Well-known freight-matching service provider DAT is exiting the electronic logging device (ELD) market just several months after its entrance with the small-fleet/owner-operator-focused InView product, said Product Vice President Greg Sikes in a Monday briefing with Overdrive.
Existing customers of the InView electronic hours of service software and hardware continue be be supported in the short term, Sikes says, but DAT, longer-term, will work to move customers “over to somebody who wants to be in the business” of providing hours-of-service compliance tools.
Since the December 2015 announcement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s mandate for most motor carriers to utilize ELDs by a December 2017 deadline, Sikes and company have seen what he calls a “race to the bottom” among ELD vendors/service providers in pricing for their products. Sikes foresees eventual “commoditization” of the market for ELDs, not a market in which he sees DAT excelling long-term with specialized service.
“The reality,” Sikes says, “is that we looked at it, and at the end of the day, we said, ‘there’s not really a lot of profit opportunity'” in the business of ELDs long-term. “There are better ways that we can serve the customers that we have.”
Sikes and DAT saw potential value in providing an ELD device/service in the “location-based information on the carriers, their trucks, and capacity,” information that could be used to “better serve them” with detailed data on lanes, load opportunities and more. Likewise, such information might bolster DAT’s capacity information served to brokers — “where capacity’s already available in the United States.”
At once, given DAT’s wide product portfolio otherwise, Sikes added, such information is already being gathered and utilized to deliver load, demand and capacity information to carriers and brokers, and at the Mid-America Trucking Show this past week, “one of the things that we showed off was a brand-new version of DAT Trucker,” the company’s free mobile app.
It’s been in the marketplace for several years, and with this most recent overhaul, “we really begin to not only deliver new capabilities but to set the stage for more,” Sikes adds.
Part of that is the app’s “look and feel,” he says, updated to a “map-based user interface.” Better filtering of loads to match the user’s profile and preferences by trailer type and more have been added to the “loads nearby” feature. Increasingly, too, the free app will be increasingly capable of integrating with paid services like DAT’s TruckersEdge load board, popular among owner-operators.
Read more about the update at this link. Catch a quick-glance comparison of devices in the ELD market at the link below: