What is the importance of Electronic Logging Devices?

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What is the importance of Electronic Logging Devices

What is ELD Mandate?

As per US Federal government regulation, ELD mandate or ELD Final Rule is a law that states that the operators of the commercial vehicles must use Electronic Logging Devices or ELDs.

The device is designed with the aim of recording data related to the fleet of the vehicle and drover activities. The driver information mainly includes hours of service worked which include on-duty as well as off-duty records, rest time and the course of the trip. 

The first federal law which required the commercial drivers to maintain all the service records was introduced in the year of 1937. During those years paper logbooks were used and drivers need to enter the records manually by writing.

After the introduction of ELD mandate, paper logbooks have been replaced with an earlier type of recorder called as Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) with automated ELD technology.

Why this law was required to be passed?

FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) in collaboration with US DOT (Department of Transportation) aims at improving road safety and in-turn reduce the number of accidents that happen throughout USA.

Driving at a stretch continuously for long distances is tiresome and therefore leads to highways and street accidents. Due to the increased accident rates, driver hours of service are restricted and log documenting has become necessary according to which drivers’ hours are maintained. Drivers cannot exceed the timings. 

Since manual entry is made in Paper logbooks, there are chances of mistakes. Drivers may have miscalculated their working hours which in turn creates pressure on the employers to manipulate hours. As a result, to ease their work, ELD mandate is preferred over paper logbooks which replace logbooks with electronic recording, performed automatically to ensure accuracy.

Who needs to install ELD and who are exempted from the installation?

All commercial vehicle drivers are required to install ELD which is approximately more than 3.5 million drivers. It is a general rule applied to all drivers maintaining RODS (Record of Duty Status). But, few drivers/vehicle are exempted from this rule.

If you belong to any of the following categories listed below, you will not be required to install ELD Mandate or Electronic Logging Devices.

  • Vehicle used for delivering commodities and the drivers use driveway or tow away operations
  • Vehicles having pre-2000 model engines
  • Short-hauls drivers who doesn’t maintain RODS
  • Short-haul drivers who maintain RODS but only for 8 days in a 30 day period. A 30-day period may not refer to a month; 30 day can be from for eg. Jun 20 – Jul 20

Things to remember while purchasing ELD provider

There are dozens of ELD devices available in the market but to choose the best ELD Device consider the following points –

  • It must have features like – GPS tracking, Log auditing, messaging, IFTA reporting, Idle-time tracking, Driver score cards and so on.
  • ELDs you choose must be able to transfer data via Bluetooth or USB connections rather than depending on cellular data.
  • Compare the prices of the ELDs from various vendors before purchasing one
  • Your ELD device must be FMCSA certified
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