Electronic Logging Devices, Do You Need One?

What is an Electronic Logging Device?

Electronic Logging Devices, or ELD’s as they are commonly called, are an electronic version of paper logs to manage records of duty status data and hours of service. ELD’s are intended to make it easier and faster to manage and share data by synchronizing with a vehicle’s engine to automatically track driving time with more accuracy. ELD’s help create a safer work environment for drivers, and ultimately create safer roads for everyone. 

How does the ELD rule impact you and your company?

The ELD rule applies to most motor carriers and drivers that are required to maintain records of duty status. Commercial trucks and buses are impacted by this rule. All companies operating interstate commercial motor vehicles are likely impacted by the rule including those based in Mexico and Canada. 

Companies benefit from the use of ELD’s because drivers will spend less time on paperwork and can focus on driving safely.

Specifics regarding the ELD rule.

  • Requires ELD use by commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS).
  • Sets ELD performance and design standards, and requires ELDs to be certified and registered with FMCSA. 
  • Establishes what supporting documents drivers and carriers are required to keep. 
  • Prohibits harassment of drivers based on ELD data or connected technology (such as fleet management system). The rule also provides recourse for drivers who believe they have been harassed.

The ELD rule allows limited exceptions to the ELD mandate, including:

  • Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions may continue using timecards; they are not required to keep RODS and will not be required to use ELDs. 
  • Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period. 
  • Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered. 
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.

Which ELD is right for your company?

There are a variety of options when it comes to electronic logs; portable devices, fixed devices, and smartphone apps. The FMCSA does require that the provider of the device or app be approved and registered with them to be providing the logging services. 

At American Carrier Services we recommend a trusted and registered company, Nextraq. 


For all your compliance needs, call American Carrier Services at 1-877-352-1996