Support

Select a support option or help topic from the list below:

Contact Support

Company:
Name:
Phone Number:
Email:
Comments:



Sales/Technical Support Phone Number: 416.259.9842

Global Positioning System (GPS) Services Overview

The Global Positioning System (GPS) comprises numerous satellites orbiting the Earth transmitting sets of low power radio frequency (RF) signals that can be received and interpreted by small electronic devices, commonly known as GPS devices, to determine the location of the device on the Earth. Smart phones and many other devices now contain GPS electronic hardware for determining location. From initial powering up of GPS device hardware, typically about 30 to 40 seconds is required to determine the first valid GPS location and subsequent computations of location require only a few seconds. GPS based on satellites performs best in open air while having poor or no reception inside buildings, between tall buildings, inside tunnels, etc.

Once location information is determined, this data can be used to plot the location on a mapping system and/or be transmitted, via wireless networks (for example, mobility networks), to a server for storage, presentation on maps and various reporting. A GPS device may contain additional electronic systems for mobility network connection via SIM card, Bluetooth wireless for tethering to a nearby smart phone/tablet, USB connection to another device and/or connection to vehicle On Board Diagnostics (OBD).

Trucks, trailers and other vehicles used for commercial purposes use GPS systems for fleet management and government compliance purposes as follows:

  • Location Tracking (Real-time, Optional): Tracking the precise location of vehicles (typically in near real-time) is purely a fleet management tool used by companies who operate vehicle fleets and is not directly required by any government legislation. Companies may use this data to locate their assets, determine efficient routing, perform scheduling/routing while vehicles are in transit, determine customer billing, determine vehicle diagnostics, determine driver behaviour and numerous other possibilities. TrackM2M offers near real-time location tracking services.
  • Location Tracking (Periodic, Optional): Location tracking can be performed periodically, for example, a few times per day, to use less network traffic with corresponding lower price. This option may be a good choice for slower moving assets, for example, many types of construction equipment. TrackM2M offers periodic location tracking services with prices lower than real-time location services.
  • Hours of Service (HoS) / Electronic Logging Device (ELD) (Required): Compliance to the new ELD ruling for USA and Canada is required towards the end of 2017. ELD requires specific information to be acquired directly from the vehicle's CAN-bus which includes VIN, engine RPM, odometer, engine hours and vehicle speed. A complete ELD system must identify the driver of the vehicle during driving events and provide means of recording data even if the driver is unidentified such that this data can be correlated to a specific driver later. ELD systems are not required to communicate over wireless networks in real-time and may store data for days/weeks before synchronizing with the service provider's server. TrackM2M offers ELD services using VisTracks/SnapTraq technology. TrackM2M generally supplies the ELD Fleet package to all customers who have more than one vehicle. Owner operator scenarios with one driver and one vehicle may select the ELD Basic package to save money; however, this package is missing some features of the ELD Fleet package. The ELD system and its generated reports do not contain exact location data because the ELD legislation does not require accurate location tracking of vehicles; some reports may contain approximate location information such as "nearest city".
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) (Required, but can be done without any particular technology): Commercial trucks travelling within 48 contiguous states of USA and 10 provinces of Canada must file quarterly IFTA reports with the government showing miles/kilometres travelled in each state/province and volume/type of fuel purchased in each state province. Location tracking is not required by government to determine this information; however, location tracking can greatly automate the process of generating IFTA reports. TrackM2M offers distance per region quarterly reports to assist with fulfilling IFTA reporting requirements.
  • Vehicle Diagnostics (Optional): Vehicle diagnostic information can be reported to company management before they are discovered during scheduled maintenance. TrackM2M does not offer this option at this time.
  • Other Options: Tracking hardware with mobility connectivity can potentially support two-way communication between vehicles and office. This communication channel can be used for many possible purposes. TrackM2M does not offer two-way communications at this time as this can be accomplished by the tablet/phone included with ELD systems.

