Free ELD Hardware with No Monthly Fee – Is It Possible?
At First, Free ELD Devices With No Monthly Fee Sounded Like a Good Idea
Owner-operators who had every intention of being part of the trucking industry long-term were initially attracted to the idea of an ELD device with no monthly fee. They wanted a simple way to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ELD mandate, and at a low cost.
Unfortunately, most of the ELDs with no monthly fee lacked decent support or offered no support at all. They also charged extra for hardware upfront. These and many other factors even forced some ELD companies to close their doors for good because they couldn’t support their users, and the users subsequently left.
Companies That Failed
One such company was ELD provider One20 who made a sudden announcement that it would be ceasing support of its ELD apps and closing operations on June 18, 2018. The company simply posted a short message on its website saying that its apps, including One20 F-ELD would no longer work and that the company would stop offering support. This came only six months after the first FMCSA compliance deadline, meaning many carriers were just starting to get familiar with One20 and its offerings.
Another company that shut down shortly after One20 was ZED ELD. In November of 2018, the company notified its users of the need for them to find another ELD-compliant product because it would be ceasing operations. However, they didn’t leave current customers in the dark like One20. Instead, they offered them an opportunity to transition to a different provider’s ELD: the EZ-ELD from Stoneridge for free. Customers had less than two months (until Dec. 31, 2018) to decide whether to transition to the Stoneridge ELD device without knowing much about it.
HOS247 to the Rescue
All those free ELD users who were abandoned needed somewhere to go, and they needed to be a much more careful in their decision-making process than previously. Many chose HOS247, which offered support for One20 F-ELD users and ZED ELD without the need to purchase a new device. HOS247 simply set up an account for those users, and the system automatically updated the outdated firmware of the defunct ELD companies.
HOS247 Provides Free ELD Hardware for Annual Plans
When it comes to choosing an ELD wisely, fleets need to consider a variety of factors, yet cost is typically the greatest factor, specifically in regard to hardware. The following are some common questions and answers about HOS247 hardware.
Does HOS247’s Factoring Partner Cover Services Costs?
Besides the option to obtain free ELD hardware for annual plans with HOS247, fleets can choose ELD options with no monthly fee if they use a HOS247 partner factoring service. The more they factor for a carrier, the more the carrier will save on services costs:
- Factoring $5K/month results in savings of $5/month, per unit.
- Factoring $10K/month results in savings of $10/month, per unit.
- Factoring $15K/month results in savings of $15/month, per unit.
- Factoring $20K/month results in $20/month, per unit.
What Is the Freight Factoring Rate?
The factoring partner for HOS247 charges a flat 3% rate, per load with zero additional fees. It is non-recourse as well, which means that if a broker doesn’t pay or goes out of business, the factoring partner assumes the risk. For fleets over 5 trucks, there are more flexible terms that start at 1.99% per load.
It is important to note that many other factors promise lower rates, but they are sometimes misleading for the following reasons:
- There may be extra fees on top of the promised rate. It is common for them to charge ACH and wire fees per load, for example. HOS247’s factoring partner does not charge any additional or hidden fees.
- They may offer rates that are either per month instead of per load. If it is per month, a load that doesn’t pay within 60 days can end up costing 4% instead of 2%, for example. The HOS247 factoring partner charges per load.
- Any promised lower rates are likely to be considered “recourse,” meaning the factor will go after the carrier if the broker doesn’t pay.
What Is Freight Invoice Factoring?
Many carriers can’t wait for 30 to 60 days it takes for brokers to pay them. This is because of the additional costs they have to pay, such as for payroll, fuel and unplanned maintenance. The HOS247 factoring partner pays carriers as soon as they’ve delivered their load with permission for the partner to collect from the broker.
How to Use the Factoring Service?
The HOS247 factoring partner requires a signed Proof of Delivery as well as rate confirmation. Carriers can scan them with a mobile app and simply upload them to the partner’s online interface.
Who Is HOS247’s Freight Factoring Partner?
HOS247 has partnered with Instapay to cover ELD costs as well as the costs of other services.
Does HOS247’s Factoring Partner Have a Contract Lockup?
Instapay does not have a contract lockup, unlike many other factors. Other factors may lock you into a contract between one and three years long, requiring you to pay a significant fee to get out of it.
How Quickly Does HOS247’s Factoring Service Pay?
Instapay processes payment the same day providing the invoice is submitted by 11 a.m. ET. Other factors offer payment the same day, but charge an additional $25.
