Best ELD Devices in 2020

Best ELD Devices

As of December 16th of 2019, it is a legal requirement for many automated onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) used to track truck and trailer drivers hours of service (HOS) should be replaced with electronic logging devices (ELDs).

These approved ELD devices are designed to replace paper logging systems that monitor the number of hours a driver has worked. This mandate will apply to drivers and carriers who are obliged to maintain records of duty status (RODS) due to federal hours of service regulations in the US.

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All commercial buses and trucks are required to have ELD compliant devices installed by the December deadline. This mandate has caused a surge in demand, with fleet owners rushing to find cheap ELD devices, or the best ELD devices for small fleets, without any knowledge of what products to research.

With literally hundreds of manufacturers in the electronic logging devices market, finding the top ELD devices for sale can be a daunting task. Before making your final decision, you’ll need to consider the best ELD devices for owner-operators, their compatibility with your trucks, their ease of use, features, and configuration.

You’ll also probably want to find the electronic logging devices with the best price. So, with the deadline looming, to help you remain compliant, we’ve reviewed the top ten ELD manufacturers on the market. You can use this guide as an electronic logging device comparison and make an informed purchasing decision.

At the end of this article, you’ll find valuable information regarding all that you need to know before you choose an ELD device.

Firstly, let’s answer two fundamental questions:

What are Electronic Logging Devices?

ELD’s are devices for trucks or logistics vehicles and other vehicles that are able to record the amount of time a driver spends using the vehicle, amongst other variables. This technology was designed for precise record keeping of electronic data related to trucks and their behaviors. The best electronic devices track the engine of a truck and record information on its location. This data can be analyzed to see whether or not the vehicle has stayed on course, has moved, or has remained stationary.

Best ELD Devices

Electronic Logging Devices also log the number of hours that a truck engine has been active, and off-duty and on-duty hours. Electronic logging devices must be FMCSA certified to guarantee that they meet all required guidelines for the upcoming mandate.

How Much Does An ELD Cost?

When looking for the best type of ELD device for your truck or small fleet, the costs are very different. You’ll be faced with options to buy an ELD at full price, or pay for monthly, or annually. Some ELD’s cost around $30, progressing to over $2500 for plan involving multiple years.

As examples, manufacturers such as EROAD will charge their customers a flat $35 a month, per device, per truck. However, ELD’s such as the Omnitracs MCP will set you back a $600 upfront cost, and a flat $55 fee per month. It all depends on how many vehicles you have in your business that require ELD installation. 

Because ELD’s have been on the market for quite a while, some manufacturers offer discounts and cheaper payment plan options. Take an ELD device such as the Garmin eLog, which is compatible with your tablet or smartphone, and will cost just under $250.00 upfront, with no monthly fees attached.

The recent introduction of ELD payment plans offers excellent potential for future savings for logistics and trucking businesses. If you own or operate a business that manages a large number of vehicles, ELD’s help you to remain compliant while avoiding substantial fines, they also help with reporting, analytics, and tasks such as RODS reports.

Global Market Insights also explained that due to a steady decrease in ELD device prices, the ELD world is being dominated by feature-rich devices. Such devices measure fuel savings, location, vehicle monitoring, driver performance, and general tracking.

So without further ado, here are our top ten electronic logging devices reviews for 2020:

1

KeepTruckin ELD

BEST OVERALL

KeepTruckin ELD

In comparison to the myriad of ELD devices currently available, the Keep Truckin ELD is incredibly reliable and easy to use. It also comes with an easy to operate app, which is slick and compatible with most smartphones and tablets.

Truckers and fleet managers can feel safe in the knowing this decide is completely FMCSA compliant. This makes it the perfect choice for drivers that are obliged to adhere to the upcoming mandate. Once the KeepTruckin app is installed on your tablet or smartphone, you just have to plug the device into your truck and plug it into your choice of electronic communications device..

How Can I Operate Using KeepTruckin

The KeepTruckin ELD can either be paired up with your iOS if you are an iPhone user, or Bluetooth or linked via USB connection to your telecommunications device. Once paired, everything is recorded in realtime, following any legal requirements for Electronic Logging Devices.

