What Trucking Companies Need To Know
Automotive Business

Understanding ELD Mandates – What Trucking Companies Need To Know

June 30, 2023

The ELD mandate requires drivers and motor carriers to use an electronic device to record their records of duty status (RODS). It also prohibits coercion based on ELD data, which includes a carrier threatening to withhold work from or take employment action against a driver.

Your ELD must comply with the FMCSA’s design and performance standards, display unassigned mileage, and provide data in a standardized format.

Hours Of Service (HOS)

The ELD mandate requires truckers to switch from traditional paper logs to electronic logging devices (ELDs). Some drivers may be exempt from this requirement, but many must quickly familiarize themselves with these systems.

ELDs, also known as e-logs, record driving time and allow truckers to track their overall hours of service, which prevents driver fatigue and reduces the risk of accidents caused by exhaustion. The FMCSA estimates that universally-mandated ELDs could save a minimum of 1,714 crashes, 522 injuries, and 24 deaths yearly.

However, the mandate has not been popular with small fleet owners who make up OOIDA. They’ve lobbied for exemptions to the regulation, but this would strip safety benefits that all trucking companies should support. Ultimately, following HOS rules ensures drivers are well-rested and energized and improves CSA scores. In turn, that makes safer roadways for everyone.


The first step for trucking companies is to buy FMCSA-approved ELD for trucking and teach their staff to use them. This is especially important if your drivers still use paper logs or have automatic onboard recording devices. Several internet sites explain how to get started.

ELDs automate HOS compliance and reduce the daily administrative work your trucking company does. They can help you keep track of driver qualifications and safety history, vehicle statuses, and even generate International Fuel Tax Agreement reports.

However, some drivers claim that the 14-hour time block makes it difficult to find parking during their off-duty hours, which crowds out other truckers and can affect driver safety. They are also concerned that the cost of ELDs will add up over time as they become mandatory. Due to the new requirements, some truckers need help to meet ends. The FMCSA is taking feedback and looking at ways to improve the new system in the future.


An ELD is a small piece of hardware installed in a truck that automatically records driving time and driver and vehicle statuses. It transfers this data to a safety official, making it far more reliable than the previous methods of keeping logs (paper) and automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs).

A good ELD will also allow fleets to use features that improve driver productivity and help them find routes that optimize fuel efficiency. Trucking companies must find a vendor with experience and a track record of providing reliable, secure, and accurate devices.

It’s also good to ensure your chosen company has the financial wherewithal to support fleets for several years. Many small, unknown providers have popped up in the wake of the ELD mandate, and it’s worth finding out whether they’ll still be around a week, a month, or even a year from now.


The ELD mandate has profoundly affected the trucking industry, requiring all trucks to install electronic logging devices. This technology enforces hours of service rules that dictate how long truck drivers can drive and when they need to rest. However, many truck drivers want to change the new laws, claiming they make their jobs less flexible.

ELDs remove human error from HOS log calculations and record all driving hours accurately. It leads to better CSA scores for trucking companies and improved fleet efficiency and digital maintenance planning tools that increase vehicle uptime.

A good ELD provider should offer a mobile-first, GPS-empowered time-tracking system to record accurate time and location data. It also should have software that can be used with a fleet’s delivery or route planning solutions to streamline the entire process after installing the device. It should also be FMCSA-certified and meet the technical specifications set by the agency.

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