What is an electronic logging device or ELD?

The electronic logging device is a small device that can be held in the palm of your hand and plugged in to your vehicle. Once installed, the FMCSA notes that “an ELD synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service (HOS) recording.” The introduction of ELDs was designed to reduce the burden of manual, paper-based work and replace it with automation that improves compliance.

The ELD involves new technology, new processes, and new benefits. Today, those who need to comply are using a combination of paper logs, automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs), ELDs, and other logging software. Soon, all will be using ELDs.

How does an ELD work?

Instead of using paper logs, drivers can plug in an ELD then manage logs by using integrated software on a mobile app. The app will even perform some of the functions automatically by receiving truck data from the ELD. In addition to automating and simplifying paper-based logging, an ELD often has additional features that help fleets.

ELDs can monitor engine health and activity, alerting drivers and fleet managers to maintenance issues and usage patterns. ELD software provides information about engine status (on/off), engine hours, idling, vehicle movement, vehicle location, mileage, miles driven, and more. To provide many of these insights and to complement logging features, an ELD may include GPS, accelerometer, and cellular and/or Bluetooth® capabilities.

How much does an ELD cost?

Many carriers have made the move to ELD because the price of an alternative AOBRD is more expensive – often ranging between $500 and $2,000 whereas an ELD’s price generally ranges between $100 and $200. Carriers are also realizing benefits by the simultaneous convergence of fleet drivers moving from AOBRDs to ELDs and owner-operators moving from paper to ELDs. For the first time, the fleet can now have all drivers using the same type of technology.

Our Transflo ELD T7 is priced at just $99, and with our current promotion through the end of year, you’ll receive free monthly service until March 2018.

How can an ELD save truck drivers time and money?

Reduce Paperwork
By reducing paperwork, companies can save $705 or more per driver each year. Across your whole fleet, that’s powerful math! Here’s the breakdown:

Annual Paperwork Savings per Driver

Annual Paperwork Savings per Driver
Elimination of Paper Log Books $42
Driver Submitting RODS $56
Clerk Filing RODS $120
Driver Filing RODS $487
Total Savings per Driver $705

Save at the Pump
1,500 gallons of diesel fuel are burned each year by idling a heavy-duty truck. Insights from ELD reporting can help you reclaim fuel lost to idling and operate more efficiently.

Decrease Violations
Trucks equipped with electronic HOS recorders have a 53% lower driving-related HOS violation rate and a 49% lower non-driving-related HOS violation rate than trucks without such devices.

Gain Valuable Hours Per Driver
How much time do drivers save by moving from paper logs to electronic logs? Fewer and faster inspections as well as less paperwork can save 20 hours of driver time per year. That’s 4.5 minutes of time saved per RODS!


What are the benefits of using an ELD?

Earn More Revenue
Using an ELD saves time, and that time savings equates to greater earning potential. Fewer and faster inspections as well as less paperwork equal up to 20 hours of time saved each year. Those are hours that can be converted into driving time to earn additional client revenue.

Save Some Money
Most of the paper log burden falls on drivers. Buying log books, having drivers file and submit records, and performing clerical tasks all have costs. By using an ELD, you can save on many of these costs. In fact, the FMCSA estimated the total annual paperwork savings to be $705 per driver!

Avoid Other Expenses
Electronic logging automation improves accuracy of driver logs. Fewer violations mean fewer fines. You’ll avoid some of the expenses associated with critical maintenance issues, vehicle downtime, unauthorized vehicle usage, and out-of-route miles.

Achieve New Efficiency
By using an ELD, drivers and fleets can better plan the day. With the ELD’s hours of service, alerts, and GPS features, you’ll know when and where to take breaks and stop for the day. Also, insights from speeding and engine idling reports can lead to changes that improve fuel efficiency.

Improve Safety
Trucks with ELDs have 11.7% fewer total crashes and 5.1% fewer preventable crashes. You’ll benefit from accelerometer and accident reconstruction features that validate safe driving, a key factor in determining insurance rates. With real-time ELD mapping, roadside assistance is faster.

Strengthen Reputation
E-Logs increase compliance and reduce violations, both of which improve CSA scores. They also document safety and compliance success, which could lead to better jobs and higher pay for drivers. Companies may also be more willing to do business with you when they know you’re ELD compliant.

Enhance Quality of Life
ELDs reduce tedious activities like DVIRs and IFTA reporting, including phone calls just to check in. They may also reduce IFTA audit risks. ELDs lead to more meaningful coaching, decreased driving while fatigued, and accurate pay information–enhancing quality of life and reducing driver turnover.

What is the FMCSA ELD mandate?

The electronic logging device rule “requires ELD use by commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS).” In general, if you are already required to maintain RODS, you will still need to do so under the mandate. You’ll just meet the requirement by using an ELD. The FMCSA estimates that 3.4 million commercial drivers are subject to this new rule.

Commercial drivers who use paper RODS for 8 or more days, out of every 30-day period, will need to use an ELD. Motor carriers who use paper logs today will need to use electronic logs under the new mandate. And those currently using AOBRDs will also be required to use ELDs. The FMCSA notes certain exceptions to the mandate.

What are the Mandate Exceptions?

1. Using paper duty status records for not more than 8 days out of every 30 days.
2. Operating a vehicle that was manufactured prior to the year 2000.
3. Driving a vehicle that is also the product to be delivered (drive-away/tow-away).
4. Using time cards while conducting short-haul operations covered by an exemption.

FMCSA Source

What is timeline for the FMCSA's Mandate?

The timeline below summarizes the important dates and regulatory action of the ELD Mandate.

Multi-phased Approach

Phase 1: Awareness and Transition
During the awareness and transition phase, carriers and drivers subject to the rule should understand what they need to do and prepare to comply with the ELD mandate. They may install and begin using ELDs.

