Samsara Review

samsara vehicle tracking logo

By Julia Watts | Content Manager

Looking to optimize your on-the-road operations? Read this review to find out how Samsara’s fleet management system can work for you.


Pros:

  • Suitable for small to large businesses
  • Huge variety of industries covered
  • Covers management, safety and compliance
  • Regular feature updates
  • Offers ELD system for full compliance

X Cons:

  • Training offered not as in-depth as other systems
  • Updates sometimes make the software run a little slower

According to a 2018 report by CCJ (Commercial Carrier Journal), Samsara is adding 1,700 fleet customers every quarter. Add its ambitious growth plans to that figure and you can see how the company is solidifying its position as a leading fleet management supplier.

Much of Samsara’s growth success comes down to the combination of its intuitive, easy-to-use software and intelligent hardware. Devices for GPS tracking, asset tracking, temperature logging, filming, and ELD compliance collect heaps of data to send back to the software platform on your device, providing you with a complete overview of your business’s on-the-road performance.

But is this system right for you? In this review, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision; from the different hardware options to the range of software features.



What is Samsara for Fleets?

Samsara software
Samsara's software interface

Samsara for Fleets is an example of an Internet of Things system. An Internet of Things system consists of a number of hardware elements that hook up to a central software system via an internet connection (the Cloud).

Through the Cloud, data is transferred to the software, and digested into easy to interpret information that’ll help you operate your fleet more efficiently.

So what makes Samsara so special? Firstly, thanks to Samsara’s range of fleet management hardware, users benefit from the following data insights:

  • Real-time location and telematics
  • ELD compliance
  • Video-based driver safety
  • Routing, dispatch, and messaging
  • Electronic driver documents
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Trailer tracking
  • Reefer monitoring and control

You can view all of these insights easily on Samsara’s software app, which is downloadable onto desktop, tablet or mobile phone.

Secondly, Samsara’s fleet management system is incredibly versatile. Other vehicle management systems may only be optimized for a certain type of fleet, whereas the GPS gateways, cameras, and sensors of Samsara’s system make it suitable for the following vehicle types:

  • Light and heavy trucks
  • Passenger cards
  • Buses
  • Dry van and refrigerated trailers
  • Heavy construction equipment
  • Mobile assets
  • Private fleets
  • Service fleets
  • Passenger transit

Whether it suits your needs well or not, comparing Samsara to other fleet management providers is a good idea. We’re here to make that process a lot simpler.

Simply tell us a little about your fleet by filling in our short form, and you’ll receive tailored quotes and deals to compare from a variety of suitable fleet management companies. It’s free, and could save you a lot of time – so why not give it a try?


Samsara’s Features and Benefits

What are some of the main features of Samsara’s fleet management system and how will they benefit you?

Open APIs (Application Programming Interface)

This feature isn’t as complicated as it sounds. All it means is that you can integrate other software applications into Samsara’s fleet management system. Create the perfect management system for your business: think HR software, payroll software, and invoicing systems.

Internet Connected Cameras

You can keep an eye on your drivers’ driving skills and the driving of other road users with driver and road-facing cameras. These cameras will provide evidence if any need to make or defend an insurance claim arises.

ELD Compliance

A number of Samsara’s features work together to ensure your business remains compliant with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate. Combining driver input, GPS tracking and engine data, you gain a comprehensive insight into how your business is operating.

With the deadline for full ELD compliance fast approaching, let’s take a closer look at this key feature…

Samsara ELD Compliance

All business fleets need to be fully compliant with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate by December 16 2019. In other words, all of your vehicles need to be set up with an ELD (electronic logging device) system by this date.

The mandate has been put in place to ensure accurate HOS (hours of service) reporting, keeping your drivers and their fellow road-users safe. As with any law, failure to abide by it will lead to trouble – so make sure you’re on top of it before the deadline.

You can learn more about the ELD mandate by checking out our detailed guide.

Handily, Samsara offers a highly-rated FMCSA-certified ELD system, which incorporates:

  1. Compatible ELDs
  2. An intuitive driver app, using which your drivers can instantly check, amend and certify their HOS logs, set their duty statuses, receive alerts when nearing HOS violations, and more.
  3. management dashboard from which you can view a range of vehicle data, monitor real-time (and historical) HOS reports, and, importantly, set up rulesets (that is, HOS requirements) that update automatically depending on each driver’s location.

