What is an ELD?

ELD stands for Electronic Logging Device. It is Department of Transportation (DOT) mandated electronic hardware that connects to a vehicle’s engine to record driving hours. It includes a screen for the driver, so they can monitor their current status and print hour logs when required by DOT inspectors.

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How do ELDs work?

ELDs communicate with a vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU) to receive detailed engine status as well as provide accurate, near real-time GPS location information to a logging device or app that DOT officials can check when needed.

For an ELD to be used to record Hours of Service (HOS), it must be DOT-certified. The ELD mandate requires all commercial vehicles to have an ELD device fitted to replace the previous paper logbook systems.

Who needs to use an ELD?

Anybody who was previously required to file a Record of Duty Status (RODs) should be using an ELD:

  • Truck drivers who operate in the United States
  • CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) drivers
  • Owner operators


Some drivers and commercial motor vehicles are not required to use ELDs:

  • Short haul drivers
  • Drive away/tow away operations where the commercial motor vehicle being driven is the commodity
  • Drivers operating vehicles that are older than model year 2000
  • Drivers that only keep logs for 8 days out of a 30-day period
  • Agricultural, farm and livestock vehicles

Read more about ELD exemptions.

When did ELDs become mandatory?

ELDs were made compulsory by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in December 2017, with a further extension until December 16, 2019 for fleets using older AOBRDs (automatic on-board recording devices), EOBRs (electronic on-board recorders) and E-Logs. Despite slight variations, the central function of all these devices is to electronically record a commercial driver’s activity and log HOS , also known as RODS.

Read more about the ELD mandate.

Read more about AOBRDs vs. ELDs.

The benefits of ELDs

By using telematics technology tied to a vehicle and following regulations, drivers can reduce three of the top five finable areas:

  • Not having driver logs, or having out-of-date logs
  • Driving hours over the daily allowance
  • Log errors

This can give drivers peace of mind when arriving at a DOT roadside inspection and can get them in and out quickly—without the potential risk of a fine. That can help reduce violation costs and save money.

By bundling an ELD with a fully featured GPS fleet tracking solution, you get additional benefits like automated IFTA reporting, DVIR functionality and much more.

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Built to make your driver’s day easy, this FMCSA-certified ELD is connected directly to the vehicle for improved accuracy and automated logging. Includes 24/7 phone support.

GPS fleet tracking

GPS fleet tracking

Our GPS fleet tracking software monitors your entire mobile workforce with increased visibility through our easy-to-use dashboards, detailed maps and apps.

Awards and recognition

CompassIntel Award 2023

Artificial Intelligence: Enterprise Solution 2023

MFA 2022

Best Telematics Solution for Fleet Managers Italy 2022


Top Innovator 2022

IoT Evolution Awards

Product of the Year 2021

One Planet Awards

Gold 2020

Stevie Awards

Silver 2020

IT World Awards

Gold 2020

Golden Bridge Awards

Gold 2020


4.2 Star Rating

Green Industry Pros

Editor’s Choice 2019

Contractors Top 50

New Products 2019

Best in Biz

Silver 2019

IOT Innovator

Gold 2019

The Golden Bridge

Gold 2019

One Planet

Gold 2019

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