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Unbiased Review of the Garmin eLog ELD

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Are you worried about violations or tired of manual logs to manage, track, and share hours of service records for ELD compliance?

The Garmin eLog compliant ELD App may be the solution you need. This FMCSA-registered electronic logging device app is a free subscription that works with the Garmin eLog electronic logging device.

Automatically record Hours of Service (HOS), so you can certify your daily work. The app securely stores the data on your compatible smartphone or tablet. When you need your records for inspections, retrieve them via your USB flash drive or by FMCSA web services over Bluetooth.

Read on to learn more about the features, pros and cons, common questions about using the app and device, and whether using the Garmin eLog ELD Compliant app is recommended.

How It Works?

You download the Garmin eLog ELD app after installing the Garmin eLog device. The device is a one-time purchase, and the app is free. Record your HOS information and have that information wirelessly transferred to your tablet or smartphone for easy viewing.

The Garmin eLog device fits most semi-trucks and supports 9-pin J1939 and 6-pin J1708 diagnostic ports. Plug in the device in your truck, download the free app and you are ready to go. The app records driver-duty status, drive time and shows you how many driving hours you have left by the day or week. Use a USB flash drive for easy retrieval when inspections occur.

Features and Benefits

The Garmin eLog app stores all your information in easy to access locations, not in the cloud. Avoid hassles by automatically tracking your on- and off-duty hours of service. The app allows you to monitor and manage multiple shipments throughout the day, streamlining your business.

Like all devices, there are pros and cons to using them. Let’s take a look at the main benefits and issues that customers talk about when using the Garmin eLog ELD Compliant App.



  • No monthly fees
  • ELD compliant
  • Eliminates manual log keeping for HOS
  • Works with most smartphones
  • Compatible with many Garmin dezl GPS truck navigators

The one-time cost of the Garmin eLog ELD device combined with the free monthly eLog ELD app makes it an affordable option for attaining ELD compliance.

Save time over manual logging of hours of service and keep those records safely stored in a USB flash drive.

The app is compatible with many Garmin dezl GPS truck navigators, which eliminates the need for a mobile device to run the app. The Garmin eLog ELD app is smartphone compatible with Android 4.1.x or higher and Apple 9+ mobile devices with GPS and Bluetooth capability.


  • Is not compatible with OBD2 protocol vehicles (SAE J1979)
  • Glitches in software create freezes or disconnects
  • Puts you in drive status when moving over 5 mph
  • Inaccurate data (mileage or time)
  • May decrease phone battery life

The Garmin eLog device and app is not compatible with all vehicles, which can create issues with some fleets.

Software glitches have been a significant source of complaints with screens that freeze or disconnections from Bluetooth. Location, mileage, or duty hour clocks have been inaccurate with some customers because of this.

Software updates have been eliminating many of these issues. The latest updates fixed FMCSA errors in compliance associated with inspection reporting, improved reliability of CMV and VIN, and dealt with the overall stability of the app and user interface issues.

Other eLog devices put you into drive status at 15 mph, so the 5 mph status of the Garmin app frustrates most users and makes it necessary to restart clocks for on- or off-duty time.

The location feature continually runs in the app which may reduce battery life in your phone or tablet.

Common Questions

Will it fit my Volvo truck?

Yes, it will work with Volvo trucks with a 16-pin J1962 configuration in the Volvo engine. You will need to separately purchase the 16-pin to 9-pin adapter to install the Garmin eLog device that works with the Garmin eLog ELD app.

Will it work with my Garmin dezl GPS truck navigator system?

The Garmin eLog ELD compliant app is compatible with many Garmin dezl GPS truck navigators like the dezl 780, dezl 580, and dezlCam 785, so you can see information right on the navigator’s display without the need to use a smartphone. Check directly with Garmin to determine the compatibility of your dezl model.

Will this allow me to stay in compliance?

The Garmin eLog app automatically and accurately records driving data so you can be confident your HOS records comply with the FMCSA ELD mandates. Review your data anytime and quickly provide data when roadside inspections occur by using your USB flash drive or through the FMCSA web services over Bluetooth.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Garmin eLog Compliant ELD App is considered by customers to be a cost-effective and accurate system to keep you in FMCSA compliance and avoid violations.

Garmin appears to be fixing the glitches in the software as problems are brought to their attention by its users. The convenience of automatic record keeping and avoidance of violations seems to overcome the annoyance of these software issues.

Learning the tricks to avoid some of the problems, like waiting a few extra minutes to start driving after a break or to carefully stay under the 5 mph when moving in the truck yard makes using the app easier.

Garmin seems genuine in trying to troubleshoot issues with each update they put out, so the Garmin eLog ELD Compliant ELD App is recommended as a smart and affordable choice when looking for an ELD compliance solution.

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