What’s more, the Keep Truckin ELD comes with a range of instructional videos. These inform drivers on how to keep up to speed on any changing regulations.
Additionally, all Keep Truckin ELD products come with 6-pin and 9-pin cables, a DOT reference card, and an instructional manual. 

Why We Chose TheKeepTruckin ELD As Our First Choice

KeepTruckin has a readily available, fantastic support team behind their ELD device. With truckers hours running 24/7, they can contact this support team at any time, seven days of the week.

The KeepTruckin app is free on both the Apple or Google store. Plus, this ELD system offers a wealth of information, allowing users to generate inspections of vehicles, send messages, access essential logs, and much more.

After purchasing the KeepTruckin ELD, there is a monthly software subscription, but the manufacturer offers several plans from which to choose.
Transparent Pricing System

Basic starter plans cost $20 monthly and offer inspection records, messaging, GPS tracking, geofencing, logs, and other essential tools for managing your fleet.
Pro plans that cost $35 monthly. These plans offer fuel optimization, IFTA reporting, integrated WiFi, and vehicle diagnostics.

PROS

  • Easy to maintain
  • Fantastic and simplistic interface
  • Advanced BYOD functionalities and features
  • Easy installation

CONS

  • Fleets of any size will be billed monthly for this service

2

The Optimum GPS-Based Electronic Logging Device - Transflo ELD T-Series

Transflo ELD T-Series

Transflo’s ELD T-series is up their with most efficient mobile strategies and telematics devices for fleet management in today’s market. Unfortunately, this ELD entered the market quite late on, as people were rushing to meet mandate deadline requirements.

However, it’s a leading ELD devices and has been FMCSA certified to meet even the most precise requirements.

Great Product

As well as being a reliable and robust device, Transflo has engineered some of the best fleet tracing software available on Earth. This technology empowers fleet managers to receive information from each ELD in every truck easily. Information as precise as truck location and truckload can be easily accessed. You’ll even be able to identify fraudulent vehicle access and out-of-route mileage across your fleet.

Once installed within a truck, the T-series ELD can use engine status, engine hours, vehicle movement, and mileage to create electronic truck logs for each driver in your fleet.

After TheTransflo T-Series ELD is Installed

Once installed, drivers will need to install the Transflo Mobile App and Electronic logs in their tablets or phones.

The app offers drivers complete access to their essential inspection reports (DVIR) commodity lists, and electronic logs. Fleet managers can control the entire fleet using these products.

Fleet managers can view the safety and performance data regarding all of their trucks using this advanced telematics system. The software lets managers see exactly how every vehicle is being operated.

Additionally, all Transflo's ELD devices have a lifetime guarantee, with twenty four hour support all year-round.

Additional Features

Transflo provides advanced ELDs, offering 4G , and super fast processors. For fleets over 25 vehicles, there are no costs upfront.

PROS

  • Simple Installation
  • Certified by the FMCSA
  • Includes 9-pin and 16 pin installation equipment
  • Long-Lasting Battery

CONS

  • None

3

The Best Hands-Free ELD Device - Omnitracs (IVG)

Omnitracs (IVG) Intelligent Vehicle Gateway Master Pack

For many years, Omnitracs have provided tracking and fleet management solutions to their clients. The (IVG) ELD is an outstanding product from this provider.

Omnitracs are known as one of the primary providers in the ELD market, their products have had time to evolve and provide robust and accurate features.
This device boasts a compact, sleek, modern design. It also includes an array of excellent functionalities designed for fleet managers and drivers. Not only does this EDL look great, but it’s also FMCSA approved.

Why We Think the Omnitracs IVG is Great

Omnitracs are a reliable and experienced provider. Their IVG model helps drivers and fleet managers to improve safety, reduce costs, and increase productivity. Additionally, it offers an easy to access the Vehicle Inspection Report.

For over three decades, Omnitracs have partnered with thousands of fleet managers and truck drivers all over the world. Their pricing plans are affordable, and they have several device options, as well as low-cost monthly packages.

More Information About Omintracs IVG

After the product has been purchased, a provider will contact you to open a new account or connect up an existing one. This costs a one-time setup fee of $199 and an additional $25 for each truck that you register.

