The ELD Mandate: There Is a Silver Lining to These New Rules

Posted by Skye Robinson | February 27, 2017 | blog, Newsletter

Passed in December 2015 and going into full effect in December 2017, the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is something every fleet manager must be aware of and comply with. If you’re thinking this is only bad news and more work for you, there is a silver lining. Read on for some of the benefits behind the use of electronic logging devices…

What’s the purpose of the ELD?
The electronic logging device, or ELD, is technology that electronically records a driver’s Record of Duty Status or RODS. In the past, drivers kept a record of hours on the road using paper log books. This mandate will do away with that manual method in favor of the high-tech one.

The ELD (also sometimes referred to as electric on board recorders or EOBRs) is not a totally new idea. Many fleet managers are already using on board recording devices known as AOBRDS to cut down on the paper log books.

Although the primary purpose is to record hours, ELDs installed in fleet vehicles can monitor and record a whole host of data about the vehicles and their driver beyond RODS, including even driver behavior like speeding or braking hard.

Tangible benefits to using ELDs
Although you might be frustrated as a fleet manager, thinking this new mandate only means more headache and costs for you, there are tangible benefits to using ELDs:

  • ELDs can dramatically cut down on paperwork, and make sure record keeping is much more accurate. And any time you cut down on paperwork, you save money in the long run!
  • Reducing paperwork makes the driver’s job easier because they no longer have that record-keeping burden.
  • Dispatchers can use the data to better manage trips and loads, another money saver long term. Plus this improves communication between drivers and dispatchers, which in turn can improve driver morale.
  • If the ELD solution you choose includes navigation software, you’ll save even more time (and fuel money) as drivers are made aware of potential high-traffic situations.

Smartphones and tablets are possible cost-saving solutions
Admittedly, despite the benefits, investing in this new technology will come with a cost. Fleet managers would do well to shop around and learn about the various options. Also know that smartphones and tablets can be used as the EOBRs if they are in compliance, meaning they meet all of the requirements, and can be hardwired to the vehicle’s engine. These devices might make it easier to get driver used to the idea of the electronic recording since they usually have smartphones and/or tablets already.

(Note: If your fleet is already set up with ELD technology, you have until December 2019 to make sure you’re in compliance with the published specifications.)

You’ll find detailed information about the ELD mandate and specifics around it at But the time to look into and act on this information is now, because December 2017 will be here before you know it.

Truck Fleets in Dallas, TX
Some interesting statistics on the numbers of truck fleets in the U.S. and Texas, and information fleet managers can use to take better care of those fleets. Read more…

Improve Fleet Manager Training If You Want to Keep Your Drivers
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