What are ELDs? Every trucker might have come across this term, for sure. What is it really, and why are ELDs needed when doing trucking?
An Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is a piece of electronic hardware that is attached to the engine of a commercial motor vehicle to record driving hours. Commercial drivers’ driving hours are typically governed by a set of rules known as hours of service in the United States and drivers’ working hours in Europe.
The use of ELDs for most commercial motor vehicles has been mandated by the US government since December of 2019. The decision was made to create a safer work environment for drivers by accurately and automatically recording on- and off-duty time. Another reason is to make data management and sharing easier by following the Department of Transportation’s Hours of Service rules.
The ELD mandate only applies to carriers and drivers required by US federal hours of service regulations to keep Records of Duty Status (RoDS). Failure to comply will result in fines, suspension, and the addition of CSA points to your record. To stay in compliance, make sure you understand all the hours-of-service violations that could occur.
When FMCSA proposed ELDs, the primary goal was to ensure adherence to the Department of Transportation’s rules and regulations. However, because the ELD is linked to the vehicle’s engine, it collects relevant data that allows compliance and assists drivers and fleet managers in business operations such as fuel and tax management. Most ELDs are GPS-enabled and use other technologies such as cloud-based data storage and satellite and wireless communication, making them an important part of fleet management.
ELDs that have been approved by the FMCSA must be used by drivers and fleet managers. The FMCSA requires ELD providers to register and self-certify their devices. Furthermore, while an ELD is required for all CMVs that maintain a Record of Duty Status (RoDS), there are some exceptions, such as the following:
- CMVs with engines built before 2000
- Drivers and fleets who keep RoDS for less than 8 days
- CMVs that travel short distances (less than 100/150 air miles)
- Operators of driveaway-towaway vehicles
- CMVs are used to transport agricultural equipment, produce, and other goods.
So, to condense everything above, getting yourself an ELD is important, especially if you’re in the trucking industry. However, with so many options on the market, finding the best ELDs for hotshot truck drivers can be difficult and time-consuming. To make the process easier for you, and to give you some ideas, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best ELDs for owner-operators in 2022, along with a detailed review, to assist you in making your decision.
Here are the best ELDs on the market today:
1. Verizon Connect Reveal ELD
Dubbed as the best for reporting, this ELD is one of the top choices of truckers. Verizon Connect provides a suite of fleet management systems in conjunction with their specially curated Verizon Connect Reveal ELD. This includes services to ensure safe driving, scheduling, vehicle maintenance, and easy generation of Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR). This solution’s unique selling point is that it can be combined with any other FMS service provider. Verizon’s offerings include a wide range of effective tools at a remarkably low cost.
Verizon Connect Reveal ELD is an excellent ELD for a hotshot trucker. Verizon Connect Reveal, their larger fleet management system, includes an ELD solution. Although this feature may deter fleets looking for a quick ELD-compliant solution, it actually provides the most cost savings for most fleets, as it includes access to optimizing features like live maps and geofencing, as well as options for field service and asset tracking add-ons.
The following are some of the features that make Verizon Connect Reveal ELD a top choice:
- FMCSA-approved and DoT-compliant
- Integrated reporting
- Real-time location tracking
- Free trial
- Fuel monitoring
- Better driving experience
- Driver risk warning alerts
- Dashboard for administrators
- Phone and online assistance
- Strong backing
The numerous services Verizon Connect provides can meet your compliance and fleet management needs, allowing you to focus on increasing your company’s ROI.
2. Rand McNally ELD 50
The Rand McNally ELD 50 is another excellent ELD that you should consider as a hotshot trucker. This is best for seamless communication. It is a fist-sized device with useful features for fleets, particularly those that do not have access to a full FMS service. Rand McNally is essentially a plug-and-play installation that does not require expert assistance and has a low monthly cost. Two-way messaging allows managers to quickly communicate changes or receive updates, while vehicle tracking gives managers reassurance that drivers are staying on track.
Aside from being well-known for its low monthly payment, it has a starting price of $150. They offer a variety of subscription plans based on your fleet’s needs. The basic monthly billing price begins at $20 per month. They offer a separate compliance plan for $19.95 per month that provides managers with ELD-compliant HoS, real-time location tracking, and two-way messaging. Another plan, available for $25 per month, includes workflow assisting features and IFTA fuel tracking, among others.
- Simple installation
- Two-way communication
- Location tracking
- Trial period
- 24-hour customer service
- Serves all sizes of fleets
The Rand McNally 50 is also appropriate for fleets of all sizes and types.
3. Azuga ELD
Azuga eLogs ELD is another excellent ELD for your hotshot trucking company. Azuga eLogs ELD makes it simple to comply with the ELD mandate. It is available through the company’s comprehensive FMS system. It is best known for its ability to adapt seamlessly and quickly adjust and work with. The hardware is self-installing, and this solution can serve fleets of any size or number.
