There are many ways to find affordable ELD for owner-operators, but price alone will not tell you what is the best option for your business. More importantly, getting a ELD which is misaligned with your needs would make it more of an inconvenience than a benefit.
Here are some key questions to consider when shopping for an ELD:
- Is the ELD Solution FMCSA-Certified?
- Which features does the ELD solution have?
- Is the technical support good?
- Is it In-Cab or BYOD?
- Does it offer a user-friendly interface?
Considering these important questions helps you find the best value ELD, rather than only looking for the cheapest solution which may likely be more of a liability. Let’s go through each key question so you make the best decision possible.
The purpose of a ELD is to be compliant with your driving records. Finding a ELD which is FMCSA compliant will save you a lot of hassles later on if you get audited or are found to be in violation. Those violations get expensive really quickly.
Despite the name, being compliant is just the start of what ELD can do. Those which provide a rich suite of features to manage your truck(s) makes managing your business a lot easier. Key features which should come standard with the monthly price include log auditing, IFTA calculation, timely HOS violation alerts, and many more. They bring peace of mind where the cheapest ELD options often cause havoc.
Technical support makes or breaks a user experience. Beyond experience, there is also the reliability that a support team will be there to help when you need it most. The best value ELD on the market invest in very helpful technical support. If you have not yet realized the value in great technical support for ELD, it will sorely be missed if your app runs into a glitch or your truck runs into a ditch.
When ELD vendors force drivers to purchase their devices, that leads to overbearing costs which could otherwise be avoided. Having the option to use your own device (otherwise called BYOD) or ask the ELD for a device can provide the flexibility needed for fleets of any size. A cost effective BYOD solution can help minimize the burden and cost of ELDs.
Time is money. If the interface isn’t easy to use, you waste time and lose money. Simple as that. For fleet managers, non-intuitive devices cause higher driver turn-over; that leads to higher recruitment and advertising costs to get loads fulfilled. In trucking, reducing frustration is really important and having a ELD which can allow users to find anything they want within a few clicks is what separates fleets which can compete in a competitive marketplace from those who can’t compete due to unnecessary complexity.
Since ELD constantly run in the background when trucks are moving, there is a lot of data which is collected. For owner operators and fleet managers, this is very useful information that can customize and enhance your experience. Unfortunately for drivers who want privacy, the cheaper ELD on the market are more likely to sell this data for a profit without truckers being aware of that (even if the ELD companies do it legally). Data is valuable. However, ELD which truly respect the privacy of their customers will be uncompromising in protecting the data so drivers and fleet managers can own their trucking authority.
Price is only the start of determining which ELD is the right option for your needs. From support to features to certifications and more, ELD for owner operators and fleet managers can provide immense value. The best value ELD contains these features and offers truckers the ability to try-and-buy for those who want to take a test drive.