Best ELD

The commercial freight industry is undergoing a changeover as we speak. In the fast-paced world we live in, demand has severely outgrown supply. Modifications should be applied to balance the forces. But before we can even consider the clients’/customers’ needs, negligence and recklessness shroud the freight industry that is bleeding money. Truck drivers get paid for the miles traveled, not the hours on the road. They are required to enter details on logs, which means time spent on paperwork. The only electronic device synchronized to the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is an automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD). It goes as far as recording the activity of the work order but filling up details manually. This allows the tinkering of the details and provides false information and estimation, either by human error or intention.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has structured a rule, approved by the U.S. Federal Government, that has provided 4 years to December 16, 2019, to introduce, initiate, and establish the electronic logging device mandate ,simply known as ELD mandate. By the date above, all commercial carriers must have an ELD internally synchronized to the engine of the CMV. Depending on the type of ELD, the current AOBRD will be updated or replaced.

The brief on ELD

Before getting into the best in the business, we must address what ELD is.

Truck drivers give priority to the miles driven. Again, they are concerned with the designated hours of service (HOS) they receive from the carrier company. HOS is a record of driving hours, which often has restrictions as they might be fatigued. This includes the on-duty hours and the rest periods of a trip. The current AOBRD makes it difficult to record the required data precisely. Hence, the ELD mandate is born. It is designed to record the driver’s activities while on duty. It also measures the vehicle’s performance.

Who to choose?

In the phase shift from AOBRD to ELD, many AOBRD providers that provided support and service have slowly accepted changes and switched to becoming ELD providers. The best guys to go for are the ones that spawned their business pre-ELD era, before 2012-2013, as they have witnessed the shift in the industry’s horizon. However, like choosing your first personal vehicle, many aspects and decisions are considered when selecting the best.

Before purchasing an ELD, it has to be FMCSA certified; violation of this can prove very hefty for the driver and the carrier company. ELD providers can sell BYOD (bring your device) E-log solutions or dedicated ELD solutions. The BYOD solution needs the ELD to be connected to a smartphone or tablet, utilizing cellular access. Meanwhile, dedicated ELD solutions have a one-time upfront cost with the complete additional hardware and service package. However, some possess limited features, such as only for logging purposes. Hence, it is essential to inquire about the ELD’s versatility. Some features require a monthly service fee, so it is best to consider all available options and develop a methodical step-by-step plan for your organization. Some ELD providers are ready to offer the hardware installation free of charge and then charge you a small monthly fee. Such providers will be an excellent choice for business owners who want to save money on installation. There is the option of getting more complex, often expensive, gadgets to stand out. They can be obtained through financing. The equipment will have a more affordable upfront cost for this particular case. The vendors are flexible to business owners' needs as they can offer custom solutions for custom functionality, but the price would differ from vendor to vendor.

What to look at?

While technical specifications are crucial, picking an ELD provider is even more crucial. You can begin this step by reviewing the consumer reviews; this is a window to a good understanding of the experience. This does not exclude the vendor’s reputation, stance, and what they offer in their business. The ELD you would consider can be tested and a trial cement for the decision if it fits the bill for your company. 

Every product should be determined if it is a good bang for your buck, it is no different for purchasing an ELD. Costs can range from the device to monthly service fees, installation, and service/maintenance fees. E-log solutions should always be user-friendly and easily accessible for anyone who will start from scratch. Provided there is an easy-to-read instruction guideline. The process of installation must be a breeze and be quick. After purchasing the ELD product/package, 24/7 customer service support is an essential and prime concern, especially for a business where time plays a part.

The list of features that are at hand are:

  • Message alert
  • Log entry report
  • Real-time GPS tracking
  • Vehicle diagnostics
  • Option to scan documents
  • Dashboard surveillance

Final thoughts

Although, after thorough deliberation with what is in store in the marketplace, another deliberation must take place, with your strategy. The plan's intention can decide how the plan can be in the course of action. Irrespective of whether the costs involved are affordable or not, no one is ready to splash a heap of cash. Every business owner wants a better return on investment and deliverance of long-term value. An ELD provider must provide the opportunity to streamline the operation of commercial freight business, minimize operating expenditures/administrative hassles, and automate several tasks from the features of the ELD in-store. What can be taken away from this is not to make a hasty decision when choosing a provider. The vendor’s reputation and experience should match your company’s needs and keep up with the times.