Best ELD Devices Without Monthly Fees: 2021 Top Options Reviewed

| Last Updated: July 17, 2021

If you are a truck driver or run a truck driving business, then you know how important it is to have a high-quality, well-made ELD (Electronic Logging Device).

These devices are extremely important in the trucking and transportation world, and we have a list of the best options out there today.

Comparison of the Best ELD Devices Without Monthly Fees

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Best Overall
  • Helps maintain your HOS logs
  • A FMCSA registered ELD
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  • No subscription fees to pay
  • A FMCSA registered ELD
  • Stores ELD records securely
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  • Best for the Money
  • Made with good quality materials
  • Reliable and long lasting
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  • Easy hours of service
  • Prefered cycles can be picked up in 3 clicks
  • Pass CDL inspections with ease
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  • Made with great quality materials
  • A FMCSA registered ELD
  • No subscription fees to pay
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Why Did These ELD Devices Make Our List?

To put together this list of the best ELD devices on the market in 2021, we looked for the best and most important features that made each device stand out. Some of the information we found to be extremely important in ELD devices are as follows:

Easy Compliance Logs

We wanted to ensure that each ELD solution would easily and accurately record driving logs and information that keeps you compliant with all of the laws and regulations applying to truck drivers.

All of the devices listed below are easy to use, and accessing your logs is quick and painless, making it a breeze to transfer to the FMCSA, DOT, customers, etc.

Easy Setup

Ensure that each of these devices would work with the most frequently used trucks and trailers was another factor that played into the decision-making for this list.  We didn’t want to add any product that did not fit at least most of the vehicles on the road today.

We also didn’t want to suggest any ELD device that would require a lengthy set-up or additional hardware to get great service.

Blue Ink Technology ELD

Monthly Free Meant Monthly Free

We took the time and did our due diligence to make sure no hidden fees or gimmicks were making the services unobtainable without some monthly payments. You can use every ELD device on our list for free after the initial setup and in the exact manner stated by the company.

Cost-Effective

Some of these ELD devices are fairly expensive, and we wanted to make sure the ones that landed on our list would give you the best bang for your buck. Each product was vetted to make sure you get the services you are looking for with an acceptable price tag.

Easy Access

All of the products in this article will easily connect to most phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Making it painless to access your logs and other important information on the go. Many of them also offer printing, email, and faxing features to get your information to wear it needs to go with ease.

Review of the Best ELD Devices Without Monthly Fees

Here is a list of the top ELD devices every truck driver should consider for over-the-road data. This list shows some of the best-rated products on the market today. Whether you drive your own truck or own your own company, these products could be just what you are looking for.

Best Overall:
Blue Ink Technology ELD 

PROS

  • Air scale included
  • Supports team driving
  • Easy 10- min Installation
  • Alerts you when your trucks are overloaded
  • Access to seeing the position of one or all of your trucks in real-time
  • IFTA reports are easy to access and show miles traveled and the fuel used per trucker driver

CONS

  • Data can be delayed at times
  • Some devices will not fit every vehicle 
  • Only basic services are free to use and the device is sold separately

Specs

Compliance: Free to record your HOS logs for ELD mandate compliance

Subscription: Free for basic or two plans offered

Fleet Visibility: You can see where all of your truck drivers are on one screen.

Compatibility: Android Marshmallow (6.0) or iOS 10+ recommended

Ports for Connection: 9-pin and 6-pin diagnostic ports

Review

Blue Ink Technology’s ELD device offers free services for truck drives to help them successfully log their miles and workloads. This would be great for companies with multiple trucks to track, and want quick and easy access to driver’s logs. 

This is a highly rated device with great reviews and comes from a reputable company. The advanced technology used with this ELD device lets you see where your drivers are in each delivery helping to update ETA,  truck locations, and will also show traffic concerns so you can re-route before it’s too late.

Bottom Line

If you don’t mind having the bare minimum information from the basic package, this is a great device to buy. You can use the free app to get the important data from your drivers, but if you want more detailed information and great features, it’s going to cost you.

