Last-minute shopping for an ELD

The ZED ELD is available for most iOS and Android devices and records hours of service. It requires a Bluetooth adapter but features no monthly fees.

ZED Connect talks compliance, offers some last-minute tips

As the electronic logging device deadline quickly approaches, battle lines continue to be hardened between those already in compliance and those who are not yet continue to hold out hope that the Dec. 18 deadline will be delayed, or the rule will be scrapped altogether.

While each side continues to make its case, suppliers have been busy ensuring devices are ready and available. At last count, there were nearly 200 devices on the FMCSA’s self-certification list from nearly as many suppliers, many of whom are startup companies. The devices run the gamut from little to no cost to several hundreds of dollars each month.

One of those suppliers is ZED Connect. While technically a startup, it is being backed by global powerhouse Cummins Inc. Zed Connect launched in March and now offers the ZED ELD. Chris Harlow, COO, explains that the ZED ELD is a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solution that can run on a variety of computers, tablets and smartphones. It costs $200 for the initial Bluetooth plug-and-play adapter and requires download of the ZED app. There is no annual or monthly fees or installation costs, he tells FreightWaves.

“I think a little bit of that fire (opposition) is fanned by [those who don’t want ELDs],” Harlow says. “There a lot of solutions out there so you can definitely be compliant.”

Harlow explains that users of the ZED ELD will have the option in the future to buy fleet management subscription packages that will be optional. If users just want basic hours-of-service reporting compliance, the solution will offer that too with no fees.

U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) has written the president asking him to issue an executive order to stop or delay the mandate, but for fleets hoping that the law may be changed, Harlow suggests not holding out hope.

“I do think to change the law is not in the hands of the president, but to enforce the law would seem to be in the hands of the president,” he says. “[But] we haven’t seen a lot of effort to change the law.”

Harlow advises drivers to utilize the annotation areas of the devices which allow them to insert context on why they have may been 15 minutes over drive time, for instance. This is the electronic version of the notes used on paper logs.

Also, as others have suggested, there should be no reason for drivers to hand the device to enforcement personnel. The rule stipulates records can be transferred via USB, cellular network or printout.

For those last-minute shoppers who still haven’t installed a device, Harlow says ZED Connect has plenty of products available through the Cummins dealer network, original equipment manufacturers or through its website at Before buying, though, it’s important to consider what you are buying.

“Folks need to know what their needs are,” Harlow explains. “[For instance] you get some private fleets that only need a device from time to time, then our device is a [great solution].” Others may need constant compliance and the ZED Connect solution can work for that as well, although others might want more functionality beyond simple hours-of-service logging, so other solutions may be better.

Whichever approach you talk, time is running out to comply. “Folks shouldn’t gamble on the mandate changing,” Harlow sums up.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.