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Best ELD Devices for Owner-Operators

Using an ELD was made mandatory for most commercial vehicles in 2019 in the United States. Government officials determined that an ELD mandate was the best way to make work safer for drivers, automate drivers’ time on and off duty, and make it easier to share data and compliance with the Department of Transportation.

Larger companies have the resources and teams of people necessary to make the change a simple one. As an owner-operator, you’re left with this requirement that takes on an increased financial burden on your own. Picking the best option requires research, which we’ve done for you. We compiled a list of the best ELD devices for owner-operators so you can see which best fits your needs. 

Quicklook: Best ELD for Owner-Operators 

Best ELD for Owner-Operators

To be in ELD compliance, you’ll need to have the right product installed on your vehicle that meets the FMCSA requirements. Below you’ll find a list of the top 7 ELD products for owner-operators. 

Trimble ELD

The Trimble ELD allows you to stay in compliance without wasting a lot of time that could slow your operation down. Their system was created to allow drivers to easily gather the data needed without having to become experts with technology. Instead, the user-friendly device allows drivers to do what they do best, drive – Trimble ELD does the rest!

Best For: Easy to use Software

IFTA Reporting: Yes

GPS: Yes

Cloud Storage: Yes

Device Type: 

  • 6-pin
  • 9-pin
  • 12-pin
  • ODBII

Benefits: 

  • No frustrating software to learn
  • Advanced navigation and GPS
  • Reports engine status
  • Reports fuel consumption

Disadvantages: 

  • Hardware costs and monthly costs

Pricing:  

  • Hardware – $1,200
  • Monthly Subscription– $43/ per month per vehicle 
  • 3-year total cost – $2,748

My20 ELD

Konexial My20 ELD

If you’re just starting out or looking to save costs, finding an ELD that is cost effective is paramount. The My20 ELD by Konexial is the most affordable fleet ELD solution on the market. 

But the low price tag does not mean that this solution isn’t packed full of benefits. It’s a powerful electronic logging device that has apps that are built to streamline efficiency. GoLoad and GoFuel are able to help improve your vehicle’s loads and fuel consumption. 

Best For: No Contract

IFTA Reporting: Yes

GPS: Yes

Cloud Storage: Yes

Device Type: 

  • 9-pin ECM connector
  • ODB

Benefits: 

  • Not locked into contracts
  • Two subscription plans to choose from
  • FMCSA Approved
  • Easy to use and install
  • Warranty included

Disadvantages: 

  • Only 9-pin connector, 6-pin requires adapter
  • No exterior USB port

Pricing:  

My20 TOWER Subscription

  • 1 month: $35
  • 3 months: $75
  • 1 year: $300
  • 2 years: $570
  • 3 years: $810

My20 FLEET Subscription

  • 1 month: $50
  • 3 months: $144
  • 1 year: $480
  • 2 years: $912
  • 3 years: $1,296

Motive ELD (formerly KeepTruckin)

Motive is an ELD fleet management software that is trusted by thousands of truckers throughout the nation. The interface is user-friendly and affordable for owner-operators. 

The app helps improve efficiency and alerts drivers to let them know when to stop and take a break to ensure compliance with safety laws. It accurately records HOS to utilize Bluetooth technology to stay operational in areas with low cellular connectivity. 

Formerly KeepTruckin, this technology is an ELD compliance, IFTA reporting, and CSA insights software right in the palm of your hand.

Best For: User-friendly interface

IFTA Reporting: Yes with additional fee

GPS: Yes

Cloud Storage: Yes

Device Type: App

Benefits: 

  • Trusted by thousands of truckers
  • Includes geofencing and fuel monitoring
  • 24/7 tech support
  • Engine diagnostics

Disadvantages: 

  • Long term contract required
  • No transparent pricing online
  • Additional charge to get DVIR and IFTA reporting

Pricing:  Request a custom quote

Guardian ELD 

Guardian ELOG

Canada, much like the United States, passed mandates that require drivers to be ELD compliant. The Guardian ELD does just that! It records your hours of service, engine hours, engine data, miles are driven, inspection, and location. The company continues to stay up to date if and when mandates change, giving you peace of mind with this device.

Best For: Canadian and U.S. Drivers

IFTA Reporting: 

  • Not yet 
  • Coming soon

GPS: Yes

Cloud Storage: Yes

Device Type: Tablet connects to trucks ECM

Benefits: 

  • Canadian compliance
  • No hidden fees
  • Secure, cloud based storage
  • Withstands wear and tear well
  • No contract monthly fee option

Disadvantages:

  • More costly than other options
  • Online pricing only for Canadian drivers

Pricing:  Request a custom quote

Device Pricing 

  • 1-10 trucks: $800 per unit
  • 10-50 trucks: $750 per unit
  • 50+ trucks: Contact Guardian directly for pricing 

Monthly Fees

  • No contract: $65
  • 1 year: $60
  • 2 years: $55
  • 3 years: $50
  • 4 years: $45

EROAD Ehubo ELD

If you’re searching for a reliable ELD for your vehicle, the EROAD Ehubo ELD is one of the best options on the market. It has affordable FMCSA compliance with accurate recordings of your hours. 

Not only that, it’s packed full of other features including safety management and risk alerts, geolocation capabilities, project time monitoring, IFTA reporting, and more. 

Best For: Reliability

IFTA Reporting: Yes

GPS: Yes 

Cloud Storage: Yes

Device Type: Directly to truck’s ECM

Benefits: 

  • Easy installation
  • GPS tracking
  • Reliability
  • Easy to use
  • DVIR reporting
  • Backed by warranty

Disadvantages: 

  • Larger than some other ELD devices
  • No pricing online

PricingRequest a custom quote

Utech GPSTab ELD

Utech GPSTab

With the Utech GPSTab ELD, you’ll find a selection of features that are ideal for owner-operators. The easy-to-install ELD is also a GPS, which helps safeguard your assets and reduce costly losses. The ability to not only track your Hours of Service and your asset location has helped companies throughout the country save thousands on time and properly loss. Owner-operators give the Utech GPSTab ELD their stamp of approval for these amazing features that are all at their fingertips. 