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) / Hours of Service (HoS)

VisTracks HOS Quick Reference Guide
VisTracks HOS User Guide

Introduction

TrackM2M uses VisTracks/SnapTraq technology to implement Electronic Logging Device (ELD) also known as Hours of Service (HoS). This ELD system is compliant to current legislation in USA and Canada. The system overview, shown in Fig ELD-1-1, illustrates the combination of installed hardware and Android phone/tablet app required for this ELD system.


Fig. ELD-1-1: ELD system overview.

The following sections provide explanations for configuration and usage of this ELD system.

Settings: Website (Only available for ELD Fleet package)

Before using the VisTracks/SnapTraq ELD system, some initial settings will be required. Begin by logging into the VisTracks/SnapTraq website portal and click the Settings button near the top right corner appearing as a gear shaped icon, as shown in Fig ELD-2-1. Note: If you do not have web access, TrackM2M will take care these steps in advance.


Fig. ELD-2-1: VisTracks/SnapTraq website portal, Settings button appears as gear shaped icon near top right corner.

From the left side menu, select Users as shown in Fig ELD-2-2. A separate user account is required for each driver and each office administrator involved with ELD. Click [New User] button to create each new account. Note that each user account requires an email account.


Fig. ELD-2-2: VisTracks/SnapTraq website portal, Settings section, creating user list.

From the left side menu, select Drivers as shown in Fig ELD-2-3. A separate driver record is required for each driver. Click [New Driver] button to create each new record. Driver records must include First Name, Last Name, Certified Drivers License (CDL) Number and Issuing State/Province, Email and Password. If the driver will need to add new vehicles remotely, select Asset Admin checkbox. Select Show 'Personal Use' and Show 'Yard Moves' checkboxes as applicable. Select appropriate Cycle from drop down lists. Set PDF Report Recipient to email address where reports are to be sent. Click [Ok] button when form is completed.


Fig. ELD-2-3: VisTracks/SnapTraq website portal, Settings section, creating driver list.

From the left side menu, select Equipment as shown in Fig ELD-2-4. Each truck and each trailer requires a separate equipment record. Click [New Equipment] button to add each new record. Each equipment record is specified as either Vehicle or Trailer. Vehicle name can be any alphanumeric text (absolute maximum 255 characters); Vehicle VIN is required; select appropriate Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) from drop down list; select Device as Geometris; and, MAC Address supplied by TrackM2M must be filled. Click [Ok] button when form is completed. For Trailer records, name is limited to 10 characters with no spaces or symbols, and VIN is not required.


Fig. ELD-2-4: VisTracks/SnapTraq website portal, Settings section, creating equipment list.

Settings: Tablet/Phone App

Run SnapTraq app on tablet/phone and login using your email address as user name.

Next, you are prompted to select a vehicle as shown in Fig ELD-3-1. Select a vehicle from the drop down list. Selection of a trailer is optional.


Fig. ELD-3-1: SnapTraq app, Selection of vehicle and trailer.

Fig ELD-3-2 shows the main/home screen of the SnapTraq app. The "Hamburger" menu button is located in the top left corner along the action bar as shown in Fig ELD-3-2. Touch the hamburger menu button and look for Settings in the menu list.


Fig. ELD-3-2: SnapTraq app, Main/home screen showing "Hamburger" menu button in top left corner.

Touch the Settings selection to display the Settings screen as shown in Fig ELD-3-3.


Fig. ELD-3-3: SnapTraq app, Settings screen.

Tablet/Phone App Usage

When starting the app for the first time, the app will request a login where the username is your email account name. Next, the app will request selection of a truck from a drop down list and optionally a trailer.

While it is possible to logout and shutdown the app, these actions are rarely necessary to actually do in practice. The normal operating state of this app is to run continuously 24/7 and be logged in continuously 24/7. The app will perform best under these conditions as it can effectively monitor your duty status at all times, even when you are off duty and gone home, the app continues running the clocks and producing logs.


Duty Status

The most essential aspect of logging is to specify when your duty status changes. Table ELD-4-1 lists the four duty categories. At the time your duty status changes, make the appropriate selection from this list.


