ELD’s, or electronic logging devices refer to the DOT-certified hardware that connects to the vehicle’s engine. The best ELD devices allow CDL drivers to record driving hours, map their routes, and much more.
In the past, ELD’s were not even a thing. In the early ’80s, large fleets were installing AOBRDs (Automatic On-Board Recorders) or EOBRs (Electronic On-Board Recorders). On December 16, 2019, AOBRD’s will have to switch to ELD’s as well.
Reliable ELD devices can help a driver monitor their on-duty status, automate e-logs, and even be used as a GPS device. When connected to a fleet management software, ELD’s can transmit real-time driving logs to a back-office system.
The Best ELD Devices in 2019
1. KeepTruckin ELD: Best ELD for Owner Operators
The KeepTruckin ELD is the easiest and most reliable ELD solution currently available on the market.
Built with professional drivers in mind, it has proven to be the best ELD solution in its class, and it also meets all FMCSA requirements for the ELD mandate.
The KeepTruckin device plugs directly into the vehicle's diagnostic port (with 6 pin or 9 pin cables included in the package). The KeepTruckin Electronic Logbook App for Android and iPhone/iPad connects to the ELD via Bluetooth® and automatically records a driver's active hours.
Drivers can use the KeepTruckin Logbook App to create vehicle inspections, view their logs, send messages, and much more. Download the app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
KeepTruckin ELD Installation
The KeepTruckin ELD installs in less than a minute and can be activated from virtually anywhere. Each device requires a software subscription, so you should choose a plan, varying from Starter to Plus.
After activation, the software service fee is $20/month for The Starter plan or $30/month for the Plus plan with IFTA reporting and other features.
KeepTruckin provides a slick, modern, user-friendly app for drivers to record their activity. The app is free for download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
It should be noted here that it has earned a number of excellent user reviews on both sides. To make it into a compliant ELD, all you need is plug the device into your vehicle’s diagnostic port.
The KeepTruckin app itself is a pleasure to use. It’s very simple and intuitive and has some convenient features that many other systems are lacking. For example, there is a simple view of all “recap” hours that will be gained over the next seven days.
This device also boasts a very easy method for a driver’s log editing. There is also a convenient DOT Inspection Mode for showing log history to enforcement officers. For the driver’s convenience, logs can be emailed or faxed directly from the app.
If you plan to provide a phone or tablet to your drivers, expect to pay around $15 per month for a cellular data plan. In total, you’re looking at $35 or less per month, with no other upfront costs. For your convenience, you may want to purchase mounting hardware for the device.
KeepTruckin ELD Features
KeepTruckin offers standard features like DVIR and two-way messaging are also available. Although there is no built-in navigation, a third party app may be run alongside KeepTruckin for this purpose.
Drivers are also able to take photos of paperwork, accident damage, or anything they consider worth capturing. Then, they can send in the images through the app.
The back office system is equally modern and easy to use. It incorporates all the standard features like GPS locations, messaging, and an overview of HOS compliance. There are some basic Hours of Service and DVIR reports included.
However, more advanced reporting is part of the higher level service plan that costs $10 extra per month. Office personnel can view driver’s logs, and easily make suggested corrections. However, the driver will need to approve the changes before they take effect.
KeepTruckin provides these basic features and a way to become ELD complaint without straining your budget. However, unlike many of their BYOD competitors, KeepTruckin have been aggressively adding more advanced features.
Such features include fuel monitoring, engine diagnostics, tampering alerts, idling reports, as well as driver safety scorecards. KeepTruckin claims they add new features monthly.
Simple integration with major TMS providers (TMW, McCleod, etc) is already available and will be improved over time. With all these awesome new features, KeepTruckin enjoys a fairly unique position as a simple, affordable device.
This device can easily compete with the offers of other large and costly vendors. Very few other ELD devices in this price range boast such a long list of features.
KeepTruckin has been one of the first ELD providers to actually achieve full compliance with the ELD mandate.
For example, the KeepTruckin app is smart enough to know when your vehicle is in motion (after you start moving just 5 MPH) and sets your duty status to driving.
