Carrier TMS Blog

Key Data the ELD is Pulling and How it Affects Trucking Fleets

The ELD mandate requires that carriers and drivers move from using paper logs or logging software to a registered ELD. Companies using AOBRD’s will have two years to convert once the mandate goes into effect December 16 of this year.

The ELD mandate has spurred a lot of questions from drivers and managers alike. As the government continues to clarify and adjust the regulation, we can expect to see a lot of changes in roadside inspections. In today’s blog, we’ll explore key data the ELD is pulling and how it will affect trucking fleets.



An ELD is a recording device that records vehicle parameters through its synchronization to the vehicle’s engine. In other words, it records various elements related to a drivers’ record of duty status. This information is used to illustrate compliance with hours of service regulations.

Compared to AOBRDs, ELDs meet new specifications outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and set a consistent standard of tracking. Currently, AOBRDs vary from driver to driver. But under the ELD specification, they’re producing the same output file across the board.


The ELD game changer

The biggest change we can expect to see with the ELD mandate is the implementation of edits and annotations. This allows drivers to make changes if needed and include notes on why something happened – while retaining the original record. This provides accountability and transparency if a carrier needs to make an adjustment to the driver’s hours.


What information is automatically recorded by an ELD?

Now, it’s time to get to the question you’ve all been asking, “What information is being recorded?” An ELD will automatically record the following elements at certain intervals of the day:

  • Date and Time
  • Location Information
  • Engine Hours
  • Vehicle Miles
  • Driver Identification
  • Authenticated User
  • Vehicle
  • Motor Carrier

ELDs aren’t required to collect data on vehicle speed, braking, steering functions or other performance metrics. However, some ELDs may be a component of encompassing platforms like Kamion and collect this data for carriers.

In the following sections, we’ll dive into the specific details and requirements in regards to ELD tracking.


Driving Status

An ELD is required to switch to driving mode once the commercial vehicle is moving faster than 5 mph (the speed threshold). The vehicle is considered stopped once it falls to 0 mph and stays there for three seconds.

When it’s set to driving, the ELD must prompt the driver to enter or confirm the proper duty status. If the driver doesn’t respond within a minute, the ELD will automatically switch the status to on-duty/not driving.


Location Tracking

According to the FMCSA, ELDs must record location data at 60-minute intervals when the vehicle is in motion. This also occurs when a driver shuts down the engine, changes duty status or indicates personal use or yard moves.

During on-duty/driving periods, the location accuracy is within a 1-mile radius. When a driver is operating a commercial vehicle for personal use, the accuracy would be extended to a 1-mile radius to help protect the driver’s privacy.

When drivers change duty status, the ELD converts the vehicle’s position coordinates into geo-location information. This provides the driver’s approximate distance and direction to the nearest city (which is particularly useful in providing destination updates to vendors).


Drivers’ Hours of Service

According to FMCSA, the ELD provider must tailor the device to customer’s needs and operations in order to assist them in accurately monitoring trucking fleets and drivers’ hours of service compliance.

These hours must be in accordance with the service standards of the country operated in. If your company engages in cross-border operations, make sure you have knowledge of different location’s standards during transit.


What to Consider When Evaluating ELDs

When comparing ELDs, it all boils down to finding one that meets your specific needs. This may look different depending on the industry you work in and the conditions in which you operate.

We recommend for trucking fleets to take a holistic view and assess where an ELD could benefit them outside the mandate. Beyond checking that the provider is a registered ELD, you should ask about the customer service and maintenance support they provide.

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