PeopleNet outage a 2020 issue, former Trimble exec says

An ongoing PeopleNet ELD outage was caused by a disconnect between the system’s GPS and server clocks, a problem triggered by the 2020 calendar year, a former Trimble Transportation (NASDAQ: TRMB) executive told FreightWaves.

The two clocks do not sync, putting the devices into a continuous reboot, said the former executive, who contacted FreightWaves via LinkedIn but declined to be identified on the record.

PeopleNet is a Trimble company.

Earlier on Jan. 2  FreightWaves published an article about drivers having problems with PeopleNet electronic logging devices (ELDs). 

Users reported a higher-than-usual number of outages, along with sluggish log-in times and other system malfunctions.

“They’ll log in and it [the ELD] just thought and thought and just wants to think the whole time,” Tom Kuehl, owner of Kuehl Transport in Heron Lake, Minnesota, told FreightWaves.

The Trimble executive said he texted that article to several Trimble employees.

“They told me it’s a 2020 issue and the GPS clock and server clock were not syncing,” ultimately killing the device, he said.

In other words, when the calendar transferred to 2020, the servers could no longer recognize the date of the ELDs.

According to the Trimble employees, it is taking 30 minutes for each device to download the fix over the air once the driver disconnects the GPS antenna.

The outages “absolutely could have been avoided,” the executive said, adding: “It should have been discovered in the testing phase.”

This is a developing story. Check for updates.