One Size Doesn’t Fit All
The ELD mandate has been received with mixed feelings from drivers and fleet owners. Some of the feelings are frustration and confusion surrounding different ELD packages and plans. Although simplicity is always the goal, we find it more important to provide you options that fit your situation.
One of the questions we hear often is “Should I let drivers use their own devices or should I purchase a dedicated device for my ELD solution?” The truth is that this answer is different for everyone and it really comes down to what is important to you. Most often, we recommend that carriers use a dedicated device for liability purposes, while BYOD may have its own advantages for owner-operators or smaller fleets.
Learning more about each option will help you determine the solution for your situation.
Dedicated Device - How It Works
When you purchase a dedicated device plan from ELD Solutions, we will provide you with an 8” ruggedized tablet display. This device is designed to be used specifically for running the ELDS HOS app and should be kept with the vehicle, instead of being driver-specific.
Your dedicated tablet device will have the appropriate app already pre-installed and hooked up to a data plan, making it easy for you and your drivers to begin using your new e-logging system immediately.
Dedicated - The Pros and Cons
One the most important differences to remember about using a dedicated device is that the device is intended to be attached to the vehicle, not the driver. Your driver will have individual login credentials, enabling them to login to any device. This presents several advantages:
- Less damaged equipment: Because there shouldn’t be as much moving of the device from one vehicle to another or use outside of the cab, drops, breaks, and accidents are less likely.
- Simplicity: If you need to replace a dedicated device or the accessories, it’s all the same equipment. If a driver moves to a different fleet or quits, you can use the same equipment for a new driver with a new login. You can even buy extra equipment to have as backup.
- Cost: Using dedicated ELDs does cost more upfront and monthly. Depending on the time and money that you are having to put into data packages and mounting options if you choose BYOD, the difference in cost may not be very significant.
- Control: With a dedicated device, you can ensure that your drivers are keeping the devices in working condition and using them for their intended purpose, logging HOS.
BYOD - How It Works
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. If you choose to go with a BYOD package, you can use the driver’s device to serve as the ELD interface or display. You will be purchasing the ELD hardware that connects to the vehicle’s engine and the cable adapters, in addition to the monthly subscription to the app software and admin portal.
You can also purchase this package with the intention to purchase devices from a separate supplier to equip your drivers or vehicles. Just remember to factor in both the cost of the device and the data package.
BYOD - Considerations
If you’re considering letting your drivers use their own devices to run the ELD app, you may want to take into consideration several factors.
- Mounts: Under the ELD mandate, the ELD is required to be mounted, easily viewed by the driver. If you choose BYOD, you will also likely want to purchase universal mounts to accommodate different sized and shaped devices.
- Data Plans: If your driver doesn’t have an unlimited data plan, you will likely need to reimburse them for some data charges or purchase a data plan/upgrade for them.
- Liability: If a driver breaks a device that belongs to them, you are at their mercy as to when and how they get that device fixed or replaced, unless you are paying for the device and data plan.
- Trust: Although we know your drivers have the best intentions, it’s more tempting to use a personal device to do personal things. Allowing drivers to use their phone or tablet also means that you’re trusting them not to leave it at a truck stop and to remember the power cord so that the battery doesn’t die.
- Training/Troubleshooting: Device controls and displays can look and operate differently, even within the same app. Training drivers to use the app may be more difficult if they are not experiencing the app the same way. On the contrary, it may be easier for drivers to use their own device that they are already accustomed to using, requiring less training.
- Cost: There’s no doubt that your ELD package will cost less with a BYOD option. Perhaps the biggest advantage of BYOD is the decrease in price. If your drivers do not have smartphones, you will have to provide these devices for them to perform as their ELD display. Some companies also purchase data plans and management or reimburse their drivers part of their cell phone bills.
- Accuracy: If the driver is using a personal phone as their ELD to log hours and status changes, status changes may be more accurate due to immediate feedback from the driver as soon as they change to “On-Duty” or “On-Duty Sleeper Berth,” for example.
The Perfect Fit For Your Fleet
ELD Solutions offers both Dedicated and BYOD options because we know that there are viable advantages and applications for both solutions. Our goal is to provide everyone with the tools they need to be compliant and grow their business, from the small owner-operators to the large multi-vehicle fleet carriers. Offering different package and device options is just one way that we make sure we accomodate all budgets and needs.
Did you know that you can even mix and match BYOD/Dedicated devices? Once you choose your package level, you can select some Dedicated and BYOD devices for certain vehicles. For example, you may have two trucks that you primarily use for part-time drivers. You can choose dedicated tablet devices for those, while still allowing your staff to use their own devices. ELD Solutions is one of the most flexible ELD providers available on the market.
Need to talk through which plan is best for you? No problem. Give us a call today at 855-696-3537.
Ready to pull the trigger and purchase your ELD solution now? Order here now.