If you have not already come to realize in this search, there are a seemingly overwhelming amount of ELD options. What once seemed to be a simple requirement to fulfill has become a monumental task. ELDs come in all specs, pricing, and other feature rich (or feature poor) offerings which make our task of selecting the best ELD for owner-operators even harder to do. Fortunately, there are some top tips which will make this task easier to find the best ELD option for your trucking business.
1. Make sure your ELD is in compliance
Not all ELD vendors are created equally. One critical feature that the best ELD will have is being FMCSA compliant. They will give you access to features which track your HOS and improve your CSA score. The FMCSA is included in the market’s top ELD and the FMCSA’s mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Being in compliance will save your owner-operator business time and money, but it will also buy you peace of mind.
2. Buy an ELD that can be self-installed
You will want to ensure that the e-log can be self-installed in a manner of minutes for each driver. If you own a fleet, installing up to 40 ELDs per day should be relatively easy to do. Having features which are intuitive, making it easy to learn and operate, are a must to get on the road quickly and begin driving.
3. Use an ELD on your own device to save money
There are a number of ELD providers in the market, but some require drivers to purchase their own devices to operate them on. This can easily increase their expenses 100s of dollars in hardware costs. If you already have a hardware device, there should be an ELD which operates on it natively, enabling you to not worry about what many other drivers may deal with when purchasing it.
4. Available support wherever and whenever
Should you encounter technical issues while on the road, you will want to make sure the ELD device you use comes with guided support which is available 24/7. This matters most when you least expect to use it. Having friendly people answer to help you through this issue is a lot better than being stranded on the side of the road not knowing what to do. The best customer service should troubleshoot the issue in a timely manner so your trucks can get back on the road quickly.
5. Ensure that your data is controlled and under your protection
Trucking is a profitable business, and not just for drivers and operators. More and more, ELD are selling driver data to 3rd parties for a profit. FreightWaves is one of the top firms that purchases data from ELD suppliers and carriers, and most always, drivers earn nothing from those deals. Essentially, drivers monetize other companies based on their activity. It’s a growing concern for drivers, because it compromises their activity. In the U.S., there isn’t anything limiting the use of data. The best ELD providers fight to protect owner-operator data so that drivers own their authority and protect their identity.