All truckers know that as of December 2017, the DOT requires them to keep electronic logs. If you don’t have vehicles that already have this capability built-in, you need software to create your own logs. This is where the KeepTruckin ELD app comes in. It’s an ideal solution for independents or smaller companies.
It pairs easily with KeepTruckin’s ELD device, which plugs into your truck’s diagnostic port. You can then download the app and pair this device with your iOS or Android smartphone and Bluetooth, creating an electronic logging device with tech you already have. There’s no cost for the plugin device, but you do have to sign a contract. The app itself is free from online sources like Google Play or Apple Apps.
It features an easy-to-use interface that’s made it one of the most popular ELDs out there, and is simple to get connected. It allows you to make quick log edits as needed and view a “recap”, including planned hours. There’s a convenient display to count-down your drive time. It even provides an “Inspection Mode” if you need to show your logs to law enforcement. You can also email or fax these logs from the device right in your truck.
The DOT requires certain features to stay compliant, and this app provides them. KeepTruckin’s ELD is capable of providing warnings if you’re in danger of violations. It also includes DVIR, instant messaging, and some fleet management tools, such as optional IFTA reporting.
If drivers are issued company phones or tablets, it can also be combined with a mobile data plan. Should you get in an accident or have some other need to capture images, the app is capable of storing and sending photos. It can upload or download information between devices or computer via USB, email, or Bluetooth. One of the nicest features of the KeepTruckin ELD is that you can toggle back and forth between personal and professional vehicles, in case you’d like to use some of it’s features for off-duty driving.
For back office use, the system comes with GPS tracking, Hours of Service reporting, and a digital guide to HOS regulations. Management can review driver logs, and for an additional fee upgrade to more advanced DVIR features.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t include in-vehicle GPS navigation, but it will work well with a number of third-party trucker nav apps. KeepTruckin has promised that more features and updates are on the way. As more of these become available, the ultimate goal is that their app will be comparable to some of the most advanced ELDs on the market, but at a much lower price. The upgrades that are becoming available include functions like engine diagnostics, fuel monitoring, safety scorecards for drivers, geofencing, and more. It’s already compatible with TMS providers such as McCleod and TMW. So as it is, you’re getting more with the KeepTruckin ELD than from similarly-priced competitors.
There are a few flaws, for instance an auto-reconnect alert that could be annoying if you’ve multiple truckers going out in the middle of the night. The Bluetooth is sometimes a bit sluggish about connecting. Part of this may be due to the fact that KeepTruckin is adding new features pretty aggressively, but it does work better with newer tech than with older devices. As for their customer service, they’re pleasant enough, but bear in mind that they may be playing catch-up themselves.
And odds are that you will need the data plan, which ups the price. But the most important caveat to remember is that you are signing a contract, so that could be a hassle if you decide that the KeepTruckin ELD isn’t for you. With this in mind, consider that some smaller companies may be required to make that an annual contract, payable upfront.
However, most users seem satisfied with it, and then some. It doesn’t have all the fancy capabilities of some high-end solutions, but as a result it’s very easy to install and use. Overall, the cost is still quite cheap and the functionality you get is impressive, with more to come.
If you run a small outfit, the KeepTruckin ELD is probably just what you need.