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Driving into the Future – How Prepared Are You for ELD?

  Summer 2017

Driving into the Future – How Prepared Are You for ELD?
By: Robin Doherty, ELD Specialist


Today trucking faces what appears to be one of its most difficult changes; letting go of our experience with paper logbooks and embracing the new electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. In an industry filled with people who love the open road, the freedom, and the autonomy of being your own boss, change may not come easily. There have been hundreds of vast improvements in trucking and ELD is no different. ELDs offer substantial benefits from the improved driver safety and hours of service (HOS) monitoring efficiencies, including potential long-term cost savings.

A good quality ELD will have the same familiar look, features, and functions of a paper log while eliminating all the drudgery and frustration. It will provide instant access to complete, accurate, and searchable HOS and driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) records.

The following is a summary of 49 CFR 395.22 through 395.36 of the ELD regulations:
Motor Carrier Responsibilities

Each ELD driver and driver support account contains personal information and authorized access to each account requires a unique username and password. A motor carrier must properly administer an ELD system and maintain confidential usernames and passwords for all drivers and driver support personnel and ensure that ELD records and accounts are protected by sound business practices described in privacy legislation.

Portable ELD systems that use a smartphone or tablet must display the device in a fixed-mount position that is visible to the driver when seated in the driving position. It’s important to note, a good ELD system should look and function like any other gauge or switch on the dash. Each driver must have ELD instructions and blank log sheets. A driver must have access to the records for a period of 6 months. The same username and password used to login to the ELD, logs the driver into his online logbook account. The old boxes of paper logs that drivers hate to fill out, but for some reason love to keep, are now online.

Once ELD hours of service records are certified and received from the driver, the motor carrier may propose record edits to the driver. Driver and driver support edits must describe each change or addition made to a record that is edited after it was submitted to the motor carrier. The driver may accept, change, or reject the edit and recertify the log. The ELD system must maintain the original record and changes that were made to it. Motor Carriers are prohibited from engaging in any harassing action the carrier knew or should have known would result in an HOS violation or in operation of the motor vehicle when the driver is or was not fit for duty because of fatigue or illness.

The motor carrier must fix a non-functioning ELD within 8 days of discovering the malfunction or receiving written notice from the driver about the malfunction. Within 5 days of discovering or receiving written notice of a malfunction the motor carrier may apply for an extension to the repair period.

Driver Responsibilities
A driver must provide the information required to use an ELD and to record and maintain standard hours of service records. Within certain limitations, a driver may use an ELD to edit none driving hours of service events and information. The special driving categories for personal conveyance (PC) and yard moves (YM) must be selected before use and deactivated following use. The driver must confirm the continued use of PC or reset the use of YM if the engine goes through a power off, power on cycle.

Each 24-hour ELD record is to be reviewed by the driver and certified true and correct using a checkbox or signature. Records are to be submitted to the motor carrier within thirteen days of completion for USA based motor carriers and Canadian motor carriers operating in the USA. Hours of service records are to be produced and transferred electronically when requested by an Authorized Official.

Within 24 hours of determining that an ELD is malfunctioning, the driver is required to notify the motor carrier in writing. Unless the driver has copies of the hours or service records for the previous 7 days, or the records are still recordable and retrievable from the onboard device or from the ELD system with the assistance of driver support; the driver will be required to complete and sign paper log sheets that are a reasonable copy of those records. Until the such time as the ELD is repaired, the driver must produce the paper copies if requested by an Authorized official.

ELD Vehicle Records
An ELD automatically records detailed trip and vehicle information at each chance of duty status and once per hour during any period the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is being driven. When the driver has selected the special driving status for personal use, engine hours, and distance driven are left blank and GPS location sensitivity is reduced to a 10-mile radius. An ELD records each time a user logs in and logs out of the ELD system. An ELD must detect, log, and clear system malfunction records.

ELD Hours of Service Records
If no driver is logged into the CMV it must record unidentified hours of service as soon as the vehicle is in motion. The next driver to login to the CMV must review the unidentified hours of service logs and may truthfully accept or decline the records for the operation of the CMV. Authorized officials may request and must be provided with records for unidentified driver logs.

For more information, please contact Shawn Wolf at 724-900-4668 or

Robin Doherty is an ELD Specialist for Trakopolis IoT Corp. Trakopolis is an innovative and rapidly growing Software as a Service (SaaS) company that has developed a comprehensive asset management solution that utilizes GPS tracking technology. Trakopolis is committed to staying ahead of the evolving needs of the transportation industry with powerful electronic driver log books. Trakopolis ELD comes complete with an intuitive driver interface, rule sets spanning Alaska to Florida, self-audit tools, and built-in driver vehicle inspection reporting.

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