Rand McNally ELD – 2021 Review

| Last Updated: June 28, 2021

If you have been in the trucking industry for some time, you must have heard of the ELD mandate. The relatively new law binds all commercial vehicles to install ELDs for accurate log keeping. A lot of companies have jumped on the opportunity and have started manufacturing ELD devices. One such company is Rand McNally. 

More commonly known as the country’s most trusted source for navigation, travel content, and maps, the company has also entered the ELD devices market by providing Rand McNally range of ELDs. They serve the commercial transportation markets around the world with a wide range of products and solutions.

This article is going to review the Rand McNally ELD50IA to find out why it is one of the leading ELD manufacturers. 

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Quick and easy installation option
  • Compatible with most mobile devices
  • Driver connect app can be downloaded for free
View Latest Price →

Rand McNally ELD

PROS

  • Simple and easy to install
  • Comes at an affordable price
  • Offer ten different diagnostics gauges
  • Smartphone application is very comprehensive
  • Equipped with IntelliRoute truck-specific navigation

CONS

  • The 50 ELD plug is somewhat bulky
  • You need to take out a monthly subscription plan

Specs and Dimensions

Dimensions: 3.25 x 2 inches 

Type: BOYD 

Connectivity: Vehicle Diagnostic port and Bluetooth

Weight: 11.2 ounces 

Battery: 1 AA included

Main Features

With its 160 years of experience, Rand McNally stands out in an industry where most major ELD providers date to 2015-2018 when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandate first came into effect. As one of the most established companies, it offers a versatile range of solutions for fleets and truck drivers, including GPS and ELDs. Let’s have a look at some of the distinctive features of Rand McNally ELD50IA. 

Different Service Plans

Rand McNally offers three different service plans to suit the needs of different customers. These include the EOBR plan, Basic package, and enterprise package. 

The EOBR is the minimum plan. It costs $20 per month and delivers automated monitoring. Basically, it generates inspection reports and warns you when you are near the HOS-related limits.

The basic package comes at $30 per month and includes a few extras like mapping and messaging to the EOBR plan. Mapping supports IntelliRoute navigation. It provides 3D and 2D maps of the roadways and the dynamic maps of vehicles as well as negotiating routes while the messaging is conducted via email.

The Enterprise plan is an all-inclusive package. It costs $40 per month and provides a wide range of features, such as driver scorecards and vehicle performance, critical event reporting, and fault codes. It also allows you to monitor hard braking events, engine over-revving, cruise control usage, fuel consumption, speeding, and idling time. 

DriverConnect App and Web Portal 

One good thing about Rand McNally ELD50IA is that it supports the Driver Connect app and Rand McNally web portal. The app is free to download. Using it, drivers will have no difficulty in managing their record of duty status (RODS) as well as the hours of service (HOS). Meanwhile, the back office personnel can not only keep in touch with the driver but also monitor their location and ECM data in real-time through the web portal. 

Extensive Log History

Its storage capacity is huge. Unlike the average units in the market, the log history on ELD50IA is not limited to a month or two. In fact, with this Rand McNally ELD, you can easily store up to six months’ worth of e-log history. 

Sound Alerts

This device is perfectly capable of sounding warning alerts, and they are not limited to hours of service (HOS) compliance only. You can set and customize a wide variety of warnings for dangerous inclines, auto dismiss, speed limit changes, engine brakes, sharp curves, narrow roads, etc.

Pros

The Rand McNally range of ELDs is quite vast and varied. They have worked very hard to make the ELD50IA one of the best units on the market. Below are some of the features we found intriguing.

Comes at an Affordable Price

When you look at the different self-certified units listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website, you will certainly note that most of them cost way too much. 

Rand McNally ELD50IA stands out from the rest because of its affordability. In fact, their entire range of ELDs costs much less than similar models from competing brands. Being their simplest ELD, it costs significantly less than other advanced units from the same brand or comparable units that other manufacturers are selling. 

Simple and Easy to Install

The best thing about this unit is that it is quick, simple, and very easy to install. There is no rocket science involved in installing one of these. It simply connects to the diagnostic port of your vehicle.

