5 Reasons You’ll Love the VDO RoadLog

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.

VDO RoadLog Electronic Logging Device

Simply print your logs right from your truck, and hand them to the compliance officer.

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.


Automatically capture Hours of Service, as well as other data such as DVIR, IFTA and IRP.






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

FMCSA Website Update: Safety Measurement System

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a data-driven safety enforcement and compliance program that works to improve the safety of America’s trucking industry.  In November, FMCSA launched a preview of its proposed, enhanced Safety Measurement System (SMS) website. The new site’s goal is to provide easy access to detailed trucking industry information and new performance monitoring tools. FMCSA’s ultimate goal is to achieve a reduction in crashes, injuries and fatalities, while making efficient use of available resources.

The improved site will help carriers and the public efficiently identify safety problems and get updated safety performance data.  The agency uses this data to determine which carriers pose a risk and need to be investigated.  In 2012, the SMSM public website hosted close to 48 million users, up from 30 million the previous year. The enhancements will not modify or change the SMS methodology but will enhance users understanding of the collected data, with no need for users to visit multiple sites.  The new features are based on feedback received from enforcement, industry and other safety stakeholders.

The key changes consist of the following:

  • Overall BASIC status will show where a carrier ranks and their correlation to crash rates.
  • Take-A-Tour Feature highlights enhancements to the SMS display and show visitors how to use the site.
  • Showcase of every carriers’ safety event group, the comparative groups used to calculate carrier BASIC percentile ranking.
  • Carriers’ Measure will be highlighted to help users clearly identify performance trends over time. The measure is based on computational results of the carrier’s roadside inspections or crashes.
  • Current insurance and authority status included directly on the site. Previously, users had to access FMCSA’s licensing and insurance online website to view this.
  • Carriers’ enforcement case history, including the date the case was closed, the applicable violations and the associated fines.

It’s important to note the site is being improved gradually and is based on user input, data and technology.  The preview site provides a overview of proposed changes.  After reviewing the site yourself, submit feedback via fax 202-493-2251 or visit www.regulations.gov (follow online instructions for submitting comments).  The deadline to submit comments ends January 6, 2014.  FMSCA will redesign the site with proposed changes before they are released to the public.

Important Links:

Current Safety Measurement System website

Preview of the SMS Site

Federal Register Posting  (November 5, 2013)

SMS results update schedule

FMSCA’s Guidance Document

FMCSA Rules and Regulations on Lamps and Reflective Devices for Your Vehicle

Ryder Fleet Products Truck Reflector

In July, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, proposed a new regulation on lamps and reflective devices.   The agency is proposing to amend the Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) on lamps and reflective devices.  Adoption of this proposal would increase manufacturer design flexibility without compromising safety or increasing costs.  In addition, it would also make the requirements of the standard more in line with European regulations.

All commercial motor vehicles manufactured on or after December 25, 1968, must, at a minimum, meet the applicable requirements of 49 CFR 571.108 (FMVSS No. 108) in effect at the time of manufacture of the vehicle.   The purpose of this is to reduce traffic accidents and deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents, by providing adequate illumination of the roadway, and by enhancing the conspicuity of motor vehicles on the public roads so that their presence is perceived and their signals understood, both in daylight and in darkness or other conditions of reduced visibility.

Commercial motor vehicles manufactured before December 25, 1968, must, at a minimum, meet the requirements of subpart B of part 393 in effect at the time of manufacture.  Subpart B states that lamps and reflective devices/material required by this subpart must not be obscured by the tailboard, or by any part of the load, or its covering by dirt, or other added vehicle or work equipment, or otherwise.

Ryder Fleet Products is the leading provider of LED truck lights.  We carry quality LED truck lighting from Grote, Truck-Lite, Optronics and ECCO.  For more information on lamp and reflective device regulations click here.

Note: This regulatory material has been prepared for convenience of reference only. 

(Chart Data Credit: Overdrive Magazine)


TOP 20 STATES ISSUING THE “Inoperative required lamp”393.9(a) violation