ELD Compliance Rules

ELD Compliance Rules Every Trucking Company Must Know

No Comments

Photo of author

By James Johnson


The modern fleet management technology brings an innovative and reliable solution to many challenging operational issues with the help of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD). The system works on a hardware and software combined platform, with GPS tracking and automated reporting facilities. It has become the most preferred tool in managing fleet operations by providing real-time tracking information and feedback for making informed decisions. This device helps fleet businesses to remain resourceful, efficient, and safety compliant.

The ELD has features that primarily focus on automated report generation and keeping records of vehicle performance and drivers’ duty status. This information and records are critical parameters to satisfy compliance requirements.

Here we have discussed ELD Compliance Rules. So go through them and stay with us till the end.

What is ELD Compliance?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), working in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), has introduced a mandate for all commercial motor vehicles. It says that all such vehicles must use electronic logging devices to maintain safe working practices, record Hours of Service rules, and reduce driver fatigue. The main focus is to improve safety and reduce road accidents. All commercial vehicles in the U.S. must install the ELD to ensure compliance with this FMCSA regulation.

The ELDs to be used must be certified and approved by FMCSA to conform to all ELD mandate requirements. The use of any unauthorized ELD or any act of ELD non-compliance will lead to hefty fines and disruption of services for up to 10 years.

How does ELD work?

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is a hardware device generally connected to the diagnostic port of a motor vehicle to access the engine data and record Hours of Service (HoS). ELD also can track the running hours, idle time, and how long the engine is running. The hardware device works in coordination with fleet management software that keeps track of all details and provides access to the back-office staff to view and analyze the information. It helps them guide drivers and make informed decisions toward safety, productivity, and resource utilization. ELD can help streamline the fleet management process using real-time data, convenient communication, updated reports, and close monitoring of efficiency and cost parameters.

Rules and Regulations regarding ELD compliance 

The FMCSA has laid down rules regarding the compliance criteria to be fulfilled by the vehicles. These are as follows:

  • There are specified standards and parameters that the ELD must comply with.
  • The necessary supporting documents that the drivers must keep with them.
  • Defined the criteria of drivers who should comply with the ELD mandate.
  • There are defined steps that drivers need to follow to remain compliant and avoid harassment due to violations.

Functions of ELD to satisfy compliance

  • The ELD must meet the required technical specifications and self-certify by FMCSA
  • Connected to the engine of the vehicle to check engine status (moving or idle)
  • Provide the option to record the duty status of the driver (on-duty, off-duty, not driving)
  • Maintain and transmit data in prescribed format to the law enforcement agencies via Bluetooth, USB, or web services.
  • Graphical display of duty status record to enable drivers easily view the driving hours in a day.

Timeline for ELD mandate

The ELD mandate has come as a culmination of various concepts and procedures. The process of development consists of the following phases:

  • The idea of implementing the ELD mandate started in 2012.
  • FMCSA released its proposal for the ELD mandate in March 2014.
  • FMCSA published the final rules for ELD compliance in December 2015.
  • FMCSA started a drive to encourage motor vehicle companies to install ELD during the given period between February 16, 2016, and December 18, 2017.
  • The non-exempt vehicles were allowed to install the ELD compliance solution during the second phase (December 18, 2017, to December 16, 2019).
  • The final phase (after December 16, 2019) requires all non-exempt commercial vehicles to use the FMCSA-certified Electronic Logging devices.

Coverage under the ELD mandate

The ELD compliance rule applies to all motor carriers and commercial vehicle operators and drivers who are following the practice of maintaining Records of Duty Status (RODS). The same regulations apply to truckers and owner-operators.

ELD compliance exemptions

The ELD compliance rule applies to most commercial vehicles, but there are few exemptions. The following vehicle categories do not come under the preview of the proposed ELD mandate by FMCSA.

  • Vehicles with an engine manufactured before 2000.
  • Trucks moving through certain driveaway operations.
  • Operators who are not required to maintain the Records of Duty Status.
  • Drivers who keep RODS for eight days or less during 30 days.

ELD compliance for local drivers

Some drivers do not operate heavy-duty commercial vehicles and do not travel long distances between regions and states. Usually, such local fleets do not necessarily need to follow the ELD mandate. But in a few cases, some local drivers also need to install The ELD to comply with the regulations. Any local driver maintaining a RODS for more than eight days during 30 days needs to meet the ELD compliance rules. However, besides compliance solutions, ELD provides significant benefits to local fleets with its various features and capabilities. ELDS makes fleet operations more efficient and streamlined using real-time tracking solutions and monitoring driver and vehicle performance.

