WHAT ARE Electronic Logging Devices ALL ABOUT?
An ELD (Electronic Logging Device) hooks into a commercial driver’s engine and logs their hours of service on the road. There are many different types of Electronic Logging Devices on the market, but the goal is the same. It is meant to replace paper logbooks and includes other electronic components that make the elements of commercial driving more efficient. By reducing time spent logging hours on paper, saving drive time and fuel costs, and allowing dispatch to see a driver’s status in real-time, ELDs solve many inefficiencies that the commercial driving industry faces today.
Currently, not all commercial drivers have implemented the use of Electronic Logging Devices. The evolution of the rules regarding the use of ELDs has made it difficult, and some carriers previously used similar devices to harass truck drivers. With new mandates, it will be easier to implement and follow going forward.
It is a requirement for the CDL drivers to keep Record of Duty Status (RODS). An ELD is used to document each driver’s compliance with the HOS rules. The ELD rule has the following features that an Electronic Logging Devices must-have for its performance specification, it must:
- Be connected to the truck’s engine so that it’s able to record when the truck is in motion.
- Graphically show a Record of Duty Status, allowing the driver to see the hours in a day.
- The device ought to meet proper specification, as a result, it should be provider certified.
- It should provide standardized data to be transmitted to law enforcement through USB, wireless web services or Bluetooth 2.0
- Allows a driver to log in and be able to select On-duty, On-duty Not Driving or Off-duty; the drive segment needs to be automatically selected with the vehicle movement.
The ELD tracks the hours a truck driver is on the road plus the location of the truck. It will replace the paper logs which the drivers are required to have. Electronic Logging Devices do not allow any deletion of the driving time plus it ought to be tamperproof. Therefore, it allows the FMCSA to use the electronic data to track a driver’s compliance with the HOS rules.
With the ELD, drivers will still need to have supporting documents to verify their HOS compliance. Such documents include; dispatch, bills of lading, mobile communications and trip reports. The ELD rule mandate does not apply to the following drivers:
- Drivers who drive a vehicle that was manufactured before the model year 2000
- Timecard also is known as short-haul drivers
- Drivers who are in the driveaway-to away business
The ELD has rules that are intended to create a safer work environment for the drivers. It makes it easy and fast to accurately be able to track, manage plus share RODS data. The ELD rules include:
- Provides for the ELD to be self-certified and registered with the FMCSA
- Specifies who is covered by the rule and who is an exception to it.
- Includes a phased implementation timeline to give the drivers and carriers time to comply.
- Creates standard data display, data transfer processes, therefore, making it easy to demonstrate compliance and faster for one to share RODS with the safety officials.
- Includes technical specification which ensures the ELDs are compliant and standardized.
- Includes provisions that help to prevent harassment of the drivers and data tampering.
ELD has numerous benefits that make fleet operators need to have them but also those who are exempt from it. The benefits include:
Reduced fuel wastage.
With ELD you can monitor idle-time tracking of your driver. Hence, you can identify drivers who idle frequently plus for how long; consequently enabling you to save thousands of dollars, as you are able to track the excess idling thus reducing fuel wastage.
Identification of reckless driving behavior.
ELD allows you to track your drivers driving behaviors. Are the driving behaviors bad such as; speeding, excessive acceleration, and hard cornering. Having known the bad behaviors of your driver, you can approach them. The identification of such drivers will result in reduced fatal accidents; as with the ELD, you have known the problem that you can attend to it.
Lower insurance premiums.
Fleets with ELDs tend to get significantly a better insurance premium. This is because; with Electronic Logging Devices the fleet safety is increased. Therefore, leading to insurance companies offering better rates than when fleets did not have ELDs.
Also with ELDs which have GPS tracking features, there is a lesser risk of a hijacked or stolen vehicle; as a result, leading to the insurance companies offering the low insurance rates.
Fleets that have ELDs are considered safer than fleets that do not have ELDs. The FMCSA estimates that with ELDs 26 lives will be saved and 562 injuries prevented every year. Know with ELD we have: GPS tracking, efficient route management, lack of driver’s fatigue, fault-code monitoring and the timely identification of poor driving behaviors, all this helps to prevent the numerous road accidents.
With ELD you do not need administrative staff, this reduces the operational costs. With a decreased liability plus better insurance rates, the balance sheet gets a positive impact. Fleets will be able to improve on driver retention rate with proper drivers’ management.
Not to forget with idle-time tracking, vehicle fault-code monitoring, route management, reduced fuel wastage and IFTA calculation among others; fleets are able to reduce the cost of operations which results in higher profits.
