Also known as the ELD Final Rule, the ELD Mandate was instituted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in December 2015 and requires commercial motor vehicle drivers to track their Records of Duty Status electronically, using compliant ELDs versus paper logbooks.
An Electronic Logging Device, or ELD for short, is a hardware device designed to automatically record a driver’s drive time and other aspects relating to Hours of Service (HOS) compliance. The device does this by monitoring a vehicle’s engine and traveling time.
While an Automatic On Board Recording Device (AOBRD) also records the amount of time a vehicle is being driven, an ELD must be certified and registered with the FMCSA. Each ELD model will have a unique registration number that can be found on its display or printout.
Most notably, an ELD, or electronic logging device, allows for the recording of more accurate driving hours. They also negate the need for manual paper log entries, which can result in unintentional Hours of Service (HOS) violations. By improving compliance with HOS rules, drivers have more time to rest and are more likely to operate their vehicles in a safe and efficient way. Furthermore, accurate HOS records can boost fleet efficiency and utilization, as they facilitate streamlined business operations like effective dispatching.
By 16 December 2019, all commercial vehicles must have a certified, registered ELD installed that complies with the ELD Federal Mandate.
Over time, drivers and fleet managers have used a variety of ways to record driver and vehicle information. These methods have run the gamut from paper logbooks to personal devices with an app that records, stores, and sends the information. However, with the installation of an ELD that meets the ELD mandate compliance requirements, these other methods are obsolete.
An ELD captures and stores information about drivers and vehicles. The device is installed and connected to the vehicle’s engine. The information it collects is uploaded to the telematics system. You can then review HOS status for drivers and run reports to review data.
Once installed, an ELD device communicates with the vehicle’s engine and the telematics system to give you detailed engine status information and accurate, real-time GPS location information. An ELD must be DOT-certified in order to be used for recording Hours of Service (HOS).
If you were previously required to file a Record of Duty Status (RODS), you should be using an ELD. This includes commercial motor vehicle drivers, truck drivers who operate in the U.S, and owner-operators.
Some commercial motor vehicle drivers do not need to use ELDs. This includes short-haul drivers, tow truck operators if the commercial motor vehicle being driven is the commodity, drivers of vehicles older than 2000 model year, drivers who keep logs for only eight days out of a period of 30 days, and agricultural, livestock and farm vehicles.
According to the FMCSA, an ELD must begin recording a commercial truck as being in driving mode when its speed reaches 5 miles per hour. At various intervals, it records the date, time, vehicle, location, mileage, driver ID, engine hours, user authorization, and motor carrier.
According to FMSCA, an ELD must connect to the vehicle’s engine to retrieve the truck engine’s data and display it as a graph. The device has three driver modes: on-duty, off-duty, and driving. The data is formatted in a standard form established by the FMSCA. The driver can update the driving mode, and the device will then update the driver’s selection. It does this by evaluating the vehicle’s movement.
To be in compliance, an ELD needs to have individual accounts for administrators and drivers, record driving time in 60-minute intervals, copies of driver records available through printout or digital display, require driver certification every 24 hours, connectability on all data platforms, tamper-proof data retention, keep records for seven days, ability to assign driving records to drivers and others, and access to all information by DOT and law enforcement.