Mandatory ELDs in the United States are fast approaching, at the time of this article we are less than 4 months out! Lots of questions still remain and the FMCSA’s ELD FAQ  isn’t exactly the easiest page to filter through. We went through the entire thing and tried to find the most common and relevant questions carriers and drivers have.  

1) What exactly does an ELD record?

  • Date & Time
  • Location Information
  • Vehicle
  • Motor Carrier
  • Engine Hours & Vehicle Miles
  • Authenticated user & Identification information of the driver

Any other data such as speed, idling time, and braking action are not required to be collected by ELDs. Although many ELD solutions currently offered can record such events.

2) How long can I go without an ELD?

The compliance date for mandatory ELDs is December 18th, 2017. Meaning, on  12/17/2017 a motor carrier must have an ELD solution implemented unless they are using a grandfathered Automatic Onboard Recording Device (AOBRD).

3) I already have an AOBRD, do I need to get an ELD?

Yes but not yet, if the motor carrier required and subsequently installed an Automatic Onboard Recording Device (AOBRD) on a vehicle before the ELD compliance date of December 18th, 2017, then as long as the device meets the requirements of 49 CFR 395.15 it is valid as an ELD substitute for the time being. However, eventually you will need to switch; those who have a grandfathered AOBRD are required to switch to an ELD by no later than December 16th 2019.

4) Does my old truck, need to be outfitted with an ELD?

Any vehicle manufactured after the year 2000 will need to be outfitted with an ELD. Additionally, the year listed on the engine takes priority over the year listed on the registration. So if there is a manufacturing year discrepancy between the year on the registration and the year listed on the engine, the inspector will take the engine year as the “year of manufacturing”.

For example, if you have a Glider Kit from 1999 but the engine was manufactured in 2002, then you will be required to outfit your truck with an ELD. Conversely, if the engine is from 1999, but the Glider Kit is from 2002 an ELD will not be required. In short, if your engine is newer than 17 years old, you will need to get an ELD.

5) How long should the motor carrier hold onto ELD and RODS data?

The ELD and RODS data must be held for at least 6 months. However this is just the minimum hold time, anything beyond 6 months is up to the discretion of the carrier. Additionally, the carrier must back-up the copy of that data on a separate device; this is to ensure the security and privacy of the driver.

6) Who can edit an ELD record?

Drivers and authorized carrier staff can make limited edits to an ELD record. However, it must be done to correct mistakes or add relevant information that was originally omitted. Every edit must include an annotation to explain the reason for the edit. If a carrier makes an edit, the driver must certify that the edit is accurate and resubmit the records. Lack of certification from the driver will be noted in the ELD and will be visible upon inspection of the records.

7) What if the carrier edits the ELD records without my knowledge?

The FMCSA has indicated that it is the shared responsibility of the driver and carrier to ensure the ELD data reflects the drivers’ RODS. This is why the certification process is included in the ELD features. The implication is that culpability will be placed on the carrier if an inspector notices edits that were not certified by the driver.

8) How do I transfer data from the ELD?

There are 3 ways.

  • Telematics Transfer: The ELD must be able to electronically transfer data to an authorized safety official via wireless web services AND email.
  • Local Transfer: At a minimum must be able to transfer data via USB2.0 AND Bluetooth.
  • Visual Transfer: The data must be available to be seen through a screen OR paper printout

9) Can I use a Smartphone as my ELD?

Yes, as long as the device meets the ELD rules and technical specifications including the above requirements of data transfer.

10) Will the FMCSA or other government organizations hold my data?

No ELD data will be held by the FMCSA or any other government organization unless a violation occurs.

Now that you’re armed with more information, book a Free Demo with our professional team and find the solution that fits your fleet. 


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