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J.J. Keller ELog

5.5 Total Score
Focused on compliance

J.J. Keller is the name in DOT compliance. Their ELog ELD is a simple device that is part of their larger Encompass compliance management software. ELog will keep you on the right side of DOT regs, but it does not have a lot of flashy features beyond that.

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Up Front Cost Monthly Cost 3-year Total Cost
$199 $40.50 $1657


PROS:
  • J.J. Keller is an industry leader in DOT compliance
  • Part of the Encompass back office system for compliance management
  • No contract, pay as you go

CONS:
  • Complicated pricing (read below)
  • Limited telematics features
  • User reports of hardware and usability issues


J.J. Keller is a very respected name in trucking compliance. They essentially invented the paper logbook back in the 50s. So it makes sense that they would have an ELD product on the market. Their ELog product is an optional add-on to their larger compliance system, Encompass. Encompass is a full fledged compliance management tool that handles everything from logs, to driver qualification files, to preventative maintenance and much much more. Customers who use their ELog ELD system will automatically become Encompass users as well, with all the great compliance tools that brings along with it.

The Elog device itself is a simple “black box” that plugs into the truck’s diagnostic port, and communicates with a display device via Bluetooth. The display can be any Android or Apple smartphone or tablet. The device can be provided by the trucking company, or the drivers could use their own. Or for fleets that want an all-in-one solution, J.J. Keller can provide you their own tablet to use with the system. With all these options, pricing can get a little confusing, so we’ll dive into that next. One warning, while ELog looks fairly inexpensive initially, there are other charges that can greatly increase the price. So it’s important to really crunch the numbers and get an official quote from J.J. Keller.

Pricing works like this…

Up Front

  • The black box that plugs into the truck is $199 (financing options available)
  • If you provide your own device or use the driver’s, that will likely be free or very cheap to get the hardware (with 2 year contract).
  • But if you want to use J.J. Keller’s official tablet, that is $349.
  • There is also a one-time training and implementation fee. This depends on the size of your fleet but will likely be several thousand dollars.

Monthly

  • $25.50/mo per vehicle, if you provide your own display device
    • If you provide your own device, expect to pay roughly $15/mo for a cell data plan
  • Or, $59/mo per vehicle if you use the official J.J. Keller provided tablet
    • So that’s an additional $33.50/mo which includes a Verizon data plan
  • Extra drivers are $3.50/mo (if you have more drivers than vehicles)
  • If you want to track DVIR records and other compliance info on trailers, it is $3.50/mo for each trailer as well
  • If you want ALK Co-Pilot GPS navigation for drivers on the device that is $10/mo

So the cheapest route would be to have drivers use their own smartphones, then you pay only $199 for the Elog box up front and $25.50/mo, giving a total 3-year cost of only $1,117 per device. Or on the more expensive side you could use the official J.J. Keller tablet and add Co-Pilot Navigation, so you pay $548 up front and $59/mo. This gives a quite large 3-year cost of $3,032.

For our pricing above, we took the middle road: trucking company provides a device with data plan. So $199 up front, and $25.50/mo + $15/mo for data plan. Total 3-year cost of $1,657, which is still a pretty affordable solution compared to many.

And remember, that in any of the scenarios above you ALSO need to consider the cost of extra drivers, trailers, and the implementation/training fee. All around, while JJ Keller looks like a budget option on paper, the actual costs can quickly get very high, so crunch your numbers carefully.

The device itself is a pretty simple solution, focused on compliance, without a lot of fancy features. Logs and DVIRs are included. Navigation is an add-on, as is GPS tracking in the back office. There is no messaging feature, or engine diagnostics, or document scanning abilities. Driver’s cannot currently email logs from the device. The Encompass back office system is rich with excellent compliance tools, but it is a somewhat dated feeling system and some users may not find it the most user friendly. The features and capabilities may change as software is updated to comply with the mandate, but right now its a fairly basic no-nonsense device, geared at compliance not fleet management. This is fine if you can stay at the lower end of the price range, but the higher priced scenarios described  above seem overly expensive for the features you get.

