An ELD is a device that is used in commercial trucks to track hours of service (HOS). ELD technology automatically records a driver’s driving time and other aspects of their HOS records to allow for easier, more accurate HOS recordkeeping. An ELD device monitors a vehicle’s engine to capture data on:
- Whether the engine is running
- Whether the vehicle is moving
- Miles driven
- Duration of engine operation in hours
The reason for measuring and recording driver hours behind the wheel is public safety—specifically, as it relates to drivers falling asleep at the wheel. It also stops the truckers from driving that last hour home when they’ve already driven 8 straight hours (typically the largest number of at-fault accidents occur from this last hour. Drivers may not want to stop as they’re paid by the mile, not by the hour or on fixed salary).
In the past, truck drivers logged everything via a spiral book. These log books were always fudged and not truly enforceable from a law enforcement standpoint. The ELD and HOS are basically “data loggers” that record all driving and hours of “behind the wheel” use of trucks. The data logger type data port is accessible by Law Enforcement at Truck Stops, random highway stops, etc.
The ELD Rule
The ELD Rule is scheduled to go into effect on December 18, 2017. This rule improves commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety and reduces the overall paperwork burden for both motor carriers and drivers by increasing the use of ELDs within the motor carrier industry, which will, in turn, improve compliance with the applicable HOS rules.
The ELD Rule Details
- requires new technical specifications for ELDs that address statutory requirements
- mandates ELDs for drivers currently using records of Duty Status (RODS)
- clarifies supporting document requirements so that motor carriers and drivers 7 can comply efficiently with HOS regulations
- adopts both procedural and technical provisions aimed at ensuring that ELDs are not used to harass CMV operators
Who is Required to Use an ELD?
Most commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers must follow HOS regulations. These vehicles include those made after the year 2000, used for business purposes, are DOT registered, crosses state lines, and weighs 10,001+ pounds. Other characteristics include transporting 9+ people or hazardous materials.
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