According to a recent article on Overdrive, 46% of owner-operators are displeased with their ELD providers. Although some of the negative responses are likely reflective of disdain for the ELD mandate itself, many drivers report technical issues and poor customer service as some of their frustrations.
Let’s review some of the common problems drivers are facing with ELDs and outline the solutions.
Problem: Display Device Failure
Many drivers find themselves wasting time trying to mess with a faulty display device. Tablets and other devices can experience lagging, freezing, and other frustrating malfunctions. The ELD mandate was enacted to increase safety and the enforcement of the hours of service laws. However, these display issues lead to distracted driving or driving time lost after pulling over to resolve the problems.
Solution: Purchase a Dedicated Device with a Warranty
If you are using your personal phone or tablet to run your ELD program, you will likely experience more complications. Your personal device has lots of other applications that, running or not, can cause interference with your ELD application. Purchasing a dedicated device with the singular purpose of running your ELD will ensure a smoother experience.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to make sure your ELD provider backs their products with a warranty. Technology is not perfect. If something is not operating properly, simply request a replacement.
Problem: Poor Network Connection
Trucking oftentimes leads you into “dead zones” where there may be little or no cell phone towers. If your ELD solution requires a cellular network connection, you could be unable to access your hours of service logs and get an accurate representation of your trip. This could lead to accidental violations and frustration.
Solution: Direct Data Sync from ELD Module to Display Device
If you want to make sure that your logs are always accurate, look for an ELD solution that syncs your data directly (either via Bluetooth or a direct hard-wired connection) from your ELD module to your display device and then syncs to a secure server for an admin portal and/or backup. Even if your device loses network connection, your Bluetooth connection will work and the data will be available to you on your device.
Problem: Poor Customer Support
Unfortunately, many ELD companies sprung up as a response to the ELD mandate as an opportunity to take advantage of the high demand for ELDs. As they try to increase their profit margins by cutting corners, drivers and owner-operators end up suffering.
Because ELDs are relatively new technology, there are still some “kinks” that need to be worked out. ELD providers struggle to keep their product in compliance with the laws, while still making it appealing for drivers to use. Your ELD provider should be your partner, supporting your company to bring you more success.
Solution: Do Your Research
Learn more about the team and resources your provider has built to support your needs. Many ELD providers have online libraries of training materials and support articles. Ask other drivers what they use and if they are satisfied with their current provider.
Problem: Complicated Driver Application
Another common complaint we have seen about ELDs is that they are confusing or difficult to operate. The most expensive options are often the most confusing to use. It can be hard to adjust to ELDs from paper logs. Lots of ELD systems are not designed with the driver in mind and an understanding of the trucking industry.
Solution: Find a Simple Solution
For most owner-operators, a simple ELD mandate compliant HOS system is sufficient. Ask to demo the ELD program or see videos of the application in order to decipher usability.
Additionally, you will want to ask your provider for training materials or resources that can help you feel more comfortable with your ELD.
Problem: Extra Ongoing Cost Adds Up
The last concern, but certainly not the least, is the ongoing costs associated with maintaining use of the ELD. Most companies require monthly payments to pay for data usage and ongoing support. Although it seems unnecessary, this monthly revenue goes toward maintaining the application and bringing you better service when providers are operating as they should.
Solution: Find an Affordable and Reliable ELD Provider
Many of our customers have reported that they are spending less time logging hours and managing paperwork. We’ve also seen that ELDs can result in fewer violations and fees, ultimately saving you time and money.
The key is to find an ELD provider that will provide ongoing support and continue to work on improving your experience.
Are you interested in learning more about the perfect solution? Contact ELD Solutions today at 855-696-3537 to find out more about our dedication to making drivers and owner-operators more successful. We promise to do everything we can to fix your ELD problems.