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 in order 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 to the HOS rules.
With the ELD, drivers will still need to have supporting documents so as 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 known as shorthaul drivers
- Drivers who are in the driveaway-toaway 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 harassments of the drivers and data tampering.
ELD has numerous benefits which makes fleet operators need to have them but also those who are exempt from it. The benefits include:
Reduced fuel wastage.
With ELD you are able monitor idle-time tracking of your driver. Hence, you are able to 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 are able to approach them. The identification of such drivers will result to reduced fatal accidents; as with the ELD you have known the problem that you are able to 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 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 behaviours, all this help 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 to higher profits.
The above mentioned benefits are just some of the benefits ELDs has to offer. With ELDs you are able to 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 travelled. This leads to an increase in spending through 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
Bellow are the top 3 electronic logging devices (ELDs). It is important to understand that we make the 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 device 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 instalments 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 system seen.
- There is 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 are able to be faxed or emailed from the app.
- Two-way messaging and DVIR are available.
- Drivers are able to 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 is designed to last. The 2.5 oz. cylindrical device is incased 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 up front for the first year.
In other words KeepTruckin is an attractive option, especially for the fleets who want an easy installment plus 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 is 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 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) have already become a major part of 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 which 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 which comes with apps for iOS and for 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 literally 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 for 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 which 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. Eclips RapidLog
This is a product which 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.
5. ELDS HOS by ELD Solutions
ELD Solutions are a great source of ELD-based devices. These are specifically designed to ensure compliance to 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 a direct installation. There is, however, a direct opening monthly subscription fee.
6. EROAD Ehubo Electronic Logging Devices
This is another FMCSA Approved ELD and it is designed with a driver-friendly display which has splendid data-transferring capabilities which are going to facilitate the roadside enforcement as well as reduce the administrative paperwork and time.
This is an intuitive in-vehicle digital device which is going to stay in the truck or other type of vehicle and synch with the engine in order to record HOS automatically.
It has a touchscreen and it’s going to let the drivers view, add and edit notes to all of their logs. It would also allow them to easily present the status throughout the roadside inspection.
This device is one of the all-around high-quality devices on the market at the moment. Its hardware is reliable and sturdy; its software on the other hand is easy to use, it’s able to capture information accurately. There prices are affordable plus there are cheaper systems available.
EROAD is set apart from other devices as they are committed to being 100% ELD mandate compliant. The device is submitted to be independently verified by the PIT group, this is a transport technology testing firm. With the PIT the EROAD system is put under rigorous testing process, that uses real drivers and real trucks; therefore, ensuring the product to be able to meet every line of ELD mandate. EROAD is the only device known to have gone through an independent testing.
Choosing a device that has been verified by a third party, gives you the customer; the confidence that the device will pass the FMCSA muster. The following are some features of the EROAD Ehubo:
- It’s a dedicated all-in-one device, which has a single cable that is used to plug into the vehicle’s diagnostic port.
- A well designed user interface that you can hardly notice.
- Large buttons and readable text
- 5 inches screen, its fairly smaller than most
- It has the normal ECM connections, plus its able to be used by older vehicles which do not have ECM
- It’s able to record information at high accuracy required by the ELD mandate
- It has a small keyboard, which makes typing a bit hard for large fingers, although minimal typing is required.
- It is PIT Group verified as a fully mandated compliant
- Its durable plus easy to use
- It is highly accurate
- Not to forget it is the best fuel tax tracker that is on the market
- It’s business hours support
- It has a smaller screen
EROAD is indeed a top notch ELD device. It will become more appealing with time as more features are added onto it. If you are looking for a high-accurate tracking, durable-all-in-one system which has a bullet-proof compliance; look no further you have found it.
7. GPS Insight ELD-2000
This is a system which bundles an alerting, reporting and GPS tracking device all together. 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 in order to reduce the unnecessary amount of phone calls. This is a device which features a web-based management portal that’s accessible through a PC, smartphone or a tablet. The initial cost starts at $650 and there is a $34.95 ongoing monthly fee. You can also rent.
8. Atlas by HOS Reporter
This is a compliance solution for fleets which 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 less 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
- It has beyond HOS tools
- Managers are able to keep up with their fleet due to a large customizable report, alerts and dashboards on the back office interface.
- It supports optional external sensors which monitor everything, which is from the tire pressure to the reefer temperature to the tanker volume.
- It has a host of fleet management capabilities such as; DVIR, engine diagnostic, IFTA tracking plus safety alerts.
- It has a wide range of extra features
- It has a strong dedication to customers service and mandate compliance
- It has excellent unique hours of service tools.
- A few pending features which are really valuable
- The app requires long training in order to get used to it
- It is a bit pricey for people who are looking for the bare minimum compliance
ELD Chrome from Pedigree Technologies is among the flexible plus full featured ELDs; that are on the market. With the HOS tools that are designed to make the life of the carriers or drivers easier. They are worth a serious look due to their; unique features and Pedigree’s focus on the full compliance mandate and its customer support.
11. Blue Ink BIT ELD
Blue Ink Technology (BIT) ELD device has adopted the unconventional pricing model. It is one of the few devices in 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 the electronic vendors.
BIT’s pay-once pricing, makes it very cheap in the long run compared to other devices in the market. Buy a dongle from Blue Ink which plugs into the truck’s diagnostic port. You can then use Bluetooth to pair it with your tablet or smartphone, cellular data is required. An estimated amount of $10 to $15 per month will be required, if you are planning to provide one of the fleet the data plan and the device.
The BIT offers a lot of ELD mandate compliance that does not need accompaniments. You can download the free driver app for iOS and Android devices. It’s simple and quick to navigate and sign into the account.
With just the app, drivers are able to make manual log status change, but for the system to be a true ELD. Bluetooth dongle is required to automatically record the truck once it is moving. Drivers can either accept suggestions of correction from the fleet managers or make their own edits to the logs.
BIT has the following features:
- The app is able to support built in DVIR and basic HOS
- It also has recently released vehicle maintenance track, they enable alerts to be set for tire replacements, routine maintenance tasks and oil changes.
- It provides detailed GPS breadcrumb tracking
- The device can track state miles for IFTA reporting
- It is a very simple and easy to use driver’s app
- It is very easy to install
- There is no ongoing monthly cost
- It is light on extra features at the moment
BIT ELD low costs make it worth a look at, it is more suited for small operators. It’s a user friendly ELD at an unbeatable price.
12. Omnitracs IVG
Omnitracs is known as the best player in ELD industry. In 2016, they gave an announcement on Intelligent Vehicle Gateway (IVG); as their future telematics product line. With the IVG as their flagship, it’s a reason to make fleets have a serious look on them. They also have a quicker installation, more affordable price tags and some innovative features.
IVG is not only a one device but it’s also a one cable solution. Its standard installation involves removing of some dash panels in order to attach a back-plate. That can be used for screen mounting; also for connecting the device cable to a diagnostic port which is behind the dash. This process of installation is quicker and much easier for older MCP units.
Once the installation is done you can be able to get tamper-resistant connection which is more stable. When it comes to this device, it’s a nice balance that is between reliability and ease. The following are some features of Omnitracs IVG:
- Drivers are able to 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 is able to issue different kinds of commands such as adjust brightness settings.
- Messages navigation
- Engine diagnostics
- New tech features which includes commands and smart phone pairing
- Lower overall cost than the Omnitracs MCP
- It’s easier to install as it’s only one device and one cable.
- It has a higher up-front cost compared to the older MCP50
When it comes to Omnitracs products IVG is the new great step. With IVG, there are features and reliability which makes Omnitracs the industry leader.
Conclusion for Electronic Logging Devices
When it comes to choosing the ELD that you need, be very diligent, this is because in the event that 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 real sense they are more important than that.
Indeed ELD were 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 purpose. 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.
It goes without saying that 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 headache. 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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