Zonar Systems GPS Fleet Management Review

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By Julia Watts | Content Manager

If you’re not using Zonar the next time your tires hit the asphalt, you’re missing out

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  • First-class regulatory compliance
  • Powerful tracking software

X Cons:

  • Still finding its feet as a leading ELD supplier

In 2016, private motor carriers paid an estimated $217 million in Department of Transportation (DOT) fines, vehicle repair costs and lost revenue. The reason?

Unroadworthy vehicles.

For better or for worse, federal law doesn’t make fleet owners take their vehicles in for regular inspections. By and large, it’s up to drivers to detect minor defects before they cause major vehicle downtime. And when the consequences of negligence are so costly, you can’t afford to cut corners

Enter Zonar Systems, the fleet management firm that changed the way we do vehicle maintenance. In 2003, Zonar brought unmatched accountability to daily driver vehicle inspections with its patented Electronic Vehicle Inspection Reporting (EVIR) system. Since then, the firm has served thousands of customers with its telematics solutions.

Read on for our review of the Zonar Systems fleet management suite.

What’s On This Page?

Head straight to a specific section by clicking the links below.

Who Is Zonar For?

Simply put, Zonar has a solution for every kind of fleet. Far from being Zonar’s only fleet management product, EVIR is part of an integrated suite. We’ll get to the specifics in a minute, but in short, Zonar’s fleet tracking solutions can help you:

  • Monitor your fleet’s activities in real time, from anywhere
  • Learn more about your fleet through intuitive dashboards
  • Comply with Department of Transportation (DOT) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reporting standards
  • Meet FMCSA hours-of-service (HOS) electronic logging requirements
  • Cut down on admin with automatic payroll data capture and reporting
  • Improve driver safety and reduce unsafe driving behavior
  • Send vehicle inspection data to your repair team in real time

As for customers, Zonar is hardly short of them. Public and private sector motor carriers they’ve worked with include the following firms:

Zonar Partners
Butler Machinery logoChicago Public Schools logoAdams 12 Schools logoWatkins Glen Central School District logoKootenai Electric Cooperative logoValley Metro logoNational Express logo
Cache County School District logoCity of Glendale logoCity of Denver logoSuperior Bowen Asphalt logoNebraska Transport CompanylogoOhio Shares logoPacifc Coachways logo
Columbus City Schools logoFreeport School District logoTown of Gilbert logoHenkels & McCoy logoGoodfellow Bros logoCity of Sacramento logoCity of Tacoma logo

That’s a seriously impressive list of clients spanning more than a dozen industries. In short, whether you’re a business owner, fleet manager, dispatcher or garage manager, Zonar has you covered.

Zonar Fleet Management Solutions

Zonar has more telematics tools than a Swiss Army knife has…well, knives. These ones are best used in tandem with one another, but they work well with third party tech too.

Zonar Ground Traffic Control:

Zonar’s web-based Ground Traffic Control system makes fleet management feel more like air traffic control. An on-screen map shows your fleet’s coverage area and second-to-second vehicle movements. Customizable alerts and instant messaging mean you’re always up to speed and in touch with your drivers.

Plus, if wading through sewage sounds more appealing to you than sifting through fleet management compliance spreadsheets, Ground Traffic Control can sort you out. Not with sewage, thankfully, but with powerful analytics software. Turning big data into digestible dashboards and reports has never been easier.

What’s also great is that you can connect to Ground Traffic Control from any computer, tablet or smartphone with an internet connection.

Ground Traffic Control can help you:

  • Track your fleet in real time for immediate and effective decision making
  • Plan faster delivery routes
  • Spot where fuel wastage occurs and adjust strategies accordingly
  • Automate tasks that used to burden your administrative staff
  • Share business insights with stakeholders
  • Integrate advanced reporting and analytics with your existing business applications
  • Reduce operating costs, boost business productivity and raise customer satisfaction

Zonar V3

If the eyes are a window to your soul, Zonar’s V3 HD-GPS vehicle tracking system (VTS) is an interface for your engine control unit (ECU).

(in English) The V3 is a small device that you hardwire to the engine of every vehicle you want to track. With it, you can run starts and stops reports and keep tabs on engine idling. It’s an amazing way to get more granular insights into your fleet’s fuel usage. Plus, if one of your vehicles ever gets stolen, you’ll be able to run a starts and stops report to find out its last known parked location. Good luck thieves!