Also, it ensures complete Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulation compliance by starting up as soon as the engine is powered. So, clearly, this unit is a purchase you will not regret making in the future. 

Smartphone Application is Very Comprehensive

We think the DriverConnect app it comes with is extremely comprehensive and useful. With this nifty app, drivers can receive or send messages, view DVIRs, certify logs, and much more. Its interface is intuitive, and the app itself is easier to navigate through. 

Using it, you can not only maintain accurate data log but also generate DVIR reports for review and inspection purposes. You can also switch to the inspection mode when you halt for an inspection. The inspection mode will generate a detailed log that you can also forward as a file to the back office or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 

Offer Ten Different Diagnostics Gauges

One of the best features it offers is gauge customization. Using the app, you can open the gauge dashboard. Here, you can choose between ten different diagnostic gauges and customize them according to your needs and requirements. The customizable gauges include average fuel economy, oil pressure, gallons per hour, boost pressure, battery voltage, and coolant temperature. 

Equipped With IntelliRoute Truck-specific Navigation

The company is better known for its maps, whether digital or paper. They have been in the market for more than 160 years, and their maps are accurate and extremely detailed. That’s why this unit is also powered with the IntelliRoute truck-specific navigation. Using this, drivers draft routes according to the goods and the weight they are transporting. The feature also enables them to explore repair centers, overnight parking, and dining options. 

Cons

Like any other man-made creation, Rand McNally ELD50IA also has some cons associated with it. Are these minor design faults or major networking issues? Let's have a look at some shortcomings that users commonly report. 

You Need to Take Out a Monthly Subscription Plan

The one thing that lowers this amazing device's overall value is its requirement for a monthly subscription. When compared to other devices, not only does it have a lower upfront installation cost, but its monthly usage fee is also not very high. Yet, many truckers believe that the monthly subscription fee increases the overall cost. It is a contributing factor as to why carriers who operate large fleets shy away from installing Rand McNally ELDs.

The 50 ELD Plug is Somewhat Bulky

This design flaw is a widely reported con of the Rand McNally ELD50IA. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) unit comes as a compact component that swiftly plugs into the diagnostic port of your truck. Yet, the plug itself appears to be somewhat bulky, especially when it is plugged into the port. 

The positioning is so uncomfortable that the chances of it rubbing against your legs significantly increase. It is not only uncomfortable but sometimes, you even risk dislodging it entirely. Such a situation is not only harmful to the device itself but also for the delicate pins of the diagnostic port. 

What is the Rand McNally ELD Best For?

Rand McNally is a trusted name in the trucking industry. They have been facilitating truckers with their useful and quality products for a long time. Unlike the relatively new companies currently operating in the market, Rand McNally is an old and reliable name. That’s why their ELDs were a huge success as soon as the ELD rule was enforced. Here are the top uses the Rand McNally ELD50IA is best for:

Compliance

To be a successful commercial carrier, you have to comply with all the department of transportation (DOT) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, with the most recent one being the ELD mandate. According to this rule, all commercial vehicle drivers are required to install ELDs on their vehicles to keep an accurate account of RODS and HOS. 

Hence, Rand McNally ELD50IA is the best solution as it ensures complete compliance with the ELD mandate. The company itself is listed as a self-certified ELD provider in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Approved ELD List. 

Keeping Logs

This Rand McNally ELD unit is exceptionally good at recording data and keeping an accurate driver elog. Unlike paper logs, e-logs are more reliable as they cannot be tampered with. Using the ELD50IA will not only help drivers manage their logs better, but fleet managers can also track the driver’s hours of service (HOS) in a more efficient manner. 

Creating DVIR Reports for Inspection Purposes

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducts regular inspections to ensure compliance with the ELD mandate. If you are ever subject to this inspection, you can use the inspection mode in the Rand McNally DriverConnect app to generate a comprehensive DVIR report that the inspecting officer can see. Furthermore, you can forward this report as a file for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to review.