Azuga provides personalized quotes for products and services, which can vary depending on fleet size and features added. In addition, Azuga offers a $28 per month bundle plan that includes the hardware for free. Another option is to pay $99.99 for each unit with a flexible $22 monthly payment plan. If you choose this service, you will save money in various ways, including reduced fuel costs and improved customer service.
Meanwhile, managers will have a comprehensive, timely, and error-free view of their fleet, thanks to the FMS, which allows them to track everything from driving events like speeding and hard-braking to cell phone distractions and regular service warnings.
Here are some of the features that distinguish Azuga eLogs ELD:
- Driver warnings
- GPS monitoring
- Driver evaluations
- 24-Hour Customer Service
- Serves all sizes of fleets
All in all, for a moderately average price, Azuga is fairly simple to use and adaptable for your fleet businesses. However, due to the customizable nature of the product, you will need a personal quote from the company to confirm the price.
4. GPS Trackit ELD
Another good option for owner-operators who do not want to be bound by a contract is GPS Trackit ELD. The hardware is simple to install, and it is FMCSA compliant. It also comes with a software application that can be downloaded onto your preferred device.
Hours of service are automatically tracked, with a clock indicating when drivers sign in and out. Reports can be generated and transmitted with the press of a button, and maintenance checklists can guide drivers through the process of inspecting air compressors, drive lines, and any other items that require routine maintenance.
On top of that, GPS Trackit also provides hardware packages and the option of bringing your own device (Bring Your Own Device). The monthly subscription fee is $24.95. There is no need to sign any contracts. This makes it an appealing option for owner-operators and small fleets, who frequently prefer to test and evaluate the features of their ELD before committing to a long-term contract.
Here are some of the characteristics that make GPS Trackit ELD a top choice:
- Easy installation
- Intuitive user interface
- No contracts
- App available for download
- Customized alerts
- Checklist for routine maintenance
- Create and distribute reports
- Reduces errors and saves time
- Data can be easily stored and retrieved
- Monitor the HOS Status of All Vehicles
- Reduce violations
Managers can customize alerts and highlight important details in a report, making critical decisions easier and faster. The GPS Trackit ELD has a monthly cost of $24.95, with no contracts.
5. Gorilla Safety ELD
If you’re on a tight budget but still want a dependable ELD for your hotshot trucking business, Gorilla Safety ELD is for you as it is cost-effective. Gorilla Safety is a newer service provider in the ELD and fleet management industry. It’s also a good pick for aiding in proper document management.
The ELD by Gorilla Safety complies with FMCSA regulations, as required by law. The app allows drivers to document tracking while driving, scanning and digitally recording documents to relevant categories, including sections specific to the driver, truck, or company.
Amazingly, the Gorilla Safety ELD has a $7 lease fee with a monthly subscription that starts at $12. It has one of the most affordable ELD plans and offers a free trial. Here are some of the characteristics that make Gorilla Safety ELD a top choice:
- Document administration
- Inspections by mechanics
- Low price
- Trial Period
- Availability during business hours
- Serves all sizes of fleets.
- Tracking location to within one mile
- Improved driver-mechanic communication
- Immediate assistance in the event of an accident
- Easy data & records documentation
Gorilla Safety was one of the first ELD service providers to offer full fleet management and ELD solutions. They also provide a comprehensive package that includes the actual device, the Elog mobile App, the website, and several other extra features. This ELD solution has been shown to simplify and improve fleet management for owner-operators.
6. KeepTruckin ELD
KeepTruckin ELD (now known as Motive) is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best, ELD on the market today. This is because KeepTruckin ELD is trusted by thousands of truckers and is best known for its user-friendly interface that is also cost-effective and affordable for all fleets. They have an easy-to-use driver app that assists them in increasing efficiency. KeepTruckin’s services are tailored to accommodate vehicles of all sizes and can be used for various commercial and fleet tracking purposes. Given its variety of features and additional services, it is among the best in its price range.
KeepTruckin offers an ELD solution for vehicles of any size and a basic plan that includes ELD compliant logs, two-way messaging, GPS location tracking, and customizable vehicle inspection features such as vehicle histories and automated alerts.
Their ELDs begin at a low monthly fee of $20. There are no upfront costs, and the hardware units are free for the duration of the one-year contract. This also includes free 24/7 support and a slew of features like IFTA fuel tracking and driver coaching as part of its services.
Here are some of the features that make KeepTruckin ELD a top choice:
- FMCSA and Department of Transportation compliance
- Fuel tax reporting under the IFTA
- Driver coaching and an intuitive driver app
- Inspections and diagnostics of vehicles
- Tracking of Trailers and Equipment (Serves fleets of all sizes)
- Wi-Fi Hotspot in the Cab
- 24-hour technical support
- User-friendly interface
- Two-way communication
- Version without cost
KeepTruckin’s ELD services include additional features such as ELD compliant logs, location tracking, two-way messaging, and more. Most of the services listed above are available for $20 per month, with additional capabilities such as vehicle diagnostics and IFTA fuel tracking available for $30 per month.
