Requirements of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD)

The electronic logging device (ELD) rule was intended to help save time and money for truck drivers and dispatchers, which should make shipping more efficient overall as a result. To make sure the ELD rule works effectively, drivers and carriers are required to adhere to certain specific requirements.

ELD Rule Requirements

There are four main requirements that come with the ELD rule, which are as follows:

Maintaining Hours-of-Service (HOS) Record

All commercial drivers are consistently required to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS) for accurate tracking.


The ELD rule sets all ELD performance and design standards, with all ELDs requiring certification and registration with the FMCSA.

Necessary Documents

The ELD rule also dictates which types of supporting documents that drivers and carriers are required to keep at all times.


Use of ELDs to harass drivers based on connected technology such as fleet management systems or ELD data is prohibited, with the ability for drivers to seek recourse if they believe they have experienced harassment.

With these requirements in place, the ELD rule helps maintain the overall effectiveness of ELD systems by making sure that both drivers and carriers can operate as efficiently as possible.

Exceptions to the ELD Mandate

While the ELD rule applies to most drivers and motor carriers required to maintain RODS, there are exceptions to the mandate. Commercial buses, trucks, and Canada- and Mexico-domiciled drivers are all required to follow the ELD rule, but certain individuals outside of these groups are not required to use ELDs. They include:

  • Drivers who operate under short-haul exceptions while continuing to use timecards, which aren’t required to maintain RODS or use ELD systems.
  • Drivers who use paper RODS for no more than 8 days out of a 30-day period.
  • Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, which specify the driven vehicle as the delivered commodity.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000

Beyond these exceptions, all other commercial drivers using ELDs must adhere to the requirements.

What Time Periods Can Determine the 8 Days in a 30-Day Period?

Some drivers may be unclear about exactly when the 8 days in a 30-day period allow you to be exempt from the ELD rule. This exemption applies to any 30-day period, which is not restricted to a single month. For example, if you use a paper RODS over 8 days between July 24 and August 24, you’ll still be exempt from the ELD rule.

Keeping Trucking Operations Efficient

As long as drivers and carriers who use ELDs adhere to the requirements specified, both parties can see a huge benefit in utilizing electronic logging devices over traditional tracking systems. With higher accuracy and more technological capabilities enhancing communications, trucking fleets will find ELDs to be invaluable assets to their operations.

For more information about ELDs and to get started with a complete system that can improve your operations, contact TheTMS and learn about the many benefits of using our solutions.

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