J1939 Data Logger - Easy Vehicle Fleet Telematics (WiFi, 4G)

J1939 Heavy Duty Telematics Device Simple Zero Subscription Low Cost

Need to optimize your vehicle fleet?

Vehicle telematics is vital for any fleet - whether you're optimizing fuel costs, driver behavior, breakdowns or safety.

However, getting started can be a challenge:

Tons of options, complex platforms, costly subscriptions and lock-ins.

Ask yourself:

Do you really need a full-blown telematics platform?

If not, we offer a simpler - and far more low cost - alternative:

The CL3000 CAN/J1939 data logger syncs your fleet data to your cloud server in near real time via WiFi/cellular hotspots.
It's extremely simple-to-use, yet powerful enough to act as the basis for your fleet management.

On this page, we outline the benefits of telematics, why the CL3000 may be a good fit for you - and practical examples.

Simple Vehicle Telematics J1939 Data Logger

What is Vehicle Telematics?

Let's start with a basic definition:

The goal of vehicle telematics is to collect vehicle, driver & environmental data
— and use the data to optimize fleet operations

Vehicle telematics is most commonly used in heavy-duty fleet management (trucks, buses, construction, mining, ...), prototype field testing and light trucks/service cars (delivery vans, postal services, police cars, taxis, ...).

How Does Vehicle Telematics Work?

Let's make this really simple:

  1. COLLECT: You connect a data logger to log your vehicle's CAN bus data
  2. UPLOAD: The device sends the data via WiFi/cellular to a server
  3. PROCESS: On the server, scripts process the data for analysis, dashboards, alerts etc.
Telematics Process 3 Steps Simple

In other words, there's not a lot of hocus pocus - if you want more details, click below:

First, note that most heavy-duty vehicles use the SAE J1939 protocol for their CAN bus communication. This means that most data parameters are standardized and can be converted to human-readable form using a J1939 DBC file.

When connecting a J1939 logger, you may use the 9-pin J1939 connector found in most heavy duty vehicles - or you can directly log from the CAN wires via induction using e.g. a CANCrocodile as intermediary.

The method of connecting the logger has implications: Using induction, for example, does not allow the logging device to request specific J1939 PGNs from the CAN bus.

Further, different CAN devices use different methods for uploading data. Some have built-in SIM cards, while others - like the CL3000 - connect via external hotspots (e.g. a smartphone, WiFi WLAN or 3G/4G USB hotspot).

Finally, for the data processing, some telematics solutions send data to the telematics supplier's cloud server for processing. In contrast, the CL3000 sends data to your server. You can process the data via our free CANvas software after which you can tailor the use of the data to your needs using custom scripts.

About the SAE J1939 protocol: Most heavy duty vehicles use SAE J1939 (or the derived FMS standard) as their standard protocol for the vehicle's CAN bus sensor network.

In contrast to e.g. passenger cars, this means that the method for converting data to physical values (aka human-readable form) is standardized across many brands, years and manufacturers. From a vehicle data logging perspective, this allows end users (e.g. fleet managers or operators) to get data for their fleet management systems, without having access to the proprietary conversion rules owned by the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).

How is the J1939 data converted? To scale recorded J1939 data from e.g. a truck or tractor, you'll need a database of conversion rules. Typically, a J1939 DBC file is used for this purpose. A J1939 DBC file takes outset in the official SAE J1939 standards, which provide conversion info for a large share of the data that is potentially available in a given vehicle.

However, most vehicles also use a number of proprietary parameters - this data still conforms to the J1939 standard, but you'll need to reverse engineer the data to identify how to interpret these specific parameters.

With that in mind, we've listed below some examples of data parameters that may be available in J1939 heavy duty vehicles:

If you've logged a range of CAN IDs from your truck, bus, harvester or other J1939/FMS vehicle, you can identify what J1939 PGNs are contained in your data. To do so, use our CAN ID to PGN converter, which you'll find under our J1939 DBC page:

J1939 DBC

Yes, the CL3000 is basically a CAN bus data logger - meaning that it can record raw CAN data from any high speed CAN bus (ISO 11898-2) application.

This includes practically all vehicles, including car fleets like taxis, police cars, ambulances etc. - though the key thing to note is that the standard CAN data in most cars is proprietary.

In other words, you won't be able to use a generic DBC file to convert your car fleet data in the same way you can via a J1939 DBC file for e.g. trucks and buses. However, you are able to log OBD2 data from most cars, which can be used to build a car telematics solution.

If you're interested in car fleet management and using the CL3000 as a simple car telematics box, check out our OBD2 data logger article.

Top 6 Telematics Device Benefits

A simple telematics box can radically impact your business financials - examples of savings include:

Financial Impact Telematics Data Percent $ Dollars

Source 1: 10%-25% | Source 2: 5-10% | Source 3: 20%-45%

Below we detail some of the major benefits of vehicle fleet telematics:

Harvester J1939 Data Tractor Agriculture Telematics

Why Use the CL3000 for Your Vehicle Fleet Management?

