Drivers can use existing Android smartphones or tablets, including Rand McNally's TND tablet.

Drivers can use existing Android smartphones or tablets, including Rand McNally's TND tablet.

LOUISVILLE, KY — Saying it is a solution to many of the “cons” of electronic logging devices, Rand McNally Thursday introduced the ELD 50, a simple, low-cost electronic logging option, at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

When paired with a driver’s existing Android phone or tablet, or with Rand McNally’s TND tablet, the ELD 50 creates a secure compliance solution that will meet federal requirements.

The ELD 50 is a sleek, 3 ¼-inch long device that quickly and easily plugs into a truck’s diagnostic port, right below the dash. Through a Bluetooth connection, the device sends hours of service data to the free Rand McNally DriverConnect app, which lets drivers view current HOS logs as well as driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) documents.

In addition to the regular log screens, the app offers key gauges for information a driver cares about, such as how long they you drive, how long they can be on duty, and how much break time they still need to take, said Ravi Kodavarti, director of product management.

The ELD 50 plugs easily into the port under the dash.

The ELD 50 plugs easily into the port under the dash.

In addition, the app can be used for the required driver vehicle inspection reports, with key tractor defects and key trailer defects included for drivers to check off if detected, plus an "other" category for those not on the list. Whether those issues have been fixed or not is indicated on the app as well.

“There are thousands of owner operators and small fleets who will now be required to implement electronic logs and face the prospect of investing in a completely new logging system,” said Stephen Fletcher, CEO of Rand McNally.

According to the ELD mandate’s rules, published last December, drivers and fleets using paper logs and or a mix of paper logs and Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) must be using compliant electronic logs by December 2017.

As a bonus, the app also provides access to 10 helpful engine-driven gauges, powered by information collected by the ELD 50. The gauges include several related to fuel economy, plus coolant temperature and boost pressure, among others.

The ELD 50, priced at $149.99, will be available at travel centers and online at the end of April. 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. (An iOS version for iPhones and iPads is in the works.)

For just under $15 a month, the Rand McNally DriverConnect web portal stores 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 the most up-to-date reports.

For more information, see the video below or visit