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Feb 19, 2018
5 min read
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has mandated Electronic Logging Device (ELD), also known as E-Log, which is a device that can track the working hours of the drivers of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). Not only the working hours, an ELD, can track details such as the distance driven and how long the engine has been working.
Automatic Onboard Recording Device (AOBRD) and Electronic Onboard Recorder (EOBR) were two terms used by the FMCSA in their previous rules. FMCSA mentions AOBRD ‘grandfathered’ and allows freight companies with AOBRDs to use it until December 2019.
An ELD can understand the varying speeds of a CMV’s engine, track details automatically and can send the logs to the freight manager. You no longer need a paper format to record the working hours of the driver.
Moreover, ELDs are made mandatory by FMCSA in the final rule published on December 2015. It suggests all the vehicles without an onboard recording device to install the ELD within December 2017. However, the CMV fitted with the onboard recorders, abbreviated EOBR and AOBRD can be used until December 2019.
Even if AOBRD and ELD serve the same purpose (recording driver and vehicle details), there are differences that set them apart. Listed here are some of them.
It is not necessary to have a graph grid display or a clock on an AOBRD.
ELD eliminates the need for a paper format to record the details, and the need of providing details manually as the ELD will track the details automatically. Moreover, ELD will contain a graph grid to display the driver’s duty status, either on a display or as a printout.
FMCSA has imposed some regulations on the Hours of Service (HOS), the working hours of a driver operating a CMV, to avoid accidents caused by doziness. The main regulations include:
A safety rating is given by the FMCSA based on several factors such as (but not limited to) accidents, maintenance, driver’s qualification, license and even the Hours of Service. Three safety ratings are given to a motor carrier.
An ELD should comply with the specifications mentioned by the FMCSA. ELDs need to record some data automatically, and some of them manually as provided by the driver or the motor carrier. Automatic data needs to be captured during the change of duty status of the driver or at a 60-minute interval while the vehicle is moving or when the engine is on/off.
They are not required to:
Note: FMCSA suggests the interstate motor carrier to use only the ELDs which are displayed on their website https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/ELD/List.
FMCSA allows a logging software to be installed on a smartphone or tablet and use it as an ELD, if it complies with ELD’s technical specifications provided by the FMCSA.
Most logging software requires the app to be opened from the moment the engine is turned on to when the engine is shut down, for the app to work or to record information precisely. Hexnode MDM locks down an Android/iOS device which is used as an ELD, to the logging software, while keeping the driver away from accessing other features on the smartphone/tablet, thus keeping the logging software in the foreground, at any time.
Hexnode MDM, apart from locking the device down to the foreground, disables all hardware buttons and always keeps the screen on, to avoid accident app shutdowns. Everything is managed over-the-air, so the ELD need not to be with the carrier every time to make changes to the lockdown configuration. The remote view can be used for troubleshooting and message broadcasting feature can be used by the motor carrier to communicate with the driver, in cases where your ELD does not have this feature.