e logs for owner operators

Every Day, I asked, which devices are the best eld for owner operators?

Let’s agree that the best device might be different for small fleets owners according to each business’s needs.

And to be honest, there are advantages to have eld installed on your fleet vehicle.

However, you should know what you’re looking for in the best eld devices for small fleets?

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • What is the price range for the device?
  • What are the e-logs suitable for your business needs?
  • Does the device help to comply with the ELD mandate?
  • What are the unique features to make the device stand out from the competition?
  • How reliable is the ELD manufacturer to support future upgrades? Etc.

It may seem overwhelming when you begin to research the multitude of options available…

However, you should carefully consider the pros and cons of each e-logs before you’ll make a buying decision.
To help you make the right decision, we have made a list of the best eld for owner operators in this article.
But first, let take a look at the qualities of the best ELD devices for owner operators

Affordability is Key

Of course, you’ll want to ensure the device is affordable and worth the price.

However, you’ll need to consider whether there are hidden fees.

While some devices are available for a one-time fee, others come with unbearable monthly service fees and other hidden costs.

Electronic logging devices options


Reliability Perhaps is More Important

Some devices are more reliable than others, and some brands have stood the test of time, while others are new in the industry.

Sometimes, it worth paying for a brand’s reputation, but that isn’t always the case.

Newer products may prove to be just as reliable as the older ones.

The fact is:

You don’t want to sink your funds into a product that doesn’t work as expected.

Also, you wouldn’t want to overpay for features that you can find in a similar device for less.

You’ll want to ensure your preferable eld device is easy to install and use.

And this will enable your drivers to learn to operate it efficiently quickly.

Technical support is also vital. Why?

If the driver encounters unforeseen issues while on the road, you’ll like to be able to troubleshoot and get back to business quickly. And this is why the reliability of the device you choose to buy is important.

ELD tracking is a crucial part of your fleet company’s operation.

Return on Investment (ROI)

The best eld for owner operators will help to reduce the cost and increase productivity.

Everyone needs a device that meets the HOS requirements.

Therefore, a solution that integrates with software features like vehicle monitoring, two-way communication, improved routing, etc. is important.

Be positive and try to get the most out of your ELD choice. If you find the right ELD for your needs, you will find out that they can be very powerful and help to reduce costs in your operations.

What Makes the best ELD for owner operators?

What makes an e-log the best eld for owner operators depends on many factors.

As I said earlier, the best eld devices for small fleets need to be accurate, inexpensive, and easy to use.

Below are the key factors you should consider before purchasing an ELD device:


e logs for owner operators

As we all know, those who object to the ELD mandate base their claims on the price of the solution.

However, not all eld solutions are expensive.

But, for small fleet owners, some of the ELD options available today are relatively inexpensive.

Here are a few things you have to take into considerations:

1) UP-front Costs

Although ELD systems seem to be very simple pieces of technology, some are too expensive. And small fleet owners may not have the cash to spend on an expensive solution.

However, to get the eld devices that are more complex and often costly, you can think about buying the devices that offer to finance.

In such a situation, at a cheap upfront cost, you will have the device you desire.

And, according to your preferred monthly service plan, you will start paying for the device gradually.

2) Installation Fee

The complexity of various ELD implementations varies.

Likewise, the mode of installation can range from more straightforward approaches to the most complex one.

As an owner-operator looking to save some money on e-logs, it is best to go for the eld solution you can install by yourself.

Alternatively, you may go for an ELD provider who offers to install the device free of charge.

As a result, you would be able to save some money.

3) Monthly Subscription Fees

Depending on your eld solution provider, you may have to commit to a monthly subscription plan to use back-office tools.

However, this fee varies from provider to provider.

While affordability has become an important factor, I will prefer a provider that offers cheap monthly plans.

FMCSA Approval

Best eld for owner-operators complies with the ELD mandate and, therefore, FMCSA certified.

Therefore, you must first check if the device is on the FMCSA list.

And if the ELD system mounted in your truck(s) is not compliant, replacing with a compliant eld solution is a wise decision.

Uncertified ELD will cost more money, and Also, you will be penalized and given a citation.

Dedicated e-Log or BYOD?

As you decide on the best eld for owner operators, remember that requirements vary from business to business.

