Truck and trailer drivers are required by law in some countries, like the US, to have electronic logging devices (ELD) installed on their vehicles. The device maintains the records of duty status–whether the truck is stationary or in motion, and replaces paper logs.
For the ELDs to be in compliance with the law, they must meet some basic requirements such as automatically capturing time and location, compliance with engine run times and hours of service (HOS), recording the distance travelled, and driver identification details. The devices must also store supporting documents and transfer the information through email, USB, Bluetooth, or an app-connected service.
Ideally, ELDs are not required to constantly monitor the real-time location of drivers. Some companies may use ELDs to capture their driver’s real-time details, but it is not a requirement by law.
It can be a daunting task to choose the best ELD from the many devices made by various manufacturers. Some things that can guide truckers when selecting the ELD to buy include ease of use, compatibility, alignment, and the features that you need to have in your device.
Below are some of the best electronic logbooks on the market:
Among the hundreds of electronic logging devices on the market today, KeepTruckin ELD is highly-rated and considered reliable and more user-friendly. Even to make things better, the provider also offers an awesome and very easy to use the app alongside the device.
KeepTruckin is compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements, so truckers seeking to comply with the ELD directive will find it a useful gadget. It gives you the easiest and most affordable way to comply with state laws.
The interface of the device is easy and quick to use. With the app, editing of data is possible unlike with competitor’s devices, and this is vital to escape uncalled for violation warnings. This ELD has a great benefit in that its provider offers 24/7 customer support and the device can work with any truck. It also offers geofencing and fuel-monitoring, thus making you safe on the road or if you are engaging drivers to ensure that they do not deviate from the route or misuse the fuel. One downside to this app is that for small fleets, they may have to pay the first year subscription upfront while larger fleets choose a monthly subscription that they find works for them.
Garmin eLog ELD
The provider is well-known for making high-quality innovations for data recording and sharing, GPS monitoring, and navigation systems. The Garmin ELD enjoys good rankings for being a top-notch ELD for truck drivers. Although its initial cost could be a bit higher, it offers premium features and comes integrated with efficient software and barely requires extra costs or subscriptions. Drivers prefer it due to it having no need for extra fees. The drawbacks of this ELD is that the provider offers limited hours of customer service. It is also incompatible with fleet management software.
Fleets managers may also find that Garmin ELD as a good choice because its expenses are one-off and enable GPS tracking, which is critical for managing fleets. Other innovations that could help in GPS tracking of vehicles include the automatic vehicle locator (AVL) from eyerideonline.com, who also sell and install other car technologies like 360-degree cameras, portable Wi-Fi routers, automatic passenger counters, and other devices.
Blue Ink BIT ELD Device
The Blue Ink BIT ELD Device is FMCSA compliant and does not have monthly costs. Furthermore, it is user-friendly and serves both drivers and fleet managers well. Drivers can get their driving logs as recorded by the device and the associated app. They can also check their remaining hours on their shift as well as conduct regular vehicle inspections. For fleet operators or managers, the device is a worthy investment because it will allow them to monitor the work logs for all of their drivers, get information on the route used, and receive alerts in case of any deviations or violations. This device is easy to use, and all it needs is the user to plug it into the diagnostic port of the truck. The user later connects the device with their smartphone via Bluetooth. It is suitable for small fleets that do not want monthly costs and need a few features. The downside is that the upfront cost could be high and has a few advanced features.
Stoneridge EZ-ELD Device
With this device, your FMCSA compliance needs are well taken care of and you can work with peace of mind. The beauty of this device is its easy and straightforward installation and offering users hassle-free usage. The Stoneridge Company had both truckers and fleet operators in mind when crafting this device. The operators can easily access, reproduce, store, and edit data as they need. The demerits of the device include being costly—more than Garmin—and requires one to pay monthly fees for the use of its proprietary software.
Electronic logging devices are a great investment for truckers as well as fleet operators aside from being a requirement by some countries’ authorities. They enable monitoring of drivers’ working hours, vehicle inspection reports, fuel consumption, and most importantly complying with legal requirements, especially on hours of service for truckers among other things. The ELD that you choose should be one that meets your needs, is user friendly, matches your budget even after considering the periodical subscription or additional costs if any are needed, and meets the legal requirements.