email address they wish.

Q. I’m a owner-operator working over 7 years pulling intermodal containers. BigRoad doesn’t have options to add chassis numbers. Do I have to include plate numbers for each chassis?
A. There is a field for Trailers on the log, you can enter the chassis number there. Go to Daily Logs > Edit Logs > Edit and you can add the information there.

Q. How many times do I have to sign an inspection?
A. The rules vary depending on where you operate. In most American jurisdictions, you only have to sign your driver inspection once per day. In Canada, you should sign each inspection when it is completed.

Q. What are the top ways drivers try to ‘trick’ the ELD system, and how does BigRoad prevent that or detect that behavior?
A. BigRoad monitors many different parts of the DashLink system constantly to detect tampering. If there is a loss of connectivity, power, or any inconsistency in data, it will be recorded. Although it is impossible to completely prevent tampering, and pattern of regular problems will show up and indicate that a driver has been tampering, which is grounds for dismissal under current regulations.

ELD has yet to be finalized so it is impossible to say exactly how tamper resistence must work. What we do know from the preliminary outline is that the ELD mandate has provisions to make falsifying logs a lot tougher. To learn more, read our ELD eBook.