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A last-minute crash course on the ELD Mandate

12.12.2019 - 12:18 PM Comments: 0

The electronic logging device mandate is now officially 4 days away, meaning that nearly every over-the-road trucking company should be set up with a provider. 

If you’re still looking, I would encourage you to be mindful of the December 16 deadline if you’d like to avoid needless hours of service violations. 

After about 2 years of anticipation, the ELD mandate will be coming to fruition, causing an enormous shift in the trucking industry. In the lead-up to the mandate deadline, we’ve also written a plethora of articles describing what should be expected and how drivers, dispatchers, and businesses as a whole should adjust their daily duties.

In this blog post, we’ll be highlighting aspects that are necessary as the industry prepares for next week’s deadline.

Making sure that your ELD is FMCSA compliant

In reality, it’s easy to just get a generic ELD and connect it to your truck. The problem is, not every ELD currently on the marker is FMCSA compliant. 

The good thing is, it’s easy to find out before you purchase the wrong software or hardware!

All the information you can possibly need for this is on the FMCSA website, which you can find here. You can also find more information on this topic by reading our previous story here

Remember, you don’t want to receive a violation for something preventable like having an uncompliant ELD. Checking is quick and the FMCSA makes it extremely easy. 

Technological makeup of an ELD

Before purchasing an ELD, you have to be well acquainted, or at least semi-familiar, with how it works. 

One of the most important aspects of an ELD is its start-up speed, which is when your vehicle’s speed triggers the device to start recording and transmitting data. 

Generally speaking, your system should trigger the device at about 5 mph, which is in accordance with the FMCSA’s mandate. Essentially, once your vehicle reaches 5 mph, the device will begin to record all necessary information that DOT officers will review during an inspection. 

To go more in-depth into this topic, you can check out this story here

Additionally, industry folks should also be paying close attention to the data that is recorded and transmitted by their ELD. 

In plain English, your device will record EVERYTHING. Change of duty status, unassigned driving time, time edits, location, and truck diagnostics in some instances. 

Whereas paper logs and AOBRD systems were editable without a trace, ELDs will require annotations for every edit that is made. All of this information will also be visible for DOT inspectors. 

Speaking of inspectors, the mandate will also be changing how inspections are done. Rather than emailing, faxing, or providing officers with physical logs, DOT officers will be using a code that provides them all necessary information. 

One positive that has come from this process has been its brevity, according to the FMCSA. Thus far, the mandate has made roadside inspections a lot quicker and more efficient for drivers, who no longer need to deal with time-consuming inspections. 

While electronic log transferring has made life easier for some, your device is also susceptible to malfunctions, just like any other piece of technology. Because of this, drivers should always keep spare paper logs, and if available to them, a malfunction letter. 

The new system, while quick, has also been confusing for many drivers, as it requires some technical knowledge. To avoid confusion, you should also keep items such as user manuals and instructions on log transfers readily available. 

To read more about this, you can find additional information here and here

We also have more information on how trucking operations could change and adapt over time as we see the effects of the mandate. You can find that here

Hopefully, this crash course helped you out a bit. If you’re interested in trying our ELD service, GPSTab, you can sign up for a free trial by going to our website! Let us know if this helped you on social media or the comments below!

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