What is ELD: Everything You Need to Know

What is ELD: Everything You Need to Know

What is ELD?

The term ELD has been heard a lot lately in the world of fleet vehicles and trucking, but many people, even in the industry, don’t understand what it refers to. Let’s break it down here.

An ELD, or electronic logging device, is an advanced type of GPS vehicle tracker that is capable of recording and thereby regulating the driving hours of commercial motor vehicles These devices are in place to support HOS, or hours of service, rules. In 2017, the FMCSA passed a law called the ELD Mandate which requires all commercial fleet vehicles to use ELDs to track and regulate their drivers’ hours of service.

How does ELD work?

An ELD is an electronic device that is attached to the vehicle in much the same way that a regular GPS vehicle tracker would be mounted. It can automatically record data about location, hours of service, miles traveled, and more, all in the proper format that is in accordance with the ELD mandate.

Real-Time ELD

ELDs work in conjunction with accessible software, making it possible for drivers and fleet managers to review information about the vehicle and make changes or adjustments in case of error. This information is directed to the included cloud software and versions of the program can be accessed via computer, tablet, or smartphone by the driver or fleet manager at any time. This information can also be easily transferred to law enforcement personnel if hours of service information is required at a roadside stop.

Why is ELD better?

The FMCSA implemented the ELD Mandate to provide better information tracking, enforce adherence to existing hours of service laws, and make the transfer of data smooth and sufficient. Other benefits of ELDs include:

  • Simple and quick means of maintaining driver logs

  • Minimizes errors in time and mileage logging

  • Manages schedules

  • Maintains accurate records

  • Improves productivity

  • Ensures compliance

  • Minimizes paperwork

  • Provides availability of instant information transfer

  • Reduces risk of tampering and lost data

Why Was the ELD Mandate Needed?

Previous devices like EOBR did record hours of service but they lacked consistency in recording and processing data. To meet the legal definition of Record of Duty Status (RODS), a device capable of consistent data recording and instant record generation was required. The ELD Mandate was designed to implement this.

What Is The Compliance Date for ELD?

FMSCA introduced ELD in several steps but the final date for compliance for ELD with published specifications was December 18, 2017, with a 2-year relaxation for AOBRD users. Some industries have special exceptions in place, so it is important to research those individually.

Learn More About the ELD Mandate

The ELD Mandate was designed to make the fleet industry safer, for both truck drivers and the commuters they share the road with. Implementation of the ELD Mandate is still in its earliest stages, but it promises a bright future for the fleet industry.

To learn more about the ELD Mandate and what its expected effects are, please visit our fleet tracking industry page and check out our ELD Mandate learning article.


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