With units featuring Intelligent Voice Interface, drivers will feel like ‘Knight Rider’ as they enjoy the hands-free access to relevant information with this world-class ELD.

Intuitive message notifications help to avoid distractions while driving. Additionally, this ELD can monitor a truck for any faults that can occur, adding extra safety to your vehicles and their drivers.

Several other features that we think is great from this Omnitrac ELD are the media manager, weight station bypass, the ability to track trailers, and much more.

PROS

  • With 1024 x 600 touch screen technology
  • Includes an excellent message notification system
  • Includes Bluetooth connection Availability
  • Simple Installation
  • Can use mobile WiFi Hotspots where neccessary

CONS

  • Slightly expensive

4

Simple to Install ELD - Rand McNally ELD 50

Rand McNally ELD 50

The Rand McNally ELD 50 device installs in a matter of seconds; you need to plug the device into your trucks J-Bus port, download the exclusive DriverConnect app, select a monthly payment plan, and you are good to go.

This smooth looking ELD allows smartphone or tablet pairing using Bluetooth. Once the connection is complete, cellular data plans can be used to store logs from the ELD to the Web Portal.

Connect With No Cell Connectivity

Any poor connection will not impact the functioning of this product. If there is no phone signal or cellular connection, the Rand McNally ELD 50 continues to record all HOS logs and stores them on the device temporarily.

In a case where all cell connectivity is lost, this ELD will store up to two days worth of recorded HOS logs. The device cleverly sends out notifications when the memory is almost full so that data can be transferred. Data transfer can be completed by syncing a smartphone or tablet.

Additional Features from Rand McNally's ELD 50

For drivers using an iOS or Android device, the Rand McNally Driver Connect App is freely available. This app allows users to view or certify logs, receive and send messages, complete DVIRs, and much more.

The ELD itself transmits engine data from each installed truck to the DriverConnect app. This information can be used to make changes engine diagnostics, battery voltage, coolant temperature, oil pressure, and fuel economy.

PROS

  • This product offers eight days of log storage
  • Comes with a nine-pin connector
  • Provides a range of diagnostic gauges for engines
  • Simple Installation

CONS

  • No Display

5

The Best ELD Device for Small Fleets - BigRoadDashLink ELD

BigRoadDashLink ELD

For those of you working with a tight budget, it can be a challenge to pay substantial upfront costs for a decent ELD device, because most of them are expensive.

To save small fleets from this financial burden, BigRoad offers solutions with no hardware costs upfront. Instead, logistics companies can choose to pay $19.50 per month. This makes the BigRoadDashlink very affordable for hundreds of fleet managers and owners.

Complete Compliance

BigRoad’sDashLink ELD offers truck drivers an affordable logging solution that is compliant with both FMCSA and DOT and requirements. Bear in mind that this product is designed specifically for smaller fleets.

For this reason, it doesn’t come equipped with reporting and tracking features required to manage larger fleets. That said, with the DashLink installed on your track, you can reliably create engine logs.

Additional Information

This is a very versatile ELD and can be easily interchanged between vehicles and drivers. The DashLink can be used as an ELD device or an AOBRD (automatic onboard recording device). This means you could use the device solely for AORRD until the mandate comes into action for ELD system requirements.

For small fleet managers or owner-operators, this ELD offers a fantastic hours-of-service (HOS) compliance alternative. It’s available at a great price and still helps logistics managers to comply with ELD mandate requirements and maintain essential margins.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Complies with all current regulations
  • Offers Bluetooth services
  • Complies with DOT

CONS

  • Limited services with regard to functionality

6

The Best Compliance ELD - J.J. KELLER Encompass ELog Electronic Logging Device

J.J. KELLER Encompass ELog Electronic Logging Device

J.J Keller is a reputable provider when it comes to fleet tracking technology and compliance. They are a knowledgable manufacturer who has been providing compliance-based technology for many years. For this reason, they offer one of the greatest Electronic Logging Devices on the market, the J.J Keller Encompass ELD.

Simple in its design and functionality, the primary function of this ELD is to meet all compliance requirements. As such, there are only a limited amount of features like logs and DVIRs included.

