Garmin eLog Review: Unveiling Key Features and Performance

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Written By Randall Henson
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In recent years, the trucking industry has seen a rapid shift towards digital solutions with the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs). One notable ELD option available for trucking professionals is the Garmin eLog ELD. Offering a user-friendly experience and a streamlined approach to logging hours of service (HOS), the Garmin eLog ELD aims to provide a reliable, efficient, and compliant solution for drivers and fleet managers.

The Garmin eLog ELD is an FMCSA-approved electronic logging device designed to synchronize with compatible Garmin devices and smartphones. This ensures that records are effortlessly accessible and ready for inspection at any given moment. With its simple, intuitive interface, the Garmin eLog ELD makes it easy for drivers to understand and manage their HOS, ultimately promoting safety and compliance on the roads.

In this review, we will delve into the key features and benefits of the Garmin eLog ELD, offering insights into its distinct advantages within the competitive landscape of electronic logging devices. Our analysis will provide objective insights to help you determine whether this ELD solution is the right fit for your trucking needs.

Garmin eLog Overview


The Garmin eLog is a device designed to help professional drivers easily track their Hours of Service (HOS) while staying ELD (Electronic Logging Device) compliant. This compact device can be plugged directly into a truck’s diagnostic port (j1939 and j1708) without any hassles. Garmin eLog offers a modern and convenient solution with its paired app, allowing drivers to view and edit their logs right from their smartphones.

Connecting the eLog to a smartphone is seamless, using Bluetooth technology. The Garmin eLog app is available on both iOS and Android platforms. This user-friendly app makes it simple to see the available drive time, review logs, and make any necessary changes all in real-time.


  • Compatibility: Compatible with 9-pin J1939 and 6-pin J1708 diagnostic ports
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth for wireless connection to smartphone or tablet
  • Operating System: Garmin eLog app available for iOS and Android devices
  • Size and Weight: Compact design for easy installation and removal

The Garmin eLog pairs easily with your smartphone or Garmin tablet using Bluetooth connectivity. Here are some key specifications:

Diagnostic Port Compatibility9-pin J1939 and 6-pin J1708
Supported Mobile Operating SystemsiOS and Android

In conclusion, the Garmin eLog is a practical and efficient solution for professional drivers who need an ELD-compliant device to track their Hours of Service. Its easy integration with trucks, user-friendly app, and compatibility with a variety of mobile devices make it an ideal choice for staying compliant while on the road.

Compatibility and Integration

Vehicle Compatibility

The Garmin eLog is designed to work with a wide range of vehicles. The device can be connected directly to 9-pin J1939 and 6-pin J1708 diagnostic ports found in most trucks manufactured in the United States. For vehicles with an OBD2 protocol and a 16-pin J1962 configuration, an adapter cable is required to establish compatibility.

Compatible Devices

The Garmin eLog is specifically designed to integrate seamlessly with Garmin dēzl GPS truck navigators. This integration provides a user-friendly and straightforward experience for tracking hours of service (HOS) and managing driver data. The following list includes some compatible Garmin dēzl GPS truck navigators:

  • Garmin dēzl 580
  • Garmin dēzl 780
  • Garmin dēzl OTR700
  • Garmin dēzl OTR800
  • Garmin dēzl OTR1000

Additionally, the Garmin eLog works with the Garmin eLog app, available on both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. This allows drivers to view and manage their HOS records conveniently from their mobile devices.

For non-Garmin devices, the eLog supports Bluetooth connectivity, which can be used to pair the device with the mobile app on compatible smartphones and tablets. However, for a seamless experience, it is recommended to use the eLog with a Garmin dēzl GPS truck navigator.

Ease of Installation

Plug and Play Installation

The Garmin eLog features a simple plug and play installation process that’s designed for ease of use. To get started, you simply insert the device into your truck’s diagnostic port (usually located below the dashboard). Once connected, the eLog will automatically pair with your vehicle’s engine control module (ECM) and record the necessary driving data.

The hardware is compact and doesn’t require any additional components for installation. This means you won’t have to deal with any messy wiring or complicated set-up procedures. Additionally, the device is equipped with a lock ring that helps keep it securely in place.

Some of the benefits of the Garmin eLog’s ease of installation include:

  • Quick and easy setup, requiring minimal technical knowledge
  • No need for additional hardware or tools
  • Secure placement thanks to the lock ring

To summarize, the Garmin eLog offers a streamlined installation process that’s ideal for professional drivers who want a hassle-free electronic logging device. Its plug and play capabilities make it easy to install and set up, while the compact design and lock ring help ensure it remains securely in place during your journeys.

Pricing and Plans

Monthly Fees

Garmin eLog offers a simple and cost-effective pricing structure. Users can expect to pay a monthly fee that covers the use of the device and its features. The monthly fees are designed to be affordable and competitive in the market. Some of the main components included in the pricing are:

  • Access to Garmin eLog app
  • Automatic updates
  • Cloud storage of data

Premium Plan

For users who require additional features and benefits, Garmin eLog offers a Premium Plan. This plan includes all the features of the basic monthly subscription, plus some attractive extras. Subscribers of the Premium Plan can expect:

  • Enhanced reporting and analytics
  • Priority customer support
  • Multi-user management
  • Integration with third-party software

By providing both basic and premium options, Garmin eLog ensures that it caters to different user needs and budgets. The pricing is transparent, with no hidden fees, and the flexibility allows customers to choose the plan that suits their business best.

