ELD malfunction: which are the reporting requirements?

(Last Updated On: May 26, 2022)

ELD malfunction requirements

Though we all like our fleet management solution to run flawlessly at all times, however, whether or not the unit meets the ELD requirements, it can sometimes malfunction.

If this happens to your ELD, make sure you have adequate procedures in place.

Also, you need to train your drivers to understand precisely what to do to fix the problem whenever it happens.

Now let’s take a look at the ELD malfunction reporting requirements instructions below to ensure you’re ready in the event of a malfunction or ELD failure.

Fleet companies have been required to plug in the ELDs and start logging hours electronically for quite some time. Although, as a truck driver, you’ve had some opportunities to master and adjust to the latest technologies; yet, there’s one aspect you might not be prepared for: an ELD malfunction.

In reality, even the most advanced technologies can occasionally malfunction.

However, the good news is… in case of ELD malfunction: the FMCSA has some straightforward options that can help everyone to continue driving while being compliant.

What Precisely Is an ELD Malfunction?

FMCSA requires compliant ELDs to track their compliance with the ELD technical requirements.

And these ELD requirements include the ability to identify malfunctions and anomalies in the flowing area.

  • Inaccurate data, location, and timing
  • Unidentified driver records
  • Data synchronization
  • Data transmission
  • Engine Power
  • data storage

According to the FMCSA’s FAQ page, ELDs must discover these problems and alert the driver.

There have well-known two types of ELD problems that can be detected:

  1. Data Diagnostic Problems

Data diagnostic issue means that there is inconsistency in the data. And this may be due to a sudden loss of GPS, a wiring or connectivity issue, or the ELD being detached from the ECM.

When this occurs, the truck drivers should be able to troubleshoot using their instruction manuals, as any of them can be handled by the driver.

  1. Malfunction

ELD malfunction happens when the ELD senses a mechanical compliance problem. And this may be triggered by the following issues.

  • No power supply to the devices for longer than 30 minutes within the last 24-hour period
  • The device is out of operation for an incredibly long time
  • The device throws off the operating frequency
  • The component is disconnected from the ECM
  • Hardware defects

These and many other critical problems can affect the driver’s ELD records. As a result, the drivers may be unable to track hours on their ELD. And therefore, they must alert the carrier and then use paper records.

What to Do If Your ELD Malfunctions?

ELD malfunction requirementsAs mentioned earlier, ELDs that fulfill technical FMCSA ELD requirements must identify malfunctions. Also, conduct data diagnostic events and visually notify the driver.

As a measure of best practice, the driver can alert the motor carrier as early as they become aware of any fault.

If drivers are unable to recover the previous 7 days of hours-of-service RODS and unable to report hours with their ELD, they can resume recording logs on paper and reconstruct logs for the last 24-hour cycle. Also, the previous 7 days, which they will need to demonstrate at a roadside inspection.

Without a doubt, this may be time-consuming and stressful. Therefore, before you begin reconstructing records, make sure you recognize what kind of fault or data diagnostic your driver is having.

This will enable you to know if you can fix it on your own or whether you may need to involve your ELD provider.

As part of the mandate, the ELD vendor can supply you with a diagnostic checklist that drivers can use in the event of an ELD malfunction.

ELD Malfunction Reporting Requirements – How Can A Driver Report Malfunction

ELD malfunction reporting requirements stipulate that driver has 24 hours to notify the carrier in writing of the ELD malfunction.

  1. Have Access to Your Previous Logs

The driver should ensure to have access to the logs from the previous week.

And if the driver can’t get access to the logs over the last 24 hours or the last 7 days, then, the driver has to reconstruct them on paper and keep them in their vehicle.

  1. Maintain paper logs

The drive should continue to hold paper logs every day until the ELD is repaired.

Also, the motor carrier must do the following.

  • Correct, fix, upgrade, or replace the malfunctioning ELD within eight days of detecting the problem.
  • A carrier should require the driver to keep a written record of duty status (RODS) until the ELD is repaired or replaced.

How to Avoid Out of Service Due to ELD Malfunction Reporting Requirements

To prevent being forced Out-Of-Service, it is crucial to consider what to do when the ELD device malfunctions.

Please remember that you only have 8 days from the moment you discovered the fault (or were told of the malfunction) to have the unit repaired and restored to the vehicle.

