Pedigree Technologies may not yet be a household name among ELDs, but they have quietly put together one of the most capable e-log and fleet management products on the market. Their deep understanding of the mandate and of real-world hours of service challenges has led them to create some very useful log tools that we haven’t seen in any other device. While it may not be the simplest or the cheapest option on the market, Pedigree’s ELD Chrome solution and OneView platform offer features that you simply won’t find anywhere else. And once you have seen them, you may find them hard to do without.
The team at Pedigree Technologies has distinguished themselves with their commitment to fully understanding the ELD mandate and meeting all of its many requirements. Every product developer in the company was required to read the entire 500 page mandate cover-to-cover. The result is a system that has some truly unique tools designed to handle some of the sticky situations caused by the new rules. To name one prime example, ELD Chrome allows drivers to re-classify “Driving” time as “Personal Use” or “Yard Move” time, while still complying with all mandated restrictions. The mandate says that “Driving” time automatically recorded by the ELD cannot be changed. So if a driver accidentally leaves themselves logged in during a mechanic’s test drive, or during a personal run to the grocery store, there is nothing they can do to remove that accidental “Driving” time from their log. ELD Chrome abides by this rule, and does not remove any “Driving” time from the log. However, the system does allow the driver to go back and make a note stating that the “Driving” time should have been classified as “Personal Use” or “Yard Move”. While this will not update the log grid (due to the mandate rules), it will update the driver’s “time remaining” clocks. For example, a driver who accidentally broke up their 34-hour restart with a 5 minute run to the grocery store will have the ability to annotate their log and update their HoS clocks to reflect the fact that the driving time should have been logged as “Personal Use”. That way their time remaining will still reflect the 34-hour restart, even though they accidentally disrupted their “Off Duty” time. This may sound like a niche situation, but we suspect that drivers and carriers alike will find it surprisingly valuable for dealing with cases where legitimately exempt driving gets accidentally recorded onto a driver’s log. Pedigree’s OneView platform is also the only system we’ve seen so far that allows log information to be easily imported from other systems using the FMCSA standard log file format. This feature may come in very handy for mixed fleets using a combination of several different e-log systems.
More generally speaking, ELD Chrome’s tools for managing logs are easier than most. Drivers can tap on their grid to change existing log entries, or press and hold to add new status changes. When adding a past status change, the system automatically fills in the location and time to minimize tedious data entry. The carrier is given similar tools for making suggested edits from the back office interface. The grid style feels like a familiar paper log, complete with locations written vertically below the graph. Another very distinctive feature is that when the driver is reviewing suggested edits made by the carrier, they are able to see the full impact of those changes. They can see how their log grid looks before and after, how their remaining hours will change as a result of the edit, and what violations will be added or removed. This takes a lot of the confusing guesswork out of making and approving log corrections. ELD Chrome also supports a wide range of HoS rule sets including US, Canadian, state-specific, and oilfield rules. When desired, the unit can automatically prompt the driver to change rule set when moving into a new jurisdiction.
Beyond Hours of Service tools, the system has a host of other fleet management capabilities. Typical features like DVIR, IFTA tracking, engine diagnostics, and safety alerts are all available. Beyond the basics, OneView also supports a wide range of optional external sensors to monitor everything from tire pressure to reefer temperature to tanker volume. The back office interface has a large suite of customizable reports, dashboards, and alerts designed to help managers keep up with their fleet in great detail. Fleet owners looking to take their analytics and visibility to the next level will find a lot to like here.
ELD Chrome and the OneView platform have a wealth of great features (many of which are unique), but there are a few potential drawbacks as well. While the Cab-Mate One is quite affordable compared to many similar products, those looking for a bare-minimum ELD may find it a little pricey. The system also has a lot of great capabilities, but that can make it feel a bit complex at first. Drivers just getting started on electronic logs may not find the app to be immediately intuitive. However with a little training we found the system to be quite easy to use, and ELD Chrome has an interactive driver training program directly accessible from the Cab-Mate tablet. For safety managers, some helpful tools are in the works but are not yet fully functional. For example, when assigning Unidentified Driving records, the system does not yet assist by showing the previous and next driver of the vehicle. When making suggested edits to a driver’s log, the changes are not displayed visually on the grid. So the manager needs to be careful to ensure they are making the changes they intend. Systems for easily tracking the approval status of suggested edits, and for transferring log activity between team drivers are also still under construction. Drivers who have Unidentified Driving records on their unit are not currently able to dismiss the records as belonging to someone else, so they continue to get alerts about them. However most of these issues are fairly minor complaints, and the pending features should be released in the near future.
We have confidence in Pedigree Technologies’ ability to continue to refine the product. Customers gave excellent feedback on the company’s customer service and their willingness to customize the system to the needs of their users. Pedigree already has pre-built integrations with major TMS providers like McLeod and TMW, and the system can be fully integrated with other software as needed. Customers gave enthusiastically positive reviews of Pedigree’s tech support in everything from advanced integrations to simple driver troubleshooting. Feedback from users on hardware reliability was also very positive. Large customers reported very few defective units, and said that any malfunctioning hardware was always replaced quickly.
It is worth noting that while this review has focused on ELD Chrome’s newest device option called the “Cab-Mate One”, they also offer several other hardware bundles. The Cab-Mate One is interesting in that the ELD recording device is built directly into the cradle where the display screen rests. This makes it easy to remove the screen to show to an officer, while the Cab-Mate One cradle continues recording engine data. Truck rental agencies may also find this configuration useful because the ELD cradle can remain in the vehicle at all times to provide tracking and diagnostics, and customers who need an ELD can simply be provided with the tablet to snap in. Pedigree also offers the “Cab-Mate Connect” which is a ruggedized tablet wired into an external engine recording device. While similar, Connect offers some enhanced sensor capabilities. Finally the “Cab-Mate Open” is a BYOD solution that customers can use with their own smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. The ELD Chrome software and the experience for drivers and managers is much the same in all three options, but the different hardware configurations may provide advantages for certain customer needs.
In summary, ELD Chrome from Pedigree Technologies is one of the most full-featured and flexible ELDs on the market right now. They have some very clever HoS tools designed to make life easier for drivers and carriers. Those looking for a bare minimum ELD may find cheaper options, but fleets hoping to easily manage logs (and much more) will find these capabilities to be very valuable. The unique features plus Pedigree’s focus on full mandate compliance and customer support make them worth a serious look for anyone seeking advantages that go well beyond basic compliance.
UP FRONT COST
3-YEAR TOTAL COST
Pros & Cons
- Excellent, unique Hours of Service tools
- A wide range of extra features
- Strong dedication to customer service and mandate compliance
- The app takes some training to get used to
- A little pricey for those seeking bare minimum compliance
- A few valuable features are still pending
After the learning curve, This a great product with great extra features. It sports a reliable connection that gives peace of mind in situations where we use it.