Rand McNally introduces low-cost ELD that interfaces with smartphone

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Rand McNally unveiled its new ELD 50 device, a simpler and lower-cost electronic logging option, at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. Thursday.

When paired with a driver’s existing Android phone or Rand McNally navigation tablet, Ravi Kodavarti, Rand McNally’s director of product management says the ELD 50 creates a secure compliance solution that will meet federal ELD mandates, which take effect next year.

Kodavarti says the ELD 50, which is expected to retail for just under $150 when it goes on sale at the end of April, is the first E-Log device that installs in seconds under the dash; allows drivers to use Android devices to view logs; and provides access to Hours of Service and Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) logs via the Rand McNally DriverConnect web portal.

“You plug it in, you download the [free] app from the Play Store and you pair the devices,” he says. “We call it a 30 second installation, but people have done it in less than that.”

The 3 and a quarter inch ELD 50 plugs into a truck’s diagnostic port below the dash. The device sends hours of service data to the complimentary Rand McNally DriverConnect app via Bluetooth connection, where drivers may view current HOS logs as well as DVIR documents.

The free app also provides access to 10 helpful engine-driven gauges, including average fuel economy, coolant temperature, and boost pressure, all of which are collected by the ELD 50.

Since the Android app is free, drivers can get a feel for the product by downloading the application and inputting their status manually. Those reports can be turned into PDFs and exported.

For a $14.99 monthly subscription fee, drivers can access the Rand McNally DriverConnect web portal, where up to six months of HOS logs and DVIRs are stored. Using the web portal, drivers and fleet managers also may view vehicle locations on a map and administer functions such as adding drivers to a device.

The app automatically syncs with the web portal via Wi-Fi or cellular transmission, providing up-to-date reports.

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