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Everything You Need to Know About Electronic Logging Devices


Compliance is vital to fleet management, and commercial fleet owners must abide by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.

The ELD obligation is one of the most significant components of the FMCSA guidelines. The mandate requires some commercial truck and bus types to have an equipped Electronic Logging Device, or ELD.

ELDs record essential details about the driver and the vehicle, which is beneficial to fleet owners and drivers. It lowers administrative burdens and raises fleet security.

Are you contemplating upgrading, or are you unfamiliar with ELD devices? You will discover all the information you require about ELDs in this article, including what they are, how they operate, what data they capture, why they are essential for compliance, and fleet owners' advantages.

What are ELDs?

A hardware tool called an electronic logging device, or ELD is used to automatically log a driver's driving time and other details related to Hours of Service (HOS) compliance. The gadget accomplishes this by keeping track of the speed and engine of a car. 

An ELD device guarantees that drivers and fleet owners are in sync by continuously updating managers on driver status through real-time alerts. ELDs monitor drivers' actions and gather information on speeding, hard braking, and abrupt acceleration. 

Who Needs an ELD?

The federal ELD mandate requires most owner-operators and trucking businesses to install an ELD solution. On rare occasions, a commercial driver or trucking firm may not need to install an ELD.

How Is ELD Operational?

Many electronic logging devices send data straight from the engine to the truck's onboard diagnostic (OBD) port. It encompasses the fuel used, the vehicle's distance traveled, etc. Most ELD systems come with a GPS device that lets fleet managers know where the truck is at all times. During periodic inspections, they can send data to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and fleet administrators.

The ELD system records location information when the vehicle starts, moves, or stops. When the driver's job description changes, the ELD gathers data and shows it in a grid or chart format. 

Moreover, no one can alter or falsify ELD data because it is tamper-resistant. Additionally, the system records and reports any errors or faults automatically. It guarantees that the hours of service (HOS) information you get is always reliable. 

How ELDs Transmit Data

ELDs are capable of transmitting data in multiple ways. Most operators connect the ELD to their smartphone app (which logs service hours) via Bluetooth or cell phone signal (through a data subscription with a provider).

Apart from a cellular connection, some ELD systems feature an integrated WiFi hotspot. Data transmission between an ELD and a mobile app is another use for this technology. Additionally, built-in WiFi gives drivers mobile internet access to use productivity apps like email and digital work orders while on the road.

Information from the ELD Record


Hours of Service (HOS)—the total number of hours a truck driver drives each day and the total number of on- and off-duty hours they accrue each week—are the primary data that ELDs capture. The federal government regulates HOS, and many business vehicles must have an ELD system to comply.

On the other hand, you can utilize ELDs to gather several additional pieces of data beneficial for fleet management. For this reason, ELD devices are sometimes called "telematics devices," any digitized information transmitted over long distances. 

The most efficient ELDs have accelerometers, gyroscopes, and satellite navigation built in. They can record:

  • Drive time, hours worked, and duty status report
  • GPS tracking in real-time
  • Vehicle Details
  • Mileage, idle time, and fuel consumption
  • Fault indicators and diagnostics
  • Incidents about safety, such as hard braking or collisions
  • Vehicle motion status, engine power, and driver information
  • Driving manners
  • Accidents involving crashes

Benefits of Using ELDs

Below are the benefits any fleet manager, proprietor, or operator enjoys by incorporating ELD.

A Higher Fuel Efficiency

IFTA filings become straightforward with automated data collection about fuel purchases and consumption. Fleet managers and owners can also save on operating expenses using fuel tracking.

An operator can design a more efficient route by precisely tracking the fuel consumed on a given one to conserve time and money. Drivers can complete their work more quickly and with less expense by taking shorter or quicker routes.

Improved Fleet Maintenance 

Fleet vehicle managers and owners can extend fleet vehicle longevity and improve reliability by utilizing data from ELD devices. Increased availability, which results in higher uptime, allows operators to enhance performance, increase service delivery, and maintain customer satisfaction.

Mileage, fuel consumption, engine evaluations, and engine fault codes show the vehicle's condition and the need for timely preventive maintenance. Operators can plan maintenance, for instance, according to a vehicle's usage or mileage.

Additionally, fleet managers can maintain their vehicles by receiving periodic repair alerts from fleet control systems that integrate ELD records with diagnostic vehicle data.

Reduced Liability

An ELD system can assist you in clearing drivers from erroneous claims, such as damage assertions that happened when none of your operators were present, by providing proof of the whereabouts of your vehicles at all times. Additionally, you can clear drivers of any responsibility for accidents that happen when combined with footage from connected dashboard cameras.

Quicker Dispatch

Dispatchers can operate more efficiently and quickly when they have access to the real-time GPS location data of every one of your vehicles. With an ELD, you can modify drivers' routes and give precise estimated time of arrival (ETAs) without calling the drivers.

Decreased Paperwork

Maintaining paper logs is a laborious process that can lead to several errors. Switching to ELDs will ensure results and save you time. The FMCSA estimates that using an ELD can save a truck driver 19 hours annually because an ELD eliminates the need for a truck driver to manually enter a record of duty status (RODS). 

Incorporating ELDs in Your Trucking Operations


Most commercial vehicles require ELD devices. They enable fleet owners to improve fleet efficiency, security, and vehicle lifespan while also assisting in maintaining compliance with FMCSA regulations about HOS and RODS.

Operators can maintain the efficiency of their fleets and make well-informed decisions while on the go with the help of fleet telematics applications and ELD solutions. The ideal time to implement ELDs in your operations is right now. You would not want to pass up this fantastic chance.