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ELD Questions and Answers All Carriers and Drivers Need to Read

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) are soon to be required by federal law. This mandate applies to most drivers and carriers as of December 18th, 2017. The days of keeping paper logs or using logging software are soon to be history. Here are answers to some of the top questions in the trucking community about the ELDs and about the ELD mandate from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Why can't we just keep using e-logs?

This is the number one question that we see. The industry wants to know why they must replace one electronic logging device with another. From a carrier's perspective, they may not see much of a difference. The FMCSA's office says that new regulations were set as the last similar mandate was written in 1988. The new mandate has very specific rules to help keep uniformity throughout the industry.

Doesn't this give my supervisors a window into micro-managing me?

Nope. The ELD mandate has specific clauses to protect drivers from being harassed based on their ELD data. It also opens up a channel for drivers to report any harassment against them that was based solely on ELD data. On top of that, ELDs are not required to collect information such as the truck's speed, breaking usage, or any other performance parameters.

Can I just use a smartphone or mobile device?

Absolutely! An ELD is not just one type of specific device. In fact, it is simply defined as a device that help record a few pieces of specific information that the FMCSA is requiring.

What are ELDs required to keep record of?

  • Time and date
  • Location information
  • Engine hours
  • Vehicle miles
  • Driver identification information
  • Vehicle and motor carrier

ELDs are not meant to give higher-ups the ability to "spy" on you, nor are they meant for the government to track any information unrelated to driver and vehicle safety. This mandate has been worked on for the sole purpose of creating a safer work environment for the trucking industry.

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