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What is an Electronic Logging Device (ELD)?

Marin Perez

An electronic logging device (ELD) is critical for many businesses to stay in compliance with federal regulations. Let's dive into what you should know about an ELD.

What is an electronic logging device (ELD)?

An ELD connects to a vehicle's engine to record driving hours. It has a screen for drivers to see their status, as well as the ability to print hour logs for Department of Transportation (DOT) inspectors.

What is the ELD mandate?

The Department of Transportation requires you have an ELD if you're a commercial driver who has to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS). Previously, paper logs were used to record service activity. The goal of an ELD is to make this tedious process more accurate and automated.

What does the ELD rule do?

The ELD rule:

  • Requires the use of an ELD for specific commercial drivers
  • Sets what supporting documents carriers and drivers must keep
  • Sets the standards and requirements for how ELDs can be certified and registered with the FMCSA
  • Provides recourse for drivers who think ELD-related data is inaccurate
  • Prohibits harassment of drivers based on ELD data or other technology like fleet-management software

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Who is exempt from using an ELD?

Here are some exceptions to the ELD rule:

  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000
  • Workers who drive under short-haul exceptions may use timecards
  • Drivers who keep manual RODs for not more than eight days out of every 30-day period
  • Operators who have drive-away-tow-away businesses

What's the difference between an ELD and AOBRD or EOBR?

You may hear about devices called Automatic On-Board Recorders or Electronic On-Board Recorders. These terms can often be used interchangeably with "ELD," but there are specific differences.

These differences matter when it comes to the ELD rule. So, make sure your device complies with the FMCSA ELD requirements.

Can I use apps like MileIQ as an ELD?

Unfortunately, no. MileIQ currently doesn't satisfy the requirements of an ELD.

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