Axis TMS Review: Is It Right for Your Trucking Company?
This article is part of a larger series on Payroll Services.
Axis TMS is a cloud-based trucking management solution (TMS) designed to streamline trucking operations while providing an online tool to pay drivers. It has a centralized platform, which can handle a wide range of transportation and trucking management processes—from fleet dispatching and International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reporting to customer invoicing and truck diagnostics monitoring. Monthly fees start at $100 for up to three trucks, but discounted pricing applies if you sign up for a 36-month agreement.
What We Like
- IFTA tracking
- Mobile app connects to electronic logging device (ELD)
- Driver payroll included in all plans
- Full-featured platform (payroll, dispatch and order management, customer invoicing, IFTA reporting, and real-time analytics)
- No payroll tax payment services
- Lacks HR features (such as new hire onboarding)
- Trucking compliance and regulatory services, including IFTA reporting, cost extra
- Can get pricey as you add more trucks
Ease of use: Online tools are generally simple to learn and use
- Monthly fees range from $100–$2,250 for up to 150 trucks (no contract and server setup fees)
- Discounted pricing for annual subscriptions with a 36-month agreement
- Enterprise plans available for those with 150+ trucks
- 12-month agreement: $25 per truck monthly + $4,500 one-time server setup fee
- 36-month agreement: $17.50 per truck monthly + $3,500 one-time server setup fee
- USDOT and operating authority application services (add-on): $200 per application for a basic package; $500 for a premium package (includes IFTA registration)
- IFTA services (add-on): Starts at $50 per IFTA submission
What We Recommend Axis TMS For
Axis TMS is a great tool for trucking companies managing a fleet of trucks and processing payroll for drivers. While it can get expensive as you grow your business and add more trucks, the hefty price tag is worth it because its cloud-based platform has all the tools you need for handling dispatches, orders, finances, compliance and safety, driver payroll, documentation, and reporting. Plus, customer service is good and people find the platform easy to use.
In short, Axis TMS is best for:
- Fleet operations: It is designed for dispatch and to track multiple trucks and jobs. It has safety and fleet compliance tools that not only store your driver qualification and truck maintenance records but come with task alerts for tracking driver requests, vehicle breakdowns, medical and insurance expiration dates, and more.
- Trucking companies needing to upgrade from a manual dispatching system: Axis automates processes and removes most of the paper forms that trucking businesses usually use. It lets you add and track all the information you need for dispatching a haul and invoicing a customer. It even supports e-signatures, allowing your clients to electronically sign off on delivery receipts, invoices, and bill of lading forms.
- Carriers with vehicles operating in different states: Its IFTA add-on simplifies fuel tax reporting across states as it collects all the information needed for filings, such as miles driven in each state and the amount of fuel used.
- Established trucking companies sure of what they want in TMS software: Given its full-featured platform and real-time monitoring tools, Axis TMS helps manage all facets of trucking operations with ease. Plus, if you are willing to take a chance on a three-year contract, the software offers a lot of value for money with its discounted prices, which include monthly and lump sum payment options.
Looking for something different? Read our guide to the best payroll services for small businesses to find a provider that’s right for you.
When Axis TMS Would Not Be a Good Fit
- Independent drivers needing only payroll tools: The platform offers more tools than the average single owner-operator will need. If you only need to process payroll, read our best payroll software to find suitable options. Keep in mind, though, that there won’t be any special features for paying drivers or managing fleets.
- Small trucking businesses with limited budgets: Axis TMS may have all the tools that trucking businesses need, but you have to pay top dollar to use its system. It also charges extra for IFTA reporting and compliance services. For more budget-friendly options, check out our best payroll software for trucking companies.
Top Axis TMS Alternatives
Best for: Small trucking businesses needing a simpler, more straightforward option for payroll and HR
Best for: Owner-operators using QuickBooks for accounting and wanting to add payroll
Best for: Southern and Eastern state trucking companies looking for a full TMS with integrated payroll add-on
Monthly fee from: $39 plus $6 per employee
Monthly fee from: $45 plus $4 per employee
Monthly fee from: $29.95 (software) plus $25 + $4 per employee (payroll add-on)
Need help deciding? If you’re stuck between a few providers, use our guide to help you choose the best payroll solution for your company.
