With the electronic logging device mandate quickly approaching, websites for ELD information and reviews have emerged to help carriers sift through the multitude of systems on the market and find the right fit for their operations.
Load board operator Truckstop.com and review site ELDratings.com are seeking to bring some clarity to the rapidly expanding ELD market.
As of late October, more than 150 self-certified ELD products were listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s online registry.
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To help point its carrier customers toward reliable ELD options, Truckstop.com has partnered with several vendors to establish an online ELD marketplace at eld.truckstop.com.
That site is designed to serve as a “one-stop shop” for carriers looking for an ELD vendor, the company said.
“We wanted to remove the murkiness around the vast number of vendors that seemingly popped up overnight,” said Thayne Boren, general manager of Truckstop.com’s mobile division.
Truckstop.com has announced partnerships with several ELD vendors: Glostone Trucking Solutions (a Geotab reseller), GPS Insight, HOS Reporter, J.J. Keller & Associates, KeepTruckin and Omnitracs.
The load board operator said it also is in discussions with other vendors and plans to expand its list of vetted suppliers in the online marketplace.
“We want to be a destination for the industry to find a vetted partner for an ELD platform,” Boren said.
Truckstop.com has vetted ELD suppliers based on factors such as their hardware strategies, customer support levels and data collection capabilities, he said. It is of particular importance that vendors provide around-the-clock customer support and have a plan in place to proactively ship replacement devices in the event of a malfunction.
“This marketplace is a place for visitors to compare products and services from multiple ELD providers in an easy-to-navigate website,” Truckstop.com CEO Paris Cole said. “There are many ELD providers in the industry, but to participate in our marketplace we selected only those companies whose products and services met our stringent requirements.”
Meanwhile, the recently launched ELDratings.com offers independent, third-party reviews of a wide variety of ELD systems.
The website writes reviews of ELDs and allows users to post their own reviews of those products.
ELDratings.com was co-founded by Benjamin Ramsay, vice president of technology at Tradewinds Logistics, a trucking company headquartered near Indianapolis. Ramsay led Tradewinds’ adoption of electronic logs in 2012.
Ramsay and his partners began work on ELDratings.com in late 2016 after seeing a need for third-party information on the increasingly crowded ELD market.
“Our goal is to be a community-driven resource created by and for transportation industry pros,” Ramsay said. “We do firsthand testing and research, and we gather feedback from real-world users so our readers get a clear look at the pros and cons of each device.”
ELDratings.com writes its editorial reviews after evaluating a product for three to four weeks, Ramsay said. This typically involves an extended product demonstration, product testing and interviewing users of the system to gather feedback, he said.
Review criteria include features, reliability, ease of use, customer support, vendor reputation, product pricing and, most importantly, compliance with the ELD mandate, Ramsay said.
ELD users also can share their experiences by posting reviews on the site in a manner similar to Yelp or Google reviews.
“Ultimately, we want as much feedback as possible from real users of these systems,” Ramsay said. “Our editorials are just a starting point, and the content will grow and change as more fleets and drivers share their experiences with us.”