Fleet owners are tasked to remain compliant with the new ELD mandate. As a driver, your priority is to find the best electronic logging solution for your fleet. With so many ELD devices out there, the Blue Ink ELD caught our attention.
Blue Ink is a revolutionary electronic logging device for fleet managers, drivers, and transportation companies in the US. The product aims to improve performance and promote better for tracking for drivers and fleets alike.
The BIT ELD device offers simple mandate compliance with a big perk; no contract and no monthly fees. It comes with all the essential features that you will require for FMCSA’s ELD mandate.
Blue Ink BIT ELD Review – A Little Bit About the Provider
Blue ink BIT ELD was developed by BIT, who’s a notable transport management solutions provider. With years in the transportation industry, they’ve perfected the technology for electronic logging.
The product is rated as one of the most affordable ELD’s on the market, and goes for about $295. This upfront payment covers all the features and does not require you to pay for future monthly subscriptions.
The product package consists of:
- The ELD hardware (to be installed into your fleet)
- Access to Blue Ink Tech ELD portal
- The Blue Ink BIT ELD Mobile App (available online on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store)
The ELD hardware comes with the entire package, and there’s no cost attached to it. With its installation, you are granted fully reliable and compatible access to your fleet.
The device offers basic FMCSA mandate compliance features and collects data such as:
The odometer readings are recorded and automatically uploaded to the Blue ink BIT App on your tablet or smartphone for storage. The odometer mileage loggings are vital in tracking speed, and acceleration for a given vehicle.
The engine on/off status
The Blue Ink BIT device tracks the engine on and off status of the vehicle. The data collected is automatically filled into the relevant fields in your driver logs. This data is vital to tracking the vehicle’s movement for reference purposes.
Vehicle identification number (VIN)
This is used to associate your records with a specific vehicle automatically, and if the ELD device is moved to a new device, it automatically starts reading the information on the new vehicle.
Just like vehicle identification number and the engine on and off status, engine hour loggings collected by the Blue Ink BIT device are automatically added to the ELD logs for the hours the engine of the vehicle is operating.
A function of the device aimed at automatically recording important events in the vehicle the device is installed. Here, the device will automatically add a record to the ELD logs whenever the engine is turned on or off.
Bit ELD Pricing
The BIT ELD device comes with the simplest pricing option. This is the upfront cost of the ELD which comes at a flat rate of $295.
With that, you’ve got the device and all its components for the vehicle and can be used as soon as you download the free app.
It’s a very simple process, and within a short while, your vehicle will be fully ELD compliant. There are no reoccurring expenses afterward.
According to reviews we received from most drivers, the upfront cost of this ELD makes it extremely affordable. The product is so efficient that most vehicle diagnostic ports use a 6 or 9 pin connection. And, when purchasing this ELD, you simply connect it to your truck.
If your vehicle makes use of an OBD-II connection, you could purchase an additional adaptor for an extra cost of $40. The splitter cable allows you to keep the ELD plugged in.
If you are having issues, a mechanic can plug in a diagnostic monitor to the other port and check for faulty codes. This also allows you to be able to interact with the vehicles onboard computer.
How the Blue Ink BIT ELD Device Works
Unlike most BYOD ELD's available today, the Blue Ink BIT ELD is quite easy to install and operate. This is why it is quite popular among drivers and fleet owners. While simple, it can easily track your HOS and keep your operation safe and compliant.
Like other BYOD options, the process is quite similar. First, you buy a dongle from Blue Ink which is plugged directly to your truck's diagnostic port. Further, a Bluetooth pair is required between your device and your smartphone (Android or iOS device).
Next, you'll have to make all necessary sign-ups and registrations using the Android or iOS app. To explore the services fully, you need the Bluetooth dongle to record when the truck is moving automatically. Drivers can access their own logs, make an edit of suggested corrections from fleet managers.
The ELD adaptor is an important part of the Blue Ink ELD and to identify the correct ELD adapter for your vehicle. First, locate your vehicle’s diagnostic port usually found in one of these three places:
- on the left side of the kick panel
- under the steering wheel or under the dashboard
- behind the driver's seat
The Blue Ink BIT ELD Mobile App
The Blue Ink BIT ELD Mobile App is the most stress-free way to gain full control of your fleet at your convenience. The process starts with downloading the Blue Ink BIT ELD app.
Then, a popup message will come up, requiring permissions and settings such as location. To function properly, you must enable “Allow” or ”yes” for both messages and notifications.
Please note there are important things to do before installing the ELD to ensure things run very smoothly:
- Install the BIT ELD app on the particular digital device you wish to use for your logs
- Turn off all Bluetooth capable devices, including the smartphone or tablet with the BIT ELD app installed, until the ELD finishes its first testing sequence, and the light has turned blue.
- Have your vehicle's engine running. Communication to your diagnostic port may be disabled even with the ignition turned on.
The BIT ELD app runs on Android and Apple devices. Your device must support Bluetooth 4.0 (also known as Bluetooth Smart and Bluetooth Low Energy) to communicate with the ELD adapter.
The app helps you accomplish an array of other important tasks, including:
- daily inspections of the vehicle made much easier
- With Blue Ink, you can edit, view and even certify your HOS logs
- changing your duty status becomes very easy
- Give you access to in-App fault codes on potential engine problems based on diagnostic data.