Axis TMS Pricing
Since Our Last Update:
Axis TMS has changed its pricing scheme, removing the per-truck fees and adding several plans with only monthly base fees. It also introduced an enterprise tier for those with more than 150 trucks.
Axis TMS pricing is based on the number of trucks you have. There are five plans, two of which are for large businesses. All include access to driver payroll, dispatch and order management, accounts receivable, safety and fleet compliance, real-time monitoring, and iOS and Android mobile apps. If you’re looking for discounted pricing, sign up for its long-term software agreement.
Numbers of Trucks
No Agreement - Paid Monthly
36-Month Agreement - Paid Monthly
36-Month Agreement - Paid Up Front*
*Requires lump sum payment
For businesses with more than 150 trucks, Axis TMS offers a 12-month agreement tier and a 36-month agreement option. Both come with full access to all of its features plus branded software interface and mobile apps, a dedicated server with data backups, server setup support, and a hardware package (which includes a tablet with mount and 4G LTE service).
12-Month Enterprise Plan Agreement
36-Month Enterprise Plan Agreement
$25 per truck
$17.50 per truck
One-Time Server Setup Fees
Completing trucking business requirements in order to secure necessary permits and comply with regulations can be challenging and confusing. With Axis TMS, you get a team of experts (with over 26 years of experience in the trucking industry) who can help manage and handle these processes. However, you have to pay extra for compliance and regulatory services.
USDOT and Operating
Authority (Basic package)
$200 per application
Completion and submission of operation authority application
USDOT and Operating
Authority with Base Credentials (Premium package)
$500 per application
Basic package, plus:
- IFTA registration
- United Carrier Registration (UCR)
- Base credentials registration for Kentucky, New York, and New Mexico
Full USDOT and Operating
$1,800 per company package submission
Premium package, plus:
- Custom compliance forms
- Driver and tractor/trailer qualification
- Drug and alcohol consortium
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) clearinghouse setup
Safety and Compliance Consulting Services
$75 per hour
Get expert advice from trucking compliance and safety experts
Starts at $50 per submission
Manage IFTA credentials and fuel tax report submissions
International Registration Plan (IRP) Services
Starts at $50
Manage IRP account needs for obtaining commercial equipment plates
Use Tax Filings*
Starts at $75
Complete submissions of “Use Tax” in Kentucky, New York, New Mexico, and Oregon
*Includes quarterly submissions of tax documents for “use tax” imposed on services and purchases bought in one state or municipality but used and consumed in another state or municipality.
Axis TMS Features
Axis TMS not only automates essential processes for your trucking business but also simplifies truck dispatches, driver payroll, customer invoicing, driver management, and truck maintenance. Here are some of its features to help you determine whether it fits your business’ requirements.
Payroll is designed for drivers but can accommodate staff workers as well. You have the option to designate pay by mile, hour, load, and gross percentage. You can set up deductions (such as for benefits), although the system automatically captures on-road deductions from fuel cards. Aside from designating vacation and holiday payments, you can assign different pay rates for different jobs—driving vs breakdown, for example. It even lets you run driver payroll on a weekly, biweekly, and monthly basis.
While Axis TMS sends pay stubs to employees, it does not handle direct deposit or check creation. It will prep and send the year-end tax reports but does not process payroll taxes. However, if you use QuickBooks, then Axis TMS can integrate with its payroll or accounting software to handle these tasks and track your spendings.
Dispatch & Order Management
With Axis TMS, you can set up shipments and dispatch schedules, including multiple shipments on a contract or split shipments with cross-docking. You can set up a dedicated lane and let the system create orders for you from the queue. The software also enables you to view truck availability and send dispatch notifications automatically through text.
During a run, you can monitor the shipment for real-time status, estimated time of arrival, shipment delays, and more. The software will send customers notifications about delays if desired. Drivers can also send documents through the mobile app, which you can approve or decline, email to the customer, or attach to an invoice.