If the device cannot be quickly repaired in time and obtaining a replacement is not an alternative, you must file for an extension. The FMCSA Division Administrator for the state in which your principal place of business location handles extension requests.

This request must be submitted within 5 days of discovering (or being informed of) the malfunction. When you file your request, you will be considered compliant with the ELD mandate before a decision is reached.

In the meantime, just make sure you maintain paper logs to meet the hours-of-service standards.

If this becomes a recurring issue for the ELD provider, check if they are on the FMCSA ELD Registry’s revoked list. These are the ELDs that have been decertified by FMCSA as compliant products, so you’ll need to find a new fleet management solution.

Electronic logging devices help

Which Are the Most Common Malfunctions In ELD?

ELD malfunctions and faults that are common include:

  • Data diagnostic incidents with missing necessary data elements
  • Unidentified driving reports diagnostic data incidents
  • Data transfer incidents for data diagnostics
  • Data transfer incidents for data diagnostics
  • Engine data synchronization test incidents
  • Data transfer incidents for data diagnostics
  • Engine synchronization compliance issues
  • Errors in data transmission compliance
  • Diagnostic events for power data.
  • Defects in power compliance
  • malfunctions in timing compliance
  • Errors in location compliance
  • Errors in data recording compliance

Which Road Inspection Penalties Can Be Solved by Malfunction Report?

The below are the key takeaways from the current out-of-service ELD malfunction reporting requirements:

  • Carriers and their truck drivers are mandated to make sure that their ELDs are approved and completely compatible with FMCSA ELD requirements.
  • In regards to the CVSA, having a non-compliant ELD is the same as not having one at all.
  • Drivers who encounter technical problems with their ELDs must act immediately to get the devices working.

“Not getting enough time” to fix the problem would not be accepted as a suitable excuse for enforcement officials.

Drivers who wish to remain on the road and prevent citations or out-of-service orders must be mindful of any difficulties with their ELDs and report/resolve them as soon as possible.

Drivers need to get in the habit of logging in and out of their electronic logging systems as required by the ELD requirements. And as a faulty ELD cannot be used to prevent a breach, a driver claiming they “forgot” to follow protocol would not help their case.

Which ELDs Are More Reliable?

The following are some reliable fleet management solutions we have reviewed:


eroad eldEROAD makes it possible for companies to go paperless when meeting financial, regulatory, and driver criteria. It enables them to automatically collect data, generate real-time notifications, and also file taxes using a single platform.

Therefore, this simple-to-use ELD solution makes it easy for companies to remain compliant, save time, and save money. As a result, the software reduces the risks involved with paperwork and manual spreadsheets while still increasing productivity.

EROAD important guide tools make it possible to comply with safety laws, lowering costs and risks in the company.

The EROAD fleet management solution is intended to assist companies in reducing downtime. And also lowering prices while ensuring accepted customer service standards.


EROAD has everything a fleet company needs, from monitoring and regulatory features to a comprehensive and reverse back-office feature set and excellent customer support.

With such outstanding features and strong hardware, EROAD is undeniably one of the market leaders that gives you confidence.

The EROAD Malfunction and Data Diagnostic Guide are straightforward to use.

This Diagnostic Guide contains graphs to enables truck drivers to understand which form of malfunction occurs. And if it would be a quick repair or whether they will have to use the paper logs to manually record RODS.

2. Motive (formerly Keep Truckin)

keep trucking eldMoitve (formerly Keep Truckin) offers a free ELD app that is compatible and can be installed in seconds on the driver’s Android or Apple mobile device.

The company also provides fleet managers with a free dashboard platform. And this helps them to access and review their drivers’ logs in real-time.

Motive (formerly Keep Truckin) ELD is the most basic and dependable ELD solution on the market today. It has proved to be the best ELD option in its class for experienced drivers, as well as meeting all FMCSA ELD requirements.


The Motive (formerly Keep Truckin) interface is directly connected to the vehicle’s diagnostic port (using the supplied 6-pin or 9-pin cables).

And the solution Logbook App connects to the ELD via Bluetooth and tracks the driver’s active hours continuously.

Drivers can use the Logbook app of Motive (formerly Keep Truckin) to create vehicle inspections, logs their records, send notifications, and many more.

Electronic logging devices

3. Omnitracs

omnitracs eldOmnitracs is a company that provides tracking services.

Omnitracs is one of the best fleet management companies in the trucking industry for many years due to its cutting-edge solutions and services.

