Electronic Logs: Why Do I need an ELD Device? – Pros & Cons Explained

(Last Updated On: December 14, 2023)

electronic logs

If you have one of those people who have no idea what electronic logs are and how ELD devices work, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. Truck drivers require electronic logging devices, commonly referred to as ELDs, for an efficient working system that keeps them secure and on their toes. 

ELDs will substitute the existing paper logs for the drivers to track their hours of service (HOS).

As with every innovation there, it is evident that there will be pros and cons. We are going to have a comprehensive look at both so that we can decide whether this is something beneficial.

What is an ELD Device or E-Log?

Understanding the concept of electronic logs is crucial since the electronic logs eld mandate has been put into effect. ELD stands for Electronic Logging Device and is the latest technologic in the trucking industry.

The name itself is self-explanatory, but it automatically records the time spent driving and the total Hours of Service (HOS). Drivers of commercial motor vehicles most commonly use ELD devices. These devices make accurately tracking and managing time much easier and faster.

But that’s not all. ELD devices also capture much more data about the vehicle, like its movement and miles driven.


There has been an increase in the demand for ELD devices since the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued its electronic logs rules.

As more and more brands start entering the market and competing to be the best, it has become more confusing for a customer to decide which ELD device to buy and why.

We’re here to guide you through the decision step by step. We’ll tell you which devices are currently the best, why you should buy them and why not. So read on to find out more.

Why Do I Need An ELD?

If you’re still not convinced and asking if electronic logs will be mandatory and why you should buy an Electronic Logging Device, don’t worry because there are many more reasons why you should. The electronic logs impact is great; So read on to find out the long list of reasons why to buy an ELD device.

Better Focus

It allows drivers to focus more on the road and driving since they no longer have to worry about paper logs.

Lower Crash Rate

According to recent studies, it has been seen that drivers who do use an ELD device in their trucks have a 5.1% lower accident rate.

Fewer Penalties to Pay

If a driver violates their electronic logs limit, they have to pay the penalty. Therefore, by using an ELD, drivers can easily keep track of their HOS and avoid violations. Therefore, they end up saving money that would otherwise go to paying for penalties.

Better CSA Score

CSA stands for Compliance, Safety, and Accountability. Driver with a greater CSA score is more likely to get jobs and is considered more employable than others. Using an Electronic Logging Device helps improve drivers’ CSA score.

Lower HOS Violations

If the ELD device alerts a driver of a potential HOS violation that may be occurring soon, the driver can take action accordingly and avoid the violation altogether.

Easy to Locate

Since the ELD devices have a GPS tracker, the truck can be easily tracked as long as the electronic logs engine is running. Consequently, the driver will have to put up with fewer or almost no check calls from the dispatch unit.

These features make it easier to provide customers with instant information when they call dispatch to check up on the delivery of a product. It can simply check the truck’s location and tell the customer how far away it is without having to call and ask the driver.

Will the ELD Shut Down the Truck?

While most truckers think that an e-log can shut down their truck, that isn’t entirely the case. An ELD isn’t meant to shut down your vehicle. In addition to keeping track of your miles driven and notifying you of HOS violations and penalties, it also tells you of any HOS violations and fines.

Even if a driver violates the law, the Electronic Logging Device can’t shut down the truck. The truck remains under the driver’s control to park anywhere as desired. Any decisions of where and when to stop and park the truck are always in the control of the trucker. They are never in the power of the ELD device.

Remote Shutdown Technology – Should I Worry About It?

It is essential to mention that the e-log itself cannot shut down the truck. However, there are still a few Electronic Logging Devices manufacturers who do use remote shutdown technology along with the ELD.

This technology can shut down the truck. But this practice is very unpopular and rare, and none of the ELD devices we discuss on this website come with any remote shutdown technology. So you don’t have to worry about it.

Which Eld Is Better For My Needs?

If you are unsure which ELD Device is the best for you, you can get free quotes and consultations to help you make your decision by filling the form below.

Electronic logging devices

Do I Need To Pay For An Eld?

do i pay for eld

The big business behind electronic logging devices is the fact that it is crucial to install them before the electronic logging mandatory date runs out, and it is now a legal requirement to install one on your truck. Some truckers might opt to choose a cheap device so they can fulfil the electronic logs law requirements. However, this could be a big mistake.

Choosing The Right Device

Sometimes it can be tempting to choose the cheap option, but remember, more affordable can be more expensive at the end of the day!

This can be a nightmare to deal with while you are trying to focus on other, more pressing matters if your device is causing you problems such as disconnection, failure to record, and insufficient storage.electronic logs choice

Before making a wrong decision, make sure that you check some reviews or ask for advice. We know what it is like to lose time dealing with useless technology!

In the end, it’s not only the time you lose, but you might buy a new device.

Therefore, you should also be aware of the company’s return policies and subscription plans, as discussed previously. You may not know which electronic log for owner-operators is best for you

to choose, you won’t want to be stuck in a paid yearly plan (even if it’s cheaper) with a worthless device.