Application and Features

HOS Recording

The Garmin eLog app on your smartphone records all Hours of Service (HOS) events in compliance with the ELD mandate. The app connects seamlessly with the ELD device installed in your vehicle, providing live updates on the HOS status. Drivers can quickly assess their On-duty, Off-duty, and Sleeper Berth hours to prevent any violation of HOS regulations. The app also allows for the easy review and editing of logs, as needed.

IFTA Tracking

Garmin eLog helps with IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) compliance by automatically tracking fuel consumption and location across state lines. The app collects vital information such as:

  • Vehicle’s location
  • Distance traveled
  • Fuel purchased

By compiling this data, the Garmin eLog offers improved reporting of fuel consumption, making it easier to prepare IFTA reports and ensuring compliance.

Two-Way Messaging

The Garmin eLog app features an integrated two-way messaging function, enabling seamless communication between drivers and dispatchers. This feature allows for efficient scheduling updates and quick adjustments to routes, leading to improved time management, driver satisfaction, and overall fleet management.


With the geofencing feature, fleet managers can set up predefined geographic zones on the Garmin eLog app. This allows for enhanced location monitoring and improved route planning. When the GPS device detects that the vehicle has entered or exited one of these predefined zones, a notification is sent to both the driver and the fleet manager, providing real-time location awareness.

In summary, the Garmin eLog app offers a comprehensive suite of tools for ELD compliance, HOS recording, IFTA tracking, two-way messaging, and geofencing. By utilizing these features, fleets can improve overall management and ensure the accurate tracking of relevant metrics.

Compliance and Legal Requirements

ELD Mandate

Garmin eLog is designed to comply with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate, which requires commercial drivers to use an FMCSA-registered electronic logging device. This ensures accurate recording of a driver’s duty status and hours of service. The device helps fleets and drivers achieve ELD compliance and avoid violations.

Roadside Inspections

During roadside inspections, Garmin eLog enables quick and easy transfer of logs to law enforcement officers. The electronic logs can be sent via email, displayed on the mobile device screen, or printed if necessary. This can help reduce inspection time and potential fines due to non-compliance.

Some key features related to compliance and legal requirements include:

  • Compliance with FMCSA ELD mandate
  • Monitoring of duty status
  • Unidentified driver detection and prompts
  • Two-way messaging for better communication
  • Driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) integration

In summary, Garmin eLog is designed to help drivers and fleets ensure compliance with FMCSA regulations and streamline the inspection process. The user-friendly interface, features and tools make it easy for drivers to manage their hours of service and stay within legal limits.

Customer Support and Service

Quality of Customer Support

Garmin eLog offers customer support through various channels to cater to its customers’ needs. These channels include phone, email, and live chat.

  • Phone support: Garmin provides phone assistance to its customers. The toll-free numbers are available for different regions, ensuring that customers receive the necessary guidance.
  • Email support: Customers can also drop an email to Garmin if they face any issues or need clarification on the product. This method allows users to document their concerns and receive a detailed response from the support team.
  • Live chat: For immediate assistance, the live chat option connects customers to a representative who can provide real-time answers to questions related to the Garmin eLog.

As one of the leading brands in GPS technology, Garmin makes it a priority to offer quality customer support. The support team is well-trained and knowledgeable about the product. They are not only adept at troubleshooting issues but can also provide guidance on optimizations and tips for efficient use.

Customers who have availed of Garmin’s customer service report that the support is responsive and helpful. They appreciate the quick resolution of their issues and the assistance provided in guiding them through the setup and utilization of the device.

In conclusion, Garmin eLog’s customer support and service demonstrate the company’s commitment to ensuring a positive customer experience. With various channels available to reach support and proficient representatives ready to help, customers can expect reliable and efficient assistance.

Potential Drawbacks and Considerations

Compatibility Issues

One aspect to consider when looking into the Garmin eLog is potential compatibility issues. The Garmin eLog device is designed to work with a range of Garmin GPS devices, but it may not be compatible with all models. Before purchasing, ensure that your GPS device is on the list of compatible models.

Device Disconnecting

Another potential drawback is the possibility of the device disconnecting during use. Some users have reported their Garmin eLog disconnecting from their GPS device, causing data loss or inaccurate tracking. Ensuring a secure connection and regularly checking for software updates can help to mitigate this issue.

Business Constraints

The Garmin eLog may not be the best fit for every business budget. Although the upfront costs for the Garmin eLog are reasonable, there could be additional costs related to integrating it within your existing workflow or software systems.

Some businesses might also face constraints due to the following:

  • Initial investment needed for GPS devices compatible with Garmin eLog
  • Potential software updates and maintenance costs
  • Training staff on using the new Garmin eLog system

In summary, while the Garmin eLog has many advantages, it is essential to consider potential drawbacks and constraints before deciding if it suits your business needs.


In summary, the Garmin eLog offers a noteworthy solution for those in need of an electronic logging device. Its ease of use, compatibility with various devices, and Garmin’s reputable customer support make it a promising choice.

A few highlights of the Garmin eLog include:

  • No ongoing subscription fees
  • Easy installation and setup process
  • Compatibility with Android and iOS devices
  • User-friendly interface for drivers

Nevertheless, potential drawbacks to consider:

  • Limited to only Garmin devices for display
  • Lacks advanced features compared to some competitors

In the end, the Garmin eLog proves itself as a reliable option for those seeking a straightforward and efficient electronic logging device. By weighing the benefits and potential limitations, one can make an informed decision on whether the Garmin eLog fulfills their needs.

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