The company was also one of the early adopters of ELD standards, allowing the company to master the technology ahead of the competitors.

Omnitracs Intelligent Vehicle Gateway (IVG) is a completely self-contained device (no phone or tablet required).

And the IVG also comes with an important advantage, a hands-free kit.


The entry of all information necessary via the virtual keyboard is among the most time-consuming aspect of the FMCSA ELD requirements.

And that is why IVG voice commands are so convenient.

Aside from voice commands, IVG has a wide variety of innovative features.

These features are only expected from a company that specializes in fleet management solutions.

The Omnitracs IVG is a fantastic unit, but it is more costly than any other ELDs.

However, when putting the device’s advanced features into consideration, the $800 price tag is a little more reasonable.

4. Gorilla Safety ELD

gorilla safety eldGorilla Safety is one of the most versatile fleet monitoring devices currently available today.

Using the Bring-Your-Own-Device platform as well as its integration with Gorilla Trax;

Each fleet can use existing drivers’ and operators’ smartphones or tablets to boost the effectiveness and reliability of their fleet.

In addition to the Gorilla safety suite and ELD (Electronic Logging Devices) compatible versions of its proprietary solution, Gorilla Trax is available.

Gorilla Safety keeps the fleet vehicles at the point of convergence of technology to ensure consistent safety on the highways.


Gorilla Safety’s GPS technology operates by adding a patented Gorilla Trax tracker to the truck or object.

And this connects with the company’s smartphone app when a driver is nearby.

The Gorilla Fleet Management product portfolio has grown to satisfy the specifications of today’s transportation fleet.

Each of the company solution modules aligns with the ELD directive and satisfies all of the FMCSA mandate’s criteria.

The company aims to provide ELD-compliant solutions for truck fleets to capture IFTA miles, maintenance/repair systems, accident records, and handle company policies and procedures more effectively.

5. PeopleNet

peoplenet fleet managerUnlike other ELD systems that only synchronize displays and engine data in the cloud.

PeopleNet’s eDriver logs connect displays as well as data locally to guarantee that users can view their protocol information independent of network availability.


Users can track their available hours and also show their logs to road inspectors using the eDriver Logs user interface.

Safety managers may also use the monitoring tool to review logs, make modifications, and collect information on their entire fleet’s hours of service (HOS).

PeopleNet’s eDriver logs are self-certified to suit the FMCSA ELD requirements.

Fleets can use 4G LTE networking and a wide range of Android tablets with the fleet management solution.

Basic ELD Requirements That A Device Must Have?

The FMCSA makes it perfectly clear that the ELD requirements for a smartphone device are the same as those for a dedicated unit.

  • The ELD requirements stipulate that it sync with the engine control unit to effectively monitor the vehicle’s engine power status, vehicle motion status, and other data.
  • An ELD may be on a mobile or other wireless system if it satisfies the technical ELD requirements of the ELD mandate.

The FMCSA established a series of ELD requirements that certify a product as a qualified ELD.

And simply downloading a few applications on a smartphone may not get it up to those ELD requirements specifications.

All fleet management system has various ELD requirements that must be fulfilled before it can be used on a smartphone. KeepTrukin, for example, recommends the following devices for their fleet management system.

According to the company, these are the phones that have proven to be successful when used in conjunction with the Vehicle Gateway and Motive (formerly KeepTruckin) Driver App:


  • iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 8, X, XR, XS, 11, 11 Pro, SE
  • Samsung Galaxy S7, S8, S9, S10
  • Samsung Note 8, 9, 10
  • Motorola Moto Z
  • Google Pixel 2
  • Motorola E4


  • Apple iPad 5th, 6th Gen, 7th Gen
  • Motorola Moto Z² Force Edition
  • ASUS ZenPad™ Z8s, Z10
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A

There’s more to it. However, if a mobile phone is to be used as a stand-in for an ELD unit, it must offer fair assurance that the device works as expected.

And the smartphone does not become the weak point in the telematics system’s needed accuracy and reliability.

Share what you learned!

About the author

Robert Rigman

Robert Rigman

Former independent OTR trucker that left the road to dedicate his time to research new technology for the transport industry. When the ELD Mandate was approved many questions and daily challenges came up and there was no answer to them. ELDdevices.net was born from the combination of my passion for trucking and my affinity for research and writing.

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