With KeepTruckin, you can record hours of service, change your current duty status, insert a past duty status, and create a vehicle inspection report (DVIR). Also, you can easily find errors on your logs and fix them using the app.
In the event your fleet manager made an error, you can reject their logs edits. This way, you'll always be in control of your elogs. For that reason, KeepTruckin is a very attractive option for fleet owners, drivers, and dispatchers who are looking for the best ELD device.
- Jam-packed with cool features
- Affordable price
- Full compliance with the ELD Mandate
- Small fleets pay in full for the first year
2. Rand McNally ELD 50: Best ELD Device for Large Fleets
Similar to Garmin, Rand McNally is one the most trusted sources for maps and navigation in the US. The company has advanced truck routing software like the TND™ truck GPS; HD 100 E-Log devices; TND™ 765 for fleets, and more.
Seeking to provide a straightforward, low-cost electronic logging option for professional drivers, Rand McNally released their new ELD 50 device at the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show.
When synchronized with a driver's Android phone or tablet, the ELD 50 creates a secure compliance solution that meets federal requirements and drivers' budgets alike.
The ELD 50 installs in seconds and allows drivers to use Android devices to view logs. It also provides access to Hours of Service and Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) logs. This is done via the Rand McNally DriverConnect web portal.
The ELD 50 is a sleek device that plugs into a truck's diagnostic port, right below the dashboard. Using a Bluetooth connection, the device sends Hours of Service data to the complimentary Rand McNally DriverConnect app, where drivers may view current HOS logs as well as DVIR documents.
As a bonus, the app also allows access to ten helpful engine-driven gauges. This is powered by information collected by the ELD 50. The most important gauges are as follows; average fuel economy, coolant temperature, and boost pressure.
Since the Android app is completely free, drivers can try the product out by downloading the application and inputting their status manually. Those reports can be converted into PDF files and exported if the need arises.
The app automatically syncs with the web portal via Wi-Fi or cellular transmission, providing the most up-to-date reports. At the time of writing this review, the ELD 50 is priced at $149.99 respectively.
For a small subscription fee, drivers may access the Rand McNally DriverConnect web portal, where up to six months of HOS logs and DVIRs can be stored. Using the web portal, drivers and fleet managers can also view vehicle locations on a map and administer functions such as adding drivers to a device.
- Affordable price
- Easy to sync with your mobile device
- Allows access to ten helpful engine-driven gaugesThe Cons
- Connectivity issues have been reported
3. DashLink ELD By BigRoad: Cheap Yet Solid ELD Device
BigRoad may not be the most feature-packed device, but it provides ELD compliance at a reasonable rate.
BigRoad is a very common stand-alone app for drivers who prefer to keep logs on their smartphone. More recently, they have added some ELD hardware that enables the app to connect to the truck’s engine data.
This system really shines as a simple, user-friendly and affordable option. One feature we love from BigRoad is the ability to switch trucks when you log in.
Another top feature is the ability to easily change your current duty status. Also, provide a visual indication of how much driving time and break time is left.
Apple and Android Compatible
Like many other BYOD solutions, the system functions with any Apple or Android phone or tablet. All you have to do is install the free app. While drivers pay nothing to install the app, all fleet owners pay access fee in the amount of $15 per driver per month for access.
Surprisingly, there is also a $15 per month charge for office users who may need to access the system. To convert the solution into a true ELD, one also needs to pay a $10 per month for a DashLink device.
Further Reviewing the Cost
As far as we know, there is no upfront cost. Of course, you'll need a data plan for your phone or iPad device. Drivers can use their own phone or the company's device. Shop around for a basic data plan for something like $15/month.
To sum it up, you are looking at a total of about $40 per month. The above calculations show that BigRoad is one of the most affordable options on the market right now.
The app itself is very user-friendly, and many drivers are already familiar with it. It provides a simple display of HOS time remaining, and drivers can edit their own logs as needed.
Developed with Simplicity in Mind
The app is developed with simplicity in mind. At the same time, it does provide a few helpful extra features, such as a Google map that shows the driver’s location and traffic.
Unfortunately, navigation is not supported. Drivers should install a GPS unit of their choice for navigation. The BigRoad app also allows basic two-way messaging between the driver and the home office.
