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Blue Ink BIT ELD

7.5 Total Score
ELD compliance with no monthly fee

The BIT ELD offers simple mandate compliance with a big perk: no contract and no monthly fees.

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Up Front Cost Monthly Cost 3-year Total Cost
$295 $0 $295

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PROS:
  • NO ongoing monthly cost
  • Simple, easy to use driver app
  • Very easy to install

CONS:
  • Light on extra features (for now)


Blue Ink Technology’s new BIT ELD is one of the very few devices on the market to adopt an unconventional pricing model: no ongoing monthly fees. You buy the device itself for $295, pay for it once, and that’s it. No contract or monthly costs. This is very appealing for independent drivers and small fleets hoping to avoid the ongoing service plans required by most electronic log vendors. The pay-once pricing makes BIT dramatically cheaper in the long run than nearly any other device on the market.

Like most BYOD options, you buy a dongle from Blue Ink that plugs straight into your truck’s diagnostic port, then Bluetooth pair it with your own smartphone or tablet (cellular data plan required). While many drivers already have their own device, if you are planning to provide one for your fleet there will be some extra cost involved for the device and a data plan (we typically estimate $10-15/mo).

BIT offers simple ELD mandate compliance, without a lot of extra frills. The free driver app can be downloaded for Android or iOS devices. Signing up for an account is quick and easy, and the app is simple to navigate. Drivers can make manual log status changes with just the app, but to turn the system into a true ELD you need the Bluetooth dongle to automatically record when the truck is moving. The app currently supports basic Hours of Service and a built in DVIR. Drivers can easily make edits to their own logs, or accept suggested corrections from fleet managers.

While fleets of any size may find BIT’s pricing and simplicity appealing, the product is geared first and foremost toward smaller fleets and owner operators. Larger fleets may find the system shy on extra telematics features for the time being. That said, new features are being added frequently. In addition to basic HoS logs and DVIRs, the device also tracks state miles for IFTA reporting and provides detailed GPS breadcrumb tracking. Blue Ink also recently released a feature that tracks vehicle maintenance, so fleet managers can set up reminders and alerts for oil changes, tire replacements, and other routine maintenance tasks. Other bells and whistles offered by more expensive products are in the works but not yet available. For example: engine diagnostics, two-way messaging, TMS integration, etc.

While the BIT ELD may not be loaded with extra features (yet), what it does have, it does well. Logs are easy for both the driver and home office staff. Fleet managers are given one of the best tools for making suggested log corrections that we’ve seen. They can literally just drag the grid lines around to make proposed changes (which the driver must of course approve before they become official). The special Personal Conveyance and Yard Moves status types are handled in a sensible, easy to read way. The app even helps team drivers by offering a simple way to transfer activity from your log to your partner’s log if something got recorded on the wrong person by mistake.

Overall the extremely low cost to own the BIT ELD makes it worth a look for anyone, but especially for smaller operations hoping to get compliant without breaking the bank. We expect to see a lot of improvements and new features coming to the product over the next few months, but even now it’s a simple, user friendly ELD at a nearly unbeatable price.

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Click to see Specifications

Specification

Display Device

Type: BYOD (Bring your own device)

OS: Android and iOS

Features

DVIR

Drivers can make log corrections

Price per unit

Up-front cost: 295

Monthly cost: 0

3-year Total Cost: 295

General

Complies with latest ELD Mandate standards: Yes

Transmits logs to DOT via: Web (Email / Web Services)

Vendor: Blue Ink Technology

Best price

38 Comments
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  1. Reply
    Jeff S July 13, 2017 at 7:58 pm
    4.5
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    90

    It is about time that someone made a device that doesn’t break the bank

    Helpful(21) Unhelpful(6)You have already voted this
    • Reply
      Anonymous January 9, 2018 at 9:39 am

      You get what you pay for and this is no exception. Using this with our company and is just scaping the bottom of the barrel. Just enough to work. No added features. Basic as badic gets.

  2. Reply
    Chris July 18, 2017 at 7:05 am
    5
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    100

    Been using the app for a month now and it is very easy to use. Bought the Bluetooth dongle a week ago . Will install it later this week. I do not agree with the FMCSA mandate but if I want to stay in business will have to eventually buy ELD. BIT is inexpensive and easy to use.

    Helpful(23) Unhelpful(19)You have already voted this
  3. Reply
    Sharee September 7, 2017 at 4:58 pm
    4
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    80

    Ill say this much. When you call them an actual person picks up the phone and knows what they are talking about.

    Helpful(27) Unhelpful(1)You have already voted this
  4. Reply
    Mike Rowe September 8, 2017 at 7:02 pm
    5
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    100

    Ive tried 3 other elds and all of them either lost connection or messed up my dash. this is the only eld that didn’t loose the connection or mess anything up.

    Helpful(21) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
    • Reply
      Kelvin September 26, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      What other ELDs have you tried Mike?

  5. Reply
    Dwayne October 4, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    What do you do if dot wants a copy of your logs?

