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
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- Not having driver logs, or having out-of-date logs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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