Therefore, depending on your business needs, choose either BYOD or Dedicated ELD systems.

So, which among these two e-log systems is right for your business?

Dedicated ELD

A dedicated electronic logging provider offers everything that you need.

And this includes ELD software and viewing platforms such as mobile devices or tablets.

Many ELD providers are believed to provide the equipment free or discounted or on agreed payment terms.

And if you choose a dedicated eld, it is recommended that you first read the terms and conditions before making a financial commitment.

Therefore, if you want to get a good return on your investment, you need to choose a robust dedicated device with the features you need.

BYOD e-Log Device

The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) ELD systems allow you to use your own devices, like tablets or smartphones.

Therefore, all you need is to purchase the system and link it to your mobile device.

The BYOD e-log solution is versatile and, if you have a mobile device, it will save you some money.

This ELD system’s drawback is that you would have to pay an additional fee separately for cellular connection.

And drivers will use their mobile devices to access the ELD, resulting in distractions when driving.


The best eld devices for owner operator should provide extra features for enhanced versatility.

Therefore, you need to choose a brand that provides the functionality you need as an owner-operator.

And this primarily depends on the number of trucks you have as an owner-operator.

For example,

If you don’t have more than one vehicle, you may not really need GPS tracking.

Also, the e-log provider should provide the right back-office software for your company in addition to the ELD apps.

A few of the standard features of best eld for owner operators include:

  • HOS logs
  • Messaging
  • Geofences
  • Navigation
  • Signature capture
  • Document scanning
  • Tire pressure tracking
  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Dashboard video camera
  • Dashboard for a fleet manager
  • Maintenance and diagnostic reports

Now, let take a look at some of the best eld for owner operators.

Best ELD for Owner Operators

 Product NameInitial CostMonthly CostBest Feature
keep truckin ELDKeep Truckin $150$20Fuel monitoring
garmin ELDGarmin eLog $249$0No Monthly Fee
stoneridge EZ-ELDStoneridge EZ-ELD$169$15Fleet Management
blue ink ELDBlue Ink BIT $295$0for small fleets
rand mcnally ELDRand McNally ELD 50$150$20Driver connect app
linxup ELDLINXUP ELD $149.99 $49.99
GPS integration
magellan eldMagellan ELD $120$10Installation is simple and quick
omnitracs ELDOmnitracs ELD $800$23robust functionality
konexial ELDKonexial ELD$45$300 (annual license)includes all the fleet-management software
peoplenet ELDPeoplenet ELD $0 * w/ contract$50IFTA reporting
gorilla ELDGorilla Safety ELD $0$10 full fleet Mgmt
Samsara ELDSamsara ELD $129$400 (annual license)Dash cams optional
JJ Keller eldJ.J. Keller ELD $199$6drivers can use their own smart devices
eroad ehuboEROAD Ehubo ELD $35$35 to $60 Durable and easy to use
Switchboard ELDSwitchboard ELD$200$10smooth, user-friendly ELD
verizon eldVerizon ELD -$60Accurate HOS recording
bridgehaul eldBrigdeHaul ELD $0$15One of the cheapest in the market with no upfront fees
zonar eldFREE Zonar 2020$0$70scan each of these RFID tags
vdo roadlogVDO RoadLog Plus $299$20Automatic logs auditing
blue tree systemsBlue Tree Systems ELD$1000$40HOS coaching
carrierweb eldCarrierweb ELD$700$30Easy to install
ATT eldAT&T ELD$0$25Auto Update of Duty Status
transflo eldTRANSFLO ELD$99$25Easy to install and use
coretex eldCoretex DRIVE$350$46TMU In-Vehicle Hardware

1st Choice: KeepTruckin ELD Device

keep trucking eld

KeepTruckin ELD gives owner-operator maximum bang for their buck.

As an owner-operator, your eld should be;

  • Inexpensive
  • User-friendly
  • Offers features that will help your business grow

When investing in a BYOD solution, you will be able to save cash on the ELD hardware.

And if the device doesn’t have the resources you need to move your business forward;

You will be able to dump this ELD for other e-log solution as your fleet expands.

The keeptruckin eld device cost is free. And, for owner-operators, this would be a tremendous relief.

