Electronic Logging Device Basics

Big Road ELD

What the Heck is an Electronic Logging Device?

Electronic Logbooks have been around for several years, with lots of variations. They are an electronic application that replicates the Record of Duty Status (RODS) relevant to Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. They do not connect to the engine module.

Automated On Board Recording Devices (AOBRD) are the next level of technology. They supply some engine information and a format to record HOS. In the USA, they will be disallowed by 2019. Canada has not decided their fate.

In the US, beginning in December 2017, ELD’s will become mandatory, (excluding the grandfathered AOBRD’s). The Canadian date has not been set.

In their simplest form, ELD components are:

  • An Engine Control Module diagnostic port. This is commonly used by mechanics.
  • An Engine Data Relay Module connected to the diagnostic port or splice-wired. It may be mounted on the dash, or hidden under-dash, depending on the vendor. The module includes a Bluetooth transceiver.
  • The user interface display device. This could be, depending on the vendor, a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. This device runs the application that the driver uses as his RODS.

Some of the Electronic Logging Devices required functions are:

  • Connection to the Engine Control Module
  • Automatic recording of some duty status changes
  • GPS positional recording
  • Automatic driving detection
  • Minimal driver duty status editing
  • Original data retention after editing
  • Automatic log graphing
  • Tamper resistance
  • Outside-of-cab display for inspections
  • Data download capable

The full technical requirements for ELD’s are extensive. Here is the US information: USA ELD Final Rule

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