Table ELD-4-1: Driver Duty Status

Icon Description Notes
Off Duty
Sleeper Driver is in sleeper berth
Driving
On Duty Not Driving Inspecting
Cleaning
Repairing
Travelling as a co-driver (outside of sleeper berth)
Loading
Unloading
Other on-duty, non-driving activities


Action Bar

Along the top of the app is the Hours of Service action bar that will display any number of different icons, shown in Table ELD-4-2, depending on the status of different aspects of logging. Most of these icons are also buttons that can be tapped to display detailed information or perform an action.


Table ELD-4-2: Hours of Service Action Bar Icons

Icon Description Notes
Logout: Tap to logout of app.
Refresh: Tap to refresh data / synchronize with database.
VBUS Connected: Vehicle computer connected to phone/tablet.
VBUS Not Connected: Vehicle computer not connected to phone/tablet.
Pending Edit Request: Tap to view/clear pending edit requests.
Data Diagnostics: Tap to view data diagnostics events dialog.
Data Diagnostics: A new data diagnostics event has occurred.
Malfunction: Tap to view malfunction events dialog.
Main "Hamburger" Menu: Access to more options and settings.


Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR)

To start a vehicle inspection report, tap the DVIR button as shown in Table ELD-4-3

Fig. ELD-4-3: Tap DVIR button to begin a new vehicle inspection report.

Malfunction and Data Diagnostics Events

Table ELD-5-1: Malfunction Events

Requirement Event Code Event Name Description
4.6.1.1 P / Power MF Power Malfunction An ELD must set a power compliance malfunction if the power data diagnostics event described in paragraph 4.6.1.1(a) of this appendix indicates an aggregated in-motion driving time understatement of 30 minutes or more on the ELD over a 24-hour period across all driver profiles, including the unidentified driver profile.
4.6.1.2 E / Sync MF Engine Synchronization Malfunction An ELD must set an engine synchronization compliance malfunction if connectivity to any of the required data sources specified in section 4.3.1 of this 87 appendix is lost for more than 30 minutes during a 24-hour period aggregated across all driver profiles, including the unidentified driver profile.
4.6.1.3 T / Timing MF Timing Malfunction The ELD must periodically cross-check its compliance with the requirement specified in section 4.3.1.5 of this appendix with respect to an accurate external UTC source and must record a timing compliance malfunction when it can no longer meet the underlying compliance requirement.
4.6.1.4 L / Pos MF Position Malfunction An ELD must monitor elapsed time during periods when the ELD fails to acquire a valid position measurement within 5 miles of the CMV’s movement. When such elapsed time exceeds a cumulative 60 minutes over a 24 hour period, the ELD must set and record a positioning compliance malfunction.
4.6.1.5 R / DR MF Data Recording Malfunction An ELD must monitor its storage capacity and integrity and must detect a data recording compliance malfunction if it can no longer record or retain required events or retrieve recorded logs that are not otherwise catalogued remotely by the motor carrier.
4.6.1.7 S / Trans MF Data Transfer Malfunction (a) An ELD must implement in-service monitoring functions to verify that the data transfer mechanism(s) described in section 4.9.1 of this appendix are continuing to function properly. An ELD must verify this functionality at least once every 7 days. These monitoring functions may be automatic or may involve manual steps for a driver.

(c) After an ELD records a data transfer data diagnostic event, the ELD must increase the frequency of the monitoring function to check at least once every 24-hour period. If the ELD stays in the unconfirmed data transfer mode following the next three 90 consecutive monitoring checks, the ELD must detect a data transfer compliance malfunction.
4.6.1.8 O / Other MF Other Malfunction In addition to the required monitoring schemes described in sections 4.6.1.1– 4.6.1.7 of this appendix, the ELD provider may implement additional, technology-specific malfunction and data diagnostic detection schemes and may use the ELD’s malfunction status indicator and data diagnostic status indicator (described in sections 4.6.2.1 and 4.6.3.1) to communicate the ELD’s malfunction or non-compliant state to the operator(s) of the ELD.


