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 fleet 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.
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:
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 ones.
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.
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 it 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?
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-operators 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.
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
- 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[table id=1 /]
1st Choice: KeepTruckin ELD Device
KeepTruckin ELD gives owner-operator maximum bang for their buck.
As an owner-operator, your eld should be;
- 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 solutions as your fleet expands.
The keeptruckin eld device cost is free. And, for owner-operators, this would be a tremendous relief.
Check our Keep Truckin ELD full review for further information…
2nd Choice: Garmin eLog ELD Device
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.
Check our Garmin ELD full review for more info.
3rd Choice: GPS Trackit ELD Device
GPS Trackit ELD is also a good option for owner-operators who do not want to be tied down under a contract. The hardware is simple plug-in-play and FMCSA compliant and comes with a software application that can be downloaded on the device of your choice.
With GPS tracking ELD e-logs, you can:
- Generate and Transmit Reports
- Saves Time and Reduces Errors
- Store and retrieve data easily
- Track HOS Status of All Vehicles
- Minimize Violations
The software allows managers to customize alerts and highlight important details in a report, making it easier and faster to make crucial decisions. The GPS Trackit ELD comes at a starting monthly rate of $24.95, with no contracts.
4th Choice: My20 ELD Device
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.
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.
5th Choice: The ELD 2020
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.
6th Choice: Omnitracs Intelligent Vehicle Gateway (IVG)
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.
Check our full Omnitracs ELD review.
7th Choice: Rand McNally ELD 50® E-Log Device
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 to plug 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 2 days’ logs.
And the stored data can be transferred to Rand McNally’s web interface for processing when connected to the internet.
Also, the database comes with the capacity to store up to 6months of data.
Check our Rand McNally e-Log review.
8th Choice: Samsara ELD Device
The Samsara ELD is a great option for fleet managers who are also interested in a complete fleet management service. While you won’t need to purchase a full FMS (field management system) to buy the ELD-compliance hardware/software package, it’s easy to upgrade to one, and Samsara offers one of the most comprehensive FMS services available.
- Intuitive Interface
- Easy Installation
- Upgrading to FMS is simple
- Free Trial
- 24/7 Support
- Serves fleets of all sizes
Samara’s ELD solution is a unit that plugs directly into a vehicle engine via its OBD port and is paired with a mobile app that a driver can use to track and log their vehicle data in real-time. Also, dispatchers can use a dashboard to see the HOS for all of their drivers in one central location.
The devices are easy to connect and set up, and managers can easily upgrade to Samsara’s full fleet management service while retaining the ELD-specific software’s dashboard and app infrastructure.
Check our Samsara ELD Device review
9th Choice: J.J. KELLER Encompass ELog Electronic Logging Device
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.
Check our J.J. Keller ELD review.
10th Choice: Stoneridge EZ-ELD Device
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 various trucks.
Therefore, many Stoneridge EZ-ELD customers at the moment shown satisfaction with its ease of use and installation.
Check our full Stoneridge EZ-ELD review.
Buyer’s Guide: Important Factors When Choosing an ELD Device
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.
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
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.
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.