Source: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – Electronic Logging Device
About the ELD Rule
The electronic logging device (ELD) rule is intended to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier, faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data. For carriers using AOBRDs (automatic onboard recording devices) before the rule compliance date December 18, 2017, the rule will replace AOBRDs with ELDs over a four-year implementation period. An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service (HOS) recording. The rule applies to most carriers and drivers who are required to maintain RODS.
The ELD Rule:
- Specifies who is covered by the rule and exceptions to it.
- Provides for ELDS to be certified, registered, and listed on a FMCSA website.
- Includes technical specifications to ensure ELDs are standardized and compliant.
- Includes a phased implementation timeline to give drivers and carriers time to comply.
- Includes provisions to help prevent data tampering and harassment of drivers.
- Creates standard data displays and data transfer processes, making it easier to demonstrate compliance and faster to share RODS with safety officials.
ELD Rule Impacts
Carriers and Drivers who are subject to the rule must install and use ELDs by the appropriate deadline:
- Carriers and drivers who are using paper logs or logging software must transition to ELDs no later than December 18, 2017.
- Carriers and drivers who use AOBRDS prior to the compliance date must transition to ELDs no later than December 16, 2019.
Enforcement Partners must understand enforcement and compliance procedures during each implementation phase, and which regulatory guidance applies to each.
ELD Manufacturers must conform to ELD technical specifications, certify their ELDs, and register them with FMCSA.
What Do I Need to Know?
The ELD Rule applies to most motor carriers and drivers who are currently required to maintain records of duty status (RODS). The rule applies to commercial buses as well as trucks. Canada- and Mexico-domiciled drivers are included, unless they qualify for one of the exceptions to the ELD rule.
ELD Rule Exceptions
The following are not required to use ELDs (but carriers may choose to use ELDs even if they are not required):
- Drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days during any 30-day period.
- Driveaway-towaway drivers (transporting an empty vehicle for sale, lease, or repair).
- Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.
What Do I Need to Do?
Carriers must evaluate and select ELDs, and ensure they are installed and drivers and administrative staff are trained to use them by the deadline that applies (December 16, 2019 for carriers using AOBRDs or December 18, 2017) for those using paper logs or logging software.
The Compliance Checklist for Carriers includes additional information.
Drivers must understand and be able to use ELDs by the required deadline, including how to annotate and edit RODS, certify RODS, and collect required supporting documents. You will also need to know how to display and transfer data to safety officials when requested.
The Compliance Checklist for Drivers and the Using ELDs section provide more details.
- ELDs make it easier, simpler, and quicker to keep driver logs.
- ELDs limit mistakes and reduce form and manner errors.
- ELDs provide information to drivers and motor carriers so that drivers can better manage fatigue and schedule issues.
- ELDs correctly record location and accurate information to easily track duty status.
- ELDs are a good management tool and back office asset to improve productivity and enhance compliance.
- With ELDs, there is less paperwork, and driver logs are orderly, clear, and accurate.
Tips for Choosing a Compliant ELD
Below are tips to consider when choosing an ELD, and a checklist of key features and functions that every ELD must provide.
- Most Important: Make sure that the specific ELD model you are considering is on FMCSA’s list of registered ELDs. Review the list of registered ELDs here. The vendors on this list have self-certified that their device is compliant with all of the ELD technical specifications, and registered each ELD model with FMCSA.
- Take a few minutes to research the ELD provider by checking with the Better Business Bureau and looking at online reviews for their products and customer service.
- While many ELDs may be part of a Fleet Management System (FMS) or include FMS functions, there is no requirement for Fleet Management functionality. An ELD that complies with FMCSA requirements is what is required by the ELD rule.
Before choosing an ELD, have the vendor verify that its device meets all of the ELD specifications contained in the rule.
While this list is not a complete list of all required ELD functions, at a minimum have the vendor demonstrate or show you all the features and functions in the list below.
ELD Feature or Function
- Provides separate accounts for drivers and administrative (non-driver) ELD users
Has “integral synchronization” with the engine control module to automatically record engine power status, vehicle motion status, and other data
- Automatically records all driving time and at intervals of 60 minutes. Records date, time, location, engine hours, vehicle miles, and driver identification
- Records location with an accuracy of one-mile radius during on-duty driving periods
- Reduces location accuracy to a 10-mile radius when vehicle is used for authorized personal use
- ELD time is synchronized with UTC (coordinated universal time)
- Retains data for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days
- Prevents tampering; does not allow anyone to alter or erase information originally collected for driver ELD records
- Requires driver to review unidentified driver records – and either acknowledge assignment of this driving time, or indicate that the records do not belong to the driver
- Allows a driver to obtain a copy of his/her ELD records on demand – either through a printout or electronic file
- Supports one of two options for electronic data transfer:
- Telematic type: using wireless web services or email
- Local transfer type: using USB2.0 or Bluetooth
- Displays all required standardized data to authorized safety officials on demand – through a screen display or printout that includes three elements: a daily header, graph grid showing driving duty status changes, and detailed daily log data. The graph grid, if printed, must be at least 6 inches by 1.5 inches
- Requires driver certification and annotation (written explanation) for any edits to records that are made by the driver or any other ELD user
- Requires certification of driver records at the end of each 24-hour period
- ELD provider furnishes user’s manual, instructions for handling malfunctions and record-keeping during malfunctions, and instructions for transferring ELD hours of service records to safety officials
- Volume control or mute option for any audio feature
Note: The information provided on this website is to help promote understanding of and compliance with the ELD rule – it is not a substitute for the specific requirements documented in the rule.