The driver can easily view their upcoming recap hours. Also, email, fax, or print their logs from the device. There is a basic inspection form that enables a driver to certify that an inspection has been carried out.
If there are any defects, you can make changes or comments. Beyond these basic HOS features, the BigRoad mobile app will identify any errors in your logs and notify you using an alert icon. To fix errors in your log, simply edit them from the Logs tab.
Back Office Extras
To back office users, BigRoad provides GPS tracking, simple messaging, and a nice snapshot of current HOS compliance. There are also a few reports that show things like miles per state for IFTA reporting.
Lacking are many of the more advanced management features like MPG and engine fault codes and idling reports. Also, DVIR tracking and alerts, Macros and Workflow, and official out-of-the-box TMS integrations.
For fleets looking for a full-featured telematics solution with rich ROI possibilities, this may not be the best fit. However, if you are looking for simple, user-friendly ELD compliance, BigRoad can be a great choice.
Drivers like the app. The unit takes not more than five minutes to install. This makes it very suitable for owner-operators and short-term leased vehicles. In addition, sales and support staff are friendly and well trained on the product and HOS regulations.
- Developed with simplicity in mind
- Friendly sales and support staff
- Fast installation
- No extensive features
4. Verizon Telematics ELD: Feature-Packed Device for Any Size Fleet
In 2017, Verizon Telematics announced the availability of bundled products to meet the needs of truck fleets. This solution from Verizon changed the game for electronic logging devices.
The Verizon ELD was designed to amplify the potential of your fleet. Verizon Connect allows you to log your on-duty, off-duty, driving, and sleeper berth hours. Additionally, report a summary of these hours while tracking and submitting your daily log status.
Full Compliance & Using the Verizon ELD
Verizon makes it easy to make sure that your drivers are following certain guidelines to remain compliant with the ELD regulations. To remain compliant, simply turn on your mobile device.
Start WorkPlan and sign in. Turn on the vehicle's engine and select your vehicle from the vehicles list in WorkPlan. If you need to complete any forms, do so in the WorkPlan.
If you have got a co-driver, they should also sign in. Access the Hours of Service from the home screen, so that you can see your HOS clearly. Continue with your shift and then sign out at the end of the day. This will help prevent any errors.
After you turn off your truck, don't forget to change your HOS status to Off Duty. Sign out and complete any final forms. It's that easy.
Customers can pick from a number of bundles for hardware and software, all which subscription fees.
Each package will include features like onboard assistance, telematics hardware and installation, DVIR, and two-way messaging. If you purchase the hardware from Verizon, you can get the in-cab tablet mounted electronic tablet.
Connectivity for the tablet and the telematics hardware also utilizes the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network. By combining hardware and software, Verizon not only helps customers meet their compliance requirements but also saves them time.
Verizon provides many ELD benefits for fleets. Their devices can maximize productivity, streamline operations, reduce operational costs, and increase profits when efficiently used.
If you're still not sure whether the price of ELD will be justified or not, below we highlight some key benefits of using the Verizon Reveal Connect.
This ELD device also provides safety-monitoring tools such as GPS tracking, fault-code monitoring, and efficient route management. Also, timely identification of precarious driving practices before they cause serious road accidents.
Fuel Cost Savings
Verizon’s ELD meticulously tracks the amount of time each driver spends idling. You can thus quickly identify drivers that stay idle for too long or too frequently. Tracking excessive idling can save you thousands of dollars on fuel every month.
Improvement in CSA Scores
This device guarantees that drivers are not driving more than they should. With e-logs, other HOS violations such as outdated log violations and falsification of logs are completely eliminated.
Lower Insurance Premiums
The best ELD devices increase fleet safety. Fleets with ELD's get better insurance premiums rates. Besides, the risk of a stolen truck is far lower, since this ELD device comes with integrated GPS tracking features.
Verizon ELD enables fleet managers to monitor vehicles by means of GPS tracking. Fleet managers do not need to call their drivers each time they want to get an update. They can easily track the vehicle’s whereabouts.
Fully Editable Logs
Both the authorized back-office employees and the driver can make the necessary edits to an existing ELD record. For example, add missing information or correct any wrong entries. However, all edits must be accompanied by a note providing the reason for the edit.
