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ELD For Trucks:
What is it?

eld for trucks across the state

In today’s world of modern transportation, ELD devices or electronic logging devices have emerged as an indispensable tool for truck drivers and fleet managers alike. These ELD devices, revolutionizing the way driver inspection reports are managed, offer an efficient and accurate method of logging hours on the road. For truck drivers navigating the highways and managing their time behind the wheel, ELDs have become more than a mere necessity; they’ve become the cornerstone of ensuring compliance, enhancing safety, and streamlining operations. In this article, we delve into the world of ELD devices, exploring their impact on truck drivers, their role in maintaining driver inspection reports, and their broader influence on the ever-evolving landscape of commercial transportation.

An ELD, or electronic logging device, is a crucial tool in commercial trucking, simplifying the task of maintaining accurate Hours of Service (HOS) records. These devices are mandated by law for drivers and fleet operators to manage and track their hours effectively.

It’s essential to understand that ELDs don’t introduce further regulations to the trucking industry. Rather, they streamline the necessary daily task that drivers are already required to perform, ensuring compliance with existing regulations.

What Does an Electronic Logging Device Do?


An ELD, or electronic logging device, links to the vehicle’s engine, automatically tracking driving activity and updating driver logs. This provides real-time visibility of available hours and potential violation risks for both dispatchers and drivers.

All Hours of Service (HOS) information gets logged into the fleet management software. This enables managers and office personnel to monitor HOS statuses, generate reports, and plan compliant routes. Additionally, the HOS data appears on the tablet in the cab, allowing drivers to access it whenever needed or present it during a roadside inspection.

ELD devices capture and transmit various data points, ensuring accurate recording of hours of service and effective utilization of available driver hours for businesses. This includes:

This includes:

Vehicle Information directly captured from the vehicle:

  • Vehicle identification
  • Motor carrier identification
  • Date
  • Time
  • Geographic location
  • Miles traveled
  • Engine power-up and shutdown
  • Yard moves
  • 60-minute intervals of motion
  • Engine diagnostics and malfunctions


Driver Information:

  • Driver or authorized user identification
  • Driver logon/logoff
  • Hours of Service (HOS)
  • Duty status changes (driving, on duty, off duty)
  • Personal use
  • Certification of driver’s daily record


The ELD automatically records these data points, although some entries can be manually edited or annotated by the driver or support staff. Any edits made are tracked and must be approved by the driver.

Vehicle Information directly captured from the vehicle:

  • Vehicle identification
  • Motor carrier identification
  • Date
  • Time
  • Geographic location
  • Miles traveled
  • Engine power-up and shutdown
  • Yard moves
  • 60-minute intervals of motion
  • Engine diagnostics and malfunctions

Driver Information

  • Driver or authorized user identification
  • Driver logon/logoff
  • Hours of Service (HOS)
  • Duty status changes (driving, on duty, off duty)
  • Personal use
  • Certification of driver’s daily record


The ELD automatically records these data points, although some entries can be manually edited or annotated by the driver or support staff. Any edits made are tracked and must be approved by the driver.

What Is the Electronic Logging Device MANDATE?

The ELD mandate, also known as the ELD Final Rule, represents a U.S. federal government regulation mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) by operators of commercial motor vehicles falling under this law’s coverage.

These devices are specifically designed to capture data related to vehicle operation and driver activity, with a primary focus on hours of service (HOS). Commercial truckers are legally constrained to a maximum number of hours they can drive between mandatory rest periods. The HOS data retains a permanent record of driving hours, on-duty hours (when drivers are working but not driving), and rest periods throughout a trip.

Initially established in 1937, the first federal law necessitating these service records for commercial drivers in the U.S. relied on paper logbooks for recording purposes.

The ELD mandate supersedes paper logs and earlier recording systems, such as Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs), by instituting automated ELD technology.

eld mandate

Concerns surrounding the ELD Mandate

Some groups have expressed concerns regarding driver privacy, questioning whether ELDs, as automated systems capturing driver activity, invade drivers’ privacy rights.

