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Everything that you need to know about an ELD Mandate?

According to the ELD mandates, all US commercial motor vehicles must have an electronic logging device (ELD). This will track the Hours of service (HOS) and ensure that they comply with labor regulations. There are only a few things that changed in the year 2024 for ELD devices for trucks. In this article, we will shed light on the meaning of the ELD Mandate, what it tracks, and how fleets can make sure that they remain compliant with the law. 

What is an ELD mandate?

An ELD mandate is a regulation by the federal government that encourages commercial drivers to leverage electronic logging devices for trucks. It will record the hours of service of truck drivers. They have been invented to replace paper logs. It is because they were often wrong and prone to human error. 
The ELDs went into effect in the year 2017 in December. It has assisted in improving road safety as it reduces driver fatigue. 
This mandate arrived straight from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The ELD mandate had a nationwide impact unlike anything in the past. 

Now, let’s take a look at what ELD is and how it works? 

ELD and its Working

An electronic logging device is a necessary tool to track the Hours of service (HOS) of a driver in real time. Forgetting or misplacing any paperwork is just not a perfect scenario. Thus, it can be collected automatically straight from the vehicle’s engine. 
At a set interval, the ELD device records the data automatically. This includes location, date, time, vehicle miles, and engine hours. It also includes the information for the vehicle, driver, motor carrier, and authenticated user. 
The ELD will start to record data when the Commercial vehicle has maintained momentum beyond 5 MPH. If the vehicle is slowed down to 0 MPH for 3 seconds consecutively, the ELD will consider the vehicle as stopped. 
ELD devices for trucks require software. Thus, the fleet operators must inspect that their needed ELD software is compatible with the fleet management software and route planning software. This is to ensure that both of them will work together after the ELD is installed. 

Why was there a need for an ELD mandate?

The ELD mandate was launched to replace the already existing and less precise methods such as paper logs and automatic on-board recording devices. 
A more rigorous tracking option in ELD can be implemented to prevent employees from harassing their drivers or violating the hours of service (HOS) laws. 
The ELD mandate ensures that the federal rules that are already in place do not get affected. With the feature of automatic logging in ELD, the official hours of Service (HOS) can be enforced easily. 

Specifications Of ELD

Electronic logging devices for trucks must be standardized with the specifications of the United States CMV regulation agency, known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). It handles the data that is being recorded. 
Most of the US shopping shipping operations have already added the ELD devices back in the first few months of 2018. 
Most of the companies were using outdated technology such as electronic on-board recorders to track the hours. They were updated to use the ELD mandate as a result.
All commercial motor vehicles in the U.S. must have the ELD installed and should comply with the ELD mandate. 

How is the ELD Mandate Enforced?

To provide time to operators and fleet owners, the officials of commercial vehicle enforcement have been slow to enforce this regulation completely. This window is not going to last forever. 
If anyone does not follow this recent law alteration, they must comply with the regulation and what other penalties they will face if they fail to comply. The first thing on any fleet operator’s agenda must be knowing how to help the drivers clear the roadside inspection during any traffic stop. 
This is the way an ELD mandate will be enforced on the road. Let us have a look at the checklist that any US fleet operator must keep handy to make sure that the vehicles pass the inspection. 

ELD checklist for drivers
  • The paper logs sheet must be used in case of a fail-safe. 
  • A regulation complied ELD for rucks that are registered and certified. 
  • A command sheet that explains how to report any ELD malfunctions.
  • The ELD user manual. 
  • A command sheet explaining the data transfer mechanism that is supported by the ELD. It also instructs how best to transfer the driver’s data to an authorized safety official. 
ELD Checklist for Fleet Managers
  • The receipts for expenses.
  • Schedules, documents, and itineraries that mention the trip destinations and origin. 
  • The payroll records
  • The record of electronic mobile communication.

How to Select the best ELD for your business?

If you wish to comply with the FMCSA mandate, the fleet operators must make sure they have a regulation-complied ELD Installed in every commercial vehicle. 
To do so, the operators need to pick a company that is offering the ELD system fit for this purpose. 
While choosing the right system provider, the fleet operator should consider some specific qualities:

  • Fleet Size

The total number of vehicles in an operation can change the fact of which ELD provider is the best and most attractive. This is because you will want the company that will provide the ELD with the same size fleet as yours.

  • Data Requirement

Every ELD provider must provide the FMCSA-mandated data. However, some fleet operations are used to record supplementary data with the current system. This could be through paper logs or using any electronic on-board recorders. 

  • Kind of shipment service

Does your operation utilizes less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping, you must choose a management system that is specifically designed for the LTL. 

  • Areas Covered

You must also consider the geographical locations that your commercial motor vehicle will cover. 

  • Pricing

When you are asking for a quote, you must not forget to ask for the monthly subscription fees. This will specify if the ELDs are in your budget or not. 

A final thought

The ELD Mandate has pushed forward a trend where Electronic tracking has become the standard of the trucking Industry. Although it might not have any alteration based on the work patterns that the commercial drivers follow, it does make the HOS laws easier to follow. 

Thus it facilitates a stricter environment in the logistics industry. It is important to remember the ELD devices for trucks have been designed to protect the driver from any work abuse although it may seem tough at first to fully adopt.