  • Includes geofencing and fuel monitoring
  • Monthly payments as low as $20.00/month
  • Come with the ability to send photos through the app, if desired
  • Advanced engine diagnostics
  • 24/7 technical support
  • Long term contract required
  • Software service not included
  • Upcharge for using a tablet

Check our Keep Truckin ELD full review for further information..

2nd Choice: Garmin eLog ELD Device

garmin eld

Many best eld devices for small fleets are free or available at low cost;

And this takes away the burden on your company to pay for a monthly data subscription.

Without a doubt, a small fleet would prefer e-logs available at a lower cost and do not involve a monthly subscription.

And this is what the Garmin eld bring to the table.

The Garmin app is a compliant ELD among the best e-log solution in the market.

The eld solution is simple to set up and integrated with both 6-pin J1708 and 9-pin J1939 installations port.

And this makes it simple for every truck in your fleet to use the device.

  • Trusted brand name
  • No monthly fee
  • Low start-up costs
  • Will fit any standard 6- or 9- pin data port (adapter not required)
  • Basic, limited functionality
  • Not compatible with vehicles using OBD-II protocol (SAE J1979)
  • Vehicles with Volvo engine and 16-pin J1962 require separate cable (not included)
  • Upcharge for using a tablet
  • Middle of the road price-wise; limited features may not be worth the price

Check our Garmin ELD full review for more info.

3rd Choice: My20 ELD Device

konexial my20 best eld

If you feel that eld devices have become too pricey for owner-operators, you haven’t heard of the Konexial My20 ELD.

Konexial is one of the major ELD providers in the U.S e-log market.

This ELD provider’s monthly subscription service packages are affordable

And the company offers its e-log solution hardware on hire terms.

The My20 ELD, while inexpensive, is a useful and right solution for electronic logging. Why?

The device is loaded with essential features for productivity for the fleet company.

And the apps are intended to streamline work processes and increase business efficiency.

For example:

GoLoad — One of the My20 eld app features is a vibrant load service provided by the company to match the driver with available loads in real-time.

GoFuel —  Likewise, the unique feature of GoFuel is also intended to improve your vehicle with fuel economy.

All these unique features make it possible for the fleet to spend less while making a lot of money.

The device also has functionalities such as Messaging, GPS tracking, Maps, My20 Rewards, Real-time dynamic load matching, and reports.

Depending on the features your fleet needs, you can choose from the $15 or $25 package. And all the plans are paid quarterly.

  • Quick install and easy to use
  • No contract required
  • 100% FMCSA approved
  • DOT certified
  • Only ELD with GoLoad –  direct shipper loads.
  • No additional hardware needed to operate
  • One-year warranty available
  • IFTA mileage included
  • Konexial will repair or replace your ELD as long as you maintain your monthly service
  • No support for 6-pin adapter
  • No exterior USB port
  • Subscription service required and must remain current for updates to install properly
  • Some users have reported issues consecutively

4th Choice: The ELD 2020

eld 2020 hutch

The ELD 2020 is one of the newest devices in the ELD industry.

Hutch Systems provide a Pay As You Drive (“PAYD”) ELD solution.

And this means that you will only pay when you use the ELD.

Are there any hidden fees?

Well, there aren’t any, and you don’t even need to pay for the hardware!

As an owner-operator, you might not work every day of the month;

Therefore, this device gives you the option of paying only for its usage time without compromising quality.

The ELD 2020 is FMCSA compliant and has a full packed IFTA reporting feature.

Also, you can easily log your “personal conveyance” time without worrying about HOS requirements.

Fleet maintenance is another key feature that ELD 2020 brings to the table.

And without a doubt, the company prioritizes safety and compliance.

With the help of their GPS tracking system, you can make sure all your driving data is adequately collected and stored safely.

The ELD 2020 offers all of the features you need to stay compliant with HOS at an affordable price.

  • The easy installation process (under 2 minutes)
  • PAYD or “Pay as you Drive” pricing plan
  • DVIR Reporting System
  • GPS Tracking
  • Easy To Use
  • Reliable
  • Presently, there is no negative review of the product

5th Choice: Linxup GPS – The Best Dedicated ELD for Owner Operators

Linxup GPS is ideal for every fleet owner who wants to improve its service quality and prioritize its safety.