To safeguard drivers’ rights, the ELD mandate includes limitations on what the device can and cannot do. Parameters for personal conveyance status restrict geographical tracking, ensuring drivers can maintain a clear division between duty hours and off-duty time. Despite legal challenges on privacy, the ELD mandate has been upheld in court.

Drivers were also curious about their ability to modify or expand the information captured by an ELD’s electronic record. The mandate allows drivers and specific support personnel to add notes or edits, which are logged and require driver approval.

ELD Mandate Compliance

The ELD mandate applies to commercial driving operations obligated to maintain hours of service records—specifically, drivers or operators previously using paper logbooks before the enactment of this rule.

Who falls under the purview of the ELD mandate?

  • Interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers presently mandated to maintain RODS (record of duty status)
  • Vehicles exceeding 10,001 pounds in weight
  • Vehicles transporting placarded hazardous materials loads
  • Vehicles carrying more than 8 or 15 passengers (based on vehicle classification)

Exemptions from the ELD mandate include:

  • Drivers working within a 100-air-mile radius who can continue using timecards
  • Non-CDL (commercial driver license) freight drivers operating within a 150-air-mile radius
  • “Drive-away, tow-away” operators
  • Vehicles manufactured before the model year 2000


For the latest information on ELD requirements, it’s advisable to consult the FMCSA website.

The Reason Behind This Regulation

Extensive stretches of commercial driving often lead to fatigue, a well-known contributor to increased road accidents. Years of research have highlighted the dangers of driver tiredness in road safety, prompting regulations on driver hours and the necessity to document compliance with these limits.

Traditional paper logbooks, susceptible to human error or manipulation due to employer pressures, lack accuracy. To address these shortcomings, the ELD mandate replaces paper logs with automated electronic recording, ensuring precision and integrity in recording driving hours.


ELD Registered List

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration curates a registry of ELD products by various manufacturers. These listed products were submitted by companies, certifying that their devices meet the agency’s minimum operational standards.

It’s crucial to note that being listed doesn’t imply formal evaluation or endorse product quality. Unlisted ELDs might already meet the FMCSA requirements, while some listed devices could be subject to modification as the agency refines the hardware and software interface.

What Electric Logging Devices Bring To the Table

vehicles with elds

Moving to electronic logging devices (ELDs) isn’t just about meeting mandates; it unlocks a range of advantages. Here are the top five benefits of ELD devices:


  1. Streamlining paperwork: The FMCSA anticipates saving $2.44 billion in administrative work, with drivers reclaiming $1.88 billion previously spent on filling out paper logs.
  2. Faster roadside checks: ELD-equipped drivers spend less time during inspections, allowing them to stay on the road longer.
  3. Enhanced safety: Accurate hours of service tracking help prevent driver fatigue, while additional monitoring features promote a safer driving culture within fleets.
  4. Improved CSA scores: ELDs eliminate human errors in HOS logkeeping, reducing inaccuracies. Research indicates that trucks with ELDs experienced 53% fewer driving-related violations.
  5. Fleet optimization: Beyond compliance, ELDs offer valuable data for enhancing profitability. Monitoring engine idling, optimizing routes, and employing digital maintenance tools help reduce fuel costs and maximize vehicle uptime.

Electronic Logging Devices and DOT Compliance Guidelines

Recording driver hours through an ELD is just one facet of DOT compliance. Here are several key considerations for fleets and drivers to ensure adherence to DOT standards:

Fleet Compliance:

  1. Keep a copy of the current FMCSA rules at the office.
  2. Perform pre-trip and post-trip inspections of vehicles, maintaining documentation.
  3. Establish and adhere to a vehicle maintenance program, documenting all maintenance activities.
  4. Ensure each vehicle displays its DOT registration number.
  5. Maintain comprehensive records of any road incidents involving each vehicle.

