ELD & Hours of Service

Deciding on an ELD? 7 Criteria to Consider

October 16, 2023
June 18, 2024

It’s easy for carriers to fall into traps when picking and selecting ELDs. Learn what to watch out for when selecting your technology.

In this article

When you're deciding on your ELD solution, it’s easy for carriers to fall into picking and getting stuck with the wrong ELD. We’ve heard a lot of different stories from customers that switched over from other providers, and want to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.

Learn more about the differences between Samsara, Motive, and Switchboard

Email & Phone 24/7 Support

The next thing you’ll want to have when picking an ELD provider is 24-hour phone support. This is a fundamental feature that can save you both time and money on training, troubleshooting, and preventing violations and frustrated drivers. As you know, issues are unpredictable and can arise at the most inconvenient of times, so having a strong support team at all times will give you the peace of mind you deserve.

Definitely test this out before committing to a provider, because many ELD providers claim that they provide 24/7 support when in reality it is not the case. Ensure the providers’ hotlines or methods of contact have the manpower and ability to support you and/or your team whenever needed.

Switchboard's support team is available 24/7 through a variety of methods including hotline, online chat, and SMS messaging.

If you want, give us a call at 1-844-5-FLEETS, or email us at to test it out!

Ease of Use

Beyond the absolute must haves for compliance purposes (3rd party certification, proper reporting for audits) one of the most crucial aspects to look for if you want your operations to succeed is the ELD’s ease of use. If you or your drivers find it too complicated to use, mistakes are much more likely to occur, which in turn leads to more violations.

Not only that, it will be much harder to leverage the actual advantages of having an ELD, such as driver analytics, violation management, training insights and more. Make sure that you and your drivers get a chance to test out the ELD for a period of time, and note any feedback (both positive and negative), before making a final decision.

The best way to do this is pick a provider that offers a commitment free trial period. If you’re interested in getting set up with a free trial of Switchboard, click here.

Audit Readiness & Documentation

Your provider needs to retain data and logs for over 6 months to ensure you’re in proper standing when it comes to spot audits. With certification you have half the battle over with, but the other half is to make sure your drivers are trained up quickly and understand how to use the ELD and record their logs properly.

Many carriers find themselves in difficult situations when audits come around due to improper documentation and data retention, so make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

3rd Party Certification

Unlike the US where providers can ‘self certify’, to be compliant with the Canadian ELD mandate, carriers must use an ELD approved by an accredited 3rd party organization. These 3rd parties will ensure that the ELDs are reliable, safe, compliant with the Canadian hours of service rules, and ultimately approved for use under the Canadian ELD mandate.

If you are operating in Canada, ensure that the ELD you choose is actively looking to gain approval for the Canadian ELD Mandate through the 3rd party certification process. Otherwise, you may be at risk for violations if you are not using a certified ELD.

Beware of Contracts


Providers will always try to lock you into a contract, and it would seem beneficial to do as since cost per year tends to lower.

However, you want to be 100% certain of your provider and its features before committing, and pick a provider that doesn't lock you in for years to come.

If you end up stuck to an annual or multi-year contract, you may end up with extremely expensive buyout issues. If the provider starts changing how much support they provide, or something goes wrong with their ELD, you could still be stuck with them until the end of a contract.

Make sure you spend time looking into the details around contracts or pricing, and make sure to ask whether you can deactivate your devices if your vehicles are parked.


Cellular coverage is important to ensure your ELD is connected at all times. Many ELD providers may have great coverage down in the States but have a spotty connection once the driver crosses the border.

It’s crucial to test the ELD device in all the routes you usually operate in are covered. Inconsistent coverage will result in faulty data and logs that can and will lead to further violations.

Making your Choice

Picking an ELD for your operations is not an easy task, given how many providers there are out there.

Whether you decide to use Switchboard, or want to test out a few providers before making a decision (highly recommended), we hope this guide will help protect you from picking an ELD solution that you will regret going with later on.

If you have any questions at all regarding the Switchboard ELD or the Canadian mandate, reach out to us:

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