ELDs for Beginners


First of all, let’s cover some basic facts about ELDs.

What is an ELD?

ELD stands for Electronic Logging Device. The acronym is the current description for a device that is connected to a vehicle to automatically record driving hours for the purpose of preparing Hours of Service (HOS) reports. Under the incoming ELD mandate, these devices must meet specific criteria outlined by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Authority) on the final publication date (expected on October 30, 2015).

Other acronyms that have been used in the past include AOBRD (Automatic On-board Recorder) and EOBR (Electronic On-board Recorder). Despite slight variations, the central function of all these devices is to electronically record a driver’s activity to log HOS (Hours of Service), also known as RODS (Record of Driver Status).

The FMCSA have made provisions for drivers currently using an ELD that meet the specifications described in regulation 395.15 that they will have two years beyond the compliance date to update their hardware to meet the new ELD mandate criteria.

What is the ELD mandate?

The ELD mandate is the final ruling from the FMCSA on the electronic logging requirements for CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) drivers who are required to comply with HOS limits.

The mandate will include

  • Specifications for ELD manufacturers to make sure new devices are compliant
  • How ELDs will be used to collect HOS data
  • How to handle exceptions (such as an ELD that breaks down)
  • How ELD data will be checked by DOT officers including roadside inspections
  • How long ELD data needs to be retained and in what format
  • Rules around driver privacy, employer coercion or infringements
  • Provision for personal conveyance and yard moves

The ELD mandate was published December 10, 2015, and comes into effect 60 days after this date.

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