The Electronic Logging Device rule also known as the ELD mandate will start being enforced on Dec. 18, 2017. Fleets must implement ELD devices to log hours of service (also known as HOS). Fleets and independent truckers can implement tablets and smartphones, following established Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements. With that comes the need for some rugged truck mounts to hold the tablets and smartphones that are being used to meet the ELD mandate.
We aren’t ELD mandate experts so cannot give advice on the applications required but can provide suggestions on good mounts for tablets and smartphones that will fit a rig.
There are a lot of apps out there that will help with the ELD mandate. The photo that accompanies this article is a sceenshot of the KeepTruckin app which is a highly rated app for logging hours of service. This app runs on phones and tablets.
There are a few good spots for mount installation. Conversely, there are a few poor spots. We suggest using a seat bolt or floor mount. The dash will also work. We don’t believe a windshield mount will work well for a tablet or phone given the far reach to the windshield within a rig. Air vents do not work well with a larger tablet so we recommend avoiding these mounts for the ELD mandate.
So here are some recommendations.
Consider the Arkon Car or Truck Seat Rail or Floor Tablet Mount with 22 inch Arm. This mount includes an expandable cradle that opens wide enough to fit tablets 8.9 to 18.4 inches in screen size. The bottom of the mount ends in a claw which can fit beneath a seat bolt. Alternatively, that claw can be replaced with a bolt on attachment if you would prefer to bolt it to the floor board. The 22-inch arm is flexible so it can be moved to get the most convenient angle. The tablet can swivel into portrait or landscape within this mount.
A similar device for a phone or smaller tablet is the Arkon Slim-Grip Ultra 22″ Seat Rail or Floor Car Mount. This mount is the one used for large smartphones and smaller tablets. So if you have a 7″ tablet or a smartphone, this is the seat bolt / floor version of the previous mount. Both this mount and the previous carry a two-year manufacturer warrant.
Those with a Samsung Galaxy Tab-E 8.0 can take advantage of a custom mount. Consider the Tablet Lock Box Bundle with Car Seat Rail Mount for E-Log for Samsung Galaxy Tab E 8.0. This is perhaps everything you would want in an ELD mandate mount. This mount bundle includes a commercial-grade locking cradle, a heavy-duty 23″seat rail mount, and a charging harness. This is one of the few mounts that deploy a keyed lock. Two keys are included with the mounting bundle.
The dash is a great place to install a mount. Unlike a passenger car, many dash mounts for trucks are bolted onto the dashboard. These mounts are typically more rugged than those found in cars.
So the last mount we’ll present is the Arkon Heavy Duty Tablet Mount with 8 inch Arm and AMPS Drill Base. Except for the cradle, this mount is constructed of metal. Adjustment points at the base, midway and tip help to get the best angle. The cradle is the same one used in the first mount we discussed. It opens wide enough to fit tablets 8.9 to 18.4 inches in screen size. This is a flat surface mount. it bolts to the dashboard. This mount also has a 2-year warranty.
These are just a handful of good mounts available. As suggested, we recommend avoiding the windshield and air vent varieties. The important qualities are ruggedness and the ability to adjust the angle. Get a mount that you can move out of the way when not in use. Also be sure you can easily install and remove the device.