Linxup is an easy, efficient, and economical way of managing essential fleet assets.

The device features fleet performance improvement with simple Google-based maps.

And this enables Fleet managers to get accurate reports, driver behavior scorecard, maintenance tracking, and unwanted or improper usage alerts.

Also, the devices run on a secure 4G network.

Linxup ELD is an FMCSA-approved ELD system with storage facilities and temperature control options.

This best eld for owner operators makes it easier to meet HOS mandates.

And it offers owner operators quick installation, ease of use, and also very affordable.

This unit’s unique features and capabilities are intended to provide far more than just compliance with ELD mandates.

Other features of this best eld for owner operators are;

  • Dedicated ELD data plan
  • Electronic recording tools
  • Dedicated tablet ELD web portal
  • Unique jBus ELD tracking system
  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Customer care, technical assistance, and video tutorials

These are the features that make Linxup ELD one of the market’s best electronic logging devices.

  • Helps to track driver behaviors
  • Help to boost CSA score
  • Provides a free trial
  • Durable hardware
  • Presently, there is no negative review of the product except that the device is not BYOD

6th Choice: Rand McNally ELD 50® E-Log Device

rand mcnally e logs for owner operators

The Rand McNally ELD 50 provides you with a massive selection of features for less than $200.

A small fleet company needs to have an easy-to-install ELD solution to avoid paying for installation.

Yeah, that's what McNally gives you.

To mount the device, all you need is plugging it into the diagnostic port.

This ELD is capable of creating comprehensive DVIR reports in addition to the standard ELD functionality.

Also, the device can collect logs when you are out of wireless network coverage.

In such a situation, the logs are kept in the internal storage, holding logs worth of 2 days' logs.

And the stored data can be transferred to Rand McNally web interface for processing when connected to the internet.

Also, the database comes with the capacity to store up to 6months of data.


  • DVIR stores a lot of information, so users don’t have to worry about data being overwritten
  • Use gauges feature to show current engine stats in a customizable dashboard and allow drivers to diagnose engine problems quickly
  • Easy to install
  • Simple to operate
  • May not work with older Android devices
  • Works best with smaller fleets
  • Users report it can be unreliable and disconnects at times
  • Users report no technical support when needed
  • Doesn’t fit all trucks
  • Cannot change drive time with the time is recorded inaccurately
  • Requires monthly subscription fee
  • Hold up to one day’s worth of data at a time
  • If an Android phone does not connect within that one-day window, then the data does not back up, and earlier data is deleted

Check our Rand McNally e-Log review.

7th Choice: ThinAir ELD Device

thinair eld

Ensuring that your fleet complies with the ELD mandate is vital to the success of your business.

To do this, ThinAir ELD is one of the most cost-effective solutions designed to help you comply with the law in both the U.S. and Canada.

The device is comfortable to use and makes things a lot easier while ensuring compliance, enhancing safety, and also offer productivity optimization.

This BYOD is one of the best eld for owner operators.

The device connects directly to the vehicle's diagnostic port and can also be used via Bluetooth connection to your mobile Apple or Android device.

The ThinAir ELD's app streamlines a lot of tedious operations such as;

  • Automatic duty status transition
  • Voice dictation
  • DVIR inspection
  • One-button roadside inspection etc

It allows Owner-operators to view logbooks, violations, inspection reports, and more in real-time.

Also, the ThinAir ELD HOS web portal helps to minimize paperwork and simplify business activities.

With this eld solution, creating IFTA reporting on-demand, dispatch mobile staff, accessing mobile documents, and much more are made simply.

  • FMCSA Registered and Compliant ELD
  • The manufacturer guarantees compliance for Hours of Service (HOS) regulations now and into the future
  • Complete DVIR reports
  • Customizable pre, post, and ad-hoc inspection with the voice dictation feature
  • IFTA Reporting On-Demand
  • Easily import or manually input fuel receipts, track fuel costs by state, and fuel type
  • Simple to install
  • Easy to use with an intuitive interface
  • 24/7 technical support
  • Requires subscription for use
  • There is a registration process for switching between vehicles
  • For monthly pricing, the company requires that user call the sales department (there is no set rate available online)

8th Choice: J.J. KELLER Encompass ELog Electronic Logging Device

jj keller best electronics logs

The J.J. Keller's eld solution, in combination with the Encompass program, will standardize critical functions such as;

  • Driver qualification
  • Hours of Service (HOS)
  • Driver habits monitoring and licensing etc.

