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How Do ELD Devices Work?

ELDs have become a must-have for anyone who works in an operator-owner capacity or has a fleet of large trucks, thanks to the introduction of the ELD Mandate. About two-thirds of the workforce today use smartphones for their job or bring their own device.

If you are in the position where you need to comply with the ELD Mandate and need to invest in a suitable device, but are not sure what to look for, it may help to learn the basics about what they actually are and how they work. This information may help you to determine the best of the numerous solutions available on the market.

What is an ELD?

First things first, let’s clear up what an ELD is. ELD stands for Electronic Logging Device and is a piece of technology that is used to monitor and record the HOS or Hours of Service and driving time of commercial vehicle drivers. It also logs related information such as the miles that have been driven, movement and the engine.

Key Features of ELDs
To understand better what they do and how they work, it’s best to look at the key features of electronic logging devices. In the ELD Mandate, as set out by the FMCSA, there are three primary requirements that all ELDs need to meet. They need to meet specific technical specifications, be made by a manufacturer who is appropriately certified and fully FMCSA registered.

You will find that ELD packages come in one of two formats:

*Bring Your Own Device where the carrier can put their own version on existing hardware (though, this will depend on compatibility)
*All-in-One-Style Package which includes the device and its own pre-installed mobile app

You can use a smartphone or even a tablet as part of the complete ELD solution if it meets the tech-nical specifications laid out by FMCSA and is fully registered and certified.

Main functions and features of most ELDs include:

*Full synchronization internally with the control module of the engine
*Automatic logging of driving details and time
*Logs location
*Data transfer electronically: using either a local option like Bluetooth or USB 2.0 or telematic like email or wireless web connection
*Protection against tampering
*Driver record certification, for every 24 hours
*Safety official reports are available on-demand in either print-out or screen version

What Information is Recorded by the ELD?

Further to the above, it’s worth looking at the kind of information that most ELDs record. Obviously, if you are trying to decide which is right for your business, there will be information that is more important than others. Always look for the solution that offers you the records that you need. You will find that most, though, record the following information to note duty status and assist drivers in tracking their driving limits to prevent accidents and other problems related to fatigue:

*Motor carrier
*User authentication
*Driver authentication
*Vehicle mileage
*Engine hours

How Do They Actually Work?

Perhaps the most important question answer and the one posed at the outset; is how they work. ELDs that are based in the cloud utilize cloud computing to provide an accurate, reliable and importantly, stable flow of data. A cloud ELD consists of various crucial components, including:

*a vehicle tracking device, also known as a telematics device, that is connected to the truck
*Software for managing a fleet
*A mobile app that can be run from a smartphone or tablet and is connected through Wi-Fi or a cellphone connection to receive and send data.

Are Drivers Able to Edit ELD Logs?

The short answer is that yes, they can, if some data is missing or there is a mistake, the driver or some-one else who is authorized to do so in the carrier office can make alterations to the record. They need to follow the proper guidelines.

For instance, if one of your drivers forgets to log their status as Off Duty during lunchtime or begins work at the yard before driving and doesn’t change their status, alterations would need to be made to avoid the log being in violation.

The benefits, including staying compliant with the FMCSA, of investing in ELDs for your fleet, if you are a company owner, are clear. They can not only help you to track and manage your drivers’ time and improve productivity. Check out for more information.