Find the Best Elog for Owner Operators in the US

In an industry where time is money, owner-operators are constantly seeking the best tools to enhance their efficiency and ensure compliance with stringent regulations. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) have become a crucial part of this quest. However, navigating the vast landscape of ELD solutions can be overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll explore the key aspects of choosing the best elog for owner operators in the US and we’ll provide a snapshot of major elog providers and their ratings, helping you make an informed decision that will benefit your trucking business.

Do Owner Operators Need Elogs?

One common question that arises among owner operators is: are owner operators exempt from elogs? The answer depends on various factors. Owner-operators are generally required to use electronic logbooks if they meet the criteria set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The ELD mandate applies to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who are required to keep records of duty status (RODS), including:

  • Long-haul truck drivers
  • Short-haul truck drivers (depending on their operating radius)
  • Bus drivers
  • Passenger-carrying CMV drivers
  • Hazardous materials carriers
  • Tow truck operators

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Flexible plans whether you have 1 or 500 vehicles

However, the FMCSA has established certain exemptions for specific types of drivers and vehicles, such as:

  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before the year 2000. Drivers operating vehicles that were manufactured before the year 2000 are exempt from the ELD mandate. These older vehicles may not have the necessary electronic capabilities for ELD installation.
  • Drive-away/tow-away operations. Drivers engaged in drive-away or tow-away operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered, are exempt from elog requirements. However, the mandate would apply if the towed vehicles themselves are equipped with ELDs.
  • Short-haul drivers. Some short-haul drivers are exempt from using electronic logbooks. This includes drivers who operate within a 150 air-mile radius and return to their work reporting location within 12 hours, among other criteria. These drivers may still need to maintain paper logs instead.

As an owner-operator, it’s crucial to assess whether you fall into any of these exemption categories. It’s also worth noting that even if you are exempt from ELD requirements, you might still opt to use electronic logging devices voluntarily. Many owner-operators find that ELDs offer benefits in terms of record-keeping accuracy and efficiency.

HOS247 reliable elog

Choosing The Best Elog For Owner Operators 

In essence, owner-operators have the freedom to choose, install, and customize electronic logging systems to align with their specific needs and resources. However, this autonomy comes with the responsibility of ensuring that the selected ELD solution complies with regulations and effectively supports their unique operations. Here are some tips on how to find the right electronic logbook for your business:

  • Hardware selection. The right ELD hardware must comply with regulatory requirements and be compatible with the type of vehicle you operate. For example, some solutions are specifically designed for heavy-duty trucks, while others are more suitable for light-duty or medium-duty vehicles.
  • Installation. While some devices are relatively easy to install, others may require professional installation, which usually means downtime and extra costs. Choose a device that is easy to install and you can start using immediately.
  • Cost considerations. The cost of devices can vary widely. The first thing to consider is the upfront cost of the hardware. Some providers offer free hardware options. HOS247, for example, provides the hardware for free with a yearly subscription, which brings us to the next point: in addition to the hardware cost, owner-operators must factor in ongoing subscription fees. ELD providers typically charge a monthly or annual fee for access to their software and services. The subscription fee may vary based on the features and support provided.
  • Feature customization. Elog providers offer a range of features, some of which may be more relevant to specific types of operations. Owner-operators can select ELD systems that provide features tailored to their requirements. For example, fleets might profit from GPS fleet tracking, while this feature might add unnecessary costs to owner operators who might find IFTA calculations more useful. 
  • Scalability. Some owner operators may plan to expand their fleet in the future. ELD plans should be scalable to accommodate changes in the size of their operations. The ability to add or remove devices and features as needed without significant disruption is valuable.
  • User reviews. It is important to research and evaluate various options available in the market and consider the factors we just discussed. A great way to get information about the real-life performance of electronic logging systems is checking user ratings and reviews from fellow truckers on independent platforms.

The best elog solution for your owner-operator business is one that not only ensures regulatory compliance but also enhances efficiency, reduces administrative burdens, and supports your overall success on the road. Take advantage of free trials or demos when available to get a hands-on feel for the system.

ELD Providers’ Ratings and Reviews

As we mentioned in the previous section, user reviews can be a valuable source of information, as they help you uncover what real users love (or don’t) about their logbook. Look for reviews left by fellow owner operators  to help you find the perfect fit for your needs. To make this process smoother, we’ve rounded up some major logbook software providers and their ratings (you can click on them to read reviews).

2 Samsara
3 KeepTruckin
4 JJ Keller
5 BigRoad
6 Garmin
7 Rand McNally
9 Transflo
10 PeopleNet
11 Stoneridge
Add options as you grow when you need them

HOS247 Elogs for Owner Operators

Classic industrial white semi truck transporting liquefied gas

At HOS247, we understand that navigating the trucking industry as an owner operator comes with unique challenges. You’re not just the driver; you’re the business manager, the decision-maker, and the one who ensures everything runs like clockwork. Here is why many owner operators choose HOS247 as their elog provider:

  • User-friendly software. As an owner-operator, your time is money, and you need to make every minute count. Our software facilitates the process of tracking your hours of service, managing your logs, and producing DOT inspection reports. Also, the intuitive fleet manager portal allows you to access reports and manage your operations effortlessly.
  • Multilingual support. Our dedicated customer support team is here to help in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, and Polish. We’re committed to making sure you have the support you need when you need it. Our reps are knowledgeable and, with our dedicated approach, it is very likely that you’ll hear a familiar voice on the other side of the line every time you call.
  • No-contract policy. At HOS247, we take pride in providing exceptional service that keeps our customers coming back because they want to, not because they have to. There are no long-term commitments or hidden fees, giving you the flexibility to choose what works best for your business at any time.
  • Flexibility in subscription plans. Your business needs can change, and HOS247 understands that. We offer flexible subscription plans, allowing you to choose what works best for you – whether it’s a monthly or yearly subscription. You can also scale up or down according to your needs.
  • One-year hardware warranty. We stand by the quality of our hardware, which is why we offer a one-year free-replacement warranty. If you encounter any issues, rest assured that we’ve got you covered, ensuring you have reliable equipment to support your operations.
  • Trial period. Experience the reliability of HOS247 with our two-week trial period. It’s a risk-free opportunity to see how our ELD solution can benefit your owner-operator business. Try it out, and if it doesn’t meet your needs, you can return it and get a hassle-free refund.

Choosing the best elog for owner operators is a critical decision that can significantly impact your business’s efficiency and compliance. By carefully considering the factors mentioned in this guide and exploring user reviews, you can make an informed choice that supports your success on the road.

"Awesome. Easy to install and use. Top notch customer service! I recommend it to everyone.”

Abigail Freemantle
Schrader Co
“Great company to deal with. The support team is very responsive and competent. They provided a great deal of education for our company.”
Evgueni Stoupine
GMS Global Group
“Customer service is great. They helped me to set up everything and showed how to edit my logs. Thank you.”

Ilya Kulagin
Manuel Jenez
Free hardware options, no monthly fee options
Truck with truck driver rest compartment
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