This ELD solution can be inserted into your vehicle's diagnostic port as a black box. Not only that;

The device provides effective legal compliance and management of performance.

Also, the unit logs DVIR and HOS data for compliance purposes.

Therefore, the device is suitable for the owner-operator that wants to enhance compliance and move beyond logs.

The device comes with an upfront fee of $199; and a Keller e-Log box plus a monthly total of $25.5.

When selecting a JJ Keller e-log version, I would like to advise you to evaluate the pricing plan carefully.

  • Free easy-to-use e-log app
  • Simple installation
  • Proven driver interface
  • Works with iPhone, iPad, and Most Android devices
  • One-touch e-logging for better time management
  • Online dashboard to view and store past logs
  • Service plans include e-logs with optional automated fuel tax reporting
  • Compatible with all vehicle classes (1-8)
  • 15 Different Hours of Service (HOS) rule sets
  • User have reported an inability to print daily fuel purchases
  • Users have reported it will switch to drive when they are stopped

Check our J.J. Keller ELD review.

9th Choice: Stoneridge EZ-ELD Device

stoneridge ez-eld

The Stoneridge EZ-ELD is an excellent choice for an owner-operator.

First, this best eld for owner operators is certified by FMCSA.

And, therefore, provide the fleet with full control over compliance requirements.

Also, transferring the device from one vehicle to another is comparatively easy.

And the solution comes with several adapters for installation on the various truck.

Therefore, many Stoneridge EZ-ELD customers at the moment shown satisfaction with its ease of use and installation.

  • Easy to use and install
  • FMCSA-certified to provide total control of federally mandated compliance obligations
  • Multiple adaptors connect to it and can be easily switched between vehicles
  • Capable of storing up to six months of data
  • Allows users to view timesheet calendars for up to thirty days at a time
  • IFTA & vehicle inspection included in the package
  • The company is still building its brand’s reputation
  • Users report poor instructions and support
  • Users report the device frequently disconnects
  • Faulty devices cannot be returned (no return policy)

Check our full Stoneridge EZ-ELD review.

10th Choice: Omnitracs Intelligent Vehicle Gateway (IVG)

omnitracs eld

Omnitracs had been a renowned provider of SaaS fleet management and groundbreaking transport technology solutions.

The Intelligent Vehicle Getaway (IVG) is a clear demonstration of Omnitracs' desire to offer a competitive edge to its customers.

As such, Omnitracs' e-log approach aims to;

  • Reduce costs
  • Streamline processes
  • Improve driver efficiency etc.

This ELD system is compliant and improves the fleet's performance, safety, and reliability.

Even though some of the industry's leading ELD implementations may only be successful at logging and compliance:

However, everything is handled by the Omnitracs IVG.

The Omnitracs best eld for owner operators is designed primarily to improve safety, performance, and ease of use.

And this system is clearly a trendsetter in the industry.

It comes with ease of installation, user-friendly Intelligent Voice Interface, intuitive feature scope, and intelligent alerts.

Basically, the omnitracs eld is the right, budget-friendly, and useful e-log solution.

  • Completely stable connection through the state-of-the-art gateway
  • Black 9-pin, type I harness
  • Hardware complies with ELD mandate requirements
  • Intelligent Voice Gateway (IVG) allows drivers to access key features by voice-activated commands. And this allows them to use the features without taking their eyes off the road.
  • Backward compatible with coexisting seamlessly with legacy Omnitracs platforms
  • Comes equipped with dash cams
  • Comes equipped with in-cab scanning
  • Includes tire pressure monitoring
  • Expensive upfront cost
  • Requires some time to set up
  • Frequent updates needed for the device to work properly

Check our full Omnitracs ELD review.

Buyer’s Guide: Important Factors When Choosing an ELD Device

e logs for owner operators

When considering ELD devices for your fleet, there are many essential aspects to consider.

First, you'll want to ensure the product is within your budget and has the features you desire.

Also, you'll want to make sure the device is relatively easy to install and use.

And this will enable your drivers to learn the ropes quickly.

And this would help them to stay on the road and in compliance at all times.

