VDO RoadLog Plus ELD

The VDO RoadLog ELD is specifically designed to address the needs of small fleets and owner operators, and it has a part of the hardware that makes it unique: a built-in thermal printer, although it printer is a stand alone unit that does not communicate with the back office. Drivers must put their logs onto a USB stick and hand them to office staff in person to load into the back office software. While in some case this might work for an individual driver, or for a small fleet of a couple trucks, relying on a the manual transfer process quickly is not realistic for larger fleets, and in 2017, when almost everything is Internet connected, handling USB sticks along with everything else is one more thing to lose and to get the trucker in trouble.

The VDO RoadLog ELD Plus is Continental’s electronic logging device for larger fleets. This device has cell capability so it can communicate with the back office to send logs and other data over the air.  The ELD Plus combines GPS data with data from the vehicle, to create a complete digital log. Drivers log in to the RoadLog ELD with a proprietary USB drive called the VDO RoadLog Driver Key. RoadLog ELD manages Driver log data automatically, and the VDO RoadLog Fleet Management Software converts the Driver log data into a complete FMCSA compliant operations record.

Cost

The cost for the ELD device is very expensive, coming in at over $700 upfront. After the large upfront cost, the VDO RoadLog ELD is available with no monthly fees. However there is a monthly subscription fee for the ELD Plus version that uses 3G data and there is additional cost for use of the Fleet Web Software.  Most users will need or want this. Therefore, most users will end up paying $20-40 per month for the ELD Plus with access to the RoadLog Fleet Web software.

 

Device / Installation / Connectivity 

VDO RoadLog has a built-in printer for faster roadside inspections. RoadLog ELD is the only electronic logging device to feature an integrated printer that allows Drivers to print out a paper log right in their vehicle. At the push of a button, RoadLog’s built-in printer prints out current, detailed logs, with the intention to get drivers through roadside inspections faster and easier.

The RoadLog ELD Plus runs on the same RoadLog device as the RoadLog ELD, which is considered to be reliable. It also has the built-in thermal printer that allows a driver to quickly print off a paper log during a roadside inspection. However, a driver can also show the digital display to accomplish the same thing, which less paper clutter…and less need to tinker around with more hardware in the cab.

ELog Mobile App For Drivers

VDO RoadLog Connect Key is designed to give Drivers the ability to send their log data back to their company’s Fleet Software through the cell phone.  VDO RoadLog Connect is a Wi-Fi enabled USB drive that sends the Driver’s log data to the VDO RoadLog Connect App on the Driver’s cell phone.  The RoadLog Connect App then emails the data back to the office computer that’s running the RoadLog Fleet Software. The VDO RoadLog Connect USB drive is used to manually transfer log data from your RoadLog ELD directly to your Fleet Software.

Website For Fleet Managers

VDO RoadLog Fleet Online™ is a web-based fleet management and compliance system that gives small and mid-sized fleets some of the key features and operations advantages that the large national fleets now enjoy in their Fleet Management Systems.

VDO RoadLog Fleet Online can be used by owners of any RoadLog ELD, but users of the GSM cellular equipped RoadLog ELD Plus will see additional capabilities with RoadLog Fleet Online, including the ability to upload data from the road.

VDO RoadLog Fleet Online is available anywhere you have Internet access. Records can be accessed at the office, on the road or from home, by one or more Fleet Managers, simultaneously.

Additional Features / Comparison to Market

The RoadLog ELD and ELD Plus are both designed to be simple and straightforward to use so telematics features are limited. The Plus does logs, DVIRs, GPS tracking, and IFTA mileage reporting.  Messaging and engine diagnostics are features noticeably missing from their offering. RoadLog ELD and ELD Plus do not provide any options for GPS navigation or document scanning. Drivers cannot at this time edit their own logs, or email them from the device. Back office tools and reports are available, but fairly basic.

Conclusion 

The RoadLog ELD and ELD Plus are built on unique, reliable hardware, however it is doubtful that either of these units will become popular ELD solutions. There are many features that VDO would need to add to the RoadLog for it to be able to compete with other hard-wired competitors like Omnitracs, Peoplenet and Rand McNally. The major unique feature of RoadLog is the built-in printer, but the printer might just be cab clutter, something to get in the way and break down, once the ELD mandate is in effect and the same information can be or even must be sent electronically, instantaneously and wirelessly.  Just like in regular corporate offices, truckers, too, will come to take for granted the ability to transmit, receive, and store information digitally, which will eliminate the need and desire for printers and paper copies.