Garmin Elog ELD Review 2022 [Why should you buy it?]

Garmin Elog is an easy-to-setup “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) Electronic Logging Device. It is a cost-effective device designed for truck drivers, owner-operators, and fleet managers to work efficiently and stay compliant with FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) ELD rules through HoS recording. It is an intuitive device that allows drivers to maintain duty status and inform them about the remaining driving hours by a day or week.

As it is a “BYOD”, you can easily access your records through your smartphone. The data such as engine start time or resting duration records automatically. However, you can record some data manually, such as adding a two-hour extension to your hours for the day. It is one of the most user-friendly devices as you do not have to worry about data recording and can easily present the logs during the inspection. Let us find out what more Garmin Elog ELD has to offer in the world of automotive and trucking.

About Garmin

Garmin is one of the most popular companies that provide highly intuitive and cost-effective GPS and ELD solutions for the trucking industry. They have designed their devices keeping in mind the needs and safety of drivers. Founded in Lenexa, Kansas, in 1989, Garmin became one of the best sellers of GPS devices by 2000.

Garmin has also made its mark on other industries apart from providing solutions to the automotive and trucking industry. Aviation, marine, sports, and wearable technology are a few more industries covered by Garmin.

Garmin eLog Compliant ELD

Garmin Elog ELD Highlights

  • FMCSA Compliant
  • DOT-Approved
  • Stand-alone Device
  • No-Subscription Solution
  • IFTA Fuel Tracking
  • Free Mobile App
  • 24×7 Customer Support
  • Automatic Recording Of HoS
  • Compatible With 6-pin and 9-pin Diagnostic Ports

Garmin Elog ELD Specifications

  • Weight: 2.6 Ounces
  • Dimensions: (2.7 x 1.7) inches
  • Ports Compatability: Compatible with 9-pin J1939 and 6-pin J1708 ports (including the adaptor)
  • USB Port: Yes, it has a USB port for accessing the records easily
  • Smartphone Compatability: Yes, it is compatible with smartphones with Bluetooth and GPS capability
  • Pricing And Subscription: Available at the price of $249.99 with a one-time purchase and no monthly subscription. [ Check out: Top 5 ELDs with No Monthly Fees for Owner-Operator]
  • In The Box: The ELD, 6-pin J1708 adapter, and a quick start manual in the box

Garmin ELog ELD Suitability

Garmin has designed the Elog ELD to make it work for all types and sizes of fleets. It works well for the truck drivers and owner-operators who need to stay compliant with rules and regulations set by FMCSA.

Key Features of Garmin Elog ELD

The Garmin Elog ELD comes with a chock-full of features that make it one of the exclusive devices available in the market. Here are a few key features of this cost-effective device that would pique your interest:

Compatibility

The Garmin Elog ELD is compatible with 9-pin J1939 and 6-pin J1708 diagnostic ports, which means it can work with about any semi-truck. It is not compatible with vehicles with an OBDII port protocol (SAE J1979). The Volvo engine trucks with 16-pin J1962 port require a 16-to-9 pin adaptor that you can buy separately.

Easy-to-Setup

Compatible with almost any truck Garmin Elog takes no time to set up and start functioning. It is an easy-to-setup device that is ready to use just after unboxing. Just plug in the adaptor to the diagnostic port, download the Garmin App, and you can start using it without any trouble.

Garmin E-logging Application

The Garmin Elog ELD automatically records and store the HoS and duty status on your smartphone. You can access and monitor the data through the Garmin E-logging application. It is a user-friendly application that helps drivers and managers for various purposes related to logging and dispatching.

ELD Compliance

With Garmin Elog ELD, you do not have to worry about staying compliant with FMCSA regulations. It matches all the FMCSA standards and is a registered device. Its AI-powered technology ensures your hours of service recording comply with the ELD rules.

Compatible with Dezl Navigators

The Garmin Elog is compatible with most of the Garmin Dezl GPS Truck Navigators. You can check HoS and duty status through these navigators. However, some Dezl navigators require a smartphone to view the remaining HoS on the Dezl display. 