Necessary Driver’s Training
Your drivers will be the ones using the system. Training them should be one of your top priorities as fleet manage, before introducing the Verizon ELD.
Your drivers will need to know much more than just how to switch the device on and off. The more training the company can provide the driver with, the easier the roadside inspection and log management process will be.
- Increases driving efficiency
- Lowers road accident rates
- Accurate HOS recording
- Increases dispatch efficiency
- Easily sync with GPS systems
- This ELD requires somewhat complex installation
5. J. J. Keller ELD: Highly-Reliable ELD Solution
With this device, you can automate driver hours-of-service with little risk. Implement today for $6 per month, plus a one-time fee of $199 for the onboard recorder.
If you’ve been interested in E-Logs, but have also been concerned about the cost to implement, now you can the time to take a closer look. Put J. J. Keller’s regulatory compliance expertise to work for you.
Simple, Flexible, Affordable
JJ Keller offers a simple, flexible and affordable option to get up and running with e-logs. Their device works with all vehicle classes and makes compliance really easy.
In addition, it allows drivers to use their own smart devices (iPhones, iPads or Android tablets and smartphones) with the free J. J. Keller Mobile app.
Features & Installation
The J. J. Keller® Encompass® online fleet management system can perform audits and generate reports by using driver eLogs. The system can also be accessed by fleet managers at any time. The self-guided set-up makes installation smooth and easy.
Once you set up your driver roster, you can choose the Hours of Service rule set that each driver will follow. Thus, you can immediately see compliance information and minimize your risk of DOT violations.
Pick up the ELogs Edition at the pricing above or call J. J. Keller to learn about more features. Some of the features include mapping and driver qualification.
JJ Keller ELD Pricing
J.J. Keller offers affordable pricing for new ELD customers. The price is $249 per ELD, $50 per adapter. Plus, there's a fee for the monthly Encompass online fleet management system, starting at $10.95 per driver. Monthly service fees dependent on fleet size. A monthly service plan is required.
The cheapest option is to get drivers to use their own smartphones. This way, you pay only $199 for the eLog device upfront and $25.50 per month. The total cost adds up to approximately $1,117 per device for three years.
You could use the official J.J. Keller tablet and add Co-Pilot Navigation, for which you’ll pay $548 upfront and $59/month. While the cost is significantly higher for this plan (about $3,032 for a 3-year plan) you will enjoy many more features.
Possible Hardware Issues
Keep in mind that some users reported hardware issues and problems with the device. While such reports aren’t common, we wanted to be transparent and mention them in our review.
It might be wise to speak to a few existing customers. Also, test some trial units before deciding if the device will work for your fleet. All in all, J.J. Keller is still among the market leaders, and any issues you may have can be solved by speaking to customer support.
- Excellent customer support
- Affordable pricing for new ELD customers
- Helps improve compliance across the board
- Hardware issues have been reported
6. Samsara ELD - AOBRD Compliant ELD Device
Get fully compliant with the FMCSA mandate by using Samsara. This ELD solution completes all mandatory FMCSA documentation. This includes daily certification, duty status records, and hours of service. Also, DVIR reports for DOT inspections to keep you covered.
Plenty of Features
Samsara is more than just an ELD device. It is a complete fleet management solution. To begin with, Samsara's device offers real-time GPS tracking. This includes live vehicle location, trip histories, and geofence alerts.
With the platform from Samsara, you can track your trailer at any time and avoid theft. With real-time alerts, you can monitor unauthorized use and see if cargo is being unloaded or your truck doors are being opened. This is all done by using wireless sensors.
Routing & Messaging
Track your driver's route progress in real time. Samsara gives you the ability to manage routes for trucks, buses, and other delivery vehicles in your fleet. Instead of calling your driver to check his or her location, you can track vehicle location, route progress, and late stops in seconds.
Solid ELD Solution
Get HOS and records of duty status, WiFi hotspots, DVIRs, and hours of service data. Also, document capture and other features. The most impressive feature from Samsara though is the "Maintain Compliance Everywhere" feature, which eliminates the need for cellular data plans by using Wi-Fi hotspots.
