As a company built on personal relationships, we have the opportunity to get to know our customers and their struggles with other providers in the past. We've seen a lot of people get taken advantage of and convinced into signing agreements that really aren't in their best interest or the long-term benefit of their company.
So we're extending that knowledge to you today with 4 red flags to look for when you sign on with a new ELD provider. These are just guidelines, but obviously, if you ever have any general questions about what you should be looking for from your ELD provider, give us a call at 855-696-3537. We'll answer them whether you're interested in buying from us or not.
- Long Agreement Terms - Any term over 3 years is simply unreasonable. First off, you're buying technology. You know as well as I do that technology improves and evolves so rapidly that even 2-3 years can warrant a change. Secondly, the trucking industry has it's ups and downs. Although the goal is to thrive and continue to grow, if you need to downsize or hit a financial wall, the last thing you want to have to deal with are hefty cancellation and equipment fees. We've seen companies offering contract-buyout programs to release you from your current contract with another provider. What they're not telling you is that you are required to enter into a 6 or 7 year long contract. If something sounds way too good to be true, look into it. Read over what you're signing and make sure your agreement terms are flexible or 3 years or under.
- Unqualified Support - We've heard many drivers explain the frustration with companies that farm their support services out to call centers who are simply breathing humans to answer your call. They know nothing about trucking or the industry. They know nothing about ELDs or the technology. Basically, they just take a note and you have to wait to hear back from someone anyways. Look for a company that has a trained support staff who are U.S - based and specialized in the areas of support that you know your company requires. Don't be afraid to ask to verify with a test call before you sign on.
- No Monthly Fees - Monthly fees are a necessary part of providing compliant ELD services. These monthly charges are applied to data fees, ongoing support, and product enhancement such as software updates. If a company is not charging you monthly fees, you should be concerned that they may not be fully ELD compliant or that they are not intending to support your product long-term. Also, as a business, they are likely to fail because they cannot fully support the required resources and payroll to provide you with the product and service you need. In which case, you could be stuck with an ELD that is no longer compliant and revoked or having to replace your device(s) quickly due to the provider company going under.
- Cloud-based Data Storage ONLY - It's pretty standard to use cloud-based storage to some degree within the ELD provider space. However, unlike our device, which has internal storage that connects the data directly to your display (tablet or phone) via Bluetooth, some companies rely solely on cloud storage and WiFi or cell service to relay the data from the ELD (ECM) device to the cloud and then back to the display. What does this mean? It means that if you or your driver is pulled over for an inspection in a dead zone (no cell service), their logs could be inaccurate, possibly resulting in a violation. This also means that if you are monitoring your drivers from your computer or a device, the location and HOS data that you're seeing could be inaccurate — leading to faulty decisions being made due to faulty data. Avoid the mess and just make sure that the ECM plug-in device doesn't rely solely on cloud storage.
If you have additional questions or even if you would like to have our team review your contract for you and advise you, please don't hesitate to give us a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org.