The above-mentioned benefits are just some of the benefits ELDs have to offer. With ELDs you can streamline your operations, maximize profits, increase productivity, and explore new business opportunities. The ELD also has some cons which include:
- Small firms are at a loss, with the new regulations it makes it difficult for them to be able to afford the new devices, plus being able to continue paying for the expenses.
- The safety improvements are only projected
- Opponents argue that the ELD reduces productivity by cutting down the miles to be traveled. This leads to an increase in spending by hiring more drivers to haul freight.
- Drivers are opposing to be micromanaged by having their every movement electronically tracked.
When choosing which ELD to use ensure that, the specific ELD model you are eyeing is on the FMCSA’s list of the registered ELDs. The device needs to meet all specifications of the ELD rule; you can have the vendor verify it. The devices include KeepTruckin ELD, DriveELD, Omnitracs IVG, Zonar Connect, EROAD Ehubo, Samsara, Blue Ink BIT ELD, PeopleNet Display.4 and ELD Chrome by Pedigree Technologies among others. We are going to look at the top 5 ELD product devices
Top 3 Electronic Logging Devices
Below are the top 3 electronic logging devices (ELDs). It is important to understand that we make a recommendation based on general information. Each driver will like a different device. Each driver will benefit from a different device.
THEREFORE, WE RECOMMEND FILLING OUT THE FORM BELLOW. BY DOING SO, YOU WILL GET A TRUE PROFESSIONAL WORKING WITH YOU (FREE OF CHARGE) ON GETTING THE RIGHT DEVICE:
1st Choice: Keep Truckin ELD Device
There are many great things about the Keep Truckin ELD. For example, the fact that it is super user-friendly. However, the most attractive point is obviously its price. Keep Trucking ELD devices offer monthly pricing like most eld units. Therefore, you might be waiting for us to tell you the upfront cost of the product, but there is none!
Instead, there are only monthly installments of a mere $35 that you have to pay to Keep Truckin over three years. At such an affordable price, it would be crazy not to buy the product!
- It has the easiest method of driver log editing of the system seen.
- There is a simple view of recap hours which is to be gained for the next 7 days.
- There is a suitable DOT Inspection Mode, which shows a log history to the enforcement officers. The logs can be faxed or emailed from the app.
- Two-way messaging and DVIR are available.
- Drivers can take photos of accident damage, paperwork or any other thing and send in the images via the app.
Its back office is easy to use plus it’s modern. It has the standard features such as; messaging, GPS locations and an overview of the HOS compliance. DVIR reports and basic HOS are included. The driver’s log can be viewed by the office personnel and make suggested corrections easily, although the driver will need to authorize the changes for them to be effective.
- It is user friendly
- It is very easy to install
- It has more advanced features than other BYODs
- It has a low cost
2nd Best: Garmin eLog ELD Device – No Monthly Fee
Garmin Elog Durable Design and Compatibility
The Electronic Logging Devices are designed to last. The 2.5 oz. cylindrical device is encased in a sleek black outer shell. The device data is accessible both from USB and through Bluetooth for quick sharing. The eLog™ also connects and can share driver data with a variety of Garmin GPS units from the dēzl™ series. This means that the driver can receive personalized updates and reminders for breaks and remaining time, all integrated as well through the smartphone/tablet app.
The eLog™ costs about $249.99 through the Garmin website. While Garmin currently has only one model of ELD, there are several different Garmin GPS models compatible with the eLog™, each ranging in price from $299.99 to $499.99. This gives the Garmin a highly personalized experience, giving priority to driver ease with a friendly user-centered experience.
3rd Choice: Rand McNally ELD 50® E-Log Device
- For smaller fleets, they pay upfront for the first year.
In other words, KeepTruckin is an attractive option, especially for fleets who want an easy installment plus a low cost. Its system is easy to use for the drivers and the office staff. Not to forget the list of its advanced features that are above its competitors.
Rand McNally ELD Offers Great Focus on Service
This service seems more fleet-centered than driver-centered. The Electronic Logging Devices itself is relatively easy to install. However, it can only hold up to one day’s worth of data at a time, compared to EZ ELD’s six-month data storage capability. This means that Rand McNally’s ELD 50® relies completely on the software subscription to function.
Also, if an android phone does not connect within that one-day window, then the data does not back up and earlier data is deleted. This can present difficult situations if the driver were ever to lose his phone or android device. On the bright side, if a subscription is purchased, the online portal supplies storage for all data, timesheets, and metrics, making up to 6 months’ worth readily available from any android device.
