3 Perks of Smartphone-Based ELDs

The ELD mandate is still on track for its December 18th deadline. And while rumors have been swirling about how strictly it will be enforced, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has clarified that warnings, violations, and citations will still be handed out to drivers not in compliance with the mandate .

If you’re starting to weigh your ELD options, there are several specifics to consider. Possibly the first thing to think about is whether a BYOD ELD or a dedicated unit is right for you. We’ve discussed the difference between the two in this post, but here’s the short answer: BYOD (or “bring your own device”) ELDs are smartphone-based, while dedicated units are devices that stay in your truck at all times. Both types of ELDs have one thing in common — they record HOS. However, that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

Here are three perks of choosing a smartphone-based (BYOD) ELD to comply with the mandate:

1. You get more features.

Dedicated unit ELDs record your HOS, but they are pretty limited in functionality beyond that. With smartphone-based ELDs, you gain access to a variety of features that help make life on the road a little bit easier. Log auditing, IFTA fuel tax reporting, GPS tracking, route mapping, and real-time load-matching are just a few of the features you wouldn’t get with a dedicated unit system.

2. You can change your duty status when you’re away from your truck.

Earlier this month, the FMCSA announced that it will allow drivers using BYOD ELDs to change their duty status outside of and away from their truck. Additionally, drivers will now be able to perform multiple yard moves without needing to re-enter yard move on the device. To read more details about these exemptions, this article provides a good summary.

3. BYOD ELDs are typically less expensive.

Dedicated unit ELDs require specific equipment and hardware, often in the form of special tablets; therefore, they aren’t easy on the wallet. Smartphone-based ELDs enable you to use your phone instead — all you need to do is simply download the app, install the “dongle” hardware in your engine, and pair the two via bluetooth. Many BYOD ELDs, including MY20 and MY20 Tower, do not charge a hardware fee. So, if you’re looking for the most cost-effective option, BYOD ELDs are the way to go. This ELD price comparison chart is a great resource for making sure you get the best deal on your ELD.

Dedicated unit or BYOD ELD?

One of the first questions to ask yourself when shopping around for an ELD is whether you should go with a dedicated unit or a smartphone-based ELD. While they both serve the same basic purpose of logging hours of service electronically, BYOD ELDs include more features and benefits and are usually more budget-friendly.

Got any questions about the MY20 ELD or smartphone-based ELDs in general? We’d love to chat with you.

What do you love about your BYOD ELD? Let us know in the comments!

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