If you drive for a living, such as a truck or commercial vehicle driver you will most probably be aware of the Federal rules for tracking driving hours. These are called the ELD rules, and they require that all drivers track Hours of Service (HOS), to meet Federal compliance.

An ELD is an Electronic Logging Device that connects to the vehicle’s engine and records all the vehicles activity as stated in the HOS rules. These records are called a Record of Duty Status (RODS).

Over time, since the first distance recording devices were introduced, technology has advanced, and now ELD’s can come with many different features. This is why the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCA) set down the rules that define what an ELD must be able to perform and goes as far as defining the exact features an ELD must have.

An ELD must have the following features:

  • It must connect to the truck’s engine, so it may record when the truck is in motion.
  • It must include a driver log-in with On-duty, Off-duty, or On-Duty Not Driving categories.
  • It must enable driving segmentation.
  • It must graphically display a Record of Duty Status for easy and fast viewing of hours driven.
  • It must be capable of transmitting all its data via Bluetooth 2.0, USB and/or WIFI to law enforcement agencies.
  • It must have a provider certification.

ELD’s are mandatory and have a purchasing cost. Prices vary between brands and models, but they usually stick around the $165 to $830 per truck on an annual subscription basis. The average price is aggregated at around $495 per vehicle.

Before buying any ELDs, do the due diligence and read elogs reviews.

ELD Smartphone Apps

Modern fleet management has seen a significant decrease in fleet costs when it comes to ELD management. The use of smartphone linked ELD’s reduces the need for paperwork increases the transparency of information as well as the speed of information readily available to law enforcement. It also provides “big data” management, which is access to live data analyzed as it is streamed, which provides better logistics insights to fleets, suppliers, and distributors alike.

The ELD Rule

  • ELD’s are mandatory for all drivers that must prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS).
  • All ELD’s must be certified and registered with FMCSA.
  • The rule determines what supporting documents drivers and carriers maintain all the time.
  • Provides constraints to prohibit driver harassment based on ELD data.

The electronic logging device (ELD) rule is a congressionally mandated rule that is part of MAP-21. MAP-21 is a regulatory framework designed to provide a safer work environment for drivers. It is also designed to make accurate tracking and recording of data easier, which leads to a more efficient and optimized fleet and freight management process. Ultimately, it also provides for accurate individualized tracking of vehicles across the continental USA.

Cost Saving

According to the FMCSA, the ELD rule saves drivers around $705 per year from unnecessary paper work costs, their calculation claims that it saves in the following functions per annum:

  • Driver Filling RODS: $487
  • Driver Submitting RODS: $56
  • Clerk Filing RODS: $120
  • Elimination of paper logs: $42

For more information, you can check out the ELD page in FMCSA.

FMCSA ELD Page: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices