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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Your Guide To The Perfect ELD For Your Fleet Needs

Truck in fleet being ELD compliant
Aside from compliance requirements, there are a couple of things to consider before purchasing your dream ELD. Taking the time to know whether or not you are exempt from the new mandate, and what game-changing features that make your job a whole lot easier will save you time and money before Dec. 16.

The ELD Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations:

Requires ELD use by commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS).

Sets ELD performance and design standard, and requires ELDs to be certified and registered with FMCSA.

Establishes what supporting documents drivers and carriers are required to keep.

Prohibits harassment of drivers based on ELD data or connected technology (such as fleet management system).

Provides recourse for drivers who believe they have been harassed.


Three Add-Ons for the ELD Feature Checklist

#1 Instant Messaging

There is no requirement for having an instant messaging feature including with your ELD, but this feature would enable all parties to stay in direct communication during a route. Streamline communication between drivers and dispatch aids in dissolving miscommunication and confusion, similar features with the same motive can be found by using apps like the TruckLogics app.

#2 Dash Camera

For some the use of a recording device may seem like a disaster waiting to happen but, 100% of truck drivers who were falsely accused of being at fault of a truck-passenger accident would agree that they wished there were proof to show they weren’t to blame. 

Not only does a dash camera protect individuals and companies against fraudulent claims, but it also can be used for education purposes in training processes for more effective coaching.

There are also a number of insurance carriers who recognize the benefits dash cameras have on the safety and reward forward-thinking companies with reduced subsidies and premiums.

#3 Safety Alerts 

Many of the ELDs that are FMCSA complaint have features that help in improving the safety of the road, but there are some that take it a little further in offering alerts on not just speeding, but hard braking, and lane departures.

ELD Exemptions


Those who must comply with the transition typically know who they are, however, there are exceptions to the new mandated requirements. Even though it seems as if the world is going full-on electronic, time cards and paper RODs fall in line with those being exempt. 

Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions are able to continue using timecards, and those who use paper RODs less than 8 times over a 30-day span are exempt as well. The 30-day period is not restricted to a single month but does apply to any 30-day period. 

Drivers who operate a vehicle manufactured before 2000, based on the VIN they qualify to no have to make the transition along with drivers conducting drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered. At this time, with the exemption being likely to change, transporters of livestock and insects are not required to have an ELD and are not required by the FMCSA to carry documents regarding the exemption. 

Meeting ELD Compliance


When searching for the perfect ELD device there are several aspects to consider. The main aspect transporters should look for is whether or not the device is registered at FMCSA.

A compliant ELD solution will provide:

Separate accounts for administrators, both non-drivers and drivers.

Integral Synchronization with the Electronic Control Module (ECM).

Automatic recording of information such as; location, date, time, engine hours, vehicle miles, and driver identification.

Although there are basic compliance requirements for ELDs it is wise to make sure the selected device offers the use of cellular networks, USB, and even Bluetooth. 

The cellular network feature is vital in transmitting data between engine-connected vehicles and smartphones and tablets. The most reliable way of transmitting information is through the use of US and Bluetooth, in the event that there is no cellular service. 

Waiting until the end of the year to begin the search for an ELD to make the perfect match for specific fleet needs, will more than likely end in an additional extension for the mandate. 
By making the migration from AOBRDs to ELDs in the first quarter when IFTA reports are due to the pressure of having the first choice be the best choice is eliminated.



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