Extras

Navigation and GPS tracking are some of the great add-on features that will attract you to this product. Other features include document scanning, messaging, and engine diagnostics.

The back office for this Encompass product has a range of compliance tools on offer. The product installation is incredibly easy. Insert the Encompass ELD device into your truck’s diagnostic port.

Next, the device can be easily paired with your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth. There are several financing options available for this product, but the upfront cost for the device is only $199.

More Information About the J.J. Keller ELD

With a range of affordable financing options, most of which are spread over 24 months, the manufacturer also offers a one-off training and implementation fee for drivers. The price of this depends on the size of your fleet.

If you decide to use your own display device, you’ll be charged $22.50 per month. This plan will also rack up about $15 a month in data charges.

However, if you buy the tablet that is provided with the J.J Keller ELD device, the fee will be $59 per month. This fee will cover a Verizon data plan, with each additional driver being charged an extra $3.50 to use the data.

PROS

  • Fleets pay as they use these services
  • Provides plenty of payment options
  • Sold by a reputable provider

CONS

  • Requires the purchase of an additional screen for this product.

7

The Most Dedicated Electronic Logging Device Solution - Linxup ELD

Linxup ELD

For those experienced or knowledgeable about the logistics world, you probably know that Linxup is one of the leading providers of GPS Fleet Management tools and asset trackers.

The FMCSA has certified this particular Linxup ELD device. With the ELD mandate deadline fast approaching, this product is sure to meet all requirements.

As well as being fully compliant with FMCSA requirements, this product is also helpful in many ways. The lineup also allows drivers to have better roadside inspections on their trucks and to better their CSA scores.

Complete Department of Transport Audits Easily

The Linxup ELD is a logging device of preference device for all owner-operators. This is because its technology helps to ensure that your company remains on the positive side of DOT interventions and audits.

This device will accurately track all of your fleets time on the road, give you access to roadside inspections, and alert drivers and fleet managers of serious violations.

Top Features of the Linxup ELD

This fantastic device enables you to alter the duty status of drivers, which is something many ELD devices cannot offer. This product also helps vehicle managers to track down maintenance reports required for vehicles, and log any time spent idling. This allows managers to decrease the wasting of fuel and increase their overall profitability.

Linxup also provides great GPS fleet-tracking services, which can monitor different aspects of every truck in your fleet. For example, the tracker can track the direction, speed, and address of all vehicles in real-time.

PROS

  • Data plans to suit user requirements
  • Video instructions for ease for of use
  • Excellent hardware with a great warranty
  • Warns drivers of any violations.

CONS

  • Will not allow the use of your own devices

8

Best ELD Device for Owner Operators - Stoneridge EZ-ELD

Stoneridge EZ-ELD

Stoneridge’s ELD is one of the most straightforward solutions for fleet managers and truck drivers. It helps with managing, tracking, and sharing (RODS) records of duty status from all commercial vehicles. It works perfectly with 9-pin, 6-pin, or OBD-II ports.

With over six decades of experience serving commercial vehicles, Stoneridge’s EZ-ELD was designed with truck drivers in mind. The device installs easily, is simple to use, and offers an affordable solution to ELD mandate compliance.

Next month, ELD legislation will impact over 3-million drivers in the US alone. Stoneridge’s EZ-ELD is a fast, reliable solution for driver compliance and fleet safety.

Complete Compliant With Upcoming FMSCA Regulations

This device is 100% FMCSA certified and provides complete control over your compliance obligations. Stoneridge us a reputable public company that has supplied OEM parts to the automotive and trucking industries for well over a decade.

This ELD has been tried and tested to guarantee that it is fully compliant with all current and future regulations. After purchasing this product, you can feel confident that all your drivers will pass a roadside inspection.

Multiple Adapters to Easily Switch Between Vehicles

This is the only ELD product on the market with interchangeable truck connectors, meaning that the device can be transferred between any vehicle and driver, no matter what pin or port connection is required.

The product includes four adapters so that the ELD can be easily plugged into any truck from your fleet. The EZ-ELD is tamper-resistant, which enhances security when changing vehicles.

