How Do ELDs Work?

As of December 2015, trucking fleets are required to comply with FMCSA’s final ELD rule. However, many trucking fleets implementing these devices for the first time may not be entirely sure how they work.

What is an ELD?

To briefly summarize, an ELD is an electronic device that allows professional truck drivers and commercial motor carriers to more easily track Hours of Service (HOS) compliance for fleets. By December of this year, all CDL drivers required to maintain a Record of Duty Status (RODS) will need to use an ELD to track HOS compliance.

The existing ELD rule specifies the technical and performance needs that these devices must meet.

ELDs are required to:

  • Connect to the truck’s engine to record when the truck is in motion
  • Allow the driver to log in and select whether they are On-duty, Off-duty, or On-duty Not Driving, with automatic selection depending on vehicle movement
  • Graphically display a RODS, so a driver can quickly see hours in a day
  • Provide data in a standardized format that can be transmitted to law enforcement in several different ways, including wireless web services, Bluetooth 2.0 and USB
  • Be provider-certified that the device meets the right specifications

Automatic Recording and Operation

One of the main needs that ELDs must meet is the ability to remain as automatic in their operation as possible, with little manual action required of truck drivers and carriers. Drivers need to be able to easily record hours using these devices, and the more automated they are, the more accurate they can be. Automated devices will also prevent drivers from needing to interact with them while driving, preventing any potential distraction that could result in an accident.

As soon as the truck’s engine is operating, the device will begin recording the amount of time the truck is in motion. All a driver will need to do is change the setting to On-duty, Off-duty, or On-duty Not Driving when the vehicle is not in motion, with automatic selection available based on the vehicle’s movement.

The devices then store all of this data on law enforcement-friendly devices that make it easy to access.

Unlike older ELDs, you can also connect with ELDs using smartphones and tablets, which can enhance communications while making these devices more convenient to use.

Improving Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness

Today’s ELD technology makes it more efficient to use than it was when first implemented, and they are also much cheaper to use. You can easily comply with the final ELD rule using these devices, without the need to overspend on them. Because of their inexpensive implementation, you can install these devices without worrying about them being a major cost factor in your operations.

Looking for the best ELD solution to use for your trucking fleet? Turn to TheTMS for some of the most user-friendly systems available for drivers and carriers, giving you everything you need to comply with the final ELD rule.

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