We are now approximately one month away from the ELD mandate going into effect on December 18th, 2017. (If you are unsure exactly what that means or want more general information about the ELD mandate, you can check out our other posts here and here.)
Surveys are showing that up to 50% of carriers have been waiting until the last minute to implement ELDs because they wanted to be sure that the mandate would not be overturned or delayed. Since we can now be certain that it’s indeed going into effect on December 18th, the time to implement ELDs is now. There is going to be a huge rush to order ELDs as the deadline gets closer, and there have been rumors circulating that ELD providers may not be able to meet the last-minute demand – at the bare minimum, a multi-week backlog is expected. That means if you intend to legally operate after December 18th, it’s time to research and purchase your ELD of choice.
With ELD providers being able to self-certify as FMCSA compliant, the list of certified providers is growing every single day, and it can be very difficult to determine which ELD providers are legitimate. At the time of publishing, there are 127 ELD providers who have self-registered with the FMCSA. That’s 50% more than were listed just one month ago!
Choosing an ELD provider is a critical business decision, and not one to be taken lightly. That’s why we want to help. While we cannot endorse any one particular ELD provider, we want to provide you with some links and resources you can use to learn more about ELDs and determine which provider is best for you. There are so many different aspects to consider: the price, monthly vs. annual vs. one-time fees, user interface, how the data is stored, accessibility to correct mistakes in the log, how the hardware works, and more. These resources will help you look at these aspects and determine which ELD is the best fit for your needs.
The Official FMCSA List
Before you do too much research into one particular ELD provider, make sure you aren’t wasting your time by first confirming they are indeed listed as compliant on the FMCSA website. There are plenty of providers out there who market themselves as FMCSA compliant, but aren’t actually on this list – so tread carefully! Before you get too committed to one provider, make sure they are legit.
Truckstop.com ELD Marketplace
Those of you in the trucking industry are likely familiar with Truckstop.com, as they run one of the most popular load boards available online. Truckstop recently launched their own list of vetted ELD providers to help carriers weed through all the different options. “Each ELD provider has been carefully researched and vetted by Truckstop.com to ensure customers receive customizable options, competitive price and overall quality service,” they said. Right now, there are six ELD providers officially endorsed by Truckstop.
This neutral, third-party site is a platform where ELDs are reviewed and rated by actual carriers who have used them. While the site only contains reviews for about 23 ELD providers (at the time of publishing), it offers a lot of valuable information about pricing and user experience. Each provider has an “official” review published on the site that’s been put together based on overall carrier feedback and experience, and you can also view the reviews and scores provided by carriers.
App Store Reviews
Many ELDs actually run as an app on your phone that you can download right from the app store (either Google Play or iTunes, depending on if you have an Android or Apple phone). Like any other app in the app store, these apps will have valuable reviews and ratings that you can check out to see how other carriers are liking them. Definitely check out those ratings before making a commitment.
FMCSA Features Checklist
The FMCSA has provided a checklist of bare minimum features that are required from ELD software in order for it to meet their compliance specifications. Because providers are self-certifying, anyone can technically claim that they meet the requirements, even if they don’t. That’s why it’s important to do your own research and make sure the vendor you choose does indeed meet FMCSA specifications, and this checklist is a great start.
CCJ ELD Buyers’ Guide
The Commercial Carrier Journal has published an extensive ELD buyers’ guide outlining all the different aspects you need to think about and consider when shopping for an ELD provider. Another great, neutral resource, this is an invaluable read that we highly recommend so that you can be thoroughly educated before you start shopping around for providers.
TruckersReport.com ELD Forum
For a much more colorful and candid look at different ELD options, check out one of the most popular online trucker forums, TruckersReport.com. There is a specific section of the forum exclusively dedicated to ELD discussion, where you’ll find all kinds of information ranging from reviews of certain ELDs, to answers on questions about how the ELD mandate will affect the way you operate your business.
We understand it can be overwhelming to navigate the maze of ELD information out there, and we hope these resources will be helpful to you! Make sure to subscribe to our blog so that you will continue to receive updates on the ELD mandate.