What to look for in an ELD provider

What to look for in an ELD provider with Zonar Systems
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The final deadline to comply with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate was December 16, 2019. Compliance is mandatory unless you’re exempt, and by now you should have a solution in place. However, if you’re still working toward ELD compliance or you’re not happy with your provider, read on for more about choosing the right provider with the right solution and technology.

The motor carrier—not the ELD provider—is responsible for complying with the ELD mandate. Because carriers are ultimately responsible, you need to choose your ELD provider wisely and look for certain attributes.

Is FMCSA certified

The FMCSA puts this requirement at the top of its ELD checklist. The ELD mandate sets standards for commercial fleets and drivers who track and share records of duty status (RODS).

A compliant ELD solution needs to:

If a solution is not on the FMCSA’s list, it may or may not be compliant. Our solution, Zonar Logs™, is third-party verified, tested and registered on the FMCSA’s list.

Zonar Logs meets:

  • Title 49 CFR 395 Electronic Logging Devices and Hours-of-Service (HoS) Certification
  • AOBRD standards in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 395.15
  • Canadian regulations for Cycle 1 and Cycle 2

Zonar Logs also supports various rulesets and exemptions for U.S. intrastate, interstate and passenger carrying fleets.

Has easy-to-use solutions

The easier an ELD solution is to use, the smoother its adoption and the easier it is for drivers to stay compliant. Ease-of-use also translates into:

  • smoother back-office operations
  • clear communications between dispatch and drivers
  • faster roadside inspections
  • fewer accidental, preventable violations

Especially when the ELD solution is easy to use for three specific types of users.


Need to electronically submit their HoS records, easily see their available hours and update their duty status. When they’re approaching violations, alerts help them avoid violations. And, the ability to edit previous duty statuses prevents accidental violations by ensuring accurate HoS records. An especially useful feature when drivers can make edits using a secure, online driver dashboard that they can access anytime, anywhere.

Fleet managers

Need to view driver availability and performance, as well as each driver’s HoS records. Ideally, fleet managers should also be able to view driver logs by day, week and month to spot trends in violations by driver and across the fleet. If fleet managers can assign unidentified driver trips and suggest edits to HoS records, the ELD solution makes their job that much easier.

Using a secure, online portal, fleet managers should be able to:

  • view live driver statuses, violations and availability
  • view driver logs by day, week and month
  • spot trends in violations by driver and across the fleet
  • assign unidentified driving time
  • identify vehicle malfunctions

Law enforcement

Need to easily view the driver’s logs during vehicle roadside inspections. To make law enforcement’s job easier and roadside inspections more efficient for both sides, the ELD solution should also enable drivers to quickly provide law enforcement an electronic record through email or other digital means on the spot.

Designs products with expert input

Designing and developing an ELD solution that ticks off the checkboxes of requirements is one thing. Building an ELD solution with direct input from experts who know the regulations is better.

Look for an ELD solution developed with extensive input from an expert who sees the solution from everyone’s perspective. Also look for one backed by experts who participate in several associations, organizations and events to stay on the frontlines and inform policies.

Includes essential features in solutions

A quality ELD solution includes more than just the devices. Look for one that also includes features and functions to help ensure continued, uninterrupted HoS compliance, and minimizes the margin for error and violations.

For example, let’s look at some features and functions of Zonar Logs.

Compliance Insights

One exclusive feature of Zonar Logs, Compliance Insights is an effective, efficient dashboard available within Zonar Ground Traffic Control®. Compliance Insights provides access to key driver data such as live statuses, availability, performance and hours of service.

Roadside View™

Another exclusive feature of Zonar Logs, Roadside View makes it easy for law enforcement to view the driver’s logs during a commercial roadside inspection.

Automatic regulation updates

Zonar Logs automatically updates as regulations change, which they often will. Doing so saves you the time and trouble of keeping your ELD solution current yourself. Plus, automatically updating with regulation changes helps ensure that drivers and managers stay compliant—without interrupting their day.

Is a trusted provider

Since the ELD mandate was first published in 2015, a number of providers set up shop to make sales. Instead, look for a provider that’s well established and has a history of putting customers first. These are the types of providers in which other industry heavy hitters invest.

They’re also the providers to put at the top on your list.

For example, Zonar:

  • was established in 2001, with the goal to make the roads safer for everyone
  • announced its partnership with Daimler in 2011
  • became a Daimler minority investment in 2015
  • has been part of the Continental family since 2016
  • is line-fit on a number of partner vehicles, including Thomas Built Buses, Freightliner® and Western Star®

Zonar also has a dedicated team of experienced safety and compliance experts, who:

  • know the HoS regulations and ELD mandate inside and out
  • participate in several associations, organizations and events to stay on the frontlines
  • informed nearly every aspect of our ELD solution to make HoS compliance easier for drivers, managers and law enforcement

Few providers offer expert insight and substantial support for ELD compliance—even after implementation. Even fewer are prepared to help you comply with U.S. and Canadian ELD. Choosing a provider who does sets you up for success and is better equipped to help you ensure ELD compliance long term.

Learn more

Whether you’re unsatisfied with your current ELD provider or still working toward compliance for any reason, we can help you determine if our solution is a right fit. Contact our safety and compliance team to set up your complimentary consultation. No commitment, just a conversation.


Contact a Zonar specialist