How to Choose a Digital Log Book for Truck Drivers

The ELD mandate states that commercial motor vehicle drivers under HOS rules must keep their RODS via a digital log book, bar a few exceptions. If you are looking to switch from your current provider, the process of selection deserves some attention. Not vetting the electronic logbook provider can be a very expensive mistake; fines and penalties can easily add up to thousands of dollars.

To stay compliant, vehicles must be equipped with a well-selected ELD system, since not all elogs are necessarily in line with FMCSA standards. Below we provide a short guide on what to look for and what to avoid when purchasing a digital log book and how to choose the best solution for you.

Flexible plans whether you have 1 or 500 vehicles

Who Must Comply With the Digital Log Book Law

Most commercial vehicle drivers must abide by the elog mandate (including trucks and buses), meaning it is compulsory for them to record drivers’ hours of service via a certified digital log book. Any data provided in paper logs or through an unregistered digital log book will not be accepted, subjecting carriers and drivers to penalties. Some drivers are exempt from these regulations, including: 

  • Short-haul drivers: Drivers who operate on a short-haul basis using time cards are exempt. 
  • 8-day RODS: Drivers are allowed to maintain RODS in paper logs only for a period of 8 days in a span of 30 days. 
  • Drive-away-tow-away operation: When the vehicle being driven is a commodity, the ELD mandate does not apply to the driver. 
  • Vehicles of older models: Commercial vehicles older than the year 2000 are not compatible with the technology used in registered vehicle logs, and are exempt from having a digital car log book.

HOS247 logbook connection scheme

Choosing the Best Digital Log Book

While most providers claim to offer registered digital logbooks for trucks, their place on the FMCSA list does not guarantee compliance. A drop in the standard of quality may result in its removal of registration, leaving customers to face dire consequences. Purchasing another digital log book or and paying non-compliance fines can be a huge burden on the budget. This is the reason carriers and drivers should pay special attention that they are purchasing a certified elog from a dependable provider. 

Here are the determining factors for choosing the right elog:

Active customer support. A provider should have efficient technical support available for their customers in case they need it. If the provider is not easily accessible, it is better to choose one with a ready-to-help, proficient team of experts. 

Easy to configure technology. If the back-end panel seems extremely complicated to the carrier manager or owner-operator to carry out simple operations, then the digital log book might not be worth it. 

Driver user-friendly. A device should be user-friendly to encourage the driver to use it correctly, which will save time and help them increase productivity. 

Two white box trucks

No hidden costs. Sometimes, providers might not be transparent about their pricing policy. Additional costs may be charged for using their brand’s tablets, maintenance fees, or charges for add-on features. It is convenient to ask about the pricing structure before committing to anything.

Reviews from real users. Thanks to the advent of digital platforms, current users of apps can now review them to help future users. These reviews help in understanding the performance of the product and the provider’s professionalism and customer care policies. It might be best to stay clear of providers with many negative reviews. 

No long-term contracts. Some electronic logbook providers lock customers through contracts for as long as 5 years, within which they cannot switch to any other provider. Any contract that exceeds one year should be avoided in order to keep the carrier’s options open.

Digital Log Book Requirements

Registered ELD devices must be programmed to meet FMCSA standards. Some of the requirements pertaining the information that the elog must collect are: 

  • The driver’s status is displayed over a period of 24 hours on a grid that dedicates one box to every hour in a day.
  • Four sections show different driver statuses: off-duty, on-duty, driving, and sleeper berth if the driver is using a berth.
  • The information must automatically update after the last change in the duty status.

The digital logbook must synchronize directly with the vehicle engine to record all the required data.
HOS247 digital log book

Penalties for Violation of the ELD Mandate

To further fortify the ELD mandate regulations for truck drivers and carriers, the FMCSA has reviewed the penalty charges recently. Some violation causes that lead to these penalties are provided below: 

Violation Clause

Previous penalty charge

New penalty charge

Failure of the agency to testify records

$1,112  to $11,125

$1,125 to $11,256

Out-of-service order for operation of CMV

$1,928   

$1,951

Recordkeeping maximum penalty per day

$1,292       

$1,307

Non-recordkeeping violations by drivers

$3,923

$3,969

Maximum penalty for recordkeeping              

$12,919

$13,072

Falsification of vehicle records

$12,919     

$13,072

Violations of the commercial regulations for property carriers

$11,125

$11,256

Reporting and recordkeeping

$1,112 to $8,372

$1,125 to $8,471

Evasion of motor carrier regulations

$2,226 to $5,562

$2,252 to $5,628

HOS247 Helps Truckers Avoid Costly Violations

A reliable provider like HOS247 offers complete ELD solutions that suit the requirements of carriers. All HOS247 electronic logbooks are designed with intuitive technology and have been proven to meet the standards of the FMCSA. HOS247 devices provide compliance and increased productivity, since it automatically or alerts the driver to prevent DOT violations, such as:

  • Operating after 14 consecutive duty hours. As per FMCSA HOS rules, a driver cannot drive after 14 continuous on-duty hours. For passenger vehicles, the limit is 15 consecutive hours. 
  • Driving over 60/ 70 hours in a week. Driving hours that exceed 60 or 70 in 7 or 8 days is considered a violation by the FMSA.
  • Failure to record duty status. The FMCSA wants a report on the driver’s duty status every hour, failing which a hefty penalty will be charged. With a registered digital logbook like HOS247, the vehicle logs are automatically recorded from the engine and updated in real time. 
  • Inaccurate vehicle logs. Any discrepancy in drivers’ RODS is subject to violation charges. HOS247 digital logbooks help by automatically recording data and preparing a report, avoiding any chance of human error or false logs. 
Add options as you grow when you need them

Benefits of HOS247 Logbooks

Every HOS247 electronic logbook meets the highest standard in the industry and provides top-rated customer support seven days a week. Here are a few more advantages of HOS247:

  • Multilingual dedicated support. HOS247 maintains an active team that guides customers on optimal use of the digital logbook. This ensures HOS247 customers get the maximum benefit from the device, creating a value for money experience.  
  • Compatibility options. HOS247 digital logbooks can be operated via Android or iOS tablets or smartphones. Information can be transferred through USB or Bluetooth.  
  • User-friendly fleet manager portal. The elog with an easy fleet manager portal, allowing complete monitoring of the vehicle or fleet. It can be installed in minutes and starts functioning almost immediately after being switched on. 
  • Flexible add-on features for upgraded support. We understand users’ needs and thus provide features like GPS and IFTA calculations. These features can be added as and when required depending on the growth of the company or business. 
  • No-contract policy. Customers do not have to commit to contracts, our large base of trusted clients stays because of the reliability of our solution. 
  • 14-day trial period. All HOS247 digital logbooks are available on a 14-days trial basis. The client may return the device during the trial period and get their money back without any hassle. 

Compliance is a critical and professional requirement for drivers. A dependable ELD is an absolute necessity to avoid the risks of DOT penalties. To achieve this, it is best to pick a reliable electronic logbook to assist your operations out on the road. HOS247 is a trustworthy provider with several years’ experience and a history of top-rated service to customers.

5/5
"Awesome. Easy to install and use. Top notch customer service! I recommend it to everyone.”

Abigail Freemantle
Schrader Co
5/5
“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
5/5
“Customer service is great. They helped me to set up everything and showed how to edit my logs. Thank you.”

Ilya Kulagin
Manuel Jenez
Owner-Operator
Free hardware options, no monthly fee options
black truck
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