Rand McNally ELD 50 Review

Rand McNally ELD 50 Review

The name Rand McNally is not a new one amongst commercial drivers in the United States. This is because they are virtually the country’s most recognized and trusted source for navigation maps and associated content, having been established since 1856.

Let that sink in for a moment. This company has been around long before the advent of any electronic tracking devices, providing paper maps at a time when navigators had to be skilled at reading them to get from point A to B.

Many consumers who trust the brand held bated breath waiting for the day when Rand McNally would finally launch their competing ELD device, and that time has finally come. Amongst the most useful feature would have to be tracking of vehicle metrics, basic logging and much more, as we are going to discuss now.


There are many benefits associated with using a Rand McNally ELD. These include:

  • View remaining HOS at a glance
  • Easily complete your inspection reports
  • View key engine metrics and gauge dashboard from the website portal
  • Easily change your duty status
  • View and certify completed logs; electronically without the need for paper logs
  • Alerts to remind you that you need to sync with your device


Although the Rand is considered an entry-level device, it still outdoes many more “advanced” devices, possessing the following key features:

  • Log history – drivers can save the previous six months driving log history online via the driver connect portal, accessible on the Rand McNally website.
  • Customizable gauge display – while this may not seem essential, to some drivers it makes a difference, being able to view vital details such as engine speed, oil pressure, fuel economy, coolant temperature, battery voltage, fuel rate and much more. These can be modified on the driver connect app.
  • HOS recording – very important for helping to maintain compliance as part of the ELD mandate when it comes to hours of service (HOS). The app is also useful that in the event of some sort of disconnection, it is still able to record the next four hours of driving activity. Of course, it is highly recommended to stay connected at all times.
  • Driver vehicle inspection record (DVIR) logs – generate reports of inspection logs easily for presentation to an inspecting officer or fleet manager
  • Messaging tool – useful to facilitate communication between fleet managers/supervisors and entire fleets or a singular driver
  • IFTA reporting – easy to generate IFTA fuel tax reports to help save you money


  • One of the more affordable ELD devices
  • Quick installation and compact size
  • 6-month log history via the online portal
  • Useful customizable gauges and ability to view at a glance remaining HOS to ensure ELD mandate compliance


  • Reports that you are kept on duty while driving (may cause exceeding HOS mandate)
  • Spotty connection makes it seem a bit unreliable
  • Lacks features of some other brands

How To Install The 50

This ELD is extremely easy to install, as it does not require a host of wires and companion parts. To install, do the following:

  • Insert into diagnostic port – The device needs to be plugged into a nine pin diagnostic port (usually a J-Bus port), which may require an optional Y cable depending on the specific vehicle model
  • Download the companion app – available on android and iOS devices, or preinstalled on Rand McNally tablets.
  • Pair your smart device with the ELD via Bluetooth

Rand McNally ELD 50 Cost

Rand McNally remains one of the most affordable ELD options and is available to purchase either via a one-off cost for the device along with monthly subscription costs or with an enhanced plan which costs nothing upfront for the device but is reflected as a higher monthly subscription price.

If you go with option A, you can mail a completed rebate form (after purchasing a subscription plan longer than three months), and after that time, you will receive a check in the mail with money back.

Depending on which plan you choose, the compliance plan or core plan, the number of features you will have access to will differ.

My Recommendation

Depending on what you are expecting from an ELD device, The Rand McNally ELD 50 may suit you just fine or leave you disappointed. It does package the basic features you may have come to expect from an ELD, and its affordable price is arguably its greatest selling point.

It does become a bit annoying when it inadvertently causes you to exceed your HOS with faulty status tracking, and its connection has been criticized as being spotty. That and anecdotal reports that customer service is outsourced and challenging to deal with making it a little frustrating.

With that said, it is a budget option, and overall does what it is supposed to do. The features are also good since you’re not paying an arm and a leg. It may serve its best function in smaller fleets.