Samsara ELD Installation
You can install the Samsara ELD in just a few minutes. First, you'll need to associate the serial number of the Samsara gateway to the number of the vehicle you're installing it in. If you have multiple vehicles, you can use the Samsara cloud platform for easy setup.
Now, locate the diagnostic port inside your truck. You will generally find it under the left side of the dashboard or on the driver side kick panel. Detach the port from its original location.
The Samsara device has a male and female OBD port and a gateway connector. The female port will be identical to the vehicle's diagnostic port. For the time being, leave that on the side. Connect the male OBD port. Now, plug the Samsara cable gateway's connector into the Samsara device.
Turn your truck on and make sure the indicator light on the gateway turns green. This can take up to three minutes. Once the gateway is connected, use the zip ties to secure it. Now take that female OBD port and fasten it to the vehicle's original port location.
- No installation fee
- Easy to install
- No monthly fees
- Issues with customer support
7. EROAD Ehubo: Highly Dependable Electronic Logging Device
EROAD is one of the dependable, durable, and accurate systems in the business. It's easy to use, affordably priced, and has been independently tested by a popular research firm.
EROAD’s Ehubo is an around high-quality device. The hardware is quite reliable, the software is easy to use. The information it captures is very accurate. Ehubo is also quite affordably priced and has lots of nice extra features.
One of the big ways EROAD stands out in the crowd is their commitment to being 100% ELD mandate compliant. Any vendor can self-certify and be added to the FMCSA’s list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean their system is truly compliant.
To provide their customers with extra assurance, EROAD have submitted their device for independent verification by PIT Group. This group renowned a transportation technology testing firm.
PIT Group has put the EROAD ELD device through a rigorous and extensive testing process with real trucks and real drivers. This was done to make sure that the product is fully compliant. To our best knowledge, EROAD is the only ELD device to have gone through this kind of independent testing.
Easy to Use
Besides being highly compliant and accurate, EROAD is absolutely easy to use. The user interface is well designed and intuitive.
Daily tasks are manageable, and more complicated things like editing logs appear feasible. There are also a lot of nice little conveniences for the driver that are not found in many other systems.
In addition to the officially required log transmission methods, drivers can also email a PDF of their logs to anyone they like. There is a simple screen showing recap hours for each day.
This way drivers know the exact amount of time that will be added to their 60/70 hour clock over the coming days. The system works very well for team drivers as well.
Back Office Features
The back office system, called Depot, is also very efficient. There are a number of useful tools in place to help back office staff carry out log edits and assign unidentified driving hours.
The system can also track and schedule regular vehicle maintenance. Also, there is a very useful dashboard tool that warns you about various safety issues like speeding, harsh braking, and more.
EROAD’s recently launched the “Inspect” function that allows drivers to complete DVIRs and helps mechanics track down reported defects throughout the repair process.
With all of these extra tools, the exact features you get depend mostly on the pricing package you pick up. But, there’s a lot to like, whatever your specific needs may be.
EROAD ELD Pricing
Depending on the features you need, EROAD offers several different pricing plans. Their plans start at $35 per month for the ELD-only plan, all the way up to $60 per month for the TotalFleet plan (which has more features).
The mid-range TotalTax plan contains all but the most advanced fleet management tools and costs $45 per month. There is also a one-time activation fee of $35, while the ECM cable costs $65. There is no upfront cost for the device itself, provided that the customer chooses one of the lease plans mentioned above.
However, customers who prefer to buy the hardware outright may do so. If you do that, you'll also pay a reduced monthly charge. All pricing plans include hardware warranty and tech support.
While the EROAD system does boast a great number of extra features, there are some that are still in development. For example, GPS navigation and engine diagnostics are in the works but are not yet available.
EROAD currently integrates with some serious TMS providers like McCleod and FourKites, and more integrations are to be announced soon. The system is already easy to use, but a few enhancements are being added to streamline daily activities for drivers and managers.
Our Final Take
EROAD is a top-notch ELD solution and it is bound to become more appealing over time. As additional features are added, the device will become more useful.
With highly accurate tracking and excellent fuel tax capabilities, this device deserves a spot on our best ELD devices list. We recently had a conversation with the company and they promised we will see more features from them into 2020.
