What to Look for in a Logbook ELD Solution
Hours of service records have been a part of truckers’ jobs for many years. Since HOS rules became law and up until the ELD mandate was passed, paper logs were the way to keep records of duty status. Drivers would manually record the data on a sheet, which would then be prepared in a report format on a computer by a manager.
Although some truckers are still allowed to use paper logs (more on this later), most commercial drivers are now subject to the mandate and must use electronic logbooks to record their HOS. As full implementation of the mandate led to a surge in demand for elogs, many suppliers popped up and some failed to deliver a service that truckers were satisfied with. For those looking to switch to a better logbook ELD, this article can help.
When Do You Need A Logbook For A Truck?
According to federal legislation, the requirement for electronic log use applies to:
- Property or passenger carriers like buses and trucks that commute across state borders are included in the ELD mandate.
- Drivers operating in the US and also domiciles in Mexico and Canada also come under the radar of the mandate.
While most commercial vehicles come under the radar of this law, a portion of truckers can still enjoy DOT logbook exemptions and continue using a paper log instead of a logbook ELD. These are:
- Truckers or drivers operating within a 100 to a 150-air-mile radius from the job location or short-haul drivers are allowed to maintain paper logs or timecards.
- Drivers who need to maintain RODS for 8 days out of 30 days can enjoy DOT logbook exemptions.
- Drive-away-tow-away truckers driving the vehicle as a commodity are also an exemption to the ELD mandate rule.
- Commercial vehicles manufactured before the year 2000 will not be compatible with elog technology so they are exempt.
Additionally, in case the elog fails to record RODS due to a malfunction, the FMCSA instructs the driver to notify their carrier and keep paper logs until the issue is solved.
How To Recognize A Quality Electronic Logbook
For truckers or carrier managers who consider a logbook ELD to be an investment, here is a list of must-have features. A quality elog is not the one that comes with the lowest price but the one that delivers that highest value to the carrier. Consider the points below when looking for a quality system.
- Cloud-based electronic log solutions. The data recorded by the electronic logging device is crucial to any business for future reference if needed. The data can be lost due to a malfunction of the device, the phone or the tablet. To avoid such situations, buy a cloud-based logbook ELD that keeps the information secured in a data center.
- Easy usability. Technology is meant to simplify tasks so an elog must be user-friendly. Avoid investing in e-logs that are complex to install and use.
- No hidden costs. Some logbook devices seem affordable until suppliers add costs or fees for things like training, installation, activation, etc. Ask about any additional costs that might come with the service.
- Compatible with common operating systems. Make sure to choose elog devices that can be controlled via smartphones and tablets. Look for Android or Apple-compatible ELD logbook apps so drivers can use their own devices instead of having to buy tablets from the provider.
- No long-term contracts. Many suppliers try to force clients into a lock-in period. This might be in the form of a long-term contract within which a user cannot replace or switch to a different logbook ELD. Stay away from any purchase-based contracts that mention more than a year long commitment.
- Additional features. A quality elog may require reasonable investment in terms of price but will yield long-term returns. Look for a digital logbook that offers other tools apart from the logbook, such as GPS tracking, idle monitoring, vehicle maintenance, and so on.
HOS247 Offers Top-Rated ELD Services
Picking the right provider when purchasing an elog solution is vital. HOS247 offers an advanced logbook ELD solution to ensure our clients get the most out of their device. Here are some reasons to switch to HOS247:
- Active customer support. HOS247 representatives advise clients in managing their elogs or solving issues. The technical support team is reachable Monday through Saturday.
- Multi-lingual support team. To offer assistance to a larger group of clients, HOS247 maintains a multi-lingual team that speaks English, Polish, Spanish, and Russian.
- Flexible add-on options. HOS247 ELDs can be upgraded with a host of additional features like IFTA mileage calculations and GPS Tracking. These can be added or removed from the monthly or yearly plans to cater to the requirements of fleets and owner-operators.
- Reliable hardware. HOS247 offers durable hardware that can be connected to all kinds of vehicles. Our logbook ELDs also support both Android and iOS operating systems. It can be installed in minutes and starts recording almost immediately after being switched on.
- Intuitive fleet manager portal. HOS247 ELD comes with a user-friendly dashboard for fleet managers. The portal enables compliance monitoring, location tracking, and dispatch supervision. It also streamlines vehicle diagnostics and receives real-time notifications in case a fault code is detected.
- No-contract policy. HOS247 never binds the client with any policy or lock-in period. Clients have the freedom to choose not to use the HOS247 system at any time without facing any penalty.
- Two-week trial period. HOS247 offers a 14-day trial period without any credit information or conditions for the client. Truckers can use the electronic logging device and return the device within that time if dissatisfied with the service.
HOS247 Is a Leading All-In-One Fleet Management Provider
With years of experience, HOS247 knows what truckers need to operate securely and productively. On top of the logbook ELD, our all-in-one fleet management platform includes:
- GPS fleet tracking. HOS247 can be upgraded with a GPS tracker to enhance the security of the vehicle. The tracker signals the fleet manager in case the vehicle is driven in unregistered locations. It also enables route reviewing and offers driver performance history with detailed locations.
- IFTA mileage calculations. HOS247 ELD logbook app synchronizes with the vehicle engine to determine the distance covered per jurisdiction. This reduces human errors in complex calculations and eliminates violation risks. The feature also allows importing fuel receipts on the go that can be uploaded easily via the HOS247 logbook app.
- Automate vehicle maintenance. Keeping the vehicle in good condition is crucial to avoid accidents and unexpected breakdowns. The system tracks the vehicle maintenance schedule and sends reminders to the company for upcoming preventive routine maintenance, like tire rotations, oil changes. It also helps monitor warranty expirations, and license renewals.
- Fault code detection. The system automatically sends a code to alert the manager or owner if a problem in the vehicle is detected, preventing accidents and allowing issues to be addressed in a timely manner.
- Automated idle tracking. Reducing idling can bring down fuel cost and thereby overall fleet management expenses. HOS247 allows managers to monitor drivers’ idling and correct it.
Ever since the ELD mandate was introduced by FMCSA, trucking companies and drivers are in a dilemma on how to choose the right provider. The e-log system has been mandated by the DOT to increase road safety and vehicle security.
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