ELD Mandate: ELD compliant devices [Updated 2019]

Posted in Mandate Info
(Last Updated On: July 2, 2019)

The ELD Mandate is here. Do you want to find out what is the ELD Mandate? If you are looking to sort out all of the information you been hearing about the ELD mandate, read on.

U.S. federal law can be very confusing. The mandate includes legal jargon that make your head spin. The ELD Mandate, also called the ELD Final rule, deals specifically with electronic logging devices( also called ELDS). The mandate becomes enforceable effective Dec 18,2017.

Drivers and fleet owners find themselves asking many questions regarding the ELD mandate. The mandate was looming but now its here. Now , there are more questions than answers.

For instance, what ELDs are? Others are what this federal law means to them.

This Article attempts to answer all of those questions. We hope that by answering those questions

What Exactly is the ELD Mandate?

Many truck drivers are looking to find out more information about the looming ELD mandate. However, the ELD final rule is very easy to read.
Unlike your favorite novel,  it is actually a 516 pages long document.

It’s not as engaging, or nearly as exciting, but it is important. In this article we will try to break it down piece by piece.

For starters, let’s talk about what the ELD mandate is.

FMCSA ELD CompliantThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (also called the FMCSA) created and enacted the ELD mandate in December of 2015. The mandate came  after a prolonged period of waiting.

The ELD Mandate is also called the Electronic Logging Device Rule. The mandate was created to address concerns over Hours of Operations. Furthermore, it mandates electronic devices to be used to record a driver’s Record of Duty Status (or RODS).

In its most basic explanation, the ELD mandate is simply mimicking existing requirements into electronic format. Many commercial trucking companies resist the change. Many companies were not honest and/or accurate in recording their record of duty status.


What Are Hours-of-Services?

The electronic Record of Duty Status  will replace the paper logbook. Many drivers currently using paper log to record their compliance with hours of service requirements (also called HOS).

The HOS requirements are a permanent record of driving hours, on-duty hours, and rest time over the course of a driver’s trip.

Benefits of ELD mandate

Many people are asking if the ELD mandate is a necessary law. There are many reasons behind enacting the mandate. However,  the primary reason is driver fatigue.  It’s no secret that long-distance, extended driving for commercial purposes is a physically exhausting, and exhausted drivers are statistically more likely to cause accidents.

Awareness to this problem led to the restriction on driver hours. Hence, the requirements to keep a log that documents that driving hours are not exceeded.

ELD mandate is Reducing Paper Burden

Keeping paper logbooks can be wildly inaccurate due to miscalculation by drivers and pressure from employers to possibly manipulate hours.

The electronic logging data mandate solves this by requiring electronic loggers to replace paper logs with electronic recording automatically performed to ensure accuracy. This can help keep an accurate record and help combat fatigue, and potentially destructive accidents.

The ELD Mandate became a law in February 16, 2016. The compliance date was delayed a few times. Finally, the mandate went into effect on Dec 18,2017.  Soon after that date, all drivers must use ELDs. The mandate came too quickly. Therefore, many companies did not  have time to adapt and abide by the new law.

If you’re a commercial trucking company, or something similar, make sure you read on to make sure you’re complying with the right ELD Mandate requirements and won’t be breaking the law come December 2017.

Who Does It Affect?

First and foremost, the mandate affect interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers. Currently, interstate drivers are require to log their RODS. Interstate drivers effected by the mandate are:

A. Operate vehicles that weigh more than 10,001 pounds.
B. Vehicles with placarded hazmat loads.
C. Vehicles carrying more than 8 or 15 passengers (depending on the vehicle class).

In summary, every driver that was previously using paper log would be affected by the ELD mandate.

Exempted Drivers From ELD Mandate

Those who are exempt from the mandate include drivers who operate within a 100-air mile radius, non-commercial driver license driver who operate within a 150-air-mile radius, drive-away-, two-away operators and vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.