- Best fuel tax tracker on the market
- Durable and easy to use
- Very Accurate
- Some features still in development
8. Garmin ELD - Easiest Device to Install
Garmin eLog is the easy route to ELD compliance. It boasts a simple setup, with a one-time purchase and no subscription fees.
Right out of the box, this device supports 9-pin J1939 and 6-pin J1708 diagnostic ports to fit nearly any semi-truck model.
The hours of service (HOS) are recorded in compliance with FMCSA and ELD mandates. The device also stores ELD records securely on your compatible mobile device. This is accessible for inspection via the device’s USB port, or via the FMCSA site.
Drivers should download the free Garmin eLog app to their GPS and Bluetooth®-enabled smartphone. The Garmin eLog device is FMCSA approved and a straightforward way to record hours of service. Simply install it and start your route. With this device, you never need to worry about subscription fees or ongoing costs.
This ELD is incredibly simple to set up. You just plug in the Garmin eLog device and download the free Garmin eLog™ app. Please note that Garmin eLog is not compatible with vehicles using the OBD2 protocol (SAE J1979).
Volvo Trucks with a Volvo engine which have a 16-pin J1962 configuration will require a 16-pin to 9-pin adapter cable, which is sold separately.
Garmin eLog™ functions with a number of Garmin dēzl GPS truck navigators that are sold separately. For example, the dēzl 580, dēzl 780, and dēzlCam 785.
Thus, you can easily view duty status and HOS information right on the navigator’s display. Some dēzl navigators need a smartphone or a tablet in order to show remaining hours on the dēzl display.
With the Garmin eLog, you can rest assured that your HOS recording fully complies with the FMCSA and ELD mandates. The device automatically and accurately records driving time, provides easy access to driver duty status and allows you to quickly see remaining driving hours by day or by week.
Download the Garmin App
All you need to do is download the free Garmin eLog app to a compatible smartphone or tablet to complete the compliance process.
Rest assured that your accurate HOS records are securely stored on your compatible smartphone, never in the cloud. With the free Garmin eLog app, they are readily viewable by you anytime.
When needed, your records are easily retrieved for a roadside inspection. This can be done via a standard USB flash drive or via the FMCSA portal.
- Compatible with almost all Garmin dēzl GPS truck navigators
- Provides secure HOS storage
- Easy setup
- Connectivity issues have been reported
9. PeopleNet ELD: Most Analytics-Driven ELD Solution
PeopleNet is a Trimble Company and part of its international Transportation and Logistics Division.
It provides fleet mobility technology for North America’s transportation industry that allows greater levels of safety, compliance, cost reduction and customer service.
The company’s fleet mobility system has made a fantastic combination of network communications, mobility, and analytics. This establishes the next-generation standard in technology-driven fleet performance and decision-making management.
Its products are integrated into more than two thousand truckload, LTL, private, and energy services fleets in the US and Canada. The company is constantly developing new products that continue to improve fleet management.
Connected Fleet Platform
Through PeopleNet’s ConnectedFleet Platform, fleets are now able to subscribe to specific data based on their specific needs. You can receive it as it is published in almost real-time.
The new PeopleNet ConnectedFleet Platform is the next generation in fleet mobility. It provides radically new options and extras unseen before.
The platform allows faster integration of new data from a large number of truck sensors and solutions that respond faster to customer needs for improved safety. Also, enhanced efficiency in logistics, and reduced environmental impact.
PeopleNet's Benefit As An ELD
With PeopleNet, you can easily view daily log reports, driver logs and violations, as well as their HOS.
Their top features include fuel consumption reports, engine status monitoring, and real-time vehicle location, to name a few. Also, safety alerts for fault codes and speeding DVIR and HOS reporting.
PeopleNet Mobile Software is available for Android operating systems. The release of this software supports growing demand for company-owned, personally enabled (COPE) devices.
The software gives fleet managers greater access to a number of commercial-grade mobile devices, connected to individual trucks, with the framework to support and allow some personal adjustment.
For example, drivers can select the PeopleNet ConnectedTablet option or one of many PeopleNet-certified off-the-shelf devices, depending on their specific needs. This approach gives drivers mobility, while also allows corporate control on devices in the key areas of security, safety, cost and support measures.