    • Reply
      ELD Ratings October 5, 2017 at 12:46 am

      Hi Dwayne,
      The ELD Mandate specifies several methods of sending your logs to a DOT officer. ELDs can choose to support one of two options: Telematics or Local. If the device supports the Telematics option, then it can send logs to an officer over the web or by email. This is the option that Blue Ink supports. The other option is Local, meaning logs can be given to an officer via USB or Bluetooth.

      If any of those electronic methods are not working for some reason, the mandate specifies that as a backup you can always just show your log grid to the officer on your display screen.

      Hope that helps. Contact us if you have any other questions:
      http://eldratings.com/contact/

  6. Reply
    Charles October 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm
    5
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    100

    Good product easy to use.

    Helpful(7) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  7. Reply
    Ann Hundley October 18, 2017 at 2:48 pm
    5
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    100

    I am preparing to purchase equipment and for the ELD. After speaking to several companies we have decided to go with Blue Ink. We are a small company that doesn’t need all the extra bells and whistles. Such as Real Time tracking of the truck, IFTA Reporting, etc. Be careful choosing a company that confuses you and uses scare tactics to get you to buy their product. Sometimes less is more!! Give blue ink a call. They will explain everything in layman’s terms. I had a guy that is from a family of small trucking companies. He use to drive himself and explains everything very well to the average guy. His number is 304-840-0142 ext. 106. I got a lot of insight that was very helpful in making the final decision on going with Blue Ink. There is a One Time fee and no monthly charges and you are totally compliant with the rules and regulations. Like I said sometimes Less is More!! But they do offer the extra bells a whistles if you want them.

    Helpful(26) Unhelpful(17)You have already voted this
    • Reply
      Bo December 11, 2017 at 10:06 am

      “I am preparing to purchase equipment and for the ELD. After speaking to several companies we have decided to go with Blue Ink.”
      I thought reviews were based on your experience about the product or service you have purchased..not on your decision on what to buy! hum… just a thought!!!

  8. Reply
    Pete Voskamp November 13, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Will we ba able to print off copy of log example print it off in my truck

    • Reply
      ELD Ratings November 13, 2017 at 8:14 am

      Hi Pete,
      Most ELDs don’t support physically printing your logs. The mandate requires several electronic methods of transmitting logs to an officer, and as a backup it also requires that you be able to show your logs on the ELD display screen. There’s no requirement to be able to print them off on paper. There are a few ELDs that can do that, but they’re pretty rare. However, many ELDs do support the ability to email logs as a PDF attachment. So you could email them to yourself and print them from your computer if you wanted a paper copy.

      Hope that helps

      • Reply
        Anonymous January 9, 2018 at 8:32 pm

        I require a hard copy of my logs for Tax purposes, to prove I was away from home for food expense deduction afforded to truckers. How can I do this now?

  9. Reply
    Anonymous November 14, 2017 at 4:11 am

    Are the logs stored somewhere online ?
    for the past 6 months

    Or just on the device ?

    • Reply
      ELD Ratings November 14, 2017 at 8:11 am

      Hi, good question. Like with most ELDs your log information would be stored online on Blue Ink’s servers. So you could access your logs from anywhere by logging in to their website.

  10. Reply
    Leann McKee November 14, 2017 at 7:33 pm
    0.5
    Add your rating
    10

    Device always logs out while driving and is often wrong about whether the truck is moving or not. Does not seem to have set up road side inspection yet. It’s there but no place to enter an email address, or a site to upload. Handing it to an officer will require you to explain the program navigation so he can find the records.
    I doubt it’s compliant.

    Helpful(0) Unhelpful(13)You have already voted this
    • Reply
      James Breeze December 2, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Mine is doing the same thing and when I call one answers need to find out how to send it back and now have try to get something else working in the next two weeks.

  11. Reply
    Anonymous November 28, 2017 at 9:47 am

    is this device fmcsa approved to use?

    • Reply
      ELD Ratings November 28, 2017 at 9:55 am

      Yes BIT ELD is on the FMCSA’s registry of ELDs. It’s worth pointing out though that FMCSA does not approve or disapprove of any devices. They allow a self-certification process where any ELD vendor can add themselves to the list. FMCSA does not actually test the devices at this time. Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions, or contact the folks at Blue Ink.

  12. Reply
    Bryan November 28, 2017 at 9:49 am

    if i’m in the middle of the city making a delivery and my time is up what should i do?

    • Reply
      ELD Ratings November 28, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Hi Bryan,
      Thanks for writing. That’s more of a process and compliance question, and it’s a tough one. Ultimately, how you handle those kind of situations is up to you and your carrier. But those kind of things do happen, and you don’t really have much choice but to move on and find a safe place to stop as soon as you can. Of course you can try to avoid that situation by careful planning, but we all know that the best laid plans sometimes don’t work out the way we expected. So if you get stuck somewhere that you can’t stay and you’re out of hours, the best you can do is find a safe place as soon as possible and try to avoid the situation next time.

