December 18, 2017 marked the beginning ELD mandate. On this date, all nonexempt drivers were required to install an FMCSA-compliant ELD in their truck; however, the FMCSA granted drivers a “soft enforcement” period to help ease the transition from paper to electronic logs. Until April 1, 2018, drivers running without e-logs might be cited for failure to comply with the ELD mandate, but would not be placed out of service or negatively impact their CSA score.
ELD Buyers Guide
While some drivers took advantage of this “soft enforcement” period and used it as a time to get acclimated to e-logs, others are waiting until the end of March to begin the transition. If you fall into the latter group, and have yet to comply with the ELD mandate, here is our ELD buyers guide with a few things to think about as April 1 approaches.
Confirm that the ELD is FMCSA-compliant.
First, you’ll want to confirm that the ELD is on the FMCSA’s list of registered ELD devices. However, be aware that the ELDs on this list are self-certified by the manufacturer — which doesn’t always mean 100% compliant. It pays to research your ELD options thoroughly to ensure full compliance.
Added features on ELDs are great and all, but you first need to make sure your ELD will do what it’s supposed to — log your hours of service. When you’re shopping for an ELD, make sure the device can demonstrate all the features on the FMCSA ELD checklist.
Think about your budget.
Some ELDs, like dedicated units, may require added hardware in order for the ELD to function properly. These devices stay in your truck at all times, but the costs can really add up if you are required to purchase a tablet.
Smartphone-based, or “BYOD ELDs”, function as an app on your smartphone that is connected to a small piece of hardware in your truck via bluetooth. It’s simple, portable, and since it’s on your smartphone, these ELDs often require no extra costs beyond a monthly subscription. You can get your hands on one of these for as low as $15 a month.
Make sure the ELD is easy to use.
Using paper logs is very simple. If you’ve been running on paper logs for the entirety of your driving career, switching to ELDs can be, at best, a hassle, and at worst, intimidating. ELDs do come with somewhat of a learning curve, but a good compliance option should be easy to get used to.
When looking for your ELD, make ease-of-use and intuitiveness a priority. If you’re looking into smartphone-based ELDs, see if you can download the app before making a purchase. This way, you can take a look at how the app works to ensure it would be a good fit. Some ELD vendors may offer a test drive, so you can get a good feel for what driving with that ELD would really be like.
Check out the manufacturer’s customer service options.
Dealing with customer service can be a nightmare at times, and if you’re having issues with your ELD, it’s vital to get them fixed as soon as possible. That’s why you need to make sure your ELD vendor offers 24/7 customer support. Truckers don’t work 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, so why should their ELD’s customer service department only be open within those hours? Choose a company that really values its customers and is willing to work to resolve your issues ASAP.
Choose an ELD with fast shipping.
Let’s face it — we’re down to the wire here with ELD mandate compliance. You don’t want to be caught without an ELD after April 1, and we don’t want you too, either. If it’s March 28th and you are still without an ELD, don’t worry. Some ELD vendors, like the My20 ELD by Konexial, offer next day shipping to get your ELD in your hands — fast.
Get Compliant by April 1
Getting the right ELD by the April 1, 2018 deadline is possible. If you haven’t checked out the My20 ELD, it’s a good place to start. My20 ELD checks all the boxes on this ELD buyers guide and more — it’s fully compliant, budget-friendly, and simple to use. Customer support is a big priority for us — that’s why we offer 24/6 technical support, right here in the USA. And, with our easy checkout process and next day shipping, will get you ready for April 1.
Find out why the My20 ELD is the #1 ELD compliance option on Amazon, and then click here to grab yours for $20 per month.