Samsara Review

Samsara
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Samsara
Samsara
2015
San Francisco, CA
Ownership:
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Private
15,000+
Cloud
Yes

Samsara At A Glance

Good: Built-in preventive maintenance features, AI dash cam that records driver behavior and detects collisions, ability to comply with ELD mandates.
Bad: Dedicated mobile app for fleet manager isn't offered, inability to retrieve video that's longer than 60 seconds.
Bottom Line: Integrated fleet management platform that helps businesses increase the safety and efficiency of their drivers and vehicles.

Product Overview

Samsara is a unified fleet management platform that helps companies efficiently maintain their commercial vehicles. It uses real-time GPS tracking and diagnostics data to monitor vehicle and driver safety and performance. Samsara is deployed in the cloud, so businesses won’t need to worry about hosting and maintaining it on their internal servers.

The software has numerous benefits, including:

  • Helping companies keep up with changing demands
  • Maintenance features that prevent unexpected breakdowns
  • Improved driver safety
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Compliance with Electronic Logging Device (ELD) and other mandates
  • Customizable features that fit a company’s unique needs

Samsara has several modules, which are:

  • GPS fleet tracking
  • Fuel and maintenance
  • Trailer tracking
  • Reefer monitoring
  • Routing and dispatch
  • ELD compliance

In addition, the vendor offers a variety of plug-and-play hardware that can be installed quickly, such as the artificial intelligence (AI) dash cam. The AI dash cam scans the road and the driver cab to detect high-risk behavior (e.g., harsh braking, tailgating) or traffic conditions and alerts the driver if it detects a near-miss or an avoidable collision. The video is uploaded to the cloud for the fleet manager’s review. While it improves driver safety, another benefit of the dash cam is that it can serve as evidence in case of a false accident claim.

Finally, there’s the Samsara Driver App that lets drivers track their hours, receive alerts of potential Hours of Service (HOS) violations, view upcoming routes, capture photos and documents, and create Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs).

Features

Here are some of the key features of each module of Samsara:

GPS fleet tracking – Each vehicle has an Internet of Things (IoT) gateway hardware with real-time GPS monitoring and connects to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Fleet managers can use the Helicopter View feature to track the vehicle’s arrival and departure, and they can receive custom geofence alerts if any abnormal activities occur. Time on Site reports record the time spent in each location so managers can optimize the driver’s route.

Fuel and maintenance – The fuel and maintenance module can spot, diagnose and alert the driver and manager of any malfunctions (e.g., low battery). It also alerts the mechanic to the issue so the vehicle gets fixed quickly. The Fuel Reporting feature gives managers insights into the vehicle’s fuel consumption and other trends, such as idle times or hard braking. The mileage, fuel and other pertinent data can be automatically pulled into International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) Mileage and Fuel Purchase reports. In addition, Samsara offers driver coaching tools and route suggestions to reduce fuel costs.

Trailer tracking – This module offers companies ways to identify underutilized trailers and protect their loads with features like asset dormancy reports, temperature monitoring, and detection of theft and unauthorized use. Companies can also eliminate yard hunts by tracking real-time cargo data and automating their inventory management.

Reefer monitoring – Samsara monitors the reefer’s temperature using wireless sensors during transit so drivers can avoid spoilage, which can result in rejected deliveries. And because the temperature is continuously monitored, drivers don’t have to fill out manual reports, and they’ll still comply with Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) mandates. The software is also compatible with Thermo King refrigeration units, so drivers can turn the reefer on and off, adjust set points and more with the Samsara dashboard.

Routing and dispatch – Fleet managers can track the route for the vehicle, including the scheduled departure and any missed stops. Route progress can be shared in real time with authorized users (e.g., delivery customers), who can get alerts for unanticipated delays. And if conditions change mid-route, dispatchers can remotely update the route stops and text the driver about the changes.

ELD compliance – The ELD compliance module pulls HOS, GPS and other data from different sources, so compliance managers can see them all on a dashboard. They can review the driver’s logbook in real time for any potential HOS violations, as well as track unassigned hours and allocate those hours to the correct driver.

Target Market

Samsara targets over 15,000 organizations of all sizes, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 enterprises, in many industries, such as food and beverage, government, oil and gas, and field services.

We’ve listed 10 of its customers below.

  • Armstrong Richardson
  • City of Fort Lauderdale (FL)
  • Clover Dairy
  • Holiday Tours
  • Ghilotti Brothers Inc.
  • Kelly Group
  • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Agency (MBTA)
  • Project Open Hand
  • San Jose Water Company
  • ULC Limos

Implementation/Integration

New clients work with Samsara’s Customer Success Team, who will design and oversee an implementation plan that’s customized to the client’s requirements.

The implementation timeline varies by client, but the process generally involves personalized project planning, onsite support and a tailored training plan. Samsara pairs companies with more complex technical requirements with a dedicated Technical Solutions Engineer.

The software integrates with many third-party systems via the Samsara App Marketplace, such as fuel management, navigation and supply-chain solutions.

Customer Service & Support

Users can access the Samsara knowledge base to browse articles, watch videos and submit ticket requests, and they can contact support by phone or live chat.

Samsara also offers webinars on best practices and other topics.

Pricing

Samsara doesn’t publicly display its pricing information. Contact the vendor directly for a quote.

Shortcomings

Samsara doesn’t offer a dedicated mobile app for fleet managers. Also, some users have mentioned that each video they retrieve only lasts a minute, so they would prefer the option of a longer segment.

Screenshots

Samsara Screenshot 1
Samsara Screenshot 2
Samsara Screenshot 3

About

Founded in 2015, Samsara’s mission is to provide a fleet management platform that helps companies increase the efficiency, safety and sustainability of their operations.

As one of the leading Industrial IoT companies, it offers a portfolio of hardware, software and cloud solutions with real-time visibility, analytics and AI.

The company has received several awards, including Fast Company‘s 2020 World Changing Ideas, Forbes‘ 2019 Cloud 100 and Insight Success Magazine‘s 20 Fastest Growing IoT Companies. It’s headquartered in San Francisco, with additional offices in San Jose, Atlanta and London.

Send feedback or corrections to feedback@betterbuys.com.

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