Easy to Setup & Install

The Stoneridge EZ-ELD has a bespoke "Scan and Drive" driver and truck pairing system that uses QR code scanning on the device when drivers get in their truck. Their free mobile app is available for Android devices and Apple iOS.

The EZ-ELD also features easy plug-and-play installation and a simple user interface for drivers using mobile apps on their smartphones.

Excellent Back-Office Features to Help Manage Your Fleet

The EZ-ELD empowers the office with report, control, and compliance monitoring standards during driver service hours. IT also has a wealth of additional features that will help to manage your fleet more efficiently.

Web-based back-office software allows fleet managers to track individual vehicle locations in real-time, check speed, fuel efficiency, odometers, engine alerts, and more. Each EZ-ELD also provides fully customized HOS, IFTA, and DVIR reporting.

Low Cost & Added Value

As FMCSA regulations evolve and change, the EZ-ELD automatically updates in line with government policies. New features will be downloaded as soon as they become available so that the EZ-ELD will become more compliant and powerful over time. Product and legal support are included at no extra charge.

PROS

  • Fully FMCSA Certified
  • Closely Monitors Drivers Standards
  • Interchangeable truck connectors

CONS

  • Loses GPS when the engine is powered up or shut down

9

The Most Efficient Option for Total Fleet Management- Gorilla Safety ELD

Gorilla Safety ELD

Gorilla Safety products as fresh to the market with regards to fleet management and electronic logging devices. That said, their products are brilliant. This is because they are easy to use and they help fleet managers and drivers save time.

Starting out in 2013, their sole purpose is to help fleets to investigate accidents, track CSA scores, and implement maintenance and driver training programs.

Features of the Gorilla Safety ELD

After the ELD mandate requirements were published, Gorilla Safety was one of the early adopters of integrated solutions for the logistics industry . This means that this particular product is fully mandate compliant.

This product offers the physical device, Elog mobile app, and access to their bespoke website. This ELD product has proved to make logistics and managing large fleets more efficient and easier.

Easy Updates & Installation

This ELD device is easy to install and comes with both 6-pin and 9-pin adapters, which easily plug into the diagnostic port of a truck.

The Gorilla Safety ELD unit could be described as a plug and play device, which makes the installation a simple process. The software can be easily updated, and fleet managers have full access to the Gorilla Web Dashboard for viewing and storing details.

The smart dashboard notifies managers when documents related to the fleet are about to expire, and when inspections are due. This product also boasts an array of fleet management tools that make life easier for managers and drivers.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Great ELD Device
  • Compliant with all regulations
  • Great for safety record organisation.

CONS

  • Cannot report unlogged driving efficiently.

10

The Best Low-Cost Electronic Logging Device - Blue Ink Technology

Blue Ink Technology

If you are looking for a product that is easy to install, affordable, and reliable, then this is the device for you and your fleet.

Most ELD providers will ask for a monthly upfront fee. Blu Ink will not, so they're perfect for those trying to cut back on costs this year.

Charging just a small fee, Blue Ink will send you a simple and accessible ELD which is certified by the FMCSA. You'll also get website and app access.

This product only works efficiently with low or medium duty fleets. However, it's very affordable and a pleasure to use.

An Efficient ELD Solution

Although its a relatively cheap option, the BIT ELD fully integrates with the BIT app on any smartphone to record all hours of service. Also, this product can be moved across multiple vehicles, allowing your HOS to be logged in many different vehicles. What’s more, this device complies with all current legislation.

As well as maintaining up to date and accurate logs, this ELD will help you with many other tasks. Duty status can be easily updated, and records can be viewed and certified from previous days.

PROS

  • Simple Installation
  • Applicable for multiple vehicles
  • Notifies drivers of problems as soon as they occur
  • No monthly fee required

CONS

  • Can't efficiently manage big fleets

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Things You Need to Know Before Choosing an ELD Device

Compatibility and Ease of Use

With this being a relatively new technology, many people are trying to figure out which ELD will suit their business.

If you manage or own a fleet of vehicles, you probably have a variety of different models and makes of trucks as part of your fleet. Therefore, we recommend buying an ELD that is compatible with all classes of vehicles. Purchasing a universal solution will help you to save time and money in many ways.