Is There a Minimum Volume for Factoring?
Unlike other factors who require 100% of loads to be submitted through them, Instapay doesn’t require a minimum volume. That means carriers can pick their own loads to factor.
How Do Factoring, Billing, Invoicing and Collections Work?
- Billing and invoicing – Since Instapay buys the invoices from the carriers, it is the job of Instapay to invoice the broker. Instapay generates the invoices for carriers, sends them and confirms them. Their experience with specific billing and invoicing issues helps ensure that payments are made on-time as well.
- Collections – Carriers don’t have to worry about the hassle of collecting money from brokers since HOS247’s factoring partner does that as well. This saves the carrier time as they don’t have to make those awkward and stressful follow-up calls asking for payment.
- Risk protection – If the broker doesn’t pay, HOS247 clients assume zero risk since their factoring partner, Instapay, offers non-recourse factoring.
What Is Non-recourse Factoring?
Instapay’s factoring is non-recourse, meaning they assume all non-payment risk when the load is factored, in case of broker bankruptcy. This acts like added insurance for carriers. As a precautionary measure, and for added insurance, Instapay also offers free online credit checks so carriers can determine whether a broker is solvent and decide if they should agree to pick up a load from them or not.
How to Choose the Right ELD?
Like many carriers learned after settling for ELDs with no monthly fees (many of which went out of business), there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right ELD solution. Besides cost, they have to check reviews, determine whether they are driver-friendly and easy to use, check whether the ELD company offers support services and research any red flags.
The FMCSA created a list of certified ELD providers on its website in an effort to help carriers find compliant ELDs; however, the ELDs on that list are self-certified and not verified by the FMCSA. In essence, carriers have to assume that the ELDs on that list are honest in saying that they’re compliant with regulations. As a way to help the market find a compliant ELD, the FMCSA created a list of self-certified ELD vendors. It’s important to note that the ELDs on this list are not verified or endorsed by the FMCSA. Even the former head of the FMCSA, Annette Sandberg, admitted that there are likely vendors on the FMCSA list that probably shouldn’t be.
Despite the fact that the self-certified list of ELDs is somewhat useless, the FMCSA does make up for it with its “Choosing an Electronic Logging Device Checklist.” When choosing a provider, it is smart to check over the list and make sure potential ELD vendors can explain how their ELD meets the qualifications on the list.
To make it easier, here are three key things to look for and avoid in ELD.
Three Key Things to Look for in an ELD
- Reviews – Make sure they’re from real users and on unbiased platforms.
- Ease of use – If drivers struggle to use the ELD, carriers won’t see success with it. ELDs should be intuitive and easy to use without extensive training.
- 24/7 support – It needs to be from real, knowledgeable people instead of machines. Test this by calling the support line of the potential vendor and making sure they pick up. If they don’t, find another vendor.
Three Red Flags to Avoid in an ELD
- Proprietary hardware – Vendors that create their own hardware make drivers use only their hardware, which users likely have to pay for up-front. As a result, clients are locked into the vendors’ ecosystem and don’t have the flexibility that a tablet- or smartphone-based solution would provide.
- Long contracts – Be wary of ELD providers that attempt to lock clients into long-term deals (3-5 years). They are only doing it because they’re not 100% confident in their product. One year should be long enough.
- A lack of experience – Be skeptical of a provider that first entered the ELD scene within the last two years. It is difficult to determine whether they’ll be reliable in the long-term.
HOS247 Is an Industry Leader Providing Electronic Logging Devices and ELD System.
Here are just some of the reasons why carriers choose HOS247 when in need of electronic logbooks for truckers:
- No contracts – HOS247 was there for carriers when other ELD vendors failed them, and plans to stick around for the long-haul. Therefore, there is no need to lock clients into contracts.
- Hassle-free returns – Clients can return the ELD for a refund within two weeks if not 100% satisfied.
- Reliable, multilingual support – Top-rated support is also multilingual, speaking English, Spanish, Russian and Polish.
- Boosts business while staying FMCSA-compliant – Tools like GPS tracking, fleet maintenance reminders and dispatch tools help a transportation company run more smoothly so they can focus on growing their business instead of administrative tasks.
- Top-rated by fleets and their drivers – The HOS247 ELD app is so easy to use that it is rated highly on the Google Play Store app by both drivers and owner operators.
- Options for any size – HOS247 offers flexible plans for fleets of any size: whether one vehicle or 500 vehicles.