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ELDs for Trucking: What All Truckers Need to Know About ELDs

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ELDs for Trucking: What All Truckers Need to Know About ELDs

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are an everyday part of the trucking industry. In fact, if you’re a commercial driver, chances are high you are required to use an ELD during your on-duty time. But purchasing, using, and understanding ELDs can be complicated. So, we have put together common questions and answers about ELDs, from what they are all the way to where you can buy one, and including Apex’s partnership with renowned ELD manufacturer, Motive.

What is an ELD?

An electronic logging device (ELD), also known as an electronic logbook or e-log, monitors location, miles driven, engine hours, and vehicle movement in real time. ELDs can look like GPS devices, they are small and keep data that cannot be easily edited after it’s been recorded. ELDs replaced traditional paper logbooks and less-advanced on-board recording devices called AOBRDs. ELDs are the industry standard for recording truckers’ hours of service (HOS).

What is the ELD Mandate?

The ELD Mandate is a US federal government regulation from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requiring commercial drivers to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record on-duty hours of service (HOS) driving as well as off-duty time, which effectively replaced paper logs considered unreliable and less accurate. The mandate went into effect December 2017 with a two-year deadline window of mid-December 2019. The ELD Mandate had an industry and nationwide impact since most commercial drivers must comply.

Why was the ELD Mandate introduced?

There are two main reasons the FMCSA introduced the ELD Mandate – accuracy and safety. ELDs replace less accurate methods of recording hours of service (HOS) and keeping record of duty statuses (RODS). ELDs effectively rendered paper logs and on-board recording devices (AOBRDs, also known as EOBRs) outdated. ELDs also promote safety since accurate HOS logging helps truckers stick to a healthier work and rest schedule, which in turn can decrease accidents.

Who is required to use an ELD and who is exempt?

ELD compliance is standardized and specified by the FMCSA. The government organization offers a searchable list of registered and revoked ELDs so that all commercial drivers are sure to purchase and install FMCSA-approved ELD devices. As for exemption from ELD use, that list is short as most motor carriers and commercial drivers are required to use ELDs to keep RODS. However, here are the four types of drivers exempt from ELD use:

  • Drivers who operate under short-haul exceptions are not required to keep RODS, therefore they are not required to use ELDs.
  • Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers with drive-away or tow-away operations where the vehicle that’s driven is what is being delivered.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before the year 2000.

What are the Best ELDs for Truckers?

The first order of business when choosing the best ELDs for truckers is to make sure they are registered and approved by the FMCSA. So, check that list before making any ELD buying decisions. What’s the next step? Now it’s time to match your needs with the ELD. Here are specific ELD features and qualities to consider:

  • Fleet size – Your ELD should accommodate the size of your truck fleet.
  • Data – All approved ELDs provide the FMCSA-required data, but do you need more? Find an ELD that gives you the extras you need.
  • Shipping service – Do you have a less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping operation? Find an ELD best designed for LTL.
  • Pricing – In addition to the price of the ELD, ask about monthly subscription fees.
  • Area coverage – Does the ELD cover the geographic location you travel?
  • Customer service – Does your preferred ELD have a good customer support reputation? Read reviews and talk to fellow truckers that already have that brand.

Where do you buy an ELD?

ELDs are becoming more commonplace in retail. You could buy one on Amazon or at Walmart. However, those probably don’t require a monthly subscription service and may not be sophisticated enough for some commercial drivers and motor carriers. Most larger chain truck stops also carry ELDs. And of course, you can purchase them directly from the individual manufacturer. Again, make sure the ELD you choose is registered and approved by the FMCSA.

What is Apex’s relationship with Motive ELD?

Apex has a longstanding partnership with Motive ELD (formerly KeepTruckin ELD) and that means savings for Apex clients. Apex offers clients a discounted ELD solution through its partnership with Motive. A Motive ELD is FMCSA approved and will help motor carriers stay compliant, avoid violations, improve safety, improve CSA scores, and save time on IFTA reporting. While Apex recommends Motive ELDs, the important part is that all motor carriers purchase and use an FMCSA approved ELD.

Are you ready to get compliant with an FMCSA approved ELD solution? Are you ready to get paid fast and enjoy the many benefits of Apex’s freight factoring? We are ready for you. Visit our website or give us a call at 855-369-2739.