In simple terms, an electronic logging device may be defined as an electronic gadget that is attached to a commercial motor vehicle for recording driving data. This electronic gadget is designed to accurately measure the hours of service of the driver. It accurately measures this data by keeping a record of the driving time as well as by recording information about the engine hours, miles driven, vehicle movement, location and a number of other things.
There are several other features in this device as it can be used for reporting malfunctioning of the device itself or when any kind of interference is detected. Some other information that is recorded by this device include driver identification, type of motor vehicle, motor carrier as well as approved users among other things. For use in commercial vehicles, it is important to use a device that is compliant with the guidelines issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA.
The agency has issued an ELD mandate which is designed to ensure that all the commercial vehicle drivers follow the hours of service law. There are a number of regulations the commercial vehicle drivers are required to follow and chief among them is that a driver should not drive for more than 11 hours a day. Also, a driver is required to have a particular minimum rest time in order to make sure that they are awake and aware of the road conditions when driving. The best ELD devices help in keeping track of this information and ensure compliance with the laws.
How an Electronic Logging Device Works
Once the electronic logging device is set in the vehicle, it starts recording data. It has separate modes for recording of data. For instance, the device changes to drive mode once the vehicle attains a speed that is more than the threshold set in the device which can be as low as 5 mph. It simply means that the vehicle is now in the drive mode and now the driver needs to follow all the guidelines. The device assumes that the vehicle has stopped in case the speed remains at 0 mph for at least 3 consecutive seconds.
Another thing you need to know about the working of this logging device is that it prompts the driver to put in an appropriate duty status in case the driver has set the duty status to drive mode and the vehicle remains stationary for at least 5 consecutive minutes. If the driver chooses not to enter a duty status within a minute of the prompt request given by the electronic device, the duty status is automatically changed by the device to on-duty from the driving mode.
The location data is also recorded by the device at intervals of 60 minutes when the vehicle is in motion. The location status is also recorded by the device whenever the engine is started or shut down by the driver. It also records location data when driver changes the duty status or specifies the duty status as personal use or yard moves. As far as the accuracy of location data is concerned, the data is recorded with an accuracy of around 1 mile radius when it is in the driving status. On the other hand, when the driver designates the vehicle for personal use, the accuracy of location data is kept within a 10 mile radius in order to keep the private data safe.
The regulations do not require real-time monitoring of commercial vehicles but it does not mean that it can’t be done with the help of these devices. An operator can make use of these devices for real-time tracking for their own personal use. It is important to keep in mind that this data cannot be used for causing harassment or for anything that is against the regulations issued by the agency.
One of the biggest benefits of electronic logging devices is that it helps in keeping track of duty status as well as hours of service of the commercial vehicle drivers. These records were required to be maintained by the driver earlier too but that resulted in a lot of paperwork and had huge administrative costs. The use of electronic devices has significantly brought down the administrative costs as well as the amount of paper work required. It has also helped in improving compliance as the duty status is automatically recorded.
Overall, an electronic logging device not only helps the drivers and carriers remain compliant with the law but it also helps in reducing costs, improving driver safety and enhancing productivity.