For example, you won’t have to train your drivers and personnel on how to operate and install multiple systems. Having a universal ELD solution will save this hassle and make life easier for your drivers and for you.

Purchase an ELD That's Easy to Use

Keep in mind that you’ll probably sell or upgrade your truck in the future. So, if you purchase a universal ELD, you won’t need to buy a new device when you change the vehicle.

Also, bear in mind how busy your drivers are. So try to purchase a product that is simple and efficient to use. Buying a complicated ELD device is just going to make their jobs harder and could be counterproductive.

Find a solution that is easy for everyone to use and master. We advise buying a device that will help drivers to complete vehicle inspections, deliver compliance reports, and update their status. For these requirements, you should look for a product with a user-friendly interface.

Fleet Management System and Configuration

Choosing an ELD Device

Many ELD providers offer fleet management with their devices. However, this isn’t always the case.

Therefore, we recommend checking to confirm whether or not a potential provider offers fleet management services before you purchase an ELD.

These services make it easier for you to improve the efficiency and productivity of your entire fleet.

Also, look for a device that is highly configurable, and offers constant updates and upgrades in line with new regulations. The leading ELD devices need to provide more than just minimal info for RODS reports.

More on Configuration

Look for software that can be easily configured to match the needs of your business. As ELD tech advances, you’ll be required to upgrade or buy a new device.

Therefore, it makes sense for your preferred ELD solution to be upgradable. Many of the leading ELD providers today give out open APIs and Software Development Kits (SDK) with purchases of their ELD products.

Look for a device that allows for third-party solutions and integrations. We’re talking about fuel cards, cameras, temperature sensors, and TMS applications. These solutions offer the best value for money and access to a comprehensive library of truck data.

Is the ELD FMCSA Registered?

Before making the final purchasing decision, you must take some time to see if the ELD is FMCSA registered. We don’t advise buying your ELD from any vendors that are not registered. When a vendor is on the FMCSA list, you know that you are purchasing a product that meets all required technical specifications.

Let’s remember that these products are being purchased to keep you and your fleet on the right side of the law. As such, it would be a waste of time and money investing in a product that doesn’t meet the required FMCSA standards.

Off-grid Logging

Some of the leading ELD devices on the market rely heavily on cellular network availability to transmit and record data. These products will not work if the truck moves out of an area with mobile coverage.

In some cases, limited network coverage can impact the functioning of these ELDs. When looking for the best ELD option for your truck, buy one that won’t be affected by cellular coverage.

Robust, Cloud-Based ELD Models

Compared to conventional ELD solutions, cloud-based storage is a far superior option. The hours that you log on to your ELD devices are paramount to the success of your fleet.

For this reason, you should place great emphasis on the solution that you are purchasing. Therefore, investing in an ELD that offers cloud-based solutions will provide reliable, robust insurance for your data and the protection of your business.

Some key benefits associated with cloud-based ELD products include:

  • Wireless pairing is not required; all data can be stored without the need for Bluetooth.
  • Increased reliability– a malfunction on the paired phone will not impact data collection, storage, or retrieval by the ELD.
  • Compatible with multiple platforms, including iOS and Android.
  • Easy for drivers to maintain accurate logs, even when operating multiple trucks.
  • Enhanced battery life - Cloud tech only uses power when a notification needs to be delivered to a driver; therefore, cloud-based units are more energy-efficient.
  • Coverage Consistency - Cloud-based products are not reliant on cellular coverage. As such, they will function without a phone signal. This is great for trucks driving in and out of areas with mobile coverage.

Conclusion

The deadline to install electronic logging devices in commercial vehicles is December 16th, 2019.

This mandate has seen many owner-operators and fleet managers rush to equip their vehicles with the best ELD devices. However, before you make a significant purchase, you need to be sure you’re buying a product that suits the needs of your business.

As you have read in this guide, there are many aspects that you should consider while looking for the best ELD devices on the market.
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Whether you are looking for an advanced solution or want to purchase the best back-office services and tools, this article will help you make an informed decision on which ELD device is best for you and your colleagues.

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