So, while there are many perks to Rand McNally’s ELD if you decide to go with this device be prepared for the possibility of some unknown costs. If you are serious about using Rand’s services, perhaps the best idea would be to reach to contact them directly and get a quote.
FMCSA Approved ELD Devices – List & resources
ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices) has already become a major part of a truck driver’s work. ELDs track their hours of service and to ensure that everything is handled as per the highest standards. However, they have to be FMCSA Approved ELD. Have you wondered which the best ones are? Let’s have a look. You can check the complete FMCSA list to make sure that your final choice is among the approved devices.
1. Fleet Complete by BigRoad
This is one of the most comprehensive electronic logging devices. FMCSA Approved ELD, it guarantees compliance and efficiency.
The application is configured in a manner that alerts the driver if there are any upcoming violations at certain intervals which are measured.
It also provides serious flexibility when it comes to overriding the warnings as well as the violation alerts. There are reason codes for this matter.
2. BigRoad DashLink
This is another Approved ELD which is simple, flexible and very affordable. DashLink is pretty much a plug and play solution that comes with apps for iOS and Android. It is going to connect seamlessly and make it completely effortless for the driver to set up.
Also, it will sync in automatically – there is nothing complicated with it. There is real-time HOS follow up as well as comprehensive fleet tracking.
Dispatching Solutions DSI eLogs. This is a cloud-based operation and it is specifically designed to work as a dedicated or a BYOD solution for iOS and Android.
It is one of the most comprehensive apps on the market for that matter and it is going to cost you between $450 and $700 based on the capabilities and the hardware that you need. That’s the initial fee and there is a $20 monthly fee.
3. DriverTech DT4000 Rev 7
This is another very convenient solution for your ELD situation. If you are looking for something comprehensive, this is a device that integrates awesomely and it is a very easy FMS – fleet management system. It comes with all the necessary and efficient metrics that you might be looking for and it is quite robust.
4. Switchboard ELD
Switchboard, a Canadian company, has introduced a new ELD… but don’t let that scare you. They’ve patiently waited to release their product and service so that they can fix the mistakes that everyone else has made. It’s features and support enable Switchboard to be put up against some of the best-known brands on the ELD market. And they’re fully compliant in the US and Canada.
Flexible device and equipment options, ease of use, and an array of useful (and fully functioning) features make Switchboard an excellent choice for smaller fleets and even owner-operators.
Choice of platform, intuitiveness, ease of use, easy to read red-line log edits, weekly recaps, DVIRS, engine diagnostics, alerts, messaging, analytics IFTA reporting, personal conveyance, weigh station bypass are just some of the features you get from Switchboard ELD.
5. Eclipse RapidLog
This is a product that is pretty much a monitor for your electronic logs. The company says that it has managed to audit more than 1 billion logs for hours of service without making a mistake. This is definitely something substantial.
6. ELDS HOS by ELD Solutions
ELD Solutions are a great source of ELD-based devices. These are specifically designed to ensure compliance with a full line of different features. These features include IFTA accounting, GPS tracking, and telematics.
There is no upfront cost and you will get a power cord, case, tablet, ELD module, set-up procedure or direct installation. There is, however, a direct opening monthly subscription fee.
7. EROAD Ehubo Electronic Logging Devices
An FMCSA Approved ELD designed with a driver-friendly display that has splendid data-transferring capabilities that are going to facilitate roadside enforcement as well as reduce administrative paperwork and time.
This is a dependable, well designed and intuitive in-vehicle digital device is the only device known to have gone through independent testing by the PIT Group, which uses real drivers and real trucks, ensuring the product to be able to meet every line of ELD mandate. Also, it is one of the best, if not THE best, fuel tax trackers on the market.
Besides support hours being limited, and a smaller screen, you can’t go wrong with Ehubo
8. GPS Insight ELD-2000
This is a system that bundles an alerting, reporting and GPS tracking device altogether. It is hardwired to an Android tablet that’s designed with a very intuitive user interface. The device is also going to provide you with messaging capabilities for the drivers and the dispatch to reduce the unnecessary amount of phone calls. This is a device that features a web-based management portal that’s accessible through a PC, smartphone or tablet. The initial cost starts at $650 and there is a $34.95 ongoing monthly fee. You can also rent.
9. Atlas by HOS Reporter
This is a compliance solution for fleets that are smaller and usually owner-operated. The device has an ELD solution as well as a fully functional AOBRD solution. This is going to provide you with e-logs right under the necessary regulations.