Zonar V3 can help you:

  • Track asset location, distance travelled and fuel use
  • Perform driver safety monitoring
  • Diagnose engine problems remotely

Zonar 2020

This GPS-enabled Android tablet sits at the heart of Zonar’s innovative EVIR system. It uses an RFID scanner to verify when drivers have physically inspected key parts of the vehicle. If they spot an issue, reporting it back to fleet HQ is as simple as snapping a picture with the inbuilt camera.

The 2020 comes pre-installed with Zonar Logs software, which turns it into an FMCSA-certified electronic logging device (ELD). In case you don’t know, ELDs became a legal requirement at the end of 2017, so now’s a great time to get compliant if you aren’t already.

Zonar 2020 can help you:

  • Get turn-by-turn GPS route mapping
  • Verify the completion of driver vehicle inspections
  • Comply with FMCSA regulations (and avoid fines for noncompliance)
  • Ensure drivers’ actual working hours are within safe limits
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Why Choose Zonar Systems for Fleet Management?

It case it isn’t clear by now, we think Zonar Systems deserves all the acclaim they get. Years of investing in new tech have enabled them to innovate at a pace that few can match. And, crucially, their fleet management solutions offer great ROI for firms operating in any part of the transport sector. Just take a look at the savings some of Zonar’s customers have seen:

SupplierIndustryNumber of VehiclesAnnual Business Savings
Ohio Shared Services CollaborativeSchool transportation450 buses$50,831
Cache County School DistrictSchool transportation125 school buses$180,000
Goodfellow Bros ConstructionConstruction114 trucks and tractors$21,840
Town of GilbertWaste collection55$584,000

As you can see, even smaller organisations can make significant savings with Zonar. That said, it’s impossible to know how much you could save without knowing the specifics of your fleet – for that, you’ll need to request quotes directly from suppliers.

These figures don’t even tell the full story. Here’s how Zonar’s fleet management services are helping some of their other clients.

Zonar Success Stories

Knight Transportation

Knight Transportation chose Zonar’s 2020 tablet for its open-source Android software that lets them customize the platform with any app they like. The tablet’s versatility aligned with the company’s goal of finding a cutting-edge solution that wouldn’t age over time. Functionality also mattered, especially since Knight was cutting ties with an old telematics partner.

With reporting that’s more robust and easier to understand, Knight now has more information, and the means to use it. And the results? Drivers are safer, customers are happier, and Knight’s fleet is more effective than ever.

Butler Machinery

Butler Machinery’s 450-vehicle fleet of Class 5 through Class 8 trucks operates in North and South Dakota, and Nebraska. With a high workload and lots of ground to cover, the company desperately needed to limit the time drivers were spending on vehicle inspections.

Butler started using a number of Zonar solutions, including the V3 and the EVIR-enabled 2020 tablet. Now, with less time spent on logs and recordkeeping, the company has more time to spend on its customers. That’s helped Butler to land a whole lot more of them.

What Customer Support Does Zonar Offer?

“…we call it “Customer Care” because we truly do care.” – Zonar

Heartwarming stuff, but does Zonar’s customer service really support this sentiment? Well, after speaking with their friendly customer service staff, we can see why Zonar has a 99% customer retention rate. Whether you’re worried about installing the hardware or you want help training your staff, they’re happy to help.

Thankfully, Zonar is so deeply involved in the onboarding process that not much can go wrong. Specially-trained teams take care of equipment installation for you – on site no less. Post-installation, a dedicated team of quality assurance advisors checks every component to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

But the ‘customer care’ doesn’t end there. For as long as you’re with Zonar, you get 24/7/365 phone and email support. Beautiful.

Expert Verdict

After 18 years, Zonar Systems has built a superb reputation for developing great solutions to operational problems. EVIR is still the smartest system for fleet maintenance, Ground Traffic Control is intuitive and the on-board tech functions flawlessly.

Taken together, Zonar’s products form the best all-round, all-in-one solution to fleet tracking, fuel management and asset protection.

Do keep in mind that Zonar tailors its fleet management services to individual businesses. Prices vary based, among other things, on your fleet’s size, location and coverage area. We know that’s a bit vague, but the trouble is that most fleet management suppliers only offer detailed quotes over the phone. Fortunately, we can help you get the lowdown straight from the horse’s mouth. Use our quick quotes-finding tool to request more information from top suppliers themselves.

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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