Let's be honest: A ton of telematics providers exist - and we're not the biggest, oldest or most advanced.

However, other solutions come with a number of potential downsides:

  • High costs: You pay a monthly fee which quickly adds up - incl. potential subscription lock-ins
  • Complex platforms: You pay for platforms with tons of features - but do you really need all of it?
  • Data ownership: Your fleet data is your most valuable asset - make sure you control it

The CL3000 offers a simpler alternative:

The device logs your CAN/J1939 data and uploads it to your cloud server via WiFi or cellular hotspots.

On your server, you can set up CANvas to auto-process your raw data to quickly create ready-to-use databases.

For an example, click below (RPM & speed for 2 trucks):

FMS Module CL3000 J1939 Data Logger WiFi 3G 4G Sample

The CL3000 doesn't do a lot more than that.

This means you may need to develop your own applications/scripts on top of the data (e.g. dashboards, alerts, ...).
It's radically different from most telematics options - but offers some major benefits:

Interested? Click below to learn more about the CL3000 - and get yours today!


Practical CL3000 Telematics Examples

Below we list some practical cases to detail how you can use the CL3000 for fleet management:

Minimize Breakdowns Transit Passenger Bus WiFi Data Logger


Segment: On-the-road vehicles
Hotspot: Existing mobile WiFi hotspots
Data Frequency: Every few minutes
Challenge: Predicting & minimizing breakdowns

BusFleetOps run a number of medium sized passenger bus fleets across multiple countries. Their main challenge is 'Delay %', with breakdowns being the primary driver

To improve, BusFleetOps adds the CL3000 to their bus fleet to collect vehicle & breakdown data.

The CL3000 is a great fit as it connects via the WiFi hotspots already in each bus (rather than an internal SIM card).

With the CL3000s acting as J1939 gateways, BusFleetOps sends vehicle data from their fleets in packets of 1 MB to their cloud server in near real-time. A custom server script converts the data into an SQL database. Using this data, the company builds a simple regression model to predict remaining useful life of each bus.

As the company gets more data on breakdowns, they quickly improve their maintenance scheduling, radically minimizing delays.

Reduce Fuel Costs Truck Fleet Management J1939 Data


Segment: On-the-road vehicles
Hotspot: USB 3G/4G cellular
Data Frequency: Daily
Challenge: Improving fuel costs & driver behavior

Truckers Inc manage a small fleet of 70 heavy trucks used in long-haul transportation services.

Fuel is a major cost driver comprising ~5,000 EUR/truck per year - and the #1 lever is determined to be improving the driving behavior.

To reduce costs, Truckers Inc adds CL3000s & 4G hotspots in the 70 trucks to sync J1939 data to their cloud server.

Here they set up CANvas to 'auto-convert' the data using a J1939 DBC daily at 23:00 - creating an accumulating output database.

The output is ready for use in Excel PowerPivots, enabling the team to create dashboards without coding. By benchmarking & incentivizing drivers on their fuel use, braking, speed etc. Truckers Inc manage to save 10% on fuel costs (35,000 EUR per year).

Warehouse Vehicle Data Forklifts AGVs


Segment: Warehouse vehicles (forklifts, AGVs)
Hotspot: WiFi WLANs
Data Frequency: Intra-daily
Challenge: Minimizing asset breakdowns

Ecommerz Inc is an online retailer who relies on extremely smooth warehouse operations. The retailer relies on a massive fleet of AGVs (Auomated Guided Vehicles) and minimizing breakdowns is vital.

Telematics is vital, but the volume of data and poor reception within some warehouses makes cellular options less viable.

Instead, Ecommerz uses the CL3000 J1939 logger to transfer data via WLAN routers inside their warehouses.

When an AGV comes in range of a WiFi router (e.g. at a charging station) data is automatically uploaded to their cloud server. Here, the retailer uses a predictive maintenance model to spot deficiencies - and optimally schedule preventive repairs.

Warehouse Vehicle Data Logging


Segment: Underground mining vehicles
Hotspot: WiFi WLAN
Data Frequency: Ad hoc
Challenge: Offering telematics services to end users

Miners Inc is an underground mining vehicle OEM wanting to provide telematics services to their end users. Streaming devices are not an option: The vehicles operate underground with no connectivity, meaning data would simply be lost.

Instead, the OEM uses the CL3000 with a WLAN WiFi hotspot placed in the base camp. With the 16 GB SD card, the CL3000 can log months of data underground. When a vehicle returns to base, the CL3000 gets online and the logged data is quickly uploaded to the OEM's cloud server.

Using their own custom platform, the OEM offers data based services to their end users - incl. maintenance planning, remote troubleshooting, optimizations and more. Further, it gives the OEM vital insight into the field operation of their vehicles.

For customer application examples, see our CAN logger use case section

Next Steps

In short, the CL3000 J1939 logger offers a powerful, simple and low cost approach to telematics!

Ready to try out the CL3000 in your vehicle fleet?
Then learn more about our CL3000 CAN logger below!

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