As December is quickly approaching, the thoughts of ELD’s are on the minds of drivers and fleets alike. Many have already made the transition to utilize this equipment for daily operations. Those who have made the transition have already made the adjustment to their business plan.
The recording of our time electronically has been in the news and coming our way in excess of a decade. This subject brings my career around full circle in that I began driving with a private carrier many years ago and we used a Tachograph in the trucks. This was an earlier version of what we know today as the ELD. These devices had a round paper disc inside which kept track of speed, distance and times when the vehicle was moving. When we turned in our traditional log books, we also had to turn in our round graph disc. The disc was used to verify that we were logging our hours properly. This device was somewhat primitive in the fact that it didn’t record where the hours or miles were driven.
I decided to begin a bit early prior to December in order to become familiar with the operation of the ELD. After much research, the unit that I selected for my business was the Continental VDO Roadlog. I chose this unit due to its addressing the small fleet and independent owner-o operator needs. There seems to be much confusion with many of the more expensive systems in the marketplace. The systems that come at a much higher cost are fleet management systems that incorporate and ELD into their features which raises the cost. Here are the features that sold me on the Continental VDO Roadlog.
There is no need to hand your phone over to an officer. Your privacy is protected.
The unit provides only the information needed for compliance.
This system was designed for easy installation, easy use and affordability (under $700.00)
The unit keeps track of state mileage for IFTA reporting.
In the event of a log book check, you can simply hit print and the built in thermal printer will provide the information you need in a traditional log book format.
I like the fact that this is a long standing and reputable company with involvement in manufacturing many of the components in vehicles we drive every day to include personal and commercial vehicles.
I have been utilizing the Continental VDO Roadlog for almost a month now and I am pleased so far. The unit has only caused me heartburn once and this was totally self- inflicted. The inconvenience was totally my fault. I was on my half hour break and I looked at my watch instead of the time on the ELD. The two differed in less than a minute and this resulted in my moving the truck at the 29 minute mark. This action basically cancelled out my half hour break. The one thing that cannot be altered on an ELD is road time. I backed the truck into the parking spot once again and my half hour break became a 59 minute break.
Coming around full circle, I believe that the Tachograph that I used years ago was also produced by VDO. Like the Tachograph it only verified my compliance in regards to hours of service.