ELD Compliance Date Upheld by Federal Court of Appeals

The ELD Mandate is upon us, and millions of fleet vehicles are required to purchase an ELD solution. ELD/E-Logs are easy to use and provide simple navigation from job to job:

  • Proof of HOS compliance
  • Always know available driver time
  • Quicker roadside inspections
  • Fewer calls from dispatch
  • Faster roadside assistance
  • Send messages to office
  • Eliminate errors due to paper logs
  • Reduce time auditing log books
  • Ensure DVIRs are completed
  • Send messages to drivers
  • Improve driver and public safety
  • Dispatch directions for each job
  • Improve driver productivity

It’s never fun when your business is forced to pay more because of regulations. The GOOD NEWS is that most fleets realize a significant ROI from implementing ELD that works in conjunction with our solution. In the FMCSA study, a reduction in the time drivers spent filling out paper logs more than paid for ELD costs alone.

After finding out if you’re required to comply and looking into costs, the next step is to choose an ELD solution. With the same minimum equipment that is required to comply with the ELD Mandate, you can also select a vendor that has many more bells and whistles at little or no additional cost. In addition to electronic logging and DVIR, some ELD solutions include GPS tracking, navigation, and driver messaging features. These features can greatly improve your fleet management and can multiply your ROI. If you’re required to buy the equipment anyway, choosing the right partner might make getting ELD a positive experience after all. The first question for fleet managers and owners is, “how much does ELD cost?”

The FMCSA, the division of the U.S. DOT that requires the ELD Mandate, commissioned a study to gauge the impact it would have on fleets nationwide.
FMCSA estimates new ELD cost at around $1,000, but thankfully many vendors have dropped significantly since that study. (Our startup costs are considerably less.) Some vendors have options to pay all upfront, finance over time, or rent devices.

Hardware Choices

Basically, there are two types of solutions available:

  • Vehicle-installed ELDs – provided by your vendor or;
  • Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) as a hardware option to track Hours of Service (HOS).

In case you are not familiar with BYOD, it refers to companies or employees providing their own tablets or smartphones and downloading an app to monitor HOS. Whereas vehicle-installed ELD is an HOS-dedicated device that is tethered to a GPS device and is installed into the vehicle.

There are pros and cons to either option. Most importantly, you must ensure whichever option you choose will make your fleet compliant with the new regulations.


While BYOD options may appear to be a lower cost of entry, there are a few things you should consider. If your drivers already have smartphones, you can just download an app, right? Well, there is much more to it than that. Before selecting the BYOD option, make sure you consider these potential disadvantages:

  • It’s not actually cheaper. You may pay monthly for ELD service per driver instead of per vehicle – typically you have more drivers than vehicles, right?
  • Limited device choices. You will have to choose between Android or iOS devices (not all vendors support both operating systems).
  • Not designed for harsh environments. Consumer grade BYODs are not designed for harsh commercial automotive environments.
  • Distracted driving leads to fines. CDL drivers are not legally allowed to hold or interact with a phone or tablet while the vehicle is in motion, so large fines will be likely.
  • Paying employee’s data plan. How large of a data plan will you need? Your company will likely foot the bill for every driver’s data plan.
  • Paying for lost or damaged devices. This is a big risk to take when your company is required to have a compliant device in the cab.
  • Forgetting the device. What if your driver leaves his/her phone or tablet at home? They will be unable to collect E-Log data.
  • Easily turned off or not charged. If devices are off and not collecting data, drivers are not supplying up-to-date E-Logs upon DOT roadside inspections.

On the other hand, Vehicle-installed ELD solutions help fleets become ELD compliant and receive many benefits beyond compliance. Fleets pay less in the long run with a vehicle-installed option vs. BYOD and receive more bang for their buck. So before selecting any option, make sure you consider these Vehicle-Installed ELD advantages:

  • More value, less costs overall. The monthly price for vehicle-installed ELD is calculated per truck and not per driver, which is typically less expensive.
  • Data. Data plans are typically included with this option. Be sure to ask potential ELD providers this question upfront.
  • Safety Lock. Installed ELDs are the much safer option. Usually, ELDs have a lockout feature to prevent interaction while the vehicle is in motion. This increases safety while preventing fines.
  • ELD GPS Tracking – Receive the benefits of GPS tracking. GPS is often a component of an ELD, so there is no need to buy another device to receive GPS tracking benefits.

With Affordable GPS tracking products, ELD hardware may appear to be similar between vendors, but the service offerings beyond that can vary considerably. Along with assessing the ELD hardware, it’s important to ensure the system and vendor meet other important requirements.

  • Meet FMCSA Regulations. First, the system needs to meet the basic ELD functional needs and FMCSA requirements. Along with meeting these requirements, it is also important to look at the provider as a whole before choosing a system. How will they support you, is onboarding and training available, do they provide implementation guidance and resources?
  • Experience Equals Better Results. Before making a decision, you should also consider the provider’s experience level in HOS and ELD platforms. Going with a newer player is risky because they are less experienced and will likely be less reliable. Selecting a provider like Affordable GPS Tracking, with a proven track record in telematics and ELD technology will prevent challenges down the line, from either a compliance or software/hardware standpoint.
  • Start Your Journey to ELD Compliance! The deadline to become ELD complaint is rapidly approaching, so it’s crucial that you start researching ELD options now. Affordable GPS tracking has been a reputable provider for close to 10 years and we offer a comprehensive solution to receive the most benefits beyond compliance.

For further details on how Affordable GPS tracking can make your fleet become ELD compliant with our comprehensive solution, fill out the form below to request more information or give us a call at 888-801-9529.