The Pros of Electronic Logs

A. Increased Accuracy

ELD increases accuracy. And this advantage is undoubtedly one of the most serious advantages of electronic driver logs devices.

The GPS-based electronic logs will keep a correct record of the distance (actual miles) and the time the driver has spent behind the wheel.

Those accurate records could aid in determining fuel efficiency. Also, it will be useful for the required IFTA fillings.

B. Easier Tracking

Similar to mileage tracing, the hours of service traced by electronic logs will provide the manager with an accurate and easy way to monitor the HOS usage by each driver.

It is thus making compliance and operations a lot easier. Finally, this could assist in resource planning.

C. Faster Compliance

With electronic driver logs law, businesses and regulatory institutions can quickly and accurately cross-check information and make sure that everything is handled correctly. And this is something significant.

D. Faster Paychecks

ELDs allow managers to calculate the salaries quickly and according to paychecks of drivers by referencing the data. Keep in mind that this information is also impossible to manipulate.

E. Reduce Administrative Burden

Think about how many times you have spent recording Hours of Service. All of this burden will go away with electronic logs.

Electronic logs devices record electronic data transferred around the company and stored for compliance procedures.

The electronic format makes it easier to share and store. And with electronic logs, you can get rid of all that hassle very quickly and conveniently.

And this is something that you should consider, and also, this is a crucial point to consider for owner-operators.

With this in mind, this will also spare you a lot of cash.

F. Reducing Operating Expenses

ELDs that come with an excellent fleet management dashboard will allow you to track idle time. You will be able to track precisely the amount of time the driver is spending idling.

And with this kind of raw data, you would be able to identify those drivers who idle for far too long and are doing it more often.

Due to being able to track excessive idling, you’ll be able to save thousands every month as a result of reducing fuel waste.

G. Keep Track Of Vehicle Diagnostic.

Every single ELD will be connected directly to your diagnostic port. It will allow the device to monitor fault codes actively.

With this in mind, you will be quickly able to identify the need for repair and diagnosis.

What is more, being the manager of an entire fleet of trucks isn’t as easy because you would have to be well aware of when each truck has to go for regular maintenance.

However, with comprehensive electronic logs and a user-friendly dashboard, you will definitely spare yourself the hassle. This is something of great significance.

H. Lower Insurance Premiums

Insurance premiums significantly improved for vehicles with ELDs.

Insurers are offering lower rates for fleets with ELDs because they are known to increase fleet safety. Furthermore, since ELDs sometimes packed with GPS tracking features, there is much less risk of a vehicle being stolen or hijacked.

It is yet another possible explanation of why insurance providers feel comfortable offering better insurance rates.

I. Increased Safety

Fleet companies that equip their vehicles with electronic logs are much safer than those that have yet to use ELDs.

ELDs could save 26 lives and prevent 562 accidents each year, according to an FMCSA report.

Also, electronic logs dot regulations can help avoid countless accidents with GPS tracking, effective route strategic planning, fault code monitoring, absence of driver fatigue, and timely identification of dangerous driving behaviour patterns.

J. Good CSA Scores

ELDs, as you know, make absolutely sure drivers only drive what they should.

Not only, other HOS violations, like violations of Form & Manner, outdated log violations, as well as log manipulation, are entirely eliminated with e-logs.

Furthermore, fleet managers can reduce the overall number of accidents by monitoring dangerous driving habits using ELD data.

All of these considerations result in higher CSA ratings, resulting in more and more business opportunities for the company.

Cons Of Using Electronic Logs

A. Higher Costs: Mostly higher initial cost

The electronic logs requirements imply that those ELD devices would be installed into many trucks. However, with the high demand will come higher prices. Therefore, truck drivers could expect to spend a pretty penny doing the initial installation.

Under initial consideration, one may be fixated on the high price of those devices.  However, paper logs take a considerable amount of time to fill out and maintain.

Over the long run, reducing paper logs will save some money. Another negative cost factor is the maintenance of those electronic devices.

B. Learning Curve – Another new technology to master

Truck drivers initially had to learn to use different GPS devices. And electronic logs are yet another technology that truck drivers have to learn.

Truck drivers had to learn to use those smartphones with many of their electronic driver logs apps. And this is something that truck drivers are not particularly keen on.

In addition to the learning curve, it would take time to adapt to those devices. For example, the driver would need to stop more frequently to change driving mode.

However, it’s not just truck drivers that would have to adapt – this includes fleet operators, dispatchers, enforcement personnel, and others.

C. Loss of privacy

The electronic log devices take advantage of GPS tracking. Drivers are going to have their overall route traced and logged.

While on duty, they are traced within a 1-mile radius accuracy and when off duty – within 10-mile radius accuracy.

One may ask what privacy truck drivers can expect, while truck drivers shouldn’t be involved in anything other than driving during work hours. 