Therefore, you'll need to purchase an e-log that complies will all current industry standards and regulations.

Thus, it is paramount to select a device that is up-to-date with all federal regulations.

Some products include warranties and manufacturer guarantees.

And this enables users to be sure that the product stays in compliance as updates are needed.

best eld devices

Technical Support 

eld technical support

As said earlier, and if your drivers encounter technical issues while on the road, the device should have 24/7 support.

The support function of the eld is super important.

The customer service team will be able to promptly troubleshoot the issue so your trucks can get back on the road.

Limited or no technical support will mean a waste of time attempting to log drive time manually.

Therefore, you need a device that connects seamlessly and stays connected.

You wouldn't want to use a device that disconnects frequently or loses data.

Also, you don't want to worry about capturing inaccurate information, which you may or may not be able to overwrite

Data Storage On Device

e log storage

Fleet owners would prefer to invest in an e-log that stores an adequate amount of relevant data for a long period.

This way, the device won't overwrite data that could still be needed because it reached maximum capacity.

As a small fleet owner, you'd want to be able to access all the needed information quickly and easily.

As a result, you can keep up with your reporting procedures.

What features Comes with The e-logs Device?

ELD, with the most robust back-office features, is a must for all fleet owners.

This way, you can analyze a multitude of reports and keep track of your team.

And you'll be able to print these reports and share them when necessary.

Some devices come with advanced features that others don't.

However, you should select the features that are meaningful to you.


Your preferred ELD device should be compatible with the equipment installed in your trucks.

Occasionally, an adapter and a cord will be needed to be purchased separately to use the device with your vehicles.

It is also advisable to take some time and do some thorough research, so you know you're buying a product that is compatible with the devices you will be pairing it with.

For example, if your fleet used Android devices, you'll need to purchase ones that will work with this operating system.

You also need to ensure that the e-log works with the device models your drivers are using.

Some of the newer devices will not pair properly with older operating systems.

You wouldn't want to have to replace all of the drivers' devices along with the product you chose before they're able to get on the road.

If you are not sure which system is better for you, you can get free expert advice by filling out our consultation form below.


Check the policies!

Lastly, you'll want to know if the device manufacturer has a return policy on their ELD products.

So, you can return the device if you encounter unsolvable issues or discover that it doesn't pair well with your vehicles or devices.

You don't want to be left hanging on to an unusable product.

Again, some products also come with a one-or two-year service warranty, which may be included in the initial purchase price or may require an additional fee.

If the product you are considering comes with a warranty, make sure you understand it.

Some brand names have stood the test of time, and others are newer to the market.

Sometimes the reputation of the longer-standing brand warrants a higher purchase price.

However, this isn't always the case.

Many newer brands have comparable features at a lower fee because the brand is still building its reputation.

When deciding to choose an ELD, consider the size of your operation, the number of trucks you have on the road, and the overall distance traveled.

And also, consider the data you'll need your drivers to capture as well as your budget for ELD expenses.

Above all, purchase the product that works best for your company's needs and one that will allow you to stay in compliance.


There are pros and cons to each ELD device in the market.

The key is choosing the best eld for owner operators that fills your needs.

If you manage a fleet, it's worth considering other Fleet Management Systems such as Verizon (known as Fleetmatics Reveal) or GPS Insight.

Some work great for smaller fleets but aren't equipped for larger ones.

However, others work well for all sizes.

Therefore, you should make a decision based on price and available features. The product should be easy to install and use.

It also needs to come with competent, readily available customer support if a driver encounters technical issues.

The key is to get drivers up and running quickly and keep them on the road.

Do your research first, and compare and contrast models to find the best fit.

I hope this guide of the best eld devices for the owner-operator has helped you make an informed decision.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Ronald Terlitsky

    There is absolutely NO ADVANTAGE to the use of a ELD device. Except of course if you’re a lazy 9-5 type driver who just left McDonald’s or Wal-Mart! The highest increase in fatalities and accidents since 1988. That’s what the great ELD has done along with turning this into an industry where slobs are the norm anymore. And foreigners who can’t speak English nor comprehend simple road rules have been making it even worse.

  2. transient

    This is my firѕt time visiting your site and i am really impressed to
    read evеrything in one plaсe.

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