Electronic Logging Devices: ELD’s
An ELD is an Electronic Logging Device. This small piece of electronic gadgetry comes a long way from the original tachometers of half a century ago. They are the digital evolution of the old mechanical circular mile printing devices that Teamsters had in their trucks. The modern ELD recorded data is called a Record of Duty Status (RODS).
ELD’s are mandatory devices for commercial truck drivers. They are devices that are regulated by the Federal rules for tracking driving hours, which are called the ELD rules. These rules require Federal compliance from all drivers to track their Hours of Service (HOS).
With the advance of technology and the multiple bits of data that you can now access from most truck engines through their engine computers, ELD’s connect the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCA) set down the rules and regulations, which are updated occasionally. These rules and regulations define what an ELD must perform, and the rules focus on the exact features an ELD must have.
According to the FMCA all ELD’s must have the following features:
- An ELD must connect to the engine, and record when the vehicle is in motion.
- An ELD must include a driver log-in with On-duty, Off-duty, or On-Duty Not Driving categories.
- An ELD must enable driving segmentation.
- An ELD must graphically display RODS for easy and fast viewing of hours driven.
- An ELD must be capable of transmitting all its data via Bluetooth 2.0, USB and/or WIFI to law enforcement agencies.
- An ELD must have a provider certification.
Since ELD’s are mandatory you would expect them to come with a regulated price, but this is not the case, and they come with a wide range of prices. The range is wide, and the most basic models cost around $165, while the more expensive top-level models cost up to $830 per truck on an annual subscription basis.
ELD Smartphone Apps
Smartphones are all the rage today, and IoT is all about using smartphones to control everything, and yes, you can IoT your coffee now. ELD’s are the same, they can be controlled, and viewed by smartphones, and they use the smartphone as a communication device to transfer data via the devices wifi/Bluetooth or cellular network.
Another aspect of smartphone access is the constant uplink of data on the go, which enables larger systems to analyses and compute Big Data, this leads to the optimized fleet and logistics management.
The ELD Rule
To fully understand the rules behind ELD’s, the electronic logging device (ELD) rule is a congressionally mandated rule that is part of MAP-21. MAP-21 is a regulatory framework drawn up by regulators to provide a safer work environment for drivers. It is a system that assures easy and accurate data tracking and recording.
This leads to an optimized and efficient fleet and freight management process. This provides accurate individualized tracking of vehicles across the continental USA.
- ELD’s are mandatory for all drivers that must prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS).
- All ELD’s must be certified and registered with FMCSA.
- The rule determines what supporting documents drivers and carriers maintain all the time.
- Provides constraints to prohibit driver harassment based on ELD data.
To read up on the FMCSA ELD, here is a link to their official Page: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices
I present a few ELD devices that are found on the market today, this is not a complete list but presents a small cross-section of the types of devices and their cost for a 3-year subscription. I recommend reading Keep Truckin ELD Review for more information.
This is a user-friendly ELD and comes with many features.
This is a simple, ELD with a load matching service. The price is low too.
A more extensive and comprehensive device with a price tag that matches.
EROAD is an accurate, dependable, and durable brand. The price is good for the value and versatility you get.
Samsara is a middle range device with great performance features.
DriveELD is a compliance meeting device, simple and inexpensive.
XRS gives a flexible BYOD solution and is rather versatile. The price is slightly high.
This is a very economical package with a built-in printer.
PeopleNet is one of the most expensive models around, but it also one of the most comprehensive around, although it operates only in AOBRD mode
|Rand McNally TND 765/760|
The TND 765 is an all-round ELD, and is the easiest to install on the market. This is One device, one cable. PnP unit.
Does have some versatility, but for the price, you pay you might not think you are getting full compensation.
This is an ELD compliance device, easy to use, but with a slightly high price tag.
|VDO RoadLog Plus|
The original VDO RoadLog is a single owner and small fleet design; this model comes with IoT functionality.
|J.J. Keller ELog|
J.J. Keller is a comprehensive solution, and their ELD is rather basic but can be expanded with their extensive support options.
|Rand McNally HD 100|
The HD 100 is a great IoT ELD device, but its GPS navigation is not up to par.
|Blue Tree Systems ELD|
Personally, I think this is overpriced, but maybe it is OK for those seeking a Brand name image.
|Gorilla Safety ELD|
Gorilla Safety’s ELD is a very basic BYOD system, nicely priced, and comes with extra safety and compliance management functions.
While the software is a bit outdated, this is a dependable model to integrate into any fleet.
|Fleetmatics REVEAL LogBook|
Fleetmatics is a GPS leader, and with this core technology at its base is starting to make serious inroads into ELD.
|Best price||Blue Ink BIT ELD|
The BIT ELD is a simple compliance device with no frills or contract. Yippee…its cheap and good,and has no monthly fee either.
Coretex Drive delivers a tablet-based ELD and comes with a plethora of telematics and fleet management functions.
|ELD Chrome by Pedigree Technologies|
ELD Chrome meets a rigorous ELD mandate compliance. This is a great company with great CRM and lots of tools.
|Transflo ELD T7|
The GeoTab ELD hardware comes with a great IoT interface ,and a nice price to match.