7. Samsara ELD
Samsara is well-known for its outstanding fleet management features, making it an excellent choice for experienced and inexperienced fleet managers and hotshot truckers. Samsara does not require the purchase of a Field Management System (FMS), but it does allow you to upgrade to one easily. Samsara is one of the most dependable ELD services on the market. Samsara’s ELD services can be relied on even when there is no coverage (it offers WiFi and hotspot capabilities), and they can also be used to monitor a driver’s HoS to prevent violations.
Samara’s ELD solution consists of a device that plugs directly into a vehicle engine’s OBD port and is paired with a mobile app that allows drivers to track and log vehicle data in real-time. Furthermore, dispatchers can use a dashboard to view the HOS for all of their drivers in one place.
The Samsara ELD requires a $99 initial down payment, followed by a $30 monthly starting plan. Costs are determined by the plans and features you require from your ELD device.
The devices are simple to connect and configure, and managers can easily upgrade to Samsara’s full fleet management service while retaining the dashboard and app infrastructure of the ELD-specific software. Here are some of the characteristics that make Samsara ELD a top choice:
- Asset management
- Fuel cost control
- Data visualization
- Customer and driver management
- Emergency response
- The audit trails
- Intuitive user interface
- Simple installation
- Can easily upgrade to FMS
- Trial Period
- 24 Hour Customer Service
- Serves all sizes of fleets
8. EROAD Ehubo ELD
If you’re a trucker and what you’re looking for is a basic, affordable, yet FMCSA-compliant ELD with accurate recording of hours of service, then consider getting the EROAD Ehubo ELD, which not only comes with sturdy hardware but also supports a wide range of services such as reporting and compliance, dependable back-office feature suite, ease of use and installation, and more. It is a convenient, cost-effective, and dependable ELD for owner-operators.
EROAD Ehubo ELD also provides fleet management services. Their hardware is covered by warranty plans, and they also offer dependable technical support. Some advantages of EROAD ELD include reduced paperwork and administration time, accurate mileage and route data records, fuel receipt management, IFTA return data compilation, and fuel trip records. These features and benefits make it an excellent choice for owner-operators and small fleets.
EROAD offers three ELD monthly plans ranging from $30 to $60. There are no upfront fees for the hardware, except for a $35 set-up fee that applies to any plan you choose. EROAD ELDs provide excellent value for money due to their variety of features.
Here are some of the characteristics that make EROAD Ehubo ELD a top choice:
- The single, compact in-vehicle unit
- Tracking your location
- IFTA compliance
- Management of safety and risk alerts
- Capabilities for geolocation
- Time tracking for the project
9. Garmin E-Log ELD
If you want to make a long-term investment in terms of choosing an ELD, the Garmin ELog is the one for you. One of the ways Garmin differs from other ELD providers is that it has flat pricing with no monthly subscription or cost. The device is simple to set up and is FMCSA and HoS compliant. Garmin eLog app, a device-compatible app, can be downloaded to any smartphone or tablet of your choice.
Surprisingly, Garmin eLog has a steep learning curve for setup and daily use. However, the complete absence of ongoing costs is unusual among ELD providers, and it distinguishes Garmin as one of the best long-term ELD investments. It does the job – even tracking fuel – and once drivers have mastered it, the Garmin eLog can save a company thousands of dollars per month.
Please remember that Garmin ELogs is available for a one-time fee of $249.99, with no additional costs after that. It also includes a free and user-friendly app that drivers can use to update their status efficiently and manually. Because the device records fuel consumption, it aids in accurately calculating and filing IFTA. The following are some of the features that make Garmin eLog a top choice:
- Fuel tracking under the IFTA
- Updates and data are available for free via a mobile app
- There are no ongoing expenses
- Customer service is available 24/7
- Both 9-pin and 6-pin diagnostic ports are supported
- Hours of Service are automatically recorded (HOS)
10. Spireon FleetLocate HOS Compliance
Spireon FleetLocate HOS Compliance is one of the best ELDs on the market today. Spireon’s FleetLocate solution provides ELD compliance and is packaged with their fleet management system for additional features and cost savings.
Mixed fleets are supported, so vehicles that comply with ELD regulations can be grouped with vehicles that do not require HOS logging: heavy-duty trucks, light-duty pickups, cars, vans, trailers, or assets can all be tracked.
Managers can monitor driver hours with the Spireon FleetLocate HOS Compliance, telling them with a glance at a dashboard which drivers are on duty, how many hours are left in their workday, which driver may have started a trip without a vehicle inspection, and which driver may be at risk for a violation.
Meanwhile, drivers can bring their own devices, such as an Android or iOS tablet or smartphone, or a dedicated handheld device, to track their HOS and DVIR logs while on the road. DOT inspections can be completed quickly and without the need for paperwork.
Spireon FleetLocate HOS Compliance also has an online resource center with free guides, webinars, and articles, among other things. Here are some of the key benefits of using Spireon FleetLocate HOS Compliance:
- Driver warnings
- Dashboard centralized
- GPS tracking of your location
- All fleet sizes are catered to