To put it simply, the mandate applies to all commercial drivers.  THE FCMSCA estimates the mandate will impact over 3.4 million drivers.


Requirements of Approved ELD

A. For example, they’re all supposed to be able to connect to a truck’s engine to track when it is in motion.

B. They can enable the driver to log in and pick among a few options, such as “on duty,” “off duty,” and “on-duty and not driving.”

C. They can also display a record of duty status so the driver can quickly glance at the hours he or she has driven in that day


Requirements of the ELD Mandate: What does it Do? What Types are There?

As we’ve discussed, the ELD mandate essentially requires commercial drivers who travel long distances for extended periods of time to track their hours of service with electronic, automatic devices. Saving them potential discrepancies that paper logging could cause.ELD Mandate

Electronic logging devices range from simple, recording devices to more complicated machinery, but overall, electronic logging devices are supposed to be able to do similar things.

Most ELD manufacturers offer data in standardized formats.  The data is transmitting to law enforcement in multiple ways. For example,  wireless web services, USB or even Bluetooth. All approved ELD vendors are registered on the FMCSA website.


The ELD and AOBRD are accomplishing the same task. However, there are distinct differences among them. For example, the term Automatic on Board Recording Devices is often used interchangeable with ELD Devices, though, they’re not the same thing.

The FMCSA uses the term AOBRD to describe an electric device that meets the HOS requirements. Those requirements  are the same as the previous paper logbook requirements.

Further, an Electronic Onboard Recorder is a device that stores electronic logging applications. It sounds like an ELD, but when compared to an ELDs proper definition, you can see the glaring differences.

Additional Differences

According to the FMCSA, an ELD, is  Electronic Logging Device. This term is describing systems that are not an integral part of the truck. These devices will sync with a trucks engine to not just track miles drive and engine hours, but also motion and power status of the truck.

The most significant difference? AOBRDs and EOBRs don’t track these things.

There are all types of ELDs that can be used, even your cell phone or other wireless device. The FMCSA website does not provide specific ELD models.
The website does provide a list of approved ELD manufactures.

The quickest way to decide on approved ELD devices is to review the ELD Devices Comparison Checklist.

So, What’s the Point of the Mandate?

The Electronic logging device mandate is expected to save the commercial trucking industry time and money. Through research, the FMCSA estimated that the average truck driver fills out about 240 RODS per year.

In a  perfect world, the FMCSA hopes that the mandate will provide industry wide-benefits. One of the most notable benefits is lower truck downtime.In addition, it hopes to increase safety among fleet management teams.

The FMCSA has found that drivers that use ELDs will have lower crash rates.  Further, By monitoring their hours and operating logs drivers will lower their total crash rate by 11.7 percent. Furthermore, preventable crash rate has decreased by 5.1 percent.

An added bonus, the FMCSA is hoping to reduce fuel costs, too. By monitoring excessive truck idling times, companies can potentially build programs that will incentivize programs for drivers. As added benefit, fleet owners can boost fuel efficiency.

Closing Argument: The ELD Mandate and You

The ELD mandate is obviously a dense, enormous ruling. It  covers far more than what we’ve just tried to break down into a simple, easy-to-digest pieces. We’ve certainly tried to hit on the biggest, most important notes of the electronic logic device mandate.

However, there’s obviously no way to jam 516 pages worth of documentation into a smattering of articles.

This ruling will effect truck drivers and fleet owners. Therefore, we encourage both parties to re-read the above. Get familiar with our summary on the electronic logging device mandate. By doing that, the driver or owner will be ready when compliance enforcement will begin. 

Final Take Away

While it’s easy to understand that ELDs help avoid deliberate and unintentional HOS violations.  It also helps avoid possible fines drivers could accumulate due to the inaccuracy of paper logs. Finally, the details and requirements surrounding them are not always so succinct or black and white.

If you still feel lost,  try to Read into the mandate itself. We know, 516 pages of political jargon may not seem like a blast. However, if you focus on bullet points, you will be able to narrow it down.

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