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The electronic logging device (ELD) compliance date of 12/18/2017, is getting closer. With few exceptions, all drivers will be required to log their hours electronically rather than using paper logbooks because of the ELD mandate.

If you are still at a point where you are in the process of choosing your ELD device, here’s a checklist of what specific functions and capabilities you’ll need to look for when selecting an ELD for your trucking staff.


  • Separate Driver/Non-Driver Accounts

ELDs must be able to maintain separate accounts for drivers and non-drivers, referring to individuals who do administrative work.

  • Integral Synchronization

ELDs need to have integral synchronization with the engine control module. This is so required data, such as vehicle motion and power status, can be automatically recorded. ELD time must be also be synchronized to Universal Coordinated Time (UTC).

  • Data Recording at 60 Minute Intervals

Driving data must be recorded at 60-minute intervals. The required data includes engine hours, driver ID, vehicle miles, time and date, and location.

  • Location Accuracy

Location must be recorded with an accuracy of a one-mile radius. Location accuracy can be reduced to a 10-mile radius when vehicles are used for authorized personal use by a driver.

  • Data Retention

ELDs must be able to retain driver data for a 24-hour period. Additionally, data needs to be available for the seven days prior to the current 24-hour period.

  • Tamper Prevention

ELDs need to have some type of protection against tampering. Data should not be able to be altered or erased. This doesn’t mean legitimate errors can’t be corrected.

  • Unidentified Record Review

Drivers should be able to access and review any unidentified records. The ELD should require drivers to either claim the record as theirs or mark it as not belonging to them.

  • Record Copying On Demand

Drivers must be able to use their ELD to obtain a copy of their records on demand. Records should be able to be viewed as an electronic file or with a printout.

  • Electronic Data Transfer Capabilities

ELDs must be able to support the transfer of electronic data in one of two ways. The first is with local transfer using Bluetooth technology or USB2.0. The other is via email or wireless Web services.

  • On-Demand Data Display

Required standardized data needs to be instantly accessible on demand when such info needs to be viewed by safety officials. The display (either printed out or on a display screen) must include daily log data, graph info showing driving duty status changes, and a daily header. When printed, the graph grid has to be 6″ by 1.5″, at a minimum.

  • Written Explanation of Changes

ELD users can edit records. However, there should be a feature that requires user certification and annotation when changes are made so a clear explanation is on record.

  • 24-Hour Certifications

ELDs need to require driver record certification. This process needs to be done at the end of every 24-hour period.

  • User’s Manual

ELD providers need to include a user’s manual. Make sure it includes instructions for transferring ELD hours from service records to safety officials and what to do if there is a record-keeping malfunction.

  • Volume Control

There must be a volume control for audio features on an ELD. This includes a mute option.

Quick Tips for Choosing an ELD

  • Check the FMCSA list: Any ELD you choose should be on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) list of registered ELDs. All ELDs on this list have met the technical requirements for how such devices will need to perform.
  • See how ELD providers rate with the BBB: While most ELD providers are reputable, it never hurts to get some added peace of mind by checking the Better Business Bureau website to see how your preferred provider rates. If they’re not BBB-registered, check online reviews.
  • Confirm that fleet management system (FMS) functions are available: By nature of how the trucking industry is set up, most ELDs will be used by companies that manage fleets. However, there is no requirement for ELDs to have FMS capabilities. If this is what you need, make sure your ELDs have this function before making your purchase.

Two ELD Deals!

If you’re looking for a deal on ELDs, two companies are offering free units or delayed monthly payment options. KeepTruckin offers a 20-30 dollar per month subscription with no costs upfront. Truckers Solution also has no upfront costs with its ELDs. There is also no service fee until March of 2018.

Trucking Solutions from Pay4Freight

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Contact us today at 888-479-4378 to learn more about how we may be able to help you do what you do better.