The goal of PeopleNet’s ConnectedFleet Platform is to enhance the driving experience. The concept is based on a very sizeable set of connections between drivers and the trucking industry.
In summary, the company is dedicated to helping fleet managers retain drivers and potentially attract new drivers (using innovative tools).
- Connects all devices to a single Wi-Fi hotspot
- High-speed modem for stable Internet connection
- Quick and easy installation
- Satellite communication add-on
- Quite pricey
- Does not run on iOS
10. Blue Ink BIT ELD - Best ELD for Small Fleets
The BIT ELD device offers simple mandate compliance with a major perk; no contract and no monthly fees.
No Monthly Fees
Blue Ink Technology’s BIT ELD is one of the relatively few devices that have no ongoing monthly fees. You purchase the device itself for $295 upfront and that’s it. No contract, no monthly costs.
This is particularly appealing for owner-operators and small fleets hoping to circumvent the ongoing service plan required by most vendors. The ability to pay just for the device makes this ELD device dramatically cheaper in the long run.
Like most other BYOD solutions out there, you buy a device from Blue Ink that plugs straight into your truck’s diagnostic port. Simply pair it with your own smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth.
While many drivers already have their own devices, if you want to get this device, except a small monthly cost. Expect to pay anywhere between $10-20 for a data plan.
BIT also offers simple ELD mandate compliance, without unnecessary add-ons. The free driver app can be downloaded on Android or iOS devices. Signing up for an account is quick and stress-free, and the app itself is simple to navigate.
How It Works
Drivers can make manual log status alterations using just the app. However, to turn the system into a true ELD you need the Bluetooth dongle. The dongle will help you to automatically record when the truck is in motion.
The app currently supports basic Hours of Service and a built-in DVIR. Drivers can easily make edits to their own logs or accept suggested edits from fleet managers.
While fleets of any size may find BIT’s pricing and simplicity appealing, the product is meant mostly for smaller fleets. Larger fleets may find the system lacking extra telematics, at least for the time being.
That said, new features are being added regularly. In addition to basic HOS logs and DVIRs, the device also tracks state miles for IFTA reporting and provides detailed GPS breadcrumb tracking.
New Features From Blue Ink
Blue Ink has also recently announced a new feature that tracks vehicle maintenance. Fleet managers can set up various reminders and alerts for oil changes, tire replacements, and other routine maintenance operations.
Other top features that are normally offered by larger vendors are in development, but not yet available. Such features include engine diagnostics, two-way messaging, TMS integration, and more.
While the BIT ELD may not be full of extra features just yet, the ones it does have work remarkably well. Logs are easy to manage for both the driver and the office staff.
To make edits, fleet managers can drag the grid lines and change the driver's hours. This will need to be approved by the driver so as to take effect. The special Personal Conveyance and Yard Moves status types are handled in a reasonable, easy to read way.
Use the Bit ELD App
The app even helps team drivers by offering a simple way to transfer activity from your log to that of your partner. This is done in case something got recorded on the wrong driver’s log by mistake.
To summarize, BIT ELD’s extremely affordable cost makes it worth a look for anyone, but especially for smaller operators hoping to get in compliance without breaking the bank.
We do expect to see a lot of improvements and new features coming to the product in the next few months.
- Unbeatable price
- Easily manageable logs
- Log activity transfer option
- No extensive features
An ELD Solution Is A Must
Thank you for taking the time to read our review of the best ELD devices. If you are a fleet manager or an owner, we hope that we were able to help you pick a device.
All of the devices reviewed in this guide are 100% compliant with the ELD mandate. As they range in functionality and features, the device you choose will depend on your fleet's needs.
Smaller fleets generally aim to obtain a simple ELD solution to save on the cost. This means a free device or no monthly subscription fees. On the flip side, larger fleets are willing to pay more for a range of features they really need.
If you are a fleet owner or an owner-operator, avoid hefty fines and get compliant. Citations for mandate violations don't only cost you money, but possibly reduced safety ratings and other repercussions.
What's important to you when it comes to an ELD device? Share below!