Navigation

Rand McNally has been on the map designing market for quite some time. What started off as printed paper maps are now extremely detailed digital GPS maps. The IntelliRoute truck-specific navigation of their ELD50IA helps drivers draft routes, depending upon their load type as well as truck weight, height, and width. It also provides information like repair centers, overnight parking, and dining options. 

Messaging

As a commercial driver, it is important to stay in touch with your dispatcher. That’s why this Rand McNally unit has the option of messaging. Using one of these, you can send and receive both text and form-based messages. Staying connected with your fleet managers has never been this easy. 

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying the Rand McNally ELD?

Rand McNally is one of the oldest companies in the US. It started in 1859 as a printing company that progressed to printing maps. It digitized them into GPS in the 1980s. Today, the company offers a variety of solutions targeted towards the trucking industry. It manufactures both ELD and GPS devices. These include both BYOD and tablet and touchscreen device solutions. 

It is an established and reliable name in the ELD. But here are some aspects that you need to know before buying the Rand McNally.

Vast Range of Units

The best thing about purchasing from Rand McNally is that the company has something for everyone. The range of ELD is vast and varied. Each unit it manufactures is durable and high in quality. What’s more, you can choose between the in-cabin and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) models. The company supplies both types and follows them up with exceptional customer support service. 

Affordable Price

If there is one thing Rand McNally is really known for, it is the affordable price. The range of ELDs they manufacture is affordably priced. You can purchase any device you like without worrying about your budget. The ELD50IA is no different. Whether you are an owner-operator or a carrier with a large fleet, you will find it a suitable option for yourself, that, too, at a low price. 

Monthly Subscription

Unlike some of the other ELD services, Rand McNally does not come without a monthly service fee. But it is not comparable with other higher-end devices. They offer three plans that are reasonably priced. Each plan offers a range of features, so you can choose one according to your need and budget. 

Smartphone if You Opt for BYOD

The one thing that you should definitely know is that all Rand McNally bring-your-own-devices (BYOD) ELDs, like ELD50IA, require you to have a smartphone or any other smart device to operate. The compact unit simply plugs into your truck's diagnostic port and connects to the device over Bluetooth. You can download the DriverConnect app on it to operate the device. It not only cuts down on installation costs but also allows drivers to manage their logs remotely from anywhere. 

Rand McNally ELD Troubleshooting

Electronic devices have certainly simplified our way of living. From simple data recording to complex processes, we greatly rely on machines to help us out. But since they are human creations, they do sometimes have issues. Some of these issues are easily amended, while others require professional attention. 

Rand McNally ELD50IA is not any different. Although it is high in quality and functionality, it does sometimes have issues. But don’t worry; such errors are easily rectified with troubleshooting. Here is a brief account of Rand McNally ELD troubleshooting. 

Rand McNally Dock Won’t Install

No one can deny the importance of the Rand McNally Dock. In fact, you cannot use your device without the software. Yet, sometimes it just won’t install. Users sometimes encounter this problem, but solving it is not a big issue. 

First of all, make sure that your operating system (OS) is compatible. Next, make sure that you have adequate space on your disk. You also need a supporting web browser. If one of these is the culprit, rectify it and reinstall the dock.

Rand McNally Dock Won’t Open

Rand McNally Docks are designed to start automatically. If it fails to do so, check the connection to make sure it is plugged in properly. If that does not resolve the issue, check that the auto-start function is not disabled. Select settings & maintenance and confirm that the ON option is selected under the auto-start settings. Usually, these steps resolve the issue. But if it persists, call technical support for additional troubleshooting. 

Rand McNally Won’t Connect to Computer

The common reason a Rand McNally won’t connect to the computer is a faulty USB cable. Since it is the one that connects the device to the computer, you have to make sure that the cable is in good working condition. Neglect to do so, and your device will fail to connect to the computer. 

Rand McNally GPS Won’t Turn On

There are two reasons that can cause this problem: power connection or communication problem. Ensure that all the cables going to and from the device are secure. You can try re-plugging them to be extra sure. 