Runner-up: 
Garmin eLog

Garmin eLog, Compliant Electronic Logging Device (ELD), No-Subscription Fees, FMCSA Compliant, Supports 9-pin J1939 and 6-pin J1708 Diagnostic Ports (010-01876-00)

PROS

  • No subscriptions required
  • Easy to set up, stand-alone device
  • Compatible with: any smartphones
  • Easy Records Retrieval with USB port
  • You can see any remaining driving hours for your drivers

CONS

  • No IFTA recordings
  • Not compatible with vehicles using OBD-II protocol, trucks with Volvo engines, and 16-pin 

Specs

Compliance: FMCSA ELD and DOT

Subscription: No monthly fees

Fleet Visibility: Available with a connected GPS tracker device

Compatibility: Android & iOS Compatible

Ports for Connection: 9-pin and 6-pin diagnostic ports

Review

This ELD fleet manager device is a great way to keep data and information easily accessible through a smartphone or Bluetooth device and an easy-to-use downloadable app.  The Garmin eLog or electronic log is great for small companies tracking only a few trucks or for Independent drivers (Owner Operators) to keep accurate logs you can produce for your boss. You are also able to edit and update your information directly from the Garmin E app.

Using this device is much more accurate and easier than logging your miles on your own or from just a logging app.

Bottom Line

This ELD device is a great option if you want an affordable, easy-to-use, and free service. The Garmin eLog is not designed for detailed information and wouldn’t be the best choice for a big company. 

If you are a solo driver looking for a simple way to record your miles, this is a great product for you.

Best for the Money: 
National Carrier Exchange (NCX) ELD

PROS

  • 10 min easy setup
  • Access to drivers schedules and routes
  • Offers up to date delivery confirmation and printouts
  • Provides automatically generated invoices for customers
  • After purchasing the device all of the features are free to use 
  • Customer management with to and from shipment memory 

CONS

  • Limited telematics features
  • Information can be laggy at times and in certain areas

Specs

Compliance: FMCS

Subscription: No monthly fees

Compatibility: Computer with an internet connection and Android or Apple smartphones for drivers

Fleet Visibility: You can access all of your drivers from your computer

Ports for Connection: Fits most ports and comes with an adaptor if it doesn’t

Review

This ELD device is perfect for trucking companies with many trucks on the road at one time and for those who work directly with customers daily. Thanks to the customer service feature, you can provide up-to-date driving information, invoices, and proof of driving logs if needed. 

This product is made specifically for fleet management and dispatch. You can send updated routes or changes to your drivers, and you can provide tracking services to your customers so they can track their orders from beginning to end. This will save companies and drive time without needing to make tons of phone calls.

Bottom Line

The NCE device is a great product for the money and offers some of the best services with no recurring monthly fees. This company offers many extra features, not offered by other companies unless you plan to pay more. If you want good service for a low price this is your best bet.

Editor's Pick:
Switchboard ELD

PROS

  • Fuel reports available
  • Can be used with any truck
  • Easy to use web-portal for fleet managers
  • Emailing and faxing log availability for free
  • Great for owner-operators to use for reliable information
  • 24/7 customer services support in three different languages

CONS

  • The app is a little confusing to figure out
  • There is a fee to access the web-portal monthly
  • Does not offer built-in navigation, must purchase the switchboard tablet if you want this feature

Specs

Compliance: FMCSA , IFTA

Subscription: No monthly fees for basic use, other plans available

Fleet Visibility: Available with a monthly plan

Compatibility: Android & Switchboard Tablet

Ports for Connection: Options available for all truck types

Review

Once you pay the $250 charge for the switchboard device (and the options $200 for the switchboard tablet) you will no longer need to pay for ELD services. You will have driving logs, IFTA reporting, and built-in weigh station bypass services at your fingertips.

