Technical compliance requirements
Not all electronic logging devices (ELDs) are made equal and it's vital that you choose one that meets all the specifications set out in the ELD Mandate/Final Rule if you want to be compliant and avoid being fined.
Yes, you must use electronic logging devices (ELD) to comply with the ELD Mandate. And, yes, you will have to invest quite a bit of time and money in transitioning to an ELD system that fulfils all the regulations outlined in the FMCSA’s Final Rule. But, as we’ve said in an earlier post, there are plenty of benefits that come from moving from paper and pen to web and wireless technology.
The FMCSA has set out the following basic requirements that all ELDs need to fill. These are the features you need to look for:
1. Engine synchronization
Engine synchronization for purposes of ELD compliance means that the monitoring of the vehicle’s engine operation to automatically capture the engine’s power status, vehicle’s motion status, miles driven value, and engine hours value when the commercial motor vehicle’s (CMV) engine is powered. CMVs older than model year 2000, as indicated by the vehicle identification number (VIN), are exempted.
2. Recording location data
When it comes to recording location information, the FMCSA requires ELD data records, including location data, when the driver changes duty status, when a driver indicates personal use or yard moves, when the CMV engine powers up and shuts down, and at 60-minute intervals when the vehicle is in motion. In addition, the FMCSA requires all ELDs to record locations in a way that provides an accuracy of approximately a 1-mile radius during on-duty driving periods. However, when a CMV is operated for authorized personal use, the position reporting accuracy is reduced to an approximate 10-mile radius, to further protect the driver’s privacy. As it relates to location information captured for each change of duty status, an ELD must convert automatically captured vehicle position in latitude/longitude co-ordinates into geo-location information, indicating approximate distance and direction to an identifiable location corresponding to the name of a nearby city, town, or village, with a State abbreviation. Geo-location information must be derived from a database that contains all cities, towns, and villages with a population of 5,000 or greater. Lastly, ELDs provide the ability for a driver to enter location information related to entry of missing records and provides the ability to accommodate temporary positioning service interruptions or outage without setting positioning malfunctions.
3. Device synchronization
Devices must be synchronized to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), with no deviations above 10 minutes.
Electronic logging devices must be tamper-proof, to prevent any alteration or removal of any data collected. Specifically, no driver or motor carrier may disable, deactivate, disengage, jam, or otherwise block or degrade a signal transmission or reception, or reengineer, reprogram, or otherwise tamper with an automatic on-board recording device or ELD so that the device does not accurately record and retain required data. Tampering with an ELD is also an acute violation under the FMCSA’s safety rating processes. The ELD must support data integrity check functions.
5. Ability to present a graph grid
ELDs must be able to present a graph grid of driver’s daily duty status changes either on a display or on a printout during a roadside inspection.
6. Unidentified driver warnings
ELDs must warn drivers of “unidentified driver” profiles upon login. ‘‘Unidentified driver’’ refers to the operation of a CMV featuring an ELD without an authenticated driver logging in the system.
7. Transferring of data
As a minimum, the ELD must transfer data via both wireless web services and wireless email, or via both USB 2.0 and Bluetooth. Both ELD types must be able to display standard data to safety officials via display or printout.
8. Monitoring compliance
ELDs must have the capability to monitor their own compliance (engine connectivity, timing, positioning, etc.) for detectable malfunctions and data inconsistencies. ELDs must record these occurrences. In addition, motor carriers must take corrective action within eight days of discovering the malfunction of an ELD, or notification of the malfunction by the driver, whichever comes first. If a motor carrier needs additional time to repair, replace, or service one or more ELD, they must request an extension of time from the FMCSA.
9. Driving time must be automatically calculated
The FMCSA continues to believe that a speed threshold is the best way to determine accurate motion (i.e.: driving time). The FMCSA declined to create an alternate threshold that relies upon distance. Once the vehicle speed exceeds the set speed threshold of no more than 5 miles per hour, it must be considered in motion