Getting real about ELD Mandate

ELD Mandate 3 month grace period is over and on April 1st of 2018, Phase 2 has been commissioned. Here are some of the frequently asked questions around ELD that DreamOrbit has tried to answer. DreamOrbit is a solution development service company, where a team of 301 members are dedicated to digitizing, connecting and transforming the world’s many Logistics and Freight technologies.


What is ELD Mandate?

FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of US has mandated ELD (Electronic Logging Device) which is intended to create a safer work environment for drivers. So what exactly does ELD Mandate is expected to do? An ELD will –

  • Track a driver’s Hours of Service electronically
  • They need to be “integrally synchronized” with a truck’s engine, making sure drive segments are captured
  • Most will pass data to a system where a safety or fleet manager can see e-logs in a near real-time basis, allowing everyone to be on the same page


What is the timeline to become ELD compliant?

The time is now. Here is the complete timeline for implementing the ELD rule. After extending the Phase 1 by 3 month, on April 1st of this year, the Phase 2 came into effect which subjects the carriers and drivers to mandatory use of either AOBRD (Automatic On Board Recording Devices) and ELD (self registered or registered at FMSCA).



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Towards the full compliance phase that will start from December 2019, the truckers need to only use registered ELD devices by FMCSA only. Any company looking out to invest in the solution needs to be aware that neither AOBRD (automatic on-board recording devices ) or EOBR (electronic on-board recording device) that was published as a rule earlier will be pulled back when the full phase deadline hits. 


What if your driver does not have a functional ELD system after 1st April?

Starting from April 1, the drivers who are outside the ELD exception rule can be placed out of service if –

  • Is using any logging device other than AOBRD or ELD that even even paper logs.
  • Is unable to produce, display/print or transfer data electronically to an authorized law enforcement officer
  • Falsely indicates to ELD exception when not applicable.

How ELD is changing your business?

The ELD mandate is not reinventing the HoS compliance technology but is a successor of the previous rules around safe driving. Many Fleet Management System and Transportation Management systems already use some kind of status recording technology in order to minimize the paperwork. However, ELD mandate has pushed the trucking company on a brink of immense change the other actual operations.

In the past, the drivers could push themselves for couple of hours to make delivery, pick a new load before returning home but now the driver would have to secure an overnight parking in order to avoid going over HoS ( hours of service) limit. Also, in event of uncontrollable delay such as Acts of Nature etc cannot be omitted out of the logs. Even though these mandate serve to make the roads safer and improve the working conditions for the drivers, it has not been received well by the industry and there are many valid reasons to be concerned too. 

Here is the link to find out the HoS allowed –


How to not get negatively affected by HoS Limitations.

In an already capacity short market, HoS limitations can end up affecting the overall productivity and profit margins severely if not leveraged properly. ELDs cannot work in silos to provide an overall return on investment. Here are few things that the carriers and shippers can do without being negatively affected by HoS limitations –

Integrate a Routing Solutions –

Increasing the productivity within HoS ( Hours of service) can compensate the effect greatly. A full fledged routing system can model routes with additional layers of information like real-time traffic, real-time travel time, truck stops and even fuel price data that allows the fleet to monitor and even modify the routes in real time for maximum productivity.

In addition to this a routing system can also be tailored based on needs. For example Long-haul fleets want to build routes along truck specific highways using industry-standard mileage data and want to able to extend the routing function to mobile app to drivers and use data for reporting, fuel tax, billing, paying drivers etc. Whereas LTL or last mile delivery fleet often want to be able design most efficient routes to deliver as many as packages in one trip with best mileage through narrow streets or door to door.

Bundled with TMS (Transportation Management System)

Besides the usual capacity crunch, the mandate will further inflame the challenges as the smaller carriers that are often willing to accept less desirable lanes and last minute tenders make an exit. However, shippers that have been using a strong TMS will be able to determine carriers with highest tender acceptance and on-time deliveries and the small to medium carriers that were able to cater their non-core lanes on short notice. Their partnership strategy can then be determined using this data. On the other hand, carriers can start making the best of their limited HoS is by consolidating LTL to FTL using the TMS. This would further increase productivity and net profits.

Dock Scheduler to save more time

Some TMS might or might not come with a dock scheduling tool but automating the scheduling of inbound and outbound shipments from the right dock location ensures time limited or often immediate dock unloading and loading. It has been a neglected scope for improvement till now, but as ELD mandate gets tightened, the trucks need to spend less time docking and more time on road travelling.

The conclusion

The ELD Mandate can be stated as one of the biggest change the trucking industry has seen in the last 50 years or so. There is no doubt the impact can be more dramatic than the article can ever hope to cover. However, the ELD mandate is inevitable and it is real but so is the power of transport technology. Transport Technologies based on IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Cloud etc can provide features of optimization and planning that can help us take advantage from ELD Mandate. 



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