The ELD Mandate is here. December 17, 2017 is the day set by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration) requiring ELDs (Electronic Logging Devices) for interstate commercial trucks.
But where do you start and what should you look for in an ELD, and are there benefits to switching from manual logs to elogs sooner than mandated?
In this article, we discuss the VDO RoadLog ELD from Continental and the features that Owner Operators, fleets, and even roadside inspectors, say they appreciate the most.
Two VDO Models – One Great Solution to YOUR Needs
Before we get into the specific features, it’s helpful to know is that the VDO unit is available in two models. The VDO RoadLog ELD (with no monthly fees) and The VDO RoadLog ELD PLUS with Cellular Connectivity. The main difference between the two is that the PLUS version allows drivers to wirelessly upload data and requires a monthly fee if activated. The version without cellular connectivity requires the use of the RoadLog Driver Key (usb drive) for manual data transfer, but requires no monthly fee.
That being said, let’s dive into the features that can help make your job a little easier:
1. Choose Which Works Best for You: No Monthly Fees -or- Affordable Wireless Connectivity
The fact that it’s easy to use and affordable has made the VDO RoadLog popular among owner operators and small to medium fleets. There are no monthly fees or contracts, as we discussed above, for the regular RoadLog and drivers can manually transfer data through the driver key. This works very well for Owner-Operators with 1-10 or so trucks.
Fleets over 10 vehicles, or thereabouts, may prefer the wireless version (the RoadLog Plus) which will give their drivers the ability to wirelessly upload their data for an affordable monthly fee.
TIP: Maybe you’re a small business now, but you are growing and are trying to decide between the unit with or without cellular connectivity. Choose the RoadLog PLUS with cellular connectivity. You can turn off the cellular connectivity for now and still pay no monthly fees. Just activate it when you’re ready to move to wireless.
2. Built-in Printer – print and go at roadside inspections
When going through a DOT roadside inspection, we all want to hear the “You’re good to go!” from the inspector as quickly as possible. And the built-in printer helps that happen. Simply print your logs right from your truck, and hand them to the compliance officer – the same as you’ve done with manual logs. The printout is similar to the log book style so the inspector is able to quickly view the data – making the printer a feature that the inspector appreciates just as much as the driver.
The printout immediately eliminates any technology compatibility issues with having to transfer/display data electronically at a roadside inspection. And, because it is a thermal printer, it never requires any ink.
3. Automatic software updates – Keeps you current with the latest changes
Keeping up to date with the most current FMCSA regulations is automatic with the VDO RoadLog. When there’s a change to an FMCSA regulation your VDO software will update to reflect the latest regulations. As a registered VDO RoadLog user, you can rest assured you’re always in the know, and in compliance.
If you’re about to exceed any of the upcoming limits, it will even send you an alert letting you know — helping you steer clear of compliance violations and fines as much as possible.
4. Your edge to getting the best loads
Because fleets may receive more favorable insurance rates if they can show that their drivers are operating in compliance, it benefits them to hire a driver who is already ELD equipped. These drivers are able to show that they operate safely and within compliance and can have a positive impact on a fleet’s CSA scores. Additionally, it can give a driver an advantage when it comes to receiving the best loads from their favorite carriers. For many drivers, this advantage has been their motivator for going ahead and making the switch from paper logs now.
If you are an owner-operator, you may also be interested in this article from Overdrive – “An owner-operator option for ELDs.”
5. Automatically generate your logs – no calculator needed
Use the VDO RoadLog not only for tracking Hours of Service, but also for recording a whole host of other data automatically. Data, such as DVIR (Driver Vehicle Inspection Report), IFTA (International Fuel Tax Association) and IRP (International Registration Plan) is also captured and provides a complete FMCSA compliant report you can use to run your trucking operations safer and more efficiently.
We’re here to help
Find a part number, cross reference a part, or ask a question by contacting our customer service team at 855.885.5631 or FleetProductsInfo@Ryder.com