E-logs are editable and this allows for fewer data to be sent which is quite convenient. The device is very simple to use, quickly integrated and it comes with a wide range of interesting benefits.
10. HOS 247
This is another compliant ELD which offers comprehensive solutions and packages for small and for large fleets. The package is very convenient and it includes logbook application, free logging devices, DVIRs, a monitoring web portal for the fleet manager, a dashboard for compliance, GPS tracking and others of the kind.
As you can see, when it comes to it, there are quite a lot of different choices of electronic logging devices. FMSCA approval is necessary for them to be compliant. All of the above have it. These are going to make your life a lot easier, regardless of you are in management or if you are the driver.
The devices and the apps ensure that the proper amount of hours are being services so that the driver doesn’t get tired and fatigued. This is something very important and it is necessary to ensure that everything is handled as per the highest regulatory standards.
11. ELD Chrome by Pedigree Technologies
The team at Pedigree Technologies distinguish themselves by committing themselves to fully understand the ELD mandate plus meeting its entire requirement. The Pedigree OneView platform allows log information importation from the other systems which uses FMCSA standard file in log format. This feature is especially hardy in mixed fleets that use a combination of ELD systems.
Unique HOS tools, large customizable report, alerts, dashboards on the back-office interface, support of optional external sensors, DVIR, engine diagnostic, IFTA tracking, safety alerts, and strong dedication to customers service makes ELD Chrome among the most flexible and full-featured ELDs on the market. They are worth a serious look due to their unique features and Pedigree’s focus on the full compliance mandate and its customer support.
Keep in mind that the app often requires long training to get used to it and it is a bit pricey for people who are looking for bare minimum compliance
12. Blue Ink BIT ELD
Blue Ink Technology (BIT) ELD device has adopted the unconventional pricing model. It is one of the few devices on the market to offer no monthly ongoing fee payment. The device is bought at $295; there is no monthly cost or contract. This is appropriate for small fleets or independent drivers who do not want the ongoing service plans offered by most electronic vendors.
The BIT offers a lot of ELD mandate compliance without the frills. You can download the free driver app for iOS and Android devices. With just the app, drivers can make manual log status changes, but for the system to be a true ELD, a bluetooth dongle is required to automatically record the truck once it is moving.
BIT can support built-in DVIR and basic HOS. It also has recently released vehicle maintenance tracking, It provides detailed GPS breadcrumb tracking and can track state miles for IFTA reporting
13. Omnitracs IVG
Omnitracs is known as one of the best players in the ELD industry. In 2016, they introduced Intelligent Vehicle Gateway (IVG) as their future telematics product line. They also have a quicker- one cable installation, more affordable price tags, and some innovative features.
Once the installation is done you can be able to get a tamper-resistant connection which is more stable. When it comes to the Omnitracs IVG device, it’s a nicely balanced between reliability and ease. These are just. some of the features:
- Drivers can link IVG on their smartphones through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This enables them to perform certain tasks when they are away from the truck for instance;
- Send and receive dispatch messages.
- Capture signatures or document images remotely from the phones
- Update the trip progress
- The IVG contains a voice command system which is like that of Apple’s Siri. By saying “Hello, Omnitracs”. A driver can issue different kinds of commands such as adjust brightness settings.
- Messages navigation
- Engine diagnostics
When it comes to Omnitracs products, IVG was a great step forward. It’s features and reliability make Omnitracs one of the industry leaders and with the IVG as their flagship, it’s reason enough to make fleet owners have a serious look at them.
Conclusion for Electronic Logging Devices
When it comes to choosing the ELD that you need, be very diligent, this is because if the ELD is decertified, you will have to find another ELD. This requires money and more time. Most fleets tend to think that ELDs are a solution to the FMCSA’s ELD mandate compliance, but in a real sense, they are more important than that.
Indeed ELD was introduced primarily for FMCSA’s ELD rule compliance, but due to telematics solutions, for instance, KeepTruckin ELDs are not only more powerful but they serve a lot of different purposes. For instance: maximizing profits, increasing productivity plus exploring new business opportunities. Trucking companies are also able to grow faster with the information from the ELDs, as the set of right data enables you to explore opportunities.
An FMCSA Approved ELD is going to bring tons of merit to your trucking company and it’s going to spare you a lot of headaches. Without thinking too much, you should also be aware of the fact that they are becoming the necessary industry standard. This means that you wouldn’t have the chance to choose whether or not you want to go for it anymore.
To know more about other ELD solutions and GPS tracking systems, you can check some of our full reviews:
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