The biggest changes in the fleet management world come into effect on December 16th, 2019. From this date, it will be a legal requirement to ensure that any vehicle used for commercial purposes, and subject to federal hours of service regulations, to be fitted with an Electronic Logging Device (ELD). This device is designed to replace the current method of logging hours that involves a lot of paperwork, and should make life easier for both fleet operators and truckers.
If you are a trucker who operates his or her own vehicle, you also need to fit your vehicle with an ELD. Before we talk about some of the best ELD devices for truckers – and you can check them out in more detail at bestelddevices.org where you will find some excellent reviews – let’s have a closer look at what it’s all about, and why things need to change.
About the ELD Mandate
The government has passed the ELD Mandate so that trucks – and buses and other commercial vehicles – can be more easily and precisely monitored and controlled by their management. The old paper logging system is out-dated and cumbersome.
There are many different types of ELD that can be fitted; some operate via a smartphone, for example, which makes life much easier when data needs to be transmitted. It is hoped the move to the new technology will be a benefit to all involved.
As this is clearly a massive undertaking, it is no surprise that many different manufacturers have entered the ELD market, and as a result, finding the one that is right for you may not be the work of a moment! In a moment, we will talk about a few possible options for truckers, but first, a little more about what an ELD does, and what you can expect it to do for you.
What Does the ELD Do?
As a trucker or fleet operator, you will be aware that there are many rules and regulations that apply to driving hours and other variables regards the vehicle. Currently, you will likely carry an old-style logging system that uses paperwork to get the details to where they need to be.
An ELD is a digital electronic device that logs not only drivers hours, but also a variety of other factors. For example, an ELD is required to sense whether the truck's engine is running and monitor how long it has been running continuously. It will also include a satellite navigation element, so it can tell where the truck or commercial vehicle is at any time, in real-time. This allows fleet operators to note if the vehicle has gone off route.
There are many different makes and models – some have screens that carry a wealth of information into which you log your route and are ready to go, for example – and also a range of different pricing options.
Which is Best for the Trucker?
For ease of use and cost, the Keep Truckin’ ELD is a good choice. It is operated via a smartphone app that is surprisingly simple to use, and it does the job without any fuss or unnecessary frills. It is supplied with 6-pin and 9-pin cables, so should fit any truck. The basic service – which is all you need as a trucker – is $20 monthly, and that’s it – no upfront costs are involved.
Another example is the Omnitracs model, which comes highly rated with truckers and with fleet managers. It’s an entirely hands-free model that includes all the features you need, is fully compliant with the relevant regulations, and is easy to use. This one is priced differently in that you pay a one-off fee of $199, and $25 per truck.
The two models we describe above are good examples of the ELD you can expect to have fitted to your truck or commercial vehicle and the type of price plans on offer. There are many others to consider, and we recommend that you take a careful look at those on offer. Remember, December 16th is the date you need to meet, so make sure you are up and running to comply with the law.