- It a far easier way to access emails and messages
- Displays the number of driving hours allocated to a driver
- With Blue Ink, you can easily edit your duty status
- An easier way to manage mile driven for IFTA reporting
- Gives off an alert /notification whenever you are approaching the required breaks or overages
- Blue Ink makes your vehicle compliant with FMCSA ELD mandate requirements
The Blue BIT ELD Web Portal
The portal tracks each driver’s HOS, so the fleet manager can quickly monitor the number of driving hours each driver has left.
This accurate hour tracking allows you to optimize the delivery logistics to utilize each driver’s remaining hours fully. The web portal also shows each driver’s logs.
The web portal is designed to help fleet managers track the vast stream of data regarding their drivers. All information from the driver is thoroughly analyzed by the portal.
Each driver is required to upload vital information and create a profile accessible through the portal. This portal allows fleet managers to track exemptions and CDL renewals.
Furthermore, the fleet manager can access and read through logs for inspection purposes. If any error is detected, make suggestions on how to spot and correct possible mistakes. Also, fleet managers can immediately see if there’s a violation on the part of the driver. With that information, they can coach such driver to prevent future events from occurring.
The online portal can be used to:
- View and study route histories for different vehicles in your fleet
- View every driver’s logs at any given time
- Get instant notifications on potential violations by the various drivers in your fleet.
Outstanding Features of the Blue BIT ELD
Although the BIT ELD device hardware comes at a cost, the App and web dashboard doesn't cost anything extra.
It is easily accessible online and is totally free to use. Reviews from drivers and fleet managers suggest the web portal is easy to use and helps them print logs, view FAQ's, and more.
Drivers all over the country have attributed the device’s efficiency and ease of use. This is mainly due to its unique set of features and easy-to-use interface.
Major features include:
- BIT ELD App
- com (Web Dashboard)
- IFTA Fuel Tax Reporting
- Maintenance Schedules
- Fleet Visibility
Bit ELD Reviews from Actual Drivers
- The device allows you to change your Duty Status easily. This, in turn, makes it very easy to certify logs daily. You are only needed to click to certify your logs.
- Thanks to the BIT App, you have total access and control of the device using your mobile device. Also, a comprehensive dashboard aimed at an enhance ease of use shows all activities.
- A very user-friendly dashboard. It gives the driver vital information such as the number of driving hours you still have for the day. Because the dashboard is designed to work with different cycle rules, it shows you the intended cycle time. Also, your current shift status.
- Collection and storage of necessary vehicle data for DOT and FMCSA compliance.
Areas That Can Improve for the Blue Ink ELD
- The lack of other features which other ELDs offer such as advanced features to help you optimize the utilization of each vehicle possess as a major setback.
- Although all the features the BIT ELD offers are impressive. Improvements can be made with regards to features. Many think that the reason why the device is significantly lower in price is due to the lack of features.
- The device is not suited for a large fleet. Most of the features the BIT ELD is lacking are only fully utilized with larger fleets. Hence, it is best recommended to the BIT ELD to individual drivers or small fleet managers.
Frequently Asked Questions about this ELD
Will this work for team driver?
Yes, The BIT ELD app will allow 2 drivers to keep logs simultaneously.
Is there an oilfield line 5 option available?
The app will allow you to use the oilfield exemption when you are on site.
Does it offer a personal convenience line for off duty driving?
Yes and yard moves.
Is this device the only thing you have to buy basically plug-and-play?
Yes, but you will also need a smartphone or tablet (Apple or Android) with Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS and our free app. If your vehicle does not have a round diagnostics port, you may need an adapter.
Do I own or lease the ELD?
When you buy the BIT ELD you own the ELD. There are no ongoing monthly costs to use the BIT ELD to record your HOS logs or for access to BIT Customer Support.
Will this help me with DVIRs?
Yes. Drivers can submit their DVIRs through the BIT ELD app, and those reports will be available on the Blue Ink Tech web portal for six months.
I'm the BIT account administrator. Can I edit my drivers' logs if I see an error?
You cannot directly make changes to your drivers' logs. However, you can make suggested edits to their logs on the web portal. The suggested changes will show on the driver's BIT ELD app home screen. From there, you can accept or reject before certifying their logs.
Why can’t I change my “Drive” time to “Off Duty”?
The FMCSA mandates that Driving hours are recorded by the ELD when the vehicle is in motion. It cannot be changed to a non-motion status such as “Off Duty” or “Sleeper Berth”. You can only change drive time to another in-motion status such as “Personal Conveyance” or “Yard Move”.
What if the inspector wants a copy of my logs?
You can send your logs to the DOT email or web server. On the “Roadside Inspection” screen tap the green gear icon in the bottom-left corner to bring up a menu of options. Tap “Send Records to DOT Web Server” or “Email Records to DOT”.
The dispatcher should give you a routing number to enter in the comment field so they can easily find the file. Your logs will be sent in the comma-separated-variable format required by the FMCSA.
Our Final Verdict
Managing your fleet shouldn’t be as tedious as it's been. As a truck owner, it is important to find the best and most affordable electronic logging solution for your operation.
The features of an ELD and expenses incurred during its services should be of utmost priority. This will go a long way to keep you in check, especially when running your business.
Most operators cannot afford to pay the hefty fees that come with leading ELDs. Choose a product that won’t leave your pocks dry within months. A product that has all the necessary compliance. Choose a product that is easy to install, use and manage.
Such as a device is the Blue Ink ELD. With a one time purchase and no monthly subscriptions, it competes with the likes of Garmin ELD and other top devices. Managing your fleet just a click away, using any smartphone.