If you manage interstate shipments, it’s vital that you keep accurate information on fuel consumption by location for IFTA reporting. Axis runs reports by truck or fleet and includes gas or diesel pumped by state and mileage by state. You’ll need to connect your fuel card and telematics provider to the system, but it only takes a click. Axis supports most fuel cards and devices, but you can contact its sales team to ensure you are covered before purchasing the card/device.
Other ways Axis helps you stay compliant is by monitoring and maintaining records on affirmative action, driver safety, driver qualification (as required by the Department of Transportation), employee checks, and truck maintenance. Its Document Resource Center lets you store these, along with insurance documents, company policies, and government forms.
Axis TMS offers truck management tools that include GPS locations, odometer and speedometer readings, and a real-time map view. The system similarly monitors trailers, including dropped and hooked status. You can chat with the driver through the mobile app as well.
In addition to truck monitoring, the maintenance module allows you to create schedules for regular maintenance and repairs based on date or mileage. You can record costs, upload documents, and run reports. This helps you keep compliant with regulations as well as ensure your fleet is running at top efficiency.
The Axis TMS Driver app lets drivers respond to carrier dispatch. While on duty, the app sends location updates to the company. Users can see order offers, check in and out of stops, scan and load documents and photos (and fax them if needed), update a status, make cash advance requests, or send out breakdown alerts, maintenance requests, and more.
Its user interface is also bright and clean, plus it’s relatively easy to use. You can find a knowledge base online with illustrated articles and some training videos. We did find the list thin, but the search feature pulls up articles, so if you don’t see the answer to your question, use the search bar. Also, some of the articles only tell you what a feature does, not how to use it.
If you work with multiple carriers, the freight brokering module makes it easy to track and assign shipments. The dashboard lets you know how many loads are active, awaiting bids, or have new bids. You can scroll down the spreadsheet-like form to see the details, including miles and bids. It sends out confirmations upon awarding a contract.
It can also match orders to carrier trucks that are available, making it easy to know where to send an offer. You can also view carrier trucks to see their status on the map in case you want to personally invite one to take on a job. The module lets you manage costs, invoices, documents, and more.
Accounts Receivable and Billing
Axis TMS’ billing module allows you to approve driver documents and generate invoices once a job is done. Auto-sorting of paperwork makes it easy to track all the items you need and sends an alert if you are missing something. You can set custom charges or recurring rates for jobs. Invoices can be sent individually or in batches, and the system tracks how long before each is paid.
If you’re a QuickBooks accounting user, you can integrate it with Axis TMS. This enables you to synchronize QuickBooks with invoices previously sent to customers.
Axis TMS Ease of Use
- User-friendly interface
- 24/7 Customer support
- Setup assistance
- Knowledge base
- Training videos
When you first get the software, it will lead you through the setup of your company settings. Be sure to have all your information handy, such as insurance certificates, direct deposit information, employee or driver data, and decisions on how you want to track or pay drivers. You’ll need to have your drivers download the mobile app and register as well.
What Users Think About Axis TMS
Users Don’t Like
Ease of use
Lots of glitches when first starting
Has all the tools needed for running a trucking business
Too many windows to open when navigation through its solutions
Complaints from drivers about the mobile app not showing information
There are very few up-to-date Axis TMS reviews online, as of this writing. Those who left feedback on third-party review sites (such as Capterra) appreciate its ease of use, good customer support, and the training tools provided to new users. However, some clients complained that too many windows needed to be open when navigating among steps in a task. A few others noted that its system glitches from time to time.
At the time of publication, Axis TMS earned 4.5 out of 5 on Capterra based on nearly 20 reviews.
If you have multiple trucks or work with carriers, then Axis TMS can take away a lot of the headaches of managing drivers, trucks, trailers, and shipments. It’s feature-rich but easy to use and has great customer support. While it can get pricey as you add more vehicles to your fleet, it’s worth the investment as it provides all the tools you need to handle trucking operations. Learn more about its features by signing up for its seven-day free trial.