The Electronic Logging Device mandate is an attempt by the FMCSA to enhance road safety and reduce the number of accidents occurring in the U.S.A. The deadline for the ELD mandate was in December 2017 for those commercial motor vehicles that had no electronic logging installed.  Those that were equipped with the older AOBRD standard were allowed to maintain it until December 2019, whereby all commercial motor vehicles affected by the ELD regulations, must conform to the new ELD standard.  AOBRD would no longer be permitted. Larger fleets are mostly in compliance, and many smaller fleets have complied, but there are still smaller fleets and owner-operated vehicles that do not comply with either the older AOBRD or the new ELD standard.

ELD rule and compliance

An ELD or Electronic Logging Device is an electronic device that is connected to the engines of commercial motor vehicles. Its purpose is to take note of the number of driving hours and using tracked data, monitor the vehicle’s engine to determine whether the engine is running or is stationary. This will also reveal the length of time the truck engine was running. Six particular items of engine data must be accounted for at all times according to the ELD rule. Before the introduction of the ELD mandate, bus drivers and commercial truckers had to make do with paper logs to follow up on their hours of service. In a nutshell, the ELD will electronically record a motorist’s Record of Duty Status to improve safety by utilizing technology to bolster drivers’ hours-of-service regulations.

How does the ELD mandate assist in enhancing road safety?

Driver fatigue has been rated as the number one causal factor for most road accidents, and this was recently confirmed by doctors who pointed it out as the main reason for automobile crashes. FMCSA has specific Hours of Service regulations that limit the number of hours that a driver can drive in one day. Nonetheless, the challenge with hours of service is that they are recorded on paper logs, which are readily manipulated or falsified. The implication is that many drivers either agreeably end up driving beyond their daily limit, or unwillingly do it after getting coerced by fleet managers and their direct superiors. This breach of the HOS rule ensures that drivers get fatigued, eventually increasing the likelihood of an accident happening.

Going by the ELD Mandate, electronic logbooks for trucks and other commercial motor vehicles will become inevitable. These will help to do away with paper logs and track Hours of Service (HOS) and driver duty status automatically. The ELDs are also designed to be tamper-proof, so any information that has been recorded cannot be modified by anyone.

Who is supposed to install ELDs…who is exempted?

The ELD mandate affects the majority of commercial motor vehicles drivers. According to estimates, it applies to at least 3.5 million commercial drivers in the U.S. The general rule is that if a driver maintains a record of duty status, he must have an ELD. However, there are exceptions to this. If you belong to specific categories, you won’t need to have the electronic logging devices. The exemptions are as follows:

  •  Drivers who own vehicles with a pre-2000 model year engines
  •  Short-haul drivers who aren’t compelled to maintain a record of duty status
  •  Drivers who perform towaway, driveaway operations whereby the vehicle being driven happens to be the goods to be delivered
  •  Short-haul drivers who have breached the short-haul limitations and should maintain a record of duty status, but not exceeding eight days in one month.

What to look for in an ELD service provider

There are quite several ELD providers that you’ll find in the market today, but not all of them can guarantee you ELD compliance. Aside from the ELD compliance requirement, which should be your priority, there are a few other factors that should come into consideration when searching for a provider. Electronic logging devices are powerful tools that provide the data and information to trucking companies which they require to make their operations more efficient.

The right ELD solution ensures that you end up with the proper information to reduce administrative burdens, minimize operational costs, streamline processes, automate tasks, and eventually increase your profits. At the end of the day, when you invest in a dependable ELD solution, there is a better return on investment in waiting. In summary, the following factors will be helpful when shopping for an ELD service provider:

  • Certification and compliance
  • Price
  • Connectivity
  • Features
  • Capabilities beyond ELD to enhance the driving and fleet management experience such as vehicle and asset tracking, load management and work orders, engine data analytics and more

There are many benefits that come with equipping your vehicle with an electronic logging device. Not only will you be complying with official directives, but also improving the overall efficiency of your services. If you are thinking of getting an electronic logbook for truckers, go to e-logbook for a dependable service provider.