When you’re starting out in a new trucking business, either as an owner-operator or as a fleet manager, it’s tempting to cut corners. When making a choice, sometimes the biggest decision-maker is cost. But is the cheapest ELD best for you?
How much? Are you kidding?
Prepare for sticker shock when you look at ELD systems for your trucking business.
Some systems for electronic logging devices predated the ELD mandate in 2017. Big trucking companies used some kind of ELD software to track trucks and drivers to be able to report to a curious shipper where their freight was. Those systems often have a lot of extra bells and whistles that big companies wanted.
Bells and whistles are expensive. And unnecessary for an owner operator who knows where their truck is (right underneath them.)
Those expensive ELD systems work for big companies. But if you’re not a big company, why would you pay the premium price?
The Cheapest ELD?
There are cheap ELDs on the market. You can google and find them. However, is that the best choice for you?
One time purchase vs. service contract
If all you need is compliance to the ELD mandate, a one-time purchase of an ELD looks smart.
Until you look at the fine print.
Some systems aren’t one time payments. The equipment is a one-time expense. But the system may require you to purchase their data plans to use their equipment. Or they may say that you can use your own equipment, but charge you for the privilege.
Until you need help.
Those one-time systems may have been designed years ago. When the ELD mandate first came out, a lot of companies produced an ELD that may not have been updated since then. Let’s be honest – getting service for a modern software system can be hard enough. One that’s over five years old? There may not be the support you need or the current documentation to solve your ELD problems.
Service Contracts and ELD
Why buy a service contract for your truck’s ELD system?
To be confident that you’ve got an up-to-date ELD system.
An ELD company keeps the programming up to date. They don’t want a system that’s stuck on iOS5 when the rest of the world is using iOS17. The cheapest ELD may not keep their programming current, which might disrupt their compatibility with your smartphone or tablet.
You want the tech support.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. A lot of us don’t read the documentation. We think “plug and play” means we don’t have to read the manuals. So we have problems.
Or… and I’m not saying you do this… but sometimes people lie. The tech support asks a driver to do a reboot and they don’t. (FYI – we know when you lying. Our system knows what you’ve done – and what you haven’t. (Think of tech support like Santa. They know when you’ve been nice and when you’ve been naughty.)
Tech support costs money to support. That’s why those “one-time fee” ELDs might look good, but they can’t afford to have the staff that you need. Cheapest ELD means exactly that. The ELD company is cheap. Maybe too cheap.
When you’re looking for an ELD system for your owner operator trucking business, you don’t need the bells and whistles. You need a current system that’s got the support you need to help you get started and keep you on the road. That’s why we built the TruckingOffice ELD system to work for you. For the truckers and fleets that aren’t moving 10,000 loads per day, TruckingOffice ELD is the right choice. It’s one corner you don’t want to cut.
Give us a call to get more details about the ELD system that makes it easy for you!