Also, check that the green light to the left of the home button on your device is on. This indicates that the device is powered. In such a situation, you should better call customer support to help you out. 

How to Get Out of Inspection Mode Rand McNally ELD

Inspection mode is a highly useful addition to the DriverConnect app. With this, you can present your entire log report to the inspection officer. It is available as an option on the main menu beneath the dashboard. 

Once you are in the inspection mode, you can easily see or email your log to the concerned personnel. Getting out of inspection mode is very easy. All it will ask for is your password, and you can revert back to the user mode. 

Conclusion

If you are looking for a basic entry-level unit that is a full-feature ELD, Rand McNally ELD50IA has it all. The device is high in quality, with higher quality support backing it up. Moreover, the DriverConnect app designed for it is very user-friendly. The interface is intuitive with comprehensive controls and personalization. 

The unit is inexpensive with affordable monthly subscription plans. All the plans are targeted to completely address the needs of different consumers. No matter your needs, you will always find something at Rand McNally. Moreover, their complete Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) compliance truly makes them a top choice for your required ELD solution. 

People Also Ask

The ELD mandate has people talking for a long time. Carriers and operators are both working hard to become compliant. And installing ELDs is the first step towards the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ELD Rule compliance. One of the popular providers is Rand McNally. Wondering why? Here are some frequently asked questions: 

Are Rand McNally ELDs Worth it?

Rand McNally is a reliable name in the ELD market. Their range is vast and inclusive. Everyone, from owner-operators looking for an entry-level ELD to commercial carriers with large fleets who want a comprehensive and full-featured ELD solution, can greatly benefit from using a Rand McNally ELD. They are easy to operate with good support backing them. All in all, Rand McNally ELDs are surely worth it. 

On a Rand McNally ELD, What is Power Compliance Malfunction?

The power compliance malfunction on Rand McNally ELD occurs when there is an accumulation of engine synchronization data, and the truck drives for more than 30 minutes despite the Engine synchronization data diagnostic error being active. It clears automatically when the truck does not move for 24 hours. 

How Much is a Rand McNally GPS ELD?

The entire range of Rand McNally ELDs is varied. You can choose between their cost-effective and full-featured devices. The most basic unit, the ELD 50, has an initial cost of $150. And their most expensive unit, the TND 760, costs $550. You also have to take out a monthly subscription plan. They start from $19.99 and go up to $40.

When Was Rand McNally ELD Created?

The Rand McNally ELD 50 was created back in 2016. Although the company was not a huge fan of BYOD because of phone overheating and unreliable Bluetooth connection, it went ahead and created a more affordable solution. The initial models were certainly more expensive, but the ELD 50 is a good and affordable unit to buy. 

How to Update Rand McNally ELD GPS

Another good thing about Rand McNally ELD GPS is that it can automatically update itself. The device pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth and connects with the DriverConnect app. If there is an update available, the device will automatically download it.

Who Makes Rand McNally ELD?

Rand McNally began as a partnership between Andrew McNally and William Rand. It is a reliable name in both the telematics and commercial transportation industry. TELEO Capital Management acquired it in 2020. Serving clients in the US, the company is a huge investor in the software and technology sectors. 

Is a Rand McNally ELD Hard to Use?

No, a Rand McNally ELD is not at all hard to use. It comes as a ready-to-use solution and takes a few minutes to install. The plug-n-play convenience makes it one of the easiest devices to install and use. The compatible DriverConnect app is also very intuitive and user-friendly. 

How Do I Edit The Users on a Rand McNally ELD 50?

Since Rand McNally ELD 50 is a BYOD ELD, you don’t need to change or edit users on the device itself. Each user will have his/her own DriverConnect app installed on their smartphone. The device connects with it via Bluetooth and edits the user automatically. 

How Much Does the Rand McNally E-log Cost Per Month?

Rand McNally E-logs are stored in the Rand McNally DriverConnect web portal. They offer it for a price of $14.99 per month. At this cost, you can access up to six months of Hours of Service (HOS) and Record of Duty Status (RODS) logs as well as DVIRs.



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.