CanDo HD Mobile Overview
There has always been a wide variety of handheld scanners for commercial trucks. The last time we looked, there was over 30 different models available from a wide range of manufacturers, both well known (Bosch, OTC, Snap On) and from overseas (Autel, iCarSoft). What we have seen the last 6-9 months is a shift from handheld scanners which have physical cables attached to them, to mobile devices that use your phone and Bluetooth. As of this blog post, there are 3 devices that work on commercial trucks from your mobile device, with the CanDo HD Mobile being one of them. With prices ranging from $110 to $450, we often get asked questions on pricing, functionality, and compatibility.
Packaging & Appearance
First and foremost, the CanDo HD Mobile comes in a very nice, modern looking box. We are used to the lower cost truck diagnostic tools and scanners to come in plain, white boxes or even plastic bags. One of the largest concerns that most customers have with the mobile devices that utilize your phone is the fact that they are tiny, and can easily be lost or broken. By actually providing a storage solution, this tool can easily be placed in a toolbox or storage bin for future use.
The adapter itself is similar to other mobile truck scanners. It is light, and made with molded plastic. The adapter itself has a molded OBDII connector on it. This is a change from other mobile truck scanners we have seen, which are typically made to only accept the standard 9-pin connection. The CanDo HD Mobile is also the only device in this class that comes with a 6-pin, 9-pin, and CAT off highway equipment 9-pin as well (More on this later!). The 9-pin adapter is also CAN500 Type II compliant, which means you can use it on 2016 and newer model trucks.
Installation & Firmware
The first step, no matter if you are using iOS or Android, is to get the app on your device from either the Google Play store or the Apple App Store. The app is free, and didn’t take very long to download or install. When we first used the app, we were asked to pair the green connector with our mobile device, which worked flawlessly. After the initial connection, it then wanted to do a firmware upgrade, which we allowed. This did take around 5 minutes to complete, so just make sure to keep your mobile device in range of the CanDo HD Mobile so that you don’t lose connection.
This was very simple and easy. The menu system doesn’t allow you a lot of options, frankly because they are not needed. The options include:
- OBDII – To be used with OBDII connections such as Isuzu, FUSO, HINO, etc…
- Diesel OBD – This is the most common option for commercial trucks, which are ones that have either the 9-pin or 6-pin connector.
- CAT – For use with CAT off highway equipment such as bulldozers, loaders, excavators, and more.
- DPF – You would use this option to perform a DPF Regen on a truck (Keep reading to learn more about this!).
- DEMO – If you want to just see how the menu system works without actually being connected to something.
- SETTINGS – Allows you to enter the settings mode to change languages, units of measurement, log files, and more
At first glance, this appears to be “just another” code reader. We can read diagnostic trouble codes, although we only get SAE standard codes with MID/PID/SPN/FMI information. The tool doesn’t translate them to true “flash” codes used by some manufactures such as Cummins. However, neither does any other diagnostic tool in this price range, and we didn’t expect it to.
For live data, the tool appears to pull everything the vehicle is pulling out. When you view live data, it will give you a large menu of “categories” that the data is lumped into. This will be categories such as:
- Idle Operation
- Engine Hours
- Engine Temperatures 1
- Engine Fluid Level/Pressure 1
- … and so on
It would not be uncommon for you to connect to a truck and see 30+ categories, each of them containing their own set of exact live parameters. It does take some time to figure out which categories have which live data, but they are grouped fairly well.
For ECU data, in our testing it read this information perfectly. This includes things such as VIN #, software levels, model of engine, engine serial number, and so on. We were impressed that on a Cummins engine the CanDo HD Mobile properly read it as “ISX CM871” when other mobile scanners in this price range give us generic information that isn’t usable.
Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Regens
This is one of the true differences in this mobile scanner compared to competitors. This is the only tool we have ever run across that will perform a DPF regeneration on commercial trucks! Normally you are paying HUGE money for a software program or stand-alone device to run a DPF regen, but this tool does it. While it is limited to Detroit, Cummins, Volvo, and Hino, we have word from CanDo that other engines are coming soon. We also tried it on a Mack engine to perform a regen, and to our surprise it worked as well (Mack and Volvo engines are essentially the same). We asked CanDo about this, and they said that it “should” work on Mack engines, but wasn’t yet fully supported. You can watch in the video below as we do a regen on a Cummins ISX CM871 engine.
We did also notice that DPF regen “related” command are present in the tool as well. The example you will see in the video is that we can also do a NOx Sensor Reset, which is required with Cummins when replacing or installing a new diesel particulate filter.
CAT Off Highway Equipment
The other differentiator in this tool is that it comes with the cable to connect with CAT off highway equipment. Keep in mind that CAT changed their adapter in 2015 to a new round, 14-pin cable which this tool doesn’t come with. However, for equipment 2014 and older we have successfully been able to connect with it, read live data, read codes, and clear codes.
The reason this is a huge asset is that CAT typically does not use standard J1708/J1939 protocols, but instead relies on their proprietary CAT protocol. Besides the CanDo HD Mobile, this typically requires purchasing an expensive CAT adapter to use with CAT software, or look at our high end diagnostic tools such as the one from TEXA.
While this is no substitute for those other tools, this does at least provide functionality to check the basics.
We were also pleased to find that this tool works very on personal automobiles. This is another feature we’ve never seen on a “heavy truck” diagnostic scanner that works with a mobile device, and they even took it one step further. This unit includes simplified repair information for diagnostic codes. You can simply enter your make and your code, and the system will give you a direction to go for repair information. We could also access clear codes, view vehicle information, and run several very basic diagnostic tests on personal automobiles.
All in all, the CanDo HD Mobile is a very good mobile scanner that works with both Android and iOS. While there are other Bluetooth mobile truck scanners, this one has the advantage of doing both DPF regens and reading CAT off highway equipment – Something that no other scanner in this class can do.
At DieselLaptops, we believe in making tools better and providing value for our customers. Everyone that purchases this tool receive a free 12-month membership to www.TruckFaultCodes.com. This website will help you where the CanDo HD Mobile falls short in regard to truck diagnostic codes. Since the tool only gives generic SAE data and not true “flash” codes, you can use this website to cross them to the correct flash code, and also obtain repair information for all of your codes. Normally $200 per year, this website is free for you to use for a year.
How to Purchase
If you’re ready to purchase online, then please click the links below. For sales inquires, please consult our sales map to locate a sales representative near you.