March 12, 2018

5 reasons carriers are leaving legacy, proprietary ELDs

5 reasons carriers are leaving legacy proprietary ELDs

While the ELD mandate is a recent event, solutions to track driver locations and Hours of Service have been around since the 1990s.

A lot has changed in the world since then. Yet, many are still using platforms designed for the carrier of decades past, not the carrier of today, or tomorrow.

This is changing quickly. Carriers across the country are realizing that they finally have a choice. It’s no longer a “pick your poison” decision between a handful of viable options.

In fact, here’s a quote from Flying Star Transport Executive John Lutz, who first adopted a legacy, proprietary ELD solution over 15 years ago:

“The ELD industry has always been dominated by the usual suspects, legacy companies featuring proprietary, outdated technology. We’ve needed a new smart, energetic partner in this industry for awhile and I feel like we finally have that with KeepTruckin.”

This guide explains why carriers like Flying Star Transport are transitioning to the next generation of fleet management technology.

1. Platforms built for a different regulatory era

While the term “Electronic Logging Device” has been used for decades, the ELD mandate assigned very specific technical specifications to the term. What were formerly called ELDs are actually AOBRDs or EOBRs.

The AOBRD and EOBR compliance requirements were less advanced than the requirements of the ELD mandate. Adding the extra functionality is a significant engineering challenge — one that some have struggled with.

In fact, one large carrier was recently granted an ELD compliance extension due to their legacy provider needing more time to finish the process.

Tacking on the additional functionality is a bit like building a house of cards to a specific design where you don’t get to choose the base. You can design it masterfully, but if the base is not built for the purpose, the stability can be severely impacted.

This anecdote explains why many electronic logging products that worked well in the past are now having serious usability and performance issues.

2. Carriers are no longer restricted by integrations

In the past, integrations were a complex, time-consuming activity. This meant only a handful of the largest players in the industry agreed to build integrations together.  

But, this has changed. Modern, open APIs have greatly simplified the integration process. Not only are carriers no longer restricted by integration availability, some integrations with newer market entrants are actually more advanced and easier to work with.

For example, KeepTruckin has robust integrations with many of the leading TMS providers, including TMW, McLeod, and Prophesy. The modern nature of the integration gives carriers increased access to more accurate data, increasing the value of the TMS and driving greater operational efficiencies.

3. The app economy has replaced proprietary ecosystems

Another fundamental issue with legacy ELD providers is the ecosystem strategy. Buy their proprietary hardware, and suddenly, you lose freedom and choice.

They choose the integrations and add-on applications that will be available on the device. They can create product roadmaps based around upsell opportunities rather than core product improvement, as they know you’re locked into their ecosystem.

With modern, mobile-based ELDs, almost any combination of applications can be used side-by-side in a smooth workflow for the driver.

This empowers you to solve every problem with the best available solution, from navigation to scanning to truck parking.

4. High hardware costs

Over recent years, the cost of technology has dropped drastically. From smartphones to tablets to TVs, the modern market offers better products at a fraction of the cost.

Interestingly, this trend hasn’t occurred with proprietary ELDs. Android tablets can now be purchased for under $100, yet, proprietary ELDs still cost $799 to $1300 each.

Add a driver? Touchscreen goes out after the warranty period? $799 to $1300.

To make matters worse, vendors are occasionally forced to create new versions of their proprietary devices to modernize the technology. This can require you to upgrade all of your devices, even if they’re functional.  

And that is expensive.

High hardware costs are a significant and unnecessary headwind to growth. Modern, mobile-based ELDs like KeepTruckin lease the ELD at no cost and start at just $20/month. Use our free ELD price comparison chart to see what other ELD vendors are charging.

Savvy carriers are switching and investing the savings into growth.

5. Complex driver training processes

Training drivers is a constant activity for many carriers. With proprietary ELDs, this process tends to take much longer than with smartphone or tablet-based ELDs.


In addition to learning company processes and new compliance software, drivers must also learn how to use a new proprietary device.

With a smartphone or tablet, you’ve already won half the battle.

And the other half? Selecting a driver-friendly solution.

Here’s what Kip Green of Flying Star Transport has to say about KeepTruckin:

“The ease-of-use is incredible. The targets that appear when the driver downloads and uses the app are like a built-in trainer. The combination of familiar technology and an intuitive app experience makes training drivers a really simple process.”

How much simpler? According to William Brown of Pronto Delivery:

“Driver training processes that once took hours take about 15 minutes max with KeepTruckin.”

The future of fleet management is KeepTruckin

KeepTruckin is trusted by over 600,000 drivers and 45,000 carriers, with more joining every day. Carriers switch to KeepTruckin because we make the latest technology easy to use and have a relentless focus on the success of our customers.

Our modern API and integrations allow carriers to innovate, get more from their data, and create new operational efficiencies.

Our industry-leading app store rating is the proof that we deliver on our promises:

KeepTruckin App - Google Play Store Ratings and Reviews

Here’s what your peers who have already switched to KeepTruckin have to say:

“KeepTruckin is easy to implement, easy to use, and has made something that we thought would be difficult simple and pleasant.”

Rick Roache, Safety and Compliance Manager at DDI Transportation.

“Our drivers like the KeepTruckin system a lot better. Our old ELD kept kicking the drivers out and causing frustration. KeepTruckin has been a lot simpler for them to use.”

Matt Myers, Fleet Supervisor at CSX Intermodal.

“Hands down the best and easiest ELD system that I’ve ever used.”

William Brown, HSE Manager at Pronto Delivery.

Considering William has used Omnitracs, PeopleNet, Fleetmatics, and J.J. Keller in his career, that statement carries a lot of weight.

Ready for a change?

Transitioning is easy with KeepTruckin. We’re ready to help you through every step and have competitive buyout offers available for those restricted by contracts. Click below to get a demo of the future of fleet management technology.

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