What is an ELD?


What is an ELD?

Electronic logging devices or ELDs as they’re more commonly known, are not a new technology although the regulation behind them is. They are devices that record the number of hours a driver works and rests each day to ensure they are compliant with government regulations.

To better understand ELDs it’s important to also understand the terms used to describe them:

ELD Mandate

The electronic logging device (ELD) was congressionally mandated effective Dec, 17th 2017 to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data. 

Records of Duty Status (RODS)

Every motor carrier must require every driver to record his/her duty status for each 24-hour period using timecards if exempt or an ELD. 

Hours of Service (HoS)

The HoS regulation applies to commercial vehicle drivers involved in interstate commerce if their vehicle weighs more than 10,001 pounds, transport more than 16 passengers or transports hazardous goods requiring placards. The regulation prescribes the maximum number of hours of work and a minimum number of hours of rest a driver must obtain each day and week. Drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours per day after taking a 10-hour off-duty period with a maximum of 60-hours total work in 7 days or 70-hours or total work in 8 days. 


Also known as a ‘black box’, a telematics device can be installed at the factory or after purchase by connecting to the engine control module (ECM). Data collected includes speed, location, idling, fuel consumption, tire pressure and more. The telematics device compiles the data every few minutes and transmits it to the telematics vendor via cellular or satellite connections for collation and display on the user interface.

How does an ELD work?

The ELD compliance application software can be installed on a portable device such as a tablet or phone as well as being part of a range of workflow applications on a hard-wired in-cab dash-mounted device.  An ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record duty status when the ignition is turned on. As soon as the vehicle’s speed exceeds 5 mph, the software begins recording driving time and when the driver stops, they then change their duty status to either on-duty/non-driving when unloading, loading or fueling, or to off-duty or sleeper berth when taking rest breaks. 

Are drivers exempt from the ELD Mandate?

There are certain exemptions to the ELD rule including the following drivers:

  • Any driver who operates a vehicle with an engine manufactured before 2000
    • Most engines manufactured before 2000 don’t have an engine control module (ECM), which is required for an ELD device to operate
  • Drive-away or tow-away drivers delivering a commercial vehicle as part of a shipment
  • Drivers who maintain RODS or logs for less than 8 days in a 30-day rolling period
  • Drivers that fall under the short-haul exemption and operate within a 100 air-mile of their normal work reporting location i.e. they start and end work at the same location
  • Non-CDL drivers that fall under the short-haul exemption and operate within a 150 air-mile of their normal work reporting location i.e. they start and end work at the same location
  • Certain farm vehicles involved in private transport of commodities such as livestock, machinery or supplies by the farm owner or operator.