Quite a number of users have reported experiencing many hardware issues and problems with usability and accuracy of the application. While this experience isn’t universal, it is a comment we’ve heard often enough now to make it worth consideration. It might be wise to speak to a few existing customers, and demo some trial units before deciding if the device will work well for your needs.

All around, Elog with Encompass is a basic ELD from an industry leader. If you want to know you’ve got the top name in regulatory compliance behind you, J.J. Keller is a good place to be. For fleets looking to go beyond logs and improve compliance across the board, Encompass may be especially appealing. But evaluate the pricing carefully, and consider bang-for-buck before diving in.

Click to see Specifications

Specification

Display Device

Type: BYOD (Bring your own device)

OS: Android and iOS

Features

DVIR

Navigation

IFTA

Drivers can make log corrections

Price per unit

Up-front cost: 199

Monthly cost: 40.50

3-year Total Cost: 1657

General

Complies with latest ELD Mandate standards: Soon

Vendor: J.J. Keller

17 Comments
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  1. Reply
    Pete October 5, 2016 at 4:12 pm
    0.5
    Add your rating
    10

    THE Galaxy Tablet E very poor freezes up thejjkeller mobile app very difficult to use NOT USER FRIENDLY AT ALL!! no manual no vehicle charger an it to be used in a Truck!! they give a Household charger Very Poor FOLKS!! come on Give some Guidence an Redo your ELOG to a more user friendly Elog We all going to be using Elog Soon Right now I telling everybody to stay away from it.

    + PROS: Cant Think of Any.
    - CONS: Very poor product Elog App not user friendly at all.
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  2. Reply
    Mike December 16, 2016 at 9:31 am
    5
    Add your rating
    100

    I find the app to be very user friendly. The system actually helps me manage the data captured by the eld. The system I previously used just gave me info that I still had to manage. JJ Keller provides in-house support which was very helpful when I was first learning the program. I am very happy with Encompass.

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  3. Reply
    Ted D. December 22, 2016 at 1:20 pm
    5
    Add your rating
    100

    The pricing on this site is off. JJ Keller lets me bring my own device to use with the ELD to sign off and on. The cost I paid is $249 for the ELD and $25.50 per unit per month. I’m happy with the system so far. I agree that JJ Keller support has been good. It’s user friendly, and I know with this company my device and my records is compliant.

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    • Reply
      ELD Ratings December 22, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Ted, thanks for your input. Glad to hear you’ve had a good experience with JJ Keller. They’re a good company with lots of experience in this industry.

      If you read the body of the review, you can get a bit more info about how we arrived at those pricing numbers. For one thing, when we price a BYOD solution, we include the typical $10-15/month cost of a cellular data plan. Not all fleets will be responsible for this cost, as they may ask their drivers to use their own personal device. But we include it for the sake of a fair apples-to-apples comparison. You can read more about how we estimate ELD costs here: http://eldratings.com/about/

      Thanks again for sharing your experience. Any other thoughts you have about the ELog product, we’d love to hear them.

  4. Reply
    Jeff January 17, 2017 at 10:42 pm
    2.5
    Add your rating
    50

    Our company is installing 250 Keller units in the next few months. I have had mine for about a week. Bluetooth connection can be fickle. Not too hard to learn the rest of the system, not as intuitive as it could be. At the moment mileages and locations at change of duty status are way off, Keller system problem that they will have to solve. System defaults to on duty when you sign on which presents problems, as does the system defaults to off duty when signed off, which doesn’t show any sleeper time. Don’t know how DOT enforcement will go for that. In other words, this system is not ready for prime time.