      Thanks

  13. Reply
    James Breeze December 2, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I’ve had trouble since day one. Goes white screen you have to close app restart and you never know what it will show. Sometimes during Sleeper berth it will change to driving so in the morning you have been driving for the last 15 hours or so so far I think it’s a piece of crap called and no one answers

  14. Reply
    Mark December 18, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Well, bit seems to have crashed on 1st madatory day.

  15. Reply
    Lisa December 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    We just have a Ford F350 truck, will your device work with such a small truck. Can you switch drivers? (Team drivers)

    • Reply
      Anonymous January 9, 2018 at 8:20 am

      Lisa did you get an answer…I have a Dodge Ram truck and looking for a ELD for my truck as well. Let me know if you found a good one.

  16. Reply
    Brian December 19, 2017 at 11:59 am
    0.5
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    10

    It keeps logging off and didnt log a whole day worth of logs yesterday. It was lit up green then went to flashing. I am not sure if it was because i was on and off phone with brokers or my company. i have it set up to my phone via bluetooth. Could that be the problem? i am on phone with BIT company, but waiting on hold, i guess other people are having problems too

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(3)You have already voted this
  17. Reply
    Wade December 24, 2017 at 11:43 am
    4.5
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    90

    Easy to install and use, I kinda like the device but hate the mandate!

    Helpful(3) Unhelpful(0)You have already voted this
  18. Reply
    O/Operator December 27, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Does anyone have any experience with performance of this device and customer service after December 18th? Interested, but wary of all the bad reviews of other units that I’m seeing…

  19. Reply
    Randy Filter January 2, 2018 at 1:34 pm
    4.5
    Add your rating
    90

    Very easy to use! I haven’t had any major problems. The only thing I would like to see is go from 5mph to 10 mph before it kicks you into driving

    Helpful(3) Unhelpful(1)You have already voted this
    • Reply
      ELD Ratings January 2, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      Hi Randy,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 10mph would be great, but unfortunately the ELD Mandate requires that these units only allow up to 5mph before switching to Driving status. So unfortunately Blue Ink can’t do much about that one.

      Thanks again, and happy new year!

  20. Reply
    Dawn S January 4, 2018 at 9:03 am
    1
    Add your rating
    20

    Horrible experience with these. Bought two, puts you driving when not, updated and shows on phone its working but on home PC it shows off duty where we updated at. Customer service is ok IF you call during the day. Location was included when we purchased but now its moved to free trial! When contacted customer service via email the rep was very rude! Would not recommend this product!

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(3)You have already voted this
  21. Reply
    ROBERT WILLIAMS January 9, 2018 at 5:32 pm
    0.5
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    10

    went to do my fuel taxes today
    they have removed the IFTA
    I called their tech support they said they removed it to change it and the cost $10 a month
    thanks for the bait and switch

    Helpful(1) Unhelpful(3)You have already voted this
    • Reply
      WILLIAM METZGER January 11, 2018 at 11:19 am

      Robert Williams
      We had the same experience. Now it’s an additional cost for IFTA.
      And the module still is in construction. They are just now starting state mileage collection.
      Drivers have to manually keep track, and we had to recreate the miles since 12.18 when we saw it was not being computed.
      IFTA reporting not available until end of 1Q per a response to my email from BIT support.
      Bait and switch feels accurate. Definitely not what the website offered when we signed up.
      Now shopping for possible alternatives.

  22. Reply
    Matt January 9, 2018 at 10:12 pm
    1
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    20

    I have 4 of these and unfortunately I will have to return all of them. We have been experiencing electrical gremlins in our Volvo 780’s. Intermittent warnings like, air bag issues, or idle shutdown warning (while rolling down the highway) or intake heater code…finally, today, the headlights would not shutoff and the brakelights and turn signals would not work on one truck. I spent 3 hours calling around to see if I could get a light control module. Then, I thought of the ELD. I had the driver remove it, and the lights went back to working. We have had issues with connectivity to the phone and it showing 24 hours of driving time also…Driver wrote me a text “JUNK!” You get what you pay for I guess.

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  23. Reply
    Andrea Ghale January 11, 2018 at 11:14 am
    0.5
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    10

    The biggest piece of crap I’ve ever seen. Connectivity issues right and left. I just drove 45 miles while it said I was off duty. Tried to get it to update and it wouldn’t connect. No support on weekends or evenings. Tennessee DOT said it was the worst ELD he had ever seen and I have to agree with him. Do yourself a favor and buy something else. Anything else would be better than this.

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  24. Reply
    David Jeffers January 12, 2018 at 8:18 am
    4
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    80

    Its pretty good for the most part. I tried the app first and thought it was easy to pick up. Got their device and haven’t had any issues. Customer service helped to get it connected and haven’t had a problem since. I drive 2012 pete

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  25. Reply
    Shane F January 14, 2018 at 4:06 pm
    5
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    100

    I bought this device a couple months ago and had an issue with the ELD putting me on drive while I was sitting still so I called support and they told me my ELD said my truck had an engine fault code saying I had a bad sensor. Sure enough when I took it in to get checked the mechanics told me the ECM would give crazy speed readings from time to time which would make the ELD think I was moving. Had it fixed and never had the problem again. I was a believer after that. Now they just need to display fault code on the app.

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