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Here Is A Simplistic Guide To The Federal Government’s ELD Mandate


The ELD mandate or the electronic devices logging mandate is a regulation that was put forth by the United States federal government. According to this mandate, all operators of commercial vehicles must use logging devices in their vehicles.

Under this mandate, data regarding vehicular activity as well as driver activity is collected. However, one of the main issues that came up with this mandate is the privacy of drivers. But, the aim of this mandate is to ensure the safety of the drivers and vehicles at all times.

In terms of the data collected about drivers, the main data point that is looked at is the hours of service (HOS). This entails the number of hours that a driver is driving, on-duty that is, when they are on call but not driving, and the amount of time taken during a rest stop.

While this data was required by law earlier to be tabulated through paper logbooks, the new mandate forced conversion from this manual version and its successor known as the Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) to the automated ELD technology.

The biggest advantage of this is that the appointed safety manager or fleet manager is now able to view driver logs in real-time. Further, with an electronic system, there is a significant reduction in the number of mistakes that can happen with logging data when compared to the paper logs method.

Who Does This Mandate Affect?

The main aim of this mandate is to ensure that commercial companies that have fleets of vehicles maintain records of their drivers and operators. This also means that companies that maintained paper logs before the mandate took effect must now make the switch.

Listed below are categories of vehicles affected by the mandate:

  • All interstate vehicles whose drivers are already mandated to maintain records of duty status
  • Vehicles that weigh more than 10,001 pounds
  • Depending on the category, vehicles that carry more than either eight or 15 passengers
  • Vehicles that contain placarded hazmat loads


In some cases, however, certain categories of vehicles and their drivers may be exempted from following the mandate. These are mentioned below:

  • Vehicles that were manufactured before the year 2000
  • Operators and vehicles that drive-away or tow-away other vehicles
  • Drivers who hold non-commercial driving licenses and work within a 150-air mile radius
  • Drivers of any category who operate within a 100-air mile radius and currently log their activity through time cards

How Does This Mandate Help In Road Safety?

The ELD law enforces strict compliance with the hours of service rule for drivers. This means that a driver of a commercial vehicle must restrict himself to driving no more than 11 hours a day and working no more than 14 hours a day.

Additionally, drivers were required to take regular breaks. The point of these rules was to ensure that drivers would not suffer from over-exhaustion and sleep deprivation that comes with long shifts and often results in accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) designs programs to ensure that operators and companies who manage fleets of vehicles play their role in ensuring road safety.

In terms of the effect of non-compliance on the part of the driver to the stipulations of the ELD law, the carrier company could end up facing repercussions.

For example, if a driver does not stick to the allowed 11 hours of driving during a 14-hour shift and goes beyond this, his violation would result in a drop in the carrier company’s CSA scores.

A company’s scores are calculated based on a number of factors of which HOS is key. This motivates organizations to ensure that their fleet is fitted with the latest systems as required by law and also ensures that they keep a check on their drivers.

What Next?

If you are looking to install dash cams in your commercial vehicles or ELDs, you should look up companies that can offer you this service. In most cases, you might also want to choose a company that offers you fleet management software in tandem with the electronic logging devices.

This will ensure that you have your data logged on a daily basis, and you can then analyze this to see if your company or fleet is lagging in any area. Further, you will also be able to monitor the efficacy of your current processes and modify them with no delay.

With the advance in technology, ELDs today can do more than simply offer you insight into the HOS logged by your driver. You also have access to Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports and IFTA automation.

Going one step further, ELDs can also tell you a lot about what sort of a driver you have by looking at speeding, idling, and hard braking behavior. With all of this information, you will be able to ensure that your operation is at its optimum efficiency level.

Additionally, ELDs do offer advantages to your drivers and operators. The first of these is how time-effective this tool is because it takes the tedious process of filling in paperwork entirely out of the equation.

Secondly, drivers can keep their dispatchers up-to-date about their HOS as well as the status of a task in real-time and can thus have their trips altered to ensure all-round compliance with the mandate.

These are just some of the advantages that ELDs can offer to your company and your employees. Adhering to this mandate can prove to be immensely helpful to you in the long run.

One of the best companies out there that can help you with all of these tools is Samsara. They are the leaders in industrial IOT. With AI technology powered dash cams and a large repository of clients from all over the world, you are guaranteed top quality products.

Additionally, their excellent customer service will help you out with any doubts that you may have. This way, you have a solid support system that has your back and will allow you to streamline your processes and be more efficient while also doing the best by your employees.

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