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  5. Reply
    Anonymous April 21, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    We have had Encompass for over 2 years in 10 of our trucks. In that time we have had a lot of glitches that have increased after the last update. In the last 45 day we had multiple truck traveling up to 120 mile before their table moves from on duty not driving to drive. In all five cases about a week later it comes into my administer screen as unassigned driving time for that truck. Twice in the last 45 days I have had one truck show on duty not drive for a whole shift. Both times it took a week a half for it to show on my computer as unassigned driving time. I call JJ Keller 4 weeks ago about this problem. The response was, “your are the only one that is having problems”. It was a lot like working with the phone company your always talking to a middle man. I ask if someone with authority to make decisions could call me, I am still waiting for that phone call. Here is the best one yet, on 4/16/17 it show one of our trucks doing 139,435 mph. NASA will probably want to check this truck out it was going that fast for 4 minutes and 13 seconds.

  6. Reply
    Frustrated! April 24, 2017 at 10:22 am

    I have had the same problem with the reports in Encompass. It has me really questioning the reliability in the reports. I tried calling and the hold times were longer than usual because of large volume of calls. hmmmm, don’t think we are the only ones have problems!

  7. Reply
    DSI May 1, 2017 at 5:54 pm
    0.5
    Add your rating
    10

    we have been using it for 5 months and our drivers hate it. When they use navigation it will log them out of the app. Needs a lot of improvement. I think we may look at another vendor.

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    • Reply
      Scott May 2, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a negative experience with your current ELD provider. If you decide to explore your options, you should definitely look at KeepTruckin. Drivers love it.

  8. Reply
    Bill May 30, 2017 at 11:32 am
    1
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    20

    Very complicated system to use. We cross the border regularly and there is often no place to pull over and enter a border cross after waiting for the system to allow a change. It often does not recognize windsor ontario as a location and has to be entered manually. Again, no place to pull over and play with this. If the tablet freezes, we have to restart it,it logs you off and sends in the log. I will keep running a paper log as a secure back up because the MTO and DOT could care less about bugs and will put you out of service for log irregularities. This device is only making more work in my already busy day. I am told there are better programs out there but are more costly which is why we have these units…

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  9. Reply
    Steph June 29, 2017 at 1:16 pm
    1
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    20

    in my experience with this system, back office not terrible, but it was not compatible with just ANY android tablet, we attempted to sync the device with an Android and while the device was ” compatible” it would Not connect to the Bluetooth rendering the android tablet we had available NOT COMPATIBLE, we were told(from the 24/7 help line) we needed a different type of android tablet preferably a Samsung, or a IOS (Apple) device.

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  10. Reply
    jake July 23, 2017 at 7:53 am
    0.5
    Add your rating
    10

    This is awful. Please READ THE WHOLE REVIEW. Beware that anyone giving this ELD more than 1 star probably works for the manufacturer. It changes from off duty to driving at will during the night while you are sleeping and parked. It is difficult to use and if you aren’t really good at technology stuff you will stay in violation a lot. IF Every single step (and there are many) isn’t done to perfection it will put you in violation. I consider myself decent at tech but I have had to take extra 30 minute and 10 hour breaks because the clocks are not synced. If you are off duty and release your brakes for any reason it will put you on duty as soon as you release them. You are put on duty the moment you log in or move even an inch. If you call them for help they just hurry to get you off the phone by making you feel stupid, and tell you to call your company. I know this is a long review but if you are a company is considering this device SHOW THE DECISION MAKERS THIS REVIEW…IT IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH.

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  11. Reply
    Janet August 13, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    My first week using it… Not a fan!
    * Driver should have access to make changes to all fields except the drive line. This currently is done by management when notified.
    *Driver approval / Confirmation a log change took place does not exist. Management can change anything and driver wouldn’t know it.
    *When sleeper status is selected it logs off duty instead making it a challenge to take advantage of an 8/2 split. Driver must again contact management to change it. Management is NOT available nights and weekends unless a serious problem exists.

