When searching online for the latest information about truck drivers and electronic logging devices, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the mountain of information regarding device features, mandates, exemption requirements, etc. The following is a brief guide about electronic logging devices and the government mandates that surround them.
What Is An Electronic Logging Device?
Also known as ELDs, these devices are also frequently referenced as e-logs or electronic logbooks. In the simplest of explanations, ELDs are devices that are connected to a commercial vehicle. The device allows carriers and truckers the ability to track their Hours of Service to make sure they are in compliance.
In the past, this type of tracking was completed via paper logbooks. The driver would just add his/her time driving on the road in the logbook, and make a note of the time they started driving when they took breaks or made a stop. They were also responsible for noting when they completed their day and how long they were off during their working hours.
By installing an ELD on the commercial motor vehicle, paper logging has become obsolete. However, in order for these devices to be compliant, it requires two basic parts.
The first part of the device is a physical component that synchronizes with the engine in the vehicle. According to bestelddevices.org although there are many different types of ELDs on the market, most connections occur through a plug-in ELD between the motor and the device. This plug-in connects through either the JBUS port or the OBDI port.
The second mandated component is the display device. These are usually available in the form of a smartphone, tablet, or another Bluetooth-capable display device. However, there are some display devices that do not require a Bluetooth connection.
What Are The Mandates?
There is plenty of information available regarding the mandates in both the United States and Canada, but many people, especially truck drivers, seem to still be confused. The FMCSA has been regulating the compliance of these devices for many years because of the MAP-21. As a result, a very detailed database has been established that goes into more information that surrounds the intricacies and uncertainties that are a part of ELDs.
In Canada, the mandate will not be enforced until the summer of 2021 (June 12). The ELD mandate was enforced in the United States on December 18, 2017.
The majority of the official information that has been published is full of legislative and legal jargon that is difficult for the average person to understand.
To put it simply, the ELD mandate is a set of regulations and rules that requires commercial motor carriers to install electronic logging devices that will process and track HOS and RODS data. This mandate has caused a major shift and shakeup in the commercial carrier industry.
Fortunately, most of the HOS rules will not change. The mandate is more of a change from paper logging to electronic logging.
Concerns and questions about the costs of these devices, compliance, and driver pay will likely continue to be hot topics of conversation and debate. However, ELDs are required in the United States, and truckers are finding ways to adjust to this new normal.