The Complete Guide to Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)


If you run a small trucking company, you know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires you to use Electronic Logging Devices to track the number of hours your drivers are on the road for a consecutive period. If your drivers go over 11 consecutive hours of on-the-road driving, you may face serious fines.

According to Simplex Group, Not all ELDs are created equally. The best ELDs can perform multiple duties and make managing a trucking company much easier. There are a few characteristics you should look for when selecting the ELDS that your drivers will use.

Compliance Features 

Obviously, a good ELD will keep you compliant. The device should fit into your truck’s diagnostic system and read the mileage accurately. Look for a system that allows drivers to log their break times and lunch. They should be able to record when they are doing non-driving tasks such as inspections, loading and unloading, and gassing up their trucks.

Once you get your ELD devices, remember to self-certify them by visiting the FMCSA’s website. You must register them with the website before they are considered a valid means of measuring your drivers’ hours.

Safety Auditing

Safety is the first thing any owner/operator or small trucking company owner should be concerned with. They should even put it before profit. A good electronic logging device will have several safety features.

The ELD you choose should be able to record your driver’s daily inspection reports. The FMCSA will expect you to keep a record of these reports filed electronically. If records are not up to date, you can face fines and even an inspection from the agency. You should also be able to keep maintenance records as well.

If a truck fails any part of its inspection, it must undergo maintenance before it can be driven again. The FMCSA will expect to see a detailed report of any maintenance done to your trucks when they come to perform your New Entrant Audit.

Navigational Features

Communicating with your drivers while you are on the road is very important. However, it is illegal to talk on your cell phone and drive at the same time, and radios can be unreliable. The best electronic logging devices will allow you to communicate with your drivers while they are on the road.

Your device should come with an outstanding GPS that can give your drivers turn-by-turn directions. You’ll be able to see exactly where a truck is at all possible times and be able to tell your driver if they are going in the wrong direction. Getting lost or taking the wrong route can cost your company thousands of dollars. Hence this is a very valuable feature.

It is best to buy your ELD from a company that handles compliance. A company that understands what the FMCSA wants will be able to help you pick the perfect device for your company. 

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