If you own a trucking company that operates five or 50 trucks, this device will help you track your drivers in real-time and from your laptop, tablet, or phone. The switchboard assistance will keep you and your team connected at all times and up-to-date on every load.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a simple device that will keep your driver compliant and all driving records up to date and in real-time, this is the right product for you. There are no special features to put this device over the top, but it gets the job done and does it well.

Honorable Mention:
GeoSpace Labs GeoWiz

PROS

  • After app purchase, it is free to use
  • No hardware needed to use the app
  • Instantly sends data at roadside inspections 
  • Highest customer ratings in the industry in 2020
  • IFTA fuel reporting available for accurate state mile tracking
  • If you have a device, there is no extra hardware needed for a co-driver

CONS

  • The app only feature is pricy and doesn’t offer extra benefits
  • Does not work well on older trucks you may need extra hardware 

Specs

Compliance: MCSA DOT 

Subscription: No monthly subscription for the app only

Fleet Visibility: With the purchase of a monthly plan

Compatibility: eRODS

Ports for Connection: Offers available ports for most OTR trucks

Review

GeoSpace Lab offers a no monthly fee logbook app. If you are only interested in the app and not looking for a logging device, this is the company for you. The app keeps meticulous mileage records, helping you save time and money on things like gas, paper records, or logging companies. 

You can also purchase a device from GeoSpace that offers more features designed around specific hauls, including short hauls, agricultural hauls, construction hauls, hazmat hauls, and more. 

It is important to note that the app is not free and will cost a one-time fee of $199.00.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a basic app without the hassle of installing and tracking a device, this would be one of the best apps you can find. It will do your logging and tracking so you can spend your time earning more money or spending it doing what you love.

Perks of Getting an ELD Device Without a Monthly Fee

There are many perks of getting an ELD device that does not require a monthly fee to use. Without the hassle of a monthly fee, you will save money, especially if you own a large fleet of trucks and drivers; however, that isn’t the only advantage.

Using an ELD device without paying monthly fees means you do not have a contract with a company that has constant access to your accounts which helps keep your information and your customer’s information private. It also allows you to easily take vacations or emergency leaves without having to fight with a company to put your services on hold.

Using an ELD device without monthly fees gives you plenty of flexibility and freedom while still obtaining great services that make life easier for truck drivers, fleet owners, and all their customers.

National Carrier Exchange ELD 

When you don’t have to pay a monthly fee, you will never have to worry about not having the extra money or service interruption, giving you a sense of security and allows you to be worry-free while driving the open road.

Price Points of ELD Devices

If you ever heard that you get what you pay for, then you will understand why you will have to pay more money for an ELD device if you want extra features. Here are some examples of the cost to features ratios.

$100-$150

If you want a simple ELD device with basic logging reports, drive-time, and mileage for your vehicle, you are going to spend between $100 to $150 on a product. If you want to obtain more information from these devices, you will need to purchase accessories or packages to do so.

$150 - $200

For $150 to $200, you get a decent ELD system and ELD options that will make driving and running a trucking company or being a fleet owner easier. The devices in this range usually offer the device and an app to load onto driver’s phones and manager’s computers. These ELD system devices will not only log your miles but also offer communication between all parties involved, great customer service features, and more.

$200+

Any device over $200 will give you all of the features possible, along with detailed logging, co-driver compatibility, and compliance tools to make your hauls easy and legal. You will also want to make sure you are getting an air scale to make weigh-ins easier and the ability to redirect or re-assign easily and fast.

Photo credit: trucks.com

Conclusion 

Whether you are a truck driver, a transportation company, or a fleet owner with all types of trucks, you will need an excellent ELD device to keep accurate logging and documentation for concise, accurate, and professional services. Check out the list above to find the best ELD options for you.



After spending years on the road, I had a lot of time to think about the hardships that came with the trucking industry. I realized there was an opportunity to lend a hand a create a resource for truckers by truckers. With the help of my tech-savvy son, I built Trucker Geek as a way to show people that becoming a driver doesn’t need to be a stressful headache.