Cost-Effective Device

Providing you with all the ELD solutions at such a low price and with no monthly subscription, Garmin Elog ELD proved to be a cost-effective device. Choosing this device for HoS logging and recording duty status can ensure that you comply with FMCSA regulations. You can call it a one-time investment as you do not have to pay for any subscription fees or ongoing costs.

Garmin Elog ELD Easy Installation Process

It is easy to install the Garmin Elog ELD into your vehicle. There is no need for any technical expertise for the installation process. Here is what you need to do:

  • Turn off your vehicle before installing the ELD.
  • Connect it to the 9-pin diagnostic port of your vehicle. You can use the 6 to 9 pin adaptor if there is a 6-pin port. Turn the lock ring clockwise to lock the device.
  • Long press the front button until you hear a beep.
  • Open the Garmin Elog App on your smartphone, select Bluetooth settings, and pair it with the adapter.
  • Enter the CVD code and provide all the details to set up the administrator account.
  • Set up the driver profile.
  • Log in with the driver profile, and you are good to go.

PROS

  • No monthly subscription, one-time investment 
  • Fully compliant
  • Easy-to-install
  • Easy-to-use hardware and software
  • Compatible with smartphones and tablets
  • Compatible with Dezl Navigators
  • Automatic logging
  • Compatible with 6-pin and 9-pin diagnostic ports
  • Keeps log safe and secure

CONS

  • Not compatible with the vehicles with OBDII port
  • Connectivity issues
  • Put you on a driver status on reaching 5 miles per hour
  • Software may lag or disconnect
  • Does not provide IFTA tracking
  • The app drains the phone battery

FAQs

Question: Is Garmin Elog ELD compatible with Volvo trucks?

Answer: Yes, the Garmin Elog ELD is fully compatible with Volvo trucks. You will need a 16 to 9 pin adaptor to install the device on the (16-pin J1962 configuration) Volvo engine vehicle.

Question: Does Garmin Elog ELD tracks IFTA reporting?

Answer: No, the Garmin Elog ELD can not record IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) documentation. There is no such function on the Garmin Elog App to record fuel purchases and miles driven. 

Question: Are my records stored in cloud storage?

Answer: Garmin Elog ELD does not store your records in cloud storage. They are stored securely on your smartphone or tablet. You can access them with the free Garmin Elog App.

Question: Is it possible to create multiple driver profiles on the Garmin Elog ELD?

Answer: Yes, you can set up multiple driver accounts with the Garmin Elog ELD. However, the device only allows two driver profiles to stay active at the same time.

Final Verdict

The Garmin Elog is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ELDs available in the market. It is an admirable product that helps the drivers to stay compliant with rules and the managers to access the data and manage the fleets efficiently. The company is improving the device and software by fixing the issues of lagging and crashing with the app.

Garmin ELD is a comfortable and user-friendly device for drivers, but they will have to learn a few things and adjust themselves according to the device’s functioning. Waiting for a few minutes to start driving after resting or staying under 5 mph when moving in the truck yard, are a few things they will need to learn. 

Customer Reviews (bestbuy.com)

Trucker1

“Works as it should, a bargain for the price” ★★★★★

“After having a different low-cost eld, I switched to the Garmin. I have had no problems with it since I’ve owned it. I have an older truck and everything was included in the package to make it work. Just plug and play.”

Jmejia

“Great eLog” ★★★★★

“I’m so happy with my new Garmin eLog easy to use for my truck I would recommend this ELog for all trucking”

Nurseryman

“Great Elog” ★★★★★

“Works great. Also a great way to track your truck to see if driver is out working or riding the clock. Garmin customer support has been great and answered all my questions with working out a few bugs I had.”

AHunter77

“Worked fine initially” ★☆☆☆☆

“I purchased this device when before it was initially required by law. Initially, it worked great however, the past 4 months have been a nightmare. I’ve almost had accidents behind my device disconnecting while driving down the road. I’ve lost hours due to the device disconnecting and having to spend that time with customer service and not being able to move the truck legally. I drive from California to Maryland and every trip I find myself repeating this nightmare and having to call Garmin. Sad part is this device is a legal requirement and it’s VERY EXPENSIVE. SMH”

 

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