Samsara is our choice as the best GPS fleet tracking service for small businesses. You can streamline operations and reduce costs with Samsara's all-in-one platform for fleet management. Samsara's solution provides integrated smart dashcams; driver safety scores; and automatic alerts for speeding, idling, and geofences, helping you protect your business and assets. Live, second-to-second GPS tracking pairs with Samsara's software, providing you with rich reports to help optimize your routes, dispatch drivers at the last minute and share accurate ETAs with customers.
Samsara is an FMCSA-approved electronic logging device (ELD), and customer support is available by phone, email, webchat, or online ticket. Pricing is customizable, contracts are required and typically last three years.
Pricing and Contracts
Previously when we evaluated Samsara, you had to contact the company's sales team to obtain pricing; the company didn't list pricing online. Now, however, Samsara has added a price configurator on its website; you input a few details, including the number and types of vehicles you have, the features you desire, then your email address, and the company emails you a price quote.
Samsara will require you to sign a contract, which lasts three years – this is on a par with industry standards for telematics solutions. The company has a three-vehicle minimum. Samsara has a series of demo videos on its YouTube channel so you can get a feel for how the software works.
Features and Services
Samsara offers some of the best services in the GPS fleet tracking industry. Here's a brief recap about its hardware and the safety and performance features.
Hardware and Installation
Samsara offers such a wide selection of hardware, which gives small businesses a lot of power and flexibility to create a customized tracking solution that fits their needs. For instance, Samsara offers plug-and-play OBD II port devices, as well as more advanced tracking hardware. The company can also provide in-cab cameras, so you can get an immediate view of your driver's field of vision. Other hardware accessories include environmental monitors, wireless door and cargo monitors, panic buttons, privacy buttons, engine immobilizers, auxiliary input hubs, ID card readers, dashcam lens covers, and windshield shims.
Driver Safety and Performance
The company has a comprehensive app that logs information like hours of service (HOS), driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs), documents, and more. Samsara provides driver safety scorecards in real time, which identifies drivers engaging in unsafe behavior, such as speeding, tailgating and distracted driving. The driver efficiency score tool monitors fuel usage and offers tips on how drivers can reduce fuel costs. A cool safety add-on to Samsara is its dashcam solution. While this costs extra, Samsara can outfit your fleet with dashcams, so you can review incidents after they occur and work with drivers to improve their safety behind the wheel. You can set up this feature to view both the driver and the road in front of them.
Vehicle Condition, Maintenance and Optimization
With Samsara, you can analyze your fuel consumption and utilization patterns. Samsara can help you plan better routes and coach your drivers on adopting more fuel-efficient habits. Samsara has a documentation component with its service, so you can log fuel receipts. You can view vehicle diagnostics and monitor fault-code alerts in real time. This kind of access helps you plan and schedule needed vehicle maintenance so you can prevent breakdowns. It also allows you to quickly manage accidents and breakdowns if they occur.
Alerts and Reports
Samsara is one of the few telematics solutions we reviewed that offers second-to-second real-time tracking. Many companies claim to offer real-time tracking, but, in reality, the software updates every one to three minutes, depending on the company you partner with. Besides viewing your fleet in real time, you can set up text and email alerts to keep you informed. Samsara also provides reports (e.g., time on-site reports, utilization reports) that can help you make informed business decisions.
Navigation and Location
Samsara allows users to set up geofences to keep their fleet within a predetermined perimeter. However, unlike competitors, Samsara also lets users stay connected with a high-speed Wi-Fi hotspot. This feature ensures wireless connectivity and reduces cellular data costs.
Ease of Use
While other solutions we reviewed offer refresh times ranging from one to three minutes, Samsara truly provides information in real time, which is essential for fleet managers that need accurate and timely reporting. Samsara is best suited for businesses in transportation and logistics, food and beverage, construction, higher education, K-12 school transportation, state and local government, utilities, passenger transit and field service fleets.
Samsara's tracking software is intuitive and easy to use. Additionally, it has open API and third-party integration capabilities, which allow you to seamlessly integrate it with other business applications. Samsara helps businesses maintain compliance with its ELD, IFTA and DVIR. It offers several other easy-to-use products (e.g., dash cams, routing and dispatch, reefer monitoring, trailer tracking, and asset tracking), making it an ideal all-in-one solution for many businesses.
Samsara offers customer support by phone, email, webchat and ticketing. It also has helpful online resources like blogs, webinars, and a searchable knowledgebase. When we contacted Samsara representatives, posing as a fleet manager for a small business, we were extremely pleased with how quickly and professionally they answered our questions. Samsara also has strong reviews on various telematics review sites, and it is accredited with the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.