Driver Compliance:

  1. Provide drivers with a copy of FMCSA rules, obtaining a signed receipt indicating their agreement to adhere to the regulations.
  2. Maintain qualification records and safety histories for each driver.
  3. Record hours of service (HOS) for each driver.
  4. Document pre-employment drug testing for each driver, including reports of any prior drug and alcohol issues in previous employment.
  5. Conduct random drug and alcohol testing of drivers regularly, as outlined in DOT regulations.

Ensure supervisors receive required drug and alcohol training as mandated by DOT regulations.

Benefits of ELD System for your Company

Utilizing ELDs offers distinct advantages, positioning businesses ahead of competitors by enhancing federal compliance records and providing comprehensive insights into vehicle operations.

Enhanced Compliance, Productivity, and Safety ELDs streamline the process of entering hours of service (HOS) data for drivers. Replacing the laborious and outdated manual logging process, drivers can now instantly transmit digital reports from their in-cab devices, ensuring compliance and saving valuable time.

Efficient Repairs and Maintenance Vehicle inspection reports before and after trips help identify potential issues swiftly, preventing costly vehicle downtime. Tracking vehicle needs ensures prompt attention to maintenance, keeping the fleet operational throughout the year.

Environmental Impact Reduction By going paperless, ELDs reduce reliance on physical resources, slashing paperwork costs and decreasing the likelihood of costly federal audits by providing reliable HOS data.

Enhanced Driver-Dispatch Communication Advanced ELDs offer various driver-centric applications, including two-way communication and compliant electronic logs and reports. These systems enable alerts for breaks, transmit arrival/departure times, and facilitate driver assistance without relying on personal mobile phones.

Visibility into Vehicle Activity and Driver Safety ELDs integrated with cloud-based fleet management systems offer more than HOS tracking. They include GPS fleet tracking, providing real-time vehicle location on interactive maps, ensuring constant connectivity between managers and drivers. Dashboards, reports, and business intelligence data further illuminate critical aspects of company operations.

Seizing Operational Insights The ELD mandate presents an opportunity for businesses to uncover inefficiencies within their fleet operations. A well-chosen ELD system serves as the backbone for a robust and efficient business model, revealing data that can drive significant improvements.

Coverage Options to Consider

It is advisable to consider additional coverage options to fully protect your trucking business. These may include:

Inland Marine Insurance

Inland marine insurance is designed to cover goods in transit, making it particularly relevant for dump trucks involved in hauling materials. This coverage protects against damage or loss to the cargo during transportation.

Physical Damage Insurance

This commercial trucking insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing a dump truck if it is damaged in an accident, regardless of fault. This includes both collision and comprehensive coverage.

Umbrella/Excess Coverage

This particular commercial trucking insurance provides additional liability protection beyond the limits of primary liability insurance, acting as a supplementary layer of coverage with higher limits to protect against catastrophic losses.

Non-trucking Liability Insurance

A commercial trucking insurance provides coverage for these trucks when they are not engaged in business-related activities, such as when the truck is driven for personal use. It offers protection during personal use to fill gaps in coverage that primary liability insurance might not address.

General Liability

Trucking general liability insurance covers bodily injury, property damage, and related liabilities stemming from trucking operations, protecting businesses from legal and financial risks associated with accidents or incidents involving their vehicles.

Rental Reimbursement

Rental reimbursement is an insurance provision that covers the cost of renting a substitute vehicle when your primary vehicle is undergoing repairs due to a covered accident or damage, ensuring uninterrupted mobility during the repair period.

We specialize in a diverse range of insurance policies tailored for commercial truck drivers and their businesses. Our TRS-certified truck insurance agents are dedicated to curating policies that precisely match your unique requirements while ensuring competitive rates.

Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we are devoted to providing continual support to address any concerns you may have about your policy. Whether you’re launching a new trucking venture or refining your current coverage, our goal is to offer comprehensive protection. With the right insurance coverage, roads aren’t just trade routes; they transform into pathways for success and growth.

If you’re seeking personalized guidance that aligns with your trucking company’s specific needs, request an instant quote. We collaborate with over 30 carriers to secure the best available deals for commercial trucking insurance.