Phase 2: Phased-in Compliance
During the phased-in compliance phase, carriers and drivers subject to the rule may no longer use logging software or paper as a means of compliance. They will now use approved ELDs to comply. AOBRDs installed prior to Phase 2 may also be used to comply.

Phase 3: Full Compliance
During the full compliance phase, all carriers and drivers who are subject to the federal mandate must be in compliance by using an ELD that meets the requirements of the rule.

What happens if I choose not to comply with the FMCSA’s ELD Mandate?

The FMCSA has communicated that drivers who are subject to the new ELD mandate may face fines, suspensions, or federal investigations for non-compliance. ELD fines can cost thousands of dollars for each violation.

How to introduce ELD compliance to drivers in 3 easy steps?

Step 1: Explain
• Describe the mandate, openly discuss the pros and cons
• Involve drivers and key employees early
• Communicate ELD plans, programs, timelines, and goals well in advance
• Post announcements, ELD educational material, FAQs etc.
• Listen to feedback and suggestions, address feelings and concerns

Step 2: Train
• Rollout in “waves,” starting with an influential group of employees first
• Be clear about what’s new, what continues, and what discontinues
• Learn together, gather feedback, make improvements
• Identify drivers and other employees who will be used to help remaining drivers
• Involve all layers of employees, ensure executives are visible and supportive

Step 3: Attain
• Achieve stated goals, begin with easier groups and end with harder ones
• Chart adoption and rollout progress, quantify results and gaps remaining
• Share ELD examples and success stories with employees
• Adapt and improve, address any remaining questions or resistance
• Celebrate success and offer thanks, reiterate key messages, refresh training

How Fleet Managers benefit Translfo’s ELD T7 and Telematics solution?

With Transflo’s telematics device, fleet managers can rethink their mobile and telematics strategies. With a wide range of features, Transflo Telematics can help you meet the mandate requirements and help you manage your fleet with access to data and reporting about drivers, vehicle diagnostics, near to real-time GPS truck tracking, and much more.

How Drivers benefit Translfo’s ELD T7 and Telematics solution?

Drivers conveniently access electronic logs, driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR), IFTA reporting, and other data needs of commercial drivers and their fleets. They can manage loads, capture documents, chat with dispatch, and much more with the Transflo Mobile integration.

How does Translfo’s ELD T7 and Telematics solution work with other Transflo Products?

Transflo Telematics can also be integrated with Transflo Mobile allowing drivers to manage loads, capture documents, chat with dispatch and do everything they need to stay productive from one app.

Transflo designed and developed this mobile application with complete knowledge of the software and tools that are commonly used in the trucking industry. The open architecture and extendable platform of Transflo Mobile provides carriers and drivers seamless integration with leading TMS and in-cab technologies.

Why does the Transflo T7 ELD use cellular data over Bluetooth?

In a bring-your-own-device model, the electronic logging device (ELD) is connected to the engine control module (ECM) of the truck. The ELD records important engine and motion data that is transmitted to an app that displays the driver’s hours of service (HOS) information. This transfer of data can occur via a cellular or a Bluetooth connection.

With a cellular connection, the ELD is constantly recording and transmitting activity so that electronic logs on the phone remain updated. There is very little the driver has to do; the solution does much of the heavy lifting for them. If the truck drives outside of cellular coverage, the ELD still records the information and automatically transmits that data when the truck enters cellular coverage area again. No adjustments need to made to the log.

Common issues drivers run into with Bluetooth models.

    • Paring and Syncing Issues: With a Bluetooth connection, drivers must pair or sync the devices together throughout the day so that information is being transferred correctly.Bluetooth pairing can drain a cell phone battery, make your device hot, and use data from the cell plan because the driver uses the phone as the “bridge” between the ELD and the log.
    • Setup difficulty: Driver needs to pair the device each time he/she starts the engine. When a driver forgets to pair, HOS data will not be sent to the log.
    • Connectivity: With Bluetooth, you may have connectivity one minute and not the next. This is further complicated by device and chipset compatibility issues. The driver has to address unassigned driving time when the connection is lost.
    • Interference: Bluetooth interference can be caused by Wi-Fi networks, microwaves, and other sources of frequency issues, resulting in lost connectivity. Again, the driver has to address unassigned driving time when the connection is lost.



  • Lack of mobility: When the driver pairs the ELD with the app on the phone, the phone has to stay close by. If a drivers exits the vehicle with the phone and walks away, the connection is broken.
  • Security risk: This type of wireless technology can be hacked, posing new risks to information, onboard computers, cargo, and drivers. Drivers should choose an ELD that uses connectivity methods that are as secure as possible.
What do I need to know about cybersecurity?

Transflo takes cybersecurity seriously. This includes the steps of design and manufacturing of the device, firmware programming, loading of firmware onto devices, cellular communication channels, server management, and user interface development. Our ELD partner Geotab, the manufacturer of the Transflo ELD T7, has included a list of Best Practices for Cybersecurity Management in Telematics.

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc. has also issued a Heavy Vehicle Cyber Security Update that outlines specific risks in this area. The organization warns of ELD devices that can be exploited, jeopardizing the safe operation of the vehicle. There are many devices in the industry, some of which were noted to have cybersecurity shortcomings.

Where can I purchase a Transflo T7 ELD?

The Transflo ELD T7 is available from Transflo sales team and through the nation’s largest network of travel centers and channel partners. This includes Pilot Flying J, Love’s, TA/Petro, and several leading brokerage and logistics firms, factoring companies, and membership-based trucking organizations. We’ve made it convenient for you to purchase the Transflo ELD T7 wherever and however best meets your needs.

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ELD and the Benefits: How electronic logging devices help driver and carriers