Yet, many dispatchers may use GPS tracking by ELDs to push drivers to work harder without stopping.

Most Important Benefit: Compliance

A truck driver’s electronic log book is meant to make sure that he stays behind the wheel no longer than he is legally allowed.

And this is going to ensure that everything is handled correctly. These devices intend to provide safe roads, as fatigue in truck drivers is one of the main causes of accidents. This gives the utmost level of security and easy of working conditions to the drivers. 

The Benefits Outweigh The Costs

Benefits Outweigh The Costs

In addition to complying with regulatory requirements, there are far more advantages of ELDs than disadvantages.

The electronic logs provide truck drivers and fleet owners with significant value.

As technology develops and becomes more accurate, the trucking industry is quickly shifting towards digital implementations. Failing to do so will result in you being behind the curve, which would results in failing to get things done as it should be.

With all this being said, these devices make things even more convenient than you can imagine. However, it’s impossible to enlist all of them. As you can see, there are far more benefits of ELDs than negatives, and even though it’s true that you would have to account for a few drawbacks – they are most definitely worth your consideration. These are devices which are capable of helping you out.

While it’s true that these devices might cost a bit more, and there is a steep learning curve, those ELD challenges can go away with time. 

On the other hand, the benefits of using ELDs are there to stay for the long term.

Check some of our device reviews such as BridgeHaul ELD, MasterELD, VDO Roadlog or Motive (formerly keeptruckin) electronic logging device, geotab electronic logs, garmin electronic logs, jj keller electronic logs, peoplenet electronic logs, pedigree electronic logs, qualcomm electronic logs, and zonar electronic logs.

Furthermore, you can fill out the free consultation form, and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Best ELDs For Owner-Operators?

Choosing the best new electronic logs for truckers is different for every trucker and every owner-operator.

The types and costs of electronic records are two important factors to consider when choosing one or more ELDs for your fleet. For example, it should be important to think about more than just the price of electronic logs. Other features such as GPS, DVIR, included features and extras, should be considered.

Think about your needs before choosing a specific brand. It is common to find ourselves paying high electronic logs prices and then realise that we don’t use most package features.

Important Features For Your Fleet

ELDs come into the market as an excellent advantage for owner-operators because they offer powerful fleet management tools.

1. Technical Support 24/7

One of the essential features is 24/7 technical support. If the driver has any problems with the device or loses connection, the device needs to keep recording. An ELD device must be helpful, and not get in the way and cause problems. However, we all know that technology might fail sometimes.

That’s why accessible and quick technical support is essential.

2. Information Storage, Database and Cloud

Technology is continuously improving its storage systems, and there is a good reason for this.

Storing electronic logs data is very important, but not only that, but its accessibility is also essential. You will want quick and easy access to your fleet records at any time.

Regarding information, ELDss are evolving increasingly into Cloud Base information storage. And this way, all drivers and fleet managers can be updated every second.

3. Compatibility for all fleet trucks

Of course, you don’t want to have different e-logs in your fleet. However, having standard software can make life easier. Not just because you will be able to share information between your fleet but also because it makes it easier to become an expert.

Do not forget that the device´s connections can vary from one brand to another and from one truck to another. And that is why you should make sure the system you choose will be compatible with all the trucks in your fleet.

Some brands offer adaptors for purchase to cover different connector types. Others already include the various connectors in the package.

Therefore, it is for you to assess how much an electronic logs costs to determine which solution fits your fleet better.


It is mandatory to obtain and install electronic logs, but you can choose to see the positive side of it. Many truckers are against e-logs, but they will become essential to all truckers in a matter of time. Technology is embracing every angle of our lives, so, predictably, having an ELD will be as normal as having a cell phone for a trucker.

Remember to take into consideration all those different points mentioned. It’s probably a good idea to make a list of the most common problems or deficiencies you find in your daily work. And then find the main features that could solve or improve your needs. With those identified, you are ready to check on the different brands and options and see which covers you better.

Now the big question is: which ELD should I buy? 

And again, there is not a perfect device, but a suitable device for your needs. One of the most recommended devices is Motive (formerly keepTruckin), but you might need something else.

Check our device reviews on this site, or have a look at our TOP 20 devices to help you make up your mind. Moreover, you can fill out our free consultation form, and we will get in touch with you in no time.

best eld devices



Share what you learned!

About the author

Picture of Robert Rigman

Robert Rigman

Former independent OTR trucker that left the road to dedicate his time to research new technology for the transport industry. When the ELD Mandate was approved many questions and daily challenges came up and there was no answer to them. was born from the combination of my passion for trucking and my affinity for research and writing.

You might be interested...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our Newsletter

Share what you learned!

About the author

Picture of Robert Rigman

Robert Rigman

Former independent OTR trucker that left the road to dedicate his time to research new technology for the transport industry. When the ELD Mandate was approved many questions and daily challenges came up and there was no answer to them. was born from the combination of my passion for trucking and my affinity for research and writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might be interested...