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How the ELD shakeout should prompt you to carefully vet your ELD provider

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

The ELD market is kicking off the New Year in a not so positive way: another provider going out of business.

ZED ELD, backed by Fortune 500 engine manufacturer Cummins and launched just in 2017, posted a notice to its website about shuttering its ELD product, leaving customers in a lurch to find a new ELD compliance solution by January 31, 2019. 

ZED is the second ELD provider to officially do so. One20, founded in 2015 (the same year the ELD Final Rule was published) closed shop in June 2018.  

What does this say about the market? Will more carriers and truck drivers find themselves in a similar situation?

More ELD businesses could close down, which means carriers must be cautious on what ELD provider they choose

When the ELD Rule was first announced, many saw it as an opportunity to seize. This isn’t uncommon when new regulation is passed - especially one mandating technology. New vendors enter the market, and it’s not because they’re dedicated to serving that vertical or have existing expertise. It’s because they see a money-making opportunity.

Almost any software coder or product developer can build an application to a set of technical specifications, which, in the case of the ELD Mandate, the FMCSA outlined. But that doesn’t mean they have the expertise to knowledgeably support a transportation company in this incredibly challenging compliance endeavor. 

Both ZED and One20 entered the transportation space after the Mandate was announced. Neither had existing solutions built, or experience with the ELD’s predecessors (AOBRD or HOS software). They marketed their low-cost solutions, then, before we all knew it, they were both gone.

Finding an ELD partner with lasting power and who can support you

It’s become very apparent, over the course of the ELD Rule publishing going into effect, that many of the companies who quickly entered the space don’t truly know the transportation industry or understand compliance and HOS. ZED and One20 going out of business could be indicative that other ELD vendors with bare-bones products and lack of expertise may follow suit. 

If you’re a transportation company replacing your ZED ELD, still on AOBRDs and in need of a solution before December 2019, or are simply unhappy with the performance of your current ELD product, there are some key factors to consider in finding the right long-term partner:

  • How long has this company been in business?
  • How long have they been providing HOS solutions?
  • Do they have the expertise to provide training? Ample customer support?
  • Is the product substantial enough to meet my needs (ELD compliance and beyond)?
  • Is the hardware and/or software having continuous issues that remain unresolved?
  • Does the company have ample resources to be able to make product updates if the FMCSA issues new requirements or changes? 

For more information on what to look for when select ELD devices, visit: ELD Compliance

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