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Garmin ELD Review

The Garmin ELD is an easy-to-install, cost-effective electronic logging device designed for truck drivers, owner-operators, and large fleets alike. With a well-known brand name like Garmin, you can expect reliable performance, optimal compatibility, and a low one-time expense. 

With features that allow drivers to digitally log their hours of service (HOS) and a device that offers secure storage, the Garmin ELD ensures that fleets of all sizes are ELD-compliant. But how does the Garmin ELD work? Let’s find out! 

How Does the Garmin ELD Work?

The Garmin ELD supports 9-pin and 6-pin diagnostic ports. It is also fully compatible with all semi-trucks, with the exception of OBD2 protocol vehicles. The small, circular black device connects to the diagnostic ports at one end, and on the other end, it connects to devices via USB. 

The most significant advantage of the Garmin ELD is that it does not require a monthly subscription fee. With a price point of $249.99 before tax, the Garmin ELD is an affordable one-time investment for both drivers and fleet owners. 

The app easily integrates with smartphones and enables truck drivers to create log reports as well as save their hours of service (HOS) records. As long as the vehicle is moving at speeds greater than 5mph, the ELD will automatically log the hours spent driving. 

Garmin ELD FAQs

If you are ready to purchase a Garmin ELD, here is what you need to know about the device’s compliance, performance, and functionality features. 

How Do I Use the Garmin eLog Compliant ELD?

Setting up the Garmin eLog compliant ELD requires minimal steps.

  1. Connect the Garmin eLog to the vehicle’s diagnostic port.
  2. Connect your smartphone to the Garmin eLog.
  3. Open the Garmin eLog app on your phone and log in as the driver.
  4. Put the key in the engine and start your vehicle.
  5. Change your duty status in the Garmin eLog app right before you start driving.

Does the Garmin ELD Offer Personal Conveyance?

Yes, the Garmin ELD has a personal conveyance status. You can turn this on when operating the truck for personal reasons. If an administrator is setting up the device, they can choose to either enable or disable this function on specific devices, depending on what they prefer for their fleets.  

Is the Garmin ELD DOT-Approved?

Yes, the Garmin ELD is compliant with the ELD mandates set forth by the FMCSA. As such, the Garmin ELD is approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). 

How Do I Change the Time on My Garmin eLog?

To change the time on your Garmin eLog, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Garmin eLog app on your phone.
  2. Sign in to the administrator profile.
  3. Select the driver whose time you want to change.
  4. Open the menu button in the upper-right hand corner.
  5. Choose the Edit Profile option.
  6. Scroll down until you see “Home Time Zone.”
  7. From there, you can change the time. 

How Do I Pair My Garmin ELD?

To pair your Garmin ELD with your smartphone app, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Garmin eLog app.
  2. Open the Garmin eLog app on your smartphone. 
  3. Set up your Garmin eLog system via the app.
  4. Create an administrator account.
  5. From there, make a driver profile. 
  6. Follow the steps to connect the app to your device. 

Performance Factors of the Garmin ELD

The key performance factors for the Garmin ELD are ELD-compliance, FMCSA approval, reliability, and affordability. Compared to other ELD devices, Garmin is the leading device in terms of price, especially because there are no required monthly fees. 

The Garmin ELD meets all of the standards set forth by the Department of Transportation and FMCSA compliance regulations. This makes the Garmin ELD a much stronger competitor when compared to other ELD devices on the market. 

In terms of reliability, the Garmin ELD has received mixed reviews. While most users consider the device to be very reliable, other drivers find that the software freely disconnects on its own, making it quite inconvenient and inconsistent. However, the Garmin ELD is also very easy to reinstall and restart. 

How Has the Garmin ELD Improved?

The Garmin ELD software for both Android and iOS is updated regularly. The current versions of the software fixes bugs and offers better reliability in terms of tracking abilities and overall connectivity. The current version of the Garmin eLog app is version 7.9 for Android and iOS devices alike. 

Best For 

The Garmin ELD is best for fleets of all sizes, especially owner-operators who want to ensure compliance and flexibility. With thousands of 5-star reviews, the Garmin ELD is trusted by truckers nationwide. 

  • All fleet sizes 
  • Value for money
  • Ease-of-use
  • Compatibility 

Garmin ELD: An All-Around Logging Solution

The Garmin ELD is one of the best ELDs on the market, all while maintaining a low price point and no monthly fees. If you are looking to make the switch from paper logs to digital and automatic logs, the Garmin eLog is a practical, easy-to-use solution. 

Whether you drive a truck or manage a fleet of drivers, the Garmin eLog can ensure that you are in compliance with FMCSA regulations and ELD mandates. To stay informed about the technological and economic impacts taking place in the transportation and supply chain spaces, be sure to subscribe to the FreightWaves e-newsletter today!



Pros & Cons


The Garmin ELD is an affordable, reliable, all-around impressive ELD. With advanced features such as app integration, the ability to be used by fleets with multiple drivers, and full administrative control, the device offers many of the same benefits as ELDs with expensive subscription services, all at a fraction of those costs.

  • ELD-compliant
  • No monthly fees
  • Easy setup
  • Compatible with most smartphones
  • Integrates well with most Garmin dezl GPS navigators
  • Eliminates the need for manually logging HOS


While the Garmin ELD is known for its exceptional performance, the device does not come without its own glitches and compatibility issues. Here are the main disadvantages of the Garmin ELD:

  • You will be in drive status every time your vehicle exceeds 5mph.
  • The ELD draws from your phone battery, reducing the life of your battery overall.
  • Occasionally, the software glitches or freezes on the road.
  • There have been reports of inaccurate data in terms of mileage and drive time.
  • The Garmin ELD is not compatible with OBD2 protocol vehicles

User Reviews

No 14 hour clock display
Ryan — 02/02/23

There is no way to see your 14 hour on duty clock for the day. it shows remaining drive time and time until a break, it shows recap hours available for the following day and total hours remaining for the week. But want to see how many on duty hours you have left today? nope… no can do.

Technical Specs

Coming Soon