As the ELD deadline looms near, many companies are trying to find electronic logging devices (ELDs) that meet the FMCSA’s requirements. Electronically keeping track of trip miles (as opposed to short distances for lot and yard moves) requires sophisticated calculations against engine run-time, vehicle speed and many other variables. The FMCSA, the body regulating the ELD mandate, provides an ELD checklist to help companies know exactly what they need to meet compliance.
ELDs are intended to help keep drivers safe by ensuring they’re operating within safety regulations. Companies need to record and save these logs, so they can verify to the FMCSA that their drivers are in compliance with hours of service regulations. This information comes from ELDs that provide data on the time the engine was active, the number of miles driven and whether the vehicle was in motion at any given point in time.
Not all ELDs meet FMCSA’s requirements. If companies use a brand or model of ELD that doesn’t meet the logging rules, the FMCSA may deem their logs invalid. If that happens, heavy fines may be applied. It’s essential for all companies to verify the ELD checklist provided by the FMCSA to ensure they’re choosing an ELD that records the data according to the FMCSA’s regulations.
While many ELDs come with fleet management software (FMS), this isn’t a requirement for federal ELD compliance. However, the benefits in fleet efficiency and operational savings can sometimes cover the cost of the solution, so it will be worthwhile determining if any meet your needs.
The FMCSA’s ELD Checklist
The simplest way to make sure a given ELD is compliant with regulations is to see if it’s on FMCSA’s list of ELDs. All vendors on the list have self-certified that their devices are compliant with FMCSA’s regulations, and they’ve added compliant models to an FMCSA database.
In order to make sure you’re selecting a reliable ELD solution, it’s a good idea to double-check any vendors against the Better Business Bureau’s website and to consult online reviews for their product or seek out word-of-mouth recommendations. It’s also wise to double-check the device’s features against what the FMCSA has listed on their ELD Checklist. The checklist is a good resource to use when asking questions of prospective vendors.
ELD Features and Functions
The FMCSA has a full list of ELD requirements on their website. Notable feature requirements include:
- Providing separate accounts for drivers and ELD administrators (such as supervisors)
- Automatically recording all information at hourly intervals, including UTC-synchronized time, date, location, driver ID, the number of hours the vehicle has been active and the number of miles the vehicle’s driven
- “Integrally synchronizing” with the engine’s control model to automatically record data about a vehicle’s power and motion status
- Recording data about a vehicle’s location with an accuracy within one mile while a vehicle is on duty and driving, and within 10 miles while a vehicle is being used for authorized personal purposes
- Requiring drivers to review any data about (apparently) unauthorized drivers, so they either claim this information as their own or indicate that the records are not theirs
- Preventing any altering, erasure or other tampering with ELD data
- Requiring driver certification for any edits made to records, with a written explanation of changes made
- Retaining all data for both the current 24-hour period, as well as the past seven consecutive days
- Providing all drivers with their log information upon request, whether electronically or via hard copy
- Clearly displaying all data to authorized safety officials upon request
By checking against FMCSA’s self-certified list, and by consulting the provider’s features against the ELD checklist, companies can choose an ELD that meets their needs.
Did you find this useful? If you’d like to receive our future posts right to your inbox, just sign-up for your newsletter below:
BSM Technologies – A leading player in the M2M industry for 20 years, BSM continues to grow and has proven its sustainability in the GPS asset tracking and telematics industry. Our location-smart platform is ideal for managing the health and compliance of assets vital to your organization. Covering a wide range of industries from construction and rail to tanks and even HOS, BSM is your committed partner in assisting with all your fleet management solutions.
Today, our solutions are used to optimize and manage over 70,000 assets across 40 countries by some of the largest rail, construction, and commercial fleet organizations in the world. Experience our enterprise-focused solutions, robust capabilities, and customer-oriented culture.
We Think You Might Like This:
As rail freight velocity increases, the time is right to collaborate with rail shippers and work together to develop new ways to bring efficiency and organization across the rail lines. Last year saw a very worrisome decline in carloads that had many industry watchers...read more
In 2010, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) introduced its first set of standards for telematics systems. They called for five separate data points, including a vehicle’s location and fuel usage.read more
It’s an exciting time for the transportation and freight industries. New technologies are transforming how drivers, mechanics and supervisors are doing their jobs and future fleet managers could be more skilled and adept – possibly even bionic – than we ever imagined.read more