Over the past year we have heard a lot of talk about the 3G Network going away, thus leaving many fleets with useless ELD equipment. It is true that the majority of these electronics are going to no longer work in the near future. However, the transition from the “working” equipment to the “not working” equipment on the planned sunset date may be misconstrued.
Each service provider has different plans on the sunsetting of their own network. For example, AT&T has a planned sunset on February of 2022 while Sprint/T-Mobile will go in December of 2022 giving customers a longer time to make a move on any upgrades. After many delays of decommissioning their 3G Network, Verizon has announced a date of December 31, 2022. With all of these dates in mind, customers will start to see limitations on activations, troubleshooting and repairs, and even warranties on any 3G devices. Please note that when these providers sunset the network, there will be a gradual degradation of the towers and reliability of the devices on the network. Repairs and updates will no longer be performed on the network so it will start to get spotty and unstable. This will not be a shut-off like a light switch. However, the 3G equipment each specific service provider has on air may have a different fate when we get closer to the end date.
In the trucking industry, this poses many problems for fleets that have current operations tied to 3G ELD devices. Service providers like Omnitracs and PeopleNet have many platforms and hundreds of thousands of systems working on a network with planned obsolescence.With most of their customers tied into products working on the 3G network, the Omnitracs legacy platforms like the MCP50, MCP110, or even the robust and powerful MCP200 will have to have a plan to make a move to a newer system basically coming into the market within the last two years. Even newer systems like the 3G IVG will need to be replaced by a 4G IVG display or a newer system altogether. Other options within the Omnitracs 4G platform include the newer Omnitracs OmniOne system, a scalable, diverse solution that can add peripheral devices and work with a myriad of displays. More information will be coming on the Omnitracs OmniOne system as we get more into Q2 of 2021.
Using 3G equipment until the last possible moment is not the best idea. In these situations in the past regarding the FMCSA ELD mandate, we have seen tremendous bottlenecks with a mad dash from the procrastinators making it very difficult to get delivery of equipment on time, product and software training, and even support needed before the transition is needed. This doesn’t mean there needs to be any panic. Make a plan and research the newer equipment on the market that will fit the needs of your specific fleet’s operational profile. Newer companies like Samsara and TruckX have come to market with feature rich applications and software, added peripheral equipment like on-board cameras and trailer tracking systems, and a new school take on customer support, all at a cost much lower than the current portfolio of 3G equipment that has been available over the last decade.
If you are fleet currently using 3G ELD equipment and need to wait for a few months to ultimately commit to a decision but are still growing, investing in used equipment would be the way to go to limit the overall cost of the investment. fleets can save up to 80% for a short term solution before migrating a fleet to a new 4G ELD system. This is a great Band-Aid type fix until there is a solution ready that fits your needs. Fleets wanting to upgrade to a newer 4G ELD solution can also take advantage of used ELD equipment prices. For example, if a fleet needs to upgrade from an omnitracs 3G IVG but doesn’t want to move to another solution, a simple swap of the display to a used 4G IVG can save thousands of dollars versus buying a new 4GIVG, and still have a warranty.
For more information on newer 4G ELD systems from Omnitracs, Samsara, PeopleNet, or any other service provider, please contact a representative at Pivot Technology Resources for a consultative approach on finding the right solution. There still is time and there are many options.
Pivot Technology Resources – 9132202238 or firstname.lastname@example.org