February 9, 2015 10:05 AM, EST

Rand McNally Introduces Multipurpose Tablet for Drivers

Rand McNally

Rand McNally has launched a versatile new Android tablet that combines the company’s truck-navigation software with mobile applications for both business and personal uses.

The TND Tablet offers features designed to help drivers while operating their vehicles, such as truck-specific routing, mileage tracking and an onboard dash camera, and also comes pre-loaded with business apps such as document scanning, load matching and book keeping.

Since the device runs on the Android platform, drivers can also use the device to check e-mail, use social media and download entertainment on its 8-inch, high-definition screen.

“Our goal was to create an indispensable tool for professional truck drivers,” CEO Stephen Fletcher said in the Feb. 9 announcement.

Rand McNally’s TND Tablet, priced at $500, is available at retail truck stops and travel centers and certain online outlets.

Rand McNally’s new Android tablet is part of a broader move toward mobile operating systems among the trucking industry’s telematics providers.

XRS Corp. designed its latest fleet-management platform to run on a variety of Android and Windows smart phones and tablets. Omnitracs purchased that company, formerly known as Xata Corp., in October for about $178 million.

Prior to that acquisition, Omnitracs also began offering a proof-of-delivery application for Android devices as an accessory to its fixed-mount MCP onboard units.

In August, rival telematics provider PeopleNet announced plans to offer an Android-based version of its fleet-management software, primarily on rugged tablets.

Meanwhile, Rand McNally said its new tablet provides all of the features of its IntelliRoute TND GPS devices.

In addition to truck navigation, the tablet offers the Skokie, Illinois-based company’s TripMaker route planning tool, an eBook version of its motor carriers’ road atlas and an onboard dash cam that records video of the road ahead.

Drivers can also use the tablet for electronic logging of hours of service when paired with Rand McNally’s HD 100 device, purchased separately.

The Android platform also opens up many other ways to use the device.

The TND Tablet comes with the Fuel Manager and Profit Gauges apps from Let’s Truck, designed to help drivers track fuel costs and perform accounting functions.

The tablet also includes Truck It Smart’s load board, an online freight-matching tool that enables real-time access for posting and searching loads or trucks.

The device features the Transflo Mobile Plus app from Pegasus TransTech as well. That app allows drivers to scan and submit documents using the tablet’s built-in camera, enabling them to speed up cash flow and improve communication between carriers, brokers and drivers.

The device also features a magnetic, commercial-grade mount that allows the driver to easily remove the tablet for use at a truck stop, in a sleeping berth or at home.

The mount features an additional GPS antenna to ensure the quality of the in-cab navigation.

Separately, Rand McNally also recently released a software update for its line of in-cab devices that enables multiple operating authority tracking.

This upgrade enables companies to track carrier and authority changes on hours-of-service logs and fuel-tax reporting.

The new feature is particularly useful for specialized fleets, such as household goods movers, where it is common to have multiple carriers and operating authorities, the company said.