  12. Reply
    Anonymous September 14, 2017 at 2:49 pm
    0.5
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    10

    Before you take a job with any Trucking Company using JJ Keller I suggest you download the administrative manual. This will tell you all the ways big brother is watching. Personally I have no problem with that however the application is defective. There are many problems that will put you into violation for DOT compliance. Unfortunately companies now don’t actually know their drivers all they see is a bunch of data on an Encompass screen to judge their drivers ability. I urge you to ask any driver that’s had experience with this system and they will all tell you it is garbage. It is almost impossible to be 100% compliant with this application. Companies reading this review if you want to alienate and piss off your drivers this is the way to go .Personally this application has cost me over $1,000 in two years in performance bonus. Company and drivers beware this application needs a lot of fixing it is not reliable. Call your boss at 3:30 in the morning to fix your log . Then when it’s time for a raise what do you think they will remember? Qualcomm is Superior in every way.

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  13. Reply
    Dwight September 22, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    don’t waste your time or money! we got rid of this and went with teletrac

  14. Reply
    John S. October 17, 2017 at 8:38 pm
    0.5
    Add your rating
    10

    I’ve just started using the jjk eld, so far its the biggest POS. Dang thing keeps running my battery dead within 3 hrs, the app keeps locking up to the point I have to turn the phone off, Bluetooth will not stay connected while I’m driving. The best thing I can say about it is
    “it’s CHEAP for a reason”.
    JJK customer service makes me feel like it’s a big inconvenience when I call to get all these problems figured out!!!

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  15. Reply
    Quincy November 6, 2017 at 1:45 pm
    1
    Add your rating
    20

    Let me start by saying our company has been using JJ Keller Encompass for more than 2 years. If this rating was broken down into different categories, in some areas they would receive 5 stars, and other areas only 1 star. For our company, the entire setup and installing process was relatively easy. I don’t like the fact that when you first logon to the device, the status starts out in on duty not driving mode first. Why is that, since my last change of duty status was off duty. I discovered later, (DOT Inspection) that JJ Keller wasn’t completely in compliance. In the e-log app, it didn’t display our company’s name, address, or any of that information. The e-log as of right now can’t email or fax your logs to the DOT officer. It doesn’t have the ability to sign your log, and even in a DOT inspection, you don’t have the ability to display any of your DVIR to the DOT officer. But that’s not why I gave JJ Keller the 1 star. I gave them the 1 star because some of their locations for the city was incorrect. Incorrect to the point of a city being 85 miles away from your actual located city, and to the point of being off by 324 miles away from the actual city you’re located in. Long story short, it’s been 3 months since this has been reported to JJ Keller, and still hasn’t been corrected. To make matters worst, remember, I been doing e-logs with JJ Keller for 2 years and 2 years ago, those locations were correct and accurate. Since JJ Keller uses 3rd party map source, that makes JJ Keller the middleman. I’ve asked JJ Keller all the right questions when it comes to accountability for the 3rd party map source being incorrect, but I’m told the same thing each month that we’ve submitted all the info to the map source and nothing yet. When you talk about being in compliance, incorrect locations isn’t being in compliance. So honestly, I really do like JJ Keller Encompass and all the features that it has to offer, and our company has the full package, (expensive). But an incorrect city location is a serious problem! JJ Keller will not question their 3rd party map source as to why were these locations correct at one time, then somehow became incorrect. JJ Keller’s response was, they were more concerned about it being corrected, rather than how it became incorrect. JJ Keller’s protocol to address issues like this one in particular, is they run the data, identify the problem, submit to the info to the 3rd party map source, and those updates are done monthly. It’s been 3 months and still not corrected, is why JJ Keller is receiving a 1 star. JJ Keller WILL NOT hold their 3rd party map source accountable as to why this happened in the first place. JJ Keller’s response was, lets focus on getting it corrected, rather than question their 3rd party map source as to how did this happen? So I guess in my commercial vehicle, if I constantly keep losing air in my tire, JJ Keller’s analogy to my air leak would be, lets just focus on putting air in the tire, rather than finding out what’s causing the leak. In my opinion, JJ Keller Encompass is still in the testing phases when it comes to compliances with ELDs.

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