ELD Questions

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After the ELD mandate was passed in December 2019, ELDs have become extremely common in the trucking industry and it has had a huge impact. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)  estimates that ELD implementation will prevent 1,844 auto accidents saving 26 lives and preventing 562 injuries every year. In addition, ELD is expected to save the trucking industry around $1 billion every year. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about ELDs.

What is an ELD? 

An Electronic Logging Device, or ELD, is a device that connects to the engine of a vehicle to automatically gather data about the driving hours, time, location, driver identification, and more. The data is primarily used for preparing Hours of Service (HOS) reports, also referred to as the RODS (Record of Driver Status). The ELD technology can be used to monitor the vehicle engine, mileage, and movement of the vehicle.  

What are the Standard Requirements of an ELD? 

An ELD device should be able to record a commercial driver’s HOS accurately and reliably. In addition, it needs to record the location of the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and be fully synchronized with the vehicle’s engine operation. In addition, a certified ELD device has to be tamper-proof so that the data gathered is trustworthy. ELD solutions must also allow law enforcement officers to access the ELD record through the device during roadside inspections. Some of the standard features of an electronic logging device include graph grid display, driver identification, engine synchronization, location recording, and data transfer. 

What is the ELD Mandate?

The ELD mandate, also referred to as the ELD rule, is the final ruling from the FMCSA on the electronic data recording of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who are required to comply with the HOS limits. 

According to the ELD Mandate, the required drivers and motor carriers need electronic logging devices, rather than traditional paper log books. The goal of the ELD rule is to make it more efficient and reliable for truck drivers and motor careers to stay in compliance with HOS regulations. The full enforcement of the ELD rule began in December 2019. 

Are There any Exceptions to the ELD Mandate? 

ELD rule applies to most motor carriers and drivers, however, there are some exceptions. For drivers who engage in driveaway-towaway operations, where the vehicle driven is the commodity being delivered, then the ELD rule does not apply in such cases. 

Drivers who only have occasional use of paper logs, such as needing to maintain RODS for less than 9 days in a 30-day period are also exempt from ELD compliance. Similarly, drivers who operate vehicles that are manufactured before the model year 2000 or those who do not need to maintain a RODS at all, are also exempt. There are several other exceptions to the ELD rule including cases related to agricultural operations and personal conveyance. 

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How Do ELDs Work?

ELDs are designed to replace paper logs. Instead of manually entering the data, ELDs automatically record data. The ELD is synchronized with the vehicle’s engine via the engine control module (ECM). This allows the ELD to record data such as engine power status, miles driven, vehicle motion status, time, location, and other relevant information. The ECM connection can be made through a cable or wirelessly through a cellular or Bluetooth connection.ELDs also offer an interface so the driver can interact with the device. For example, the driver can log in, select duty status, and perform other tasks. 

Do Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Need Training To Use ELDs? 

Most ELDs are easy to use and do not require extensive training for commercial drivers. However, they would probably need introductory training to understand how to use the device. 

The introductory training would help the driver get a basic understanding of the functionality of the features including how to log in, change duty status, and handle some troubleshooting with the device. The training will also help them identify any malfunctions with the device that require attention. Some ELDs include features for communicating with fleet managers or dispatch, and the driver must know how to use this feature. 

What Are The Benefits Of Using An ELD?

ELDs help streamline operations by minimizing time-consuming work. Drivers spend less than filling out manual logs and focus on their driving and other job responsibilities of a commercial truck driver. ELD benefits also include improved compliance with HOS regulations and IFTA reporting requirements. Motor carriers found guilty of violation can face hefty fines or other penalties. 

The use of ELD also offers motor carriers better opportunities to maintain their feet. The best ELD devices have features that can track maintenance schedules and monitor the health of the vehicle to notify the maintenance managers about any issues that need attention. 

The fleet managers can also optimize the fuel consumption of their fleet using ELDs. As ELD records data about the movement of the vehicle, fleet managers can use the ELD data to identify drivers that engage in excessive idling or aggressive driving, which increases fuel consumption. Other benefits of using ELD include better route optimization and improved safety on the roadways. 

What To Do Look for an ELD Solutions Provider? 

You want an ELD solutions provider that has several years of experience in the industry and offers fully compliant ELD devices, including compliance with the FMCSA regulations. In addition, you want to partner with a provider that offers ELD devices that are easy to implement and use.

If you are planning on integrating the ELD with your existing systems, then you must check the compatibility before making the purchase. While the standard ELD features are similar on most devices, the features can vary. Ideally, you should pick ELD solutions that meet your specific requirements. 
If you are looking for an industry-leading ELD solutions provider, you are welcome to get in touch with us at Simplex Group. We have over two decades of experience in the trucking industry. Our high-quality ELD system is designed to streamline operations and ensure compliance. To ensure you are leveraging the best technology for your trucking business, contact us for a free consultation to learn more about how ELD solutions benefit you.