What is ELD?

In July of 2012, President Obama signed into law the MAP-21 or Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. The intention of the act was to create safer interstate environments by reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. The requirements outlined in the bill include raising the bar to entry for the CMV industry, removing high-risk operators and holding motor carriers and drivers to the highest safety standards.

As part of this mandate, regulations were adopted requiring electronic logging devices, or ELDs, be used in commercial motor vehicles that are involved in interstate commerce by drivers required to keep records of duty (RODS).

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What is an ELD?

An ELD is a congressionally mandated device that facilitates the ability to track, manage, and share records of duty status data for commercial drivers. Each ELD is uniquely paired with a vehicle engine and automatically records driving time to help keep track of hours of service for individuals.


Who Needs an ELD?

Fleet managers should be aware that an approved ELD device needs to be installed in all their fleet vehicles, with drivers and staff trained in their use, in order to maintain compliance with federal law. For carriers using AOBRDs, ELD’s need to be installed by December 16, 2019, and should already be up and going for those who were using paper logs or logging software.


Who is Exempt from ELD rules?

Not everyone is required to install and use ELDs, however there are many benefits to running an ELD system even if you are technically exempt. The following persons are exempt from ELD installation and use:

  • Drivers who use paper logs 8 days or fewer during any 30-day period

  • Driveaway-towaway drivers in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity, or the vehicle being transported is a motorhome or recreational vehicle trailer

  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000


Using an ELD

Using an ELD is a fairly straightforward process and one that is easy to learn. Below are some of the features your drivers will need to become familiar with in order to make the most out of the ELD system.


Accounts and Logging In

Each driver will have one driver account per carrier and will use an ID number and password to log in. If the driver does not log in to the ELD system, they will be issued a warning and the ELD will record accumulated driving time in accordance with ELD defaults. This unidentified driving time will be added to the driver's record and will be shown as their own unless they provide an annotation.


Duty Status

ELD records in real time and that information can be divided by duty status entered or automatically started. ELD has a variety of duty status categories that can be applied appropriately per the activity being carried out. ELDs record data every hour during which a vehicle is in motion. There are a variety of settings in the ELD system to account for variances in duties, including yard moves, inclement weather, and oil field movement, as well as personal conveyance.



To protect driver privacy, the GPS switches from a 1-mile accuracy radius during on-duty periods to a 10-mile accuracy radius for off-duty periods.


Other Benefits of ELD

While the installation, training, and implementation of ELDs in all your commercial vehicles might seem like a hassle, there are plenty of great advantages to using these devices. From geofencing to insurance discounts, real-time data is an easy way to maximize efficiency.


Keep an Eye on Your Fleet

ELDs put the power of GPS and geofencing in your hands. With this technology, your business can take advantage of several efficiencies like advanced route geofencing and instant alerts for driver deviations. This optimization ensures that your employees are driving smarter routes in fewer miles and even reports unnecessary idling. The data doesn’t lie, and with ELD provided information, you can objectively hold your drivers to high productivity standards.


ELD Eliminates Unknowns

Before real-time data was available, your customer service game could never be 100% on point. Answering questions about speed and location of delivery were more art than science, and customers were often left disappointed. With real-time tracking, you can let your customers know exactly what’s going on with their delivery.


Vehicle Maintenance

ELDs make it easy to track drive time and maintenance information into a single system, so you can efficiently keep up with fleet maintenance.

While the installation and use of the ELD system may or may not be required for your business, it’s clear this technology is here to stay. Taking advantage of the benefits the ELD offers will allow you optimize efficiency and maximize the productivity and potential of your fleet.


If you have questions or want to know more about ELD requirements, benefits or installation, please reach out to the BrickHouse Security team for more information.

Revised by January 12, 2024