If you are looking for an ELD device we curated a list of the 20 best ELD devices in 2024

Hours of Service rules

The FMCSA is responsible for regulating the service hours of drivers, considering the mandatory resting time to avoid driver fatigue and stress during duty. This process helps to ensure safety by reducing the chances of risky driving conditions. The new mandate only enforces the Hours of Service rules and facilitates the process with the use of ELD. The generation of electronic logs replaces manual work and saves time. The reports follow a specified format that satisfies the need for consistency and accuracy, which is the main parameter of ELD compliance.

Application of ELD mandate on personal conveyance

The personal conveyance rule applies to the vehicle when someone drives it for personal reasons while the driver is off-duty. ELD mandate applies for such conveyances under the following conditions.

  • Driving a passenger-carrying automobile with passengers.
  • Driving a commercial vehicle to a facility for maintenance purposes.
  • Driving a truck to check its condition and technical issues.
  • Moving towards the terminal from the loading or unloading point.

The conveyance solely used for personal reasons does not come under ELD regulations. The concept of personal conveyance applies to vehicles under the following conditions.

  • Traveling between home and workplace.
  • Traveling to arresting places, motels, or entertainment facilities.
  • Using the vehicle for transporting personal belongings during off-duty.
  • Driving a commercial truck under the instruction of a safety official during off-time.

Checklist for ELD compliance

The FMCSA has provided a checklist to make drivers aware of the regulations and follow the steps toward ensuring ELD compliance. The points you need to consider are as follows:

  • Know whether the ELD mandate applies to you.
  • Understand under what condition you must use the ELD in your vehicle.
  • Must keep the ELD users manual and instructions ready with you.
  • Need to carry relevant supporting documents (Bills of lading, dispatch reports, expenses receipts, mobile communication records, and pay slips).
  • Be aware of the process of avoiding violations and filing a complaint. 

How ELD compliance helps save cost

The compliance solutions achieved through ELD also ensure time and cost savings considerably in the long run in the following ways.

  • It helps avoid HoS violations and avoid penalties
  • Saves time on preparing manual logs and reports
  • Ensures safety and efficiency reducing ongoing costs
  • Savings on fuel costs through real-time monitoring
  • Reducing chances of damage and insurance costs

It is essential to ensure safety in operations and follow regulatory norms while driving. The ELD compliance rules make it compulsory for fleet owners and operators to use ELD devices with necessary features. The ELD helps fleet managers to maintain better control over operations, improve resource utilization, and manage drivers’ performance towards enhancing productivity and safety.

Our Recommendation – Matrack ELD Solution

Matrack Inc. has been catering to the fleet industry in the North American region for several years now. So, when FMCSA decided to mandate the use of ELD, they too jumped on the bandwagon and created an ELD that is FMCSA-registered and affordable. Whether you are an owner-operator or own a mid-sized fleet, the Matrack ELD solution can help you comply with the rules and manage your fleet efficiently. 

With the lowest monthly subscription of only $14.95, no device cost, and no contract, Matrack ELD is probably the best solution you can get. The device installation is easy and their technicians are always available to help out with the same. Once registered, installed, and activated, you can access all data and reports on the companion app. The ELD automatically records all the information, ensuring its authenticity. However, whenever necessary, any authorized person can make edits, according to the ELD rules.

ELD is meant to make other processes like inspection easier, and this device inculcates the same. Apart from inspection, Matrack ELD can assist with fleet operations, such as fuel usage and maintenance, driver behavior and safety, real-time location, and alerts – once it is integrated with their Fleet Management System. 

You can read more about the ELD solution and its features here

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is required to use an ELD?

A: Any motor carrier or driver who is currently required to maintain records of duty status (RODS) must use an ELD to comply with federal regulations.

Q: What are the benefits of using an ELD?

A: Some benefits of using an ELD include increased accuracy in tracking driver hours, reduced paperwork, and improved safety by reducing driver fatigue and preventing violations of hours of service regulations.

Q: What are the requirements for ELD compliance?

A: To comply with ELD regulations, carriers and drivers must use an ELD that is registered with the FMCSA, keep the device operational at all times, and ensure that all required data is recorded accurately and promptly.

Q: What are the penalties for non-compliance with ELD regulations?

A: Penalties for non-compliance with ELD regulations can include fines, out-of-service orders, and revocation of operating authority.

Q: What are the exceptions to the ELD mandate?

A: Some exceptions to the ELD mandate include drivers of vehicles manufactured before the year 2000, drivers who operate within a 100-air-mile radius of their starting location, and drivers who use paper logs for no more than 8 days during any 30-day period.

Editor at YourBestFleet | + posts

James Johnson is a former truck driver who now works as a writer, specializing in the trucking industry. With over 15 years of experience on the road, James has a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities faced by truck drivers and the trucking industry as a whole. His writing focuses on issues such as safety, regulation, and the latest industry trends. His work has been featured in several trucking publications and he has received recognition for his contributions to the industry. In his free time, James still enjoys being around trucks and often attends truck shows and other industry events.

Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Leave a Comment