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ELD Malfunctions: The Importance of Keeping ELDs Operational

By Verizon Connect March 3, 2021

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) automate the recording of commercial driving hours— Hours of Service (HOS) —to make sure drivers adhere to the legal limits. In addition to helping to reduce unsafe or fatigued driving, ELDs also make the collection and reporting of driver hours faster and easier.

In Canada, after the ELD mandate takes effect on June 12, 2021, Canadian drivers and carriers must have an ELD installed that has been certified by third-party organizations to meet the proper restrictions required by the Canadian government . Below, you'll find more about why ELDs are important for all North American commercial motor vehicle (CMV) carriers and what is required in the event of ELD malfunction or ELD failure.

Implications of ELD malfunctions on staying compliant

From a compliance perspective, once an ELD malfunctions there are certain protocols that must be followed by both drivers and carriers. Here are the key ELD malfunction reporting requirements:

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), if an ELD malfunctions, a driver must: 1

  1. "Note the malfunction of the ELD and provide written notice of the malfunction to the motor carrier within 24 hours;
  2. Reconstruct the record of duty status (RODS) for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days, and record the records of duty status on graph-grid paper logs that comply with 49 CFR 395.8, unless the driver already has the records or retrieves them from the ELD; and
  3. Continue to manually prepare RODS in accordance with 49 CFR 395.8 until the ELD is serviced and back in compliance. The recording of the driver’s hours of service on a paper log cannot continue for more than 8 days after the malfunction; a driver that continues to record his or her hours of service on a paper log beyond 8 days risk being placed out of service."

According to the FMCSA, if an ELD malfunctions, a motor carrier must: 1

  1. "Correct, repair, replace, or service the malfunctioning ELD within eight days of discovering the condition or a driver’s notification to the motor carrier, whichever occurs first; and
  2. Require the driver to maintain a paper record of duty status (RODS) until the ELD is back in service."

Relevant ELD malfunctions and ELD failures include: 1

  • Power data diagnostic events
  • Power compliance malfunctions
  • Engine synchronization data diagnostic events
  • Engine synchronization compliance malfunctions
  • Timing compliance malfunctions
  • Position compliance malfunctions
  • Data recording compliance malfunctions
  • Missing required data elements data diagnostic events
  • Data transfer data diagnostic events
  • Data transfer compliance malfunctions
  • Unidentified driving records data diagnostic events

Find the right solution for your business with our free Fleet Management Buyer’s Guide.

The importance of having an operational ELD

Maintaining an operational ELD is important for ensuring your fleet remains compliant with all relevant mandates. It’s also important for making sure your fleet can reap the greatest possible benefits from each ELD. These are a few of the ways functioning ELDs provide added value to your organization: 

  • Improved safety and compliance. ELDs help you gain better oversight into driver behaviors, vehicle maintenance and inspection issues so you can work to improve overall fleet safety and meet all compliance standards. 
  • Increased productivity. You can access all electronic logs stored in the cloud, eliminating the need for problematic paper logbooks. You can also see how much time a driver has left in his or her day, and if they are on or off duty, in order to better assign jobs to the right drivers. 
  • Positive revenue impact. Monitoring avoidable expenses like HOS violations, unnecessary vehicle maintenance and safety-related fines can help you enforce best practices by encouraging drivers to operate safely and efficiently, reducing expenditures and improving your bottom line. 

How to find the right ELD solution

For trucking companies in the U.S. and Canada alike,  an all-in-one ELD solution with a certified ELD provider helps make compliance less of a burden with fleet management system integration and 24/7 mobile app support for your commercial drivers. 

1 https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/eld-malfunctions-and-data-diagnostic-events


Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.


Tags: ELD & Compliance

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