Best For: Features

IFTA Reporting: Yes

GPS: Yes

Cloud Storage: Yes

Device Type: OBDII

Benefits: 

  • Trusted by truck drivers nationwide
  • Easy to install and operate
  • User friendly dashboard
  • GPS tracking to reduce property theft and loss

Disadvantages: 

  • Desktop app not as user friendly as mobile app
  • Only works in landscape mode on mobile device

Pricing:  

  • Device pricing starts at $199
  • Monthly service plan $29

Garmin eLog Compliant ELD

Garmin provides owner-operators with an ELD that does not require an ongoing monthly subscription service. Instead, the Garmin eLog Compliant ELD device only requires the upfront hardware fees, then you’re set! It makes tracking your HOS simple and affordable, without the worry of having to commit to monthly subscription plans. 

Best For: No Monthly Subscription

IFTA Reporting: No

GPS: Yes

Cloud Storage: No

Device Type: 6-pin and 9-pin

Benefits: 

  • Reliable name brand
  • No monthly subscriptions
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Automated recording of HOS

Disadvantages: 

  • No IFTA reporting
  • Limited functionality
  • Not compatible with OBDII

Pricing: $249.99

What Is an Electronic Logging Device?

An electronic logging device (ELD) is a piece of hardware that is attached to your vehicle to digitally record your hours of service (HOS). It was mandated in 2019 to ensure that drivers had an easier and more accurate way to track their hours in compliance with the rules set forth by the United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Am I Required To Have an ELD?

Drivers and motor carriers who are required to maintain records of duty status (RODS) are required to utilize an ELD. This applies to trucks and buses.

How To Choose an ELD 

When you are looking to select an ELD, there are many factors that you should consider. We’ve taken into account all the top features that owner-operators should look for, and found that Trimble’s ELD was the best choice. While you’re doing your research, make sure that the product you select checks all the boxes for what you’re looking for in a product. 

Compliance 

Compliance is the #1 factor to consider when selecting an ELD. The device should be fully FMCSA compliant and have passed 3rd party testing. If you are crossing over the Canadian and U.S. border, you’ll want to ensure you do not have any compliance hiccups between both countries. 

DOT Inspections

During a DOT inspection you want to ensure that you have all your Hours of Service readily available with all your other documentation. You’ll want to make sure your ELD provides quick and easy access to all the information needed during this inspection. 

Logbook Edits

Let’s be honest, not all technology works perfectly 24/7. That’s why having an ELD that allows you to correct mistakes or add additional information is important. 

Data Retrieval 

Being able to pull data and reports should be quick and easy. ELDs were mandated to improve efficiency, which means data retrieval should not take excessive amounts of time. See the step-by-step process you would take for each product to determine if it’s an agreeable amount of time. 

Minimizes Violations

There are violations that are common in the trucking industry, from operating past 14 hours on duty to driving over 60 to 70 hours within 7 to 8 days. An ELD should alert you if you need to take a break. 

Affordability 

There are multiple factors to consider when it comes to pricing. Some products have no hardware costs but longer contracts. Others have upfront hardware costs and no monthly contract. Then there are other options that have both. Consider what features you’re looking for and find the most affordable one that fits the bill. 

Cloud-Based

Having an ELD fleet login that is cloud based offers a variety of benefits. The Bluetooth-enabled devices to provide more accurate logs, especially in areas that are remote with limited cell service. Additionally, these devices have no wires, are easier to install, and update automatically. 

Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation  

There are options on the market that are strictly just logbooks, which is ideal for some who are just looking to meet compliance standards. If you’re looking for more comprehensive options, consider a device that has features like GPS tracking, IFTA reporting, DVIR reporting, engine diagnostics, and more. 

Idle Time Tracking

Cut down costs by seeing where you’re stuck idling. The extra costs in idling can add up each day, leading to higher fuel costs, extra maintenance costs, and excess Co2 emissions. Knowing where you’re idling can be particularly useful to determine delays and how to correct the issue. 

Finding the Best ELD for Owner-Operators

Finding the best ELD solution can help your day-to-day operations. After all, as an owner-operator you’re the sole person responsible for staying in compliance. ELD devices, like the Trimble ELD, help you stay in compliance with ELD mandates. But these products do so much more. With state of the art GPS, fuel consumption tracking, and other alerts, you can have a product that is filled with features that are not only useful but can help save you time and money. 

FAQ

Can Owner-Operators Use Paper Logs?

Owner-operators are required to use an ELD unless they are exempt from needing an ELD.

Do Hot Shot Drivers Need an ELD?

Yes. Hot Shot drivers are required to maintain an ELD.

What Makes a Truck ELD Exempt?

Trucks are required to use an ELD unless they meet the following criteria: unless they meet the following criteria:
Log is not needed over 8 days in a 30-day period
Vehicle was manufactured before model year 2000
ELD malfunction 
Driveaway towaway operations

Streamline your fleet management business with Trimble ELD

Go beyond ELD regulation and maximize the ROI of your technology investment. From improving driver workflows to increasing vehicle productivity and safety, we help fleets like yours utilize technology to optimize all parts of their business!

Streamline your fleet management business with Trimble ELD

Go beyond ELD regulation and maximize the ROI of your technology investment. From improving driver workflows to increasing vehicle productivity and safety, we help fleets like yours utilize technology to optimize all parts of their business!