Samsara ELD reviews

To get the full picture, we took to busy review sites to see what real users think of Samsara’s ELD system.

On the whole, feedback for the system is positively glowing:

“We looked at everything, and Samsara is hands down the best system to use for ELD compliance and making my fleet run as efficiently as possible.”

– Aaron, Samsara customer, ELD Ratings

“Easy, simple, no headaches. Real-time GPS Helicopter View is awesome! The mobile app for ELD is incredibly easy, and my drivers love it.”

– Bobby T., Samsara customer, ELD Ratings

“I’m a driver just switching to ELD, and have been with Samsara for about a month. It’s driver-friendly and easy to use.”

– Brian, Samsara customer, ELD Ratings

However, a few Samsara customers have experienced some glitches…

“While the ELD system was easy to install and set up, it has a few bugs. It constantly switches the drivers’ duty status without prompt. We operate under an AG Exemption, but the system doesn’t recognize the exemption.”

– CT, Samsara customer, Trustpilot

“We have had three trucks now that have literally been sitting still on a lock lot, but somehow their ELD shows them driving two to three hours.”

– Nikki Shue, Samsara customer, ELD Ratings

All that being said, these problems haven’t proved universal. As another user adds:

“Can’t explain all the negative reviews about the driver app arbitrarily switching driver’s status. It has never happened to us – I suspect user error.

“Samsara is hands down the best front and back end ELD system. The integration with reefer control is top notch – the system just works.”

-Thomas D. Berka, Samsara customer, ELD Ratings

How much does Samsara ELD cost?

As we’ll cover in the next section, Samsara doesn’t provide one-size-fits-all pricing. It bases its packages around each business’ fleet size and needs, so we’re not able to tell you how much its ELD system will cost you. Don’t be alarmed – this is fairly standard practice among fleet management providers.

For more detail on Samsara’s pricing as a whole, read on…


Samsara’s Pricing

As mentioned above, all Samsara fleet management systems are designed around your business’s specific needs and as such, all quotes are individual. What you will find is that there’s a one-off fee to cover the set-up costs, and then an ongoing monthly fee to cover the hosting.

It’s always a good idea to see how much return on investment (ROI) a fleet management system will offer you. As it happens, Samsara has a handy ROI calculator that businesses owners can fill in. Of course, if you would like to know the exact cost of a Samsara fleet management system, you’ll need to get in touch with one of the company’s sales representatives.

Alternatively, you can compare fleet management system prices from a range of suppliers – empowering you to explore several suitable options and quotes in one – by filling in our short form. It’s free – and you’ll receive information and bespoke prices from a variety of top suppliers. why not give it a go?


Samsara for Small Businesses

Would you like the comfort of knowing that you’re managing your fleet as effectively as possible? Samsara’s fleet management system can help. Whether it’s ensuring your drivers are driving as efficiently as possible, keeping tabs on fuel expenditure or tracking driving hours, you’ll find investing in a Samsara system will help you manage any fleet-related costs and operations.

Samsara states that its fleet management system is suitable for small businesses. In fact, it even has a separate small to medium business savings calculator that takes into consideration how much you’ll save on:

  • Cellular expenses
  • Engine idleness
  • Mileage
  • Driver productivity
  • Vehicle maintenance
If you’re unsure if Samsara’s fleet management system is right for you, you can always request a free trial. Their free trial aims to provide you with a true insight into how effective their system will be for your company by including:

  • Brand new equipment
  • Cellular connectivity
  • Full Samsara software license

Expert Verdict

When it comes to its fleet management system, there’s no doubt that Samsara has thought of everything. Combining modern hardware with intelligent software, a Samsara fleet management system will provide you with all the information you need to keep track of fleet-related operations and costs, and stay compliant.

As we mentioned at the start of the review, some customers have reported a lack of training, while others find updates can make the app run a little on the slow side. But what’s important to note is that the majority of customers report little to no issues with the system, finding it both easy to use and an effective way to keep an eye on all fleet-related operations.

For the next step in your research, why not compare Samsara to a few other options? Tell us about your fleet by answering a couple of quick questions, and you’ll receive tailored prices from fleet management providers that can cater to your needs. It’s free, and could save you a lot of time!

Julia Watts Content Manager
Specializing in business energy, fleet management and fuel cards, Julia’s here to help your company power up and get on the move. Having spent years working in the dynamic world of startup entrepreneurship, she loves creating content that might help exciting ventures, big or small, to flourish.
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