Table ELD-5-2: Data Diagnostic Events

Requirement Event Code Event Name Description
4.6.1.1 1 / Pwd Diag Power Diagnostic An ELD must monitor data it receives from the engine ECM or alternative sources as allowed in sections 4.3.1.1-4.3.1.4 of this appendix, its onboard sensors, and data record history to identify instances when it may not have complied with the power requirements specified in section 4.3.1.1, in which case, the ELD must record a power data diagnostics event for the corresponding driver(s), or under the unidentified driver profile if no drivers were authenticated at the time of detection.
4.6.1.2 2 / Sync Diag Engine Synchronization Diagnostic An ELD required to establish a link to the engine ECM as described in section 4.2 must monitor its connectivity to the engine ECM and its ability to retrieve the vehicle parameters described under section 4.3.1 of this appendix and must record an engine-synchronization data diagnostics event when it no longer can acquire updated values for the ELD parameters required for records within 5 seconds of the need.
4.6.1.4(d) 3 / Miss Diag Missing Data Elements Diagnostic If a new ELD event must be recorded at an instance when the ELD had failed to acquire a valid position measurement within the most recent elapsed 5 miles of driving, but the ELD has not yet set a positioning compliance malfunction, the ELD must record the character “X” in both the latitude and longitude fields, unless location is 88 entered manually by the driver, in which case it must log the character “M” instead. Under the circumstances listed in this paragraph, if the ELD event is due to a change in duty status for the driver, the ELD must prompt the driver to enter location manually in accordance with section 4.3.2.7 of this appendix. If the driver does notenter the location information and the vehicle is in motion, the ELD must record a missing required data element data diagnostic event for the driver.
4.6.1.3 4 / Tran Diag Data Transfer Diagnostic (b) If the monitoring mechanism fails to confirm proper in-service operation of the data transfer mechanism(s), an ELD must record a data transfer data diagnostic event and enter an unconfirmed data transfer mode.
4.6.1.4 5 / Unid Diag Unidentified Driver Diagnostic (b) If more than 30 minutes of driving in a 24-hour period show unidentified driver on the ELD, the ELD must detect and record an unidentified driving records data diagnostic event and the data diagnostic indicator must be turned on for all drivers logged in to that ELD for the current 24-hour period and the following 7 days.

(c) An unidentified driving records data diagnostic event can be cleared by the ELD when driving time logged under the unidentified driver profile for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days drops to 15 minutes or less.
4.6.1.5 6 / Other Diag Other Diagnostic In addition to the required monitoring schemes described in sections 4.6.1.1– 4.6.1.7 of this appendix, the ELD provider may implement additional, technology-specific malfunction and data diagnostic detection schemes and may use the ELD’s malfunction status indicator and data diagnostic status indicator (described in sections 4.6.2.1 and 4.6.3.1) to communicate the ELD’s malfunction or non-compliant state to the operator(s) of the ELD.


Actions for Malfunction & Data Diagnostic Events

  • Carrier responsibilities regarding malfunctions:
    • Provide drivers with an instruction sheet describing the various ELD malfunction events and recordkeeping procedures (395.22)
    • Provide drivers with a supply of 8 days’ worth of blank paper driver records (395.22)
    • Repair, replacement, or service
      • Motor carrier must correct the malfunction of the ELD within 8 days of discovery of the condition or a driver's notification to the motor carrier, whichever occurs first (395.34)
  • Record keeping responsibilities by the driver:
    • Malfunction events
      • Note the ELD malfunction and provide carrier with written notice within 24hrs (395.34)
      • Reconstruct driving events for the current 24hr period and previous 7 consecutive days using paper logs (unless they can be retrieved from the ELD) (395.34)
      • Continue to manually prepare driving logs until ELD is serviced and brought back into compliance (395.34)
      • During inspections which take place when a malfunction has occurred: provide safety official with manually kept driver logs (395.34)
    • Data diagnostic events
      • Driver must follow the motor carrier's and ELD provider's recommendations in resolving the data inconsistency (395.34)
  • Clearing of malfunction and data diagnostic events:
    • ELD needs to capture when a malfunction or data diagnostic event has been cleared by the driver (4.5.1.7)
    • Unidentified driving records data diagnostic
      • Events that drop to 15 minutes or less during the current 24hr period and previous 7 days can be cleared automatically and there is no requirement to record the automatic clear (4.6.1.6)