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Electronic Logs Mandatory for Truckers

In 2017, electronic logging devices (ELDs) became mandatory for commercial truck drivers in the United States. What are electronic logging devices? Why are electronic logging devices mandatory? What are the benefits of ELDs?

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Commercial Trucking and Public Safety

Since 1937, the United States has regulated the hours of service (HOS) for commercial truck drivers. The goal of regulating HOS for commercial truckers is safety for everyone on the road.

To be sure, hours of service have been a hot-button debate issue between industry, commercial truck drivers, and safety groups. The goal has always been safety. When commercial truck drivers are tired or fatigued they are more likely to make mistakes. The problem is, no one can seem to agree on the best way to make sure commercial truck drivers get enough rest to stay alert and focused on driving.

Commercial Trucking Logs

Commercial truck drivers are required to log certain information. Before 2017, logs were typically handwritten. Handwritten logs required drivers to keep detailed and accurate logs. People make mistakes and log books weren’t always accurate. In 2017, electronic logging devices became mandatory for many commercial truck drivers.

What Are Electronic Logging Devices?

Electronic logging devices track several metrics for commercial truck drivers, eliminating the need for handwritten logbooks. ELDs are fast, accurate, and easy to use. The electronic logging device system allows trucking companies to keep accurate records of their driver’s hours. The devices also record information like speed and miles traveled.

Most ELDs are a system professionally installed on the truck. Basic systems track the required data to ensure federal compliance. Complex systems can include live/recording cameras, real-time GPS monitoring, speed history, and more.

Why Are Electronic Logging Devices Mandatory?

ELDs are mandatory for many commercial truck drivers. Electronic versions of logbooks keep accurate records. The intended purpose of an ELD system is to create and maintain a safer work environment for commercial truckers. While ELDs aren’t a perfect solution, they are part of a movement to protect commercial drivers (sometimes from themselves) and protect other drivers on the road.

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What are the Benefits of Electronic Logging Devices?

As discussed above, electronic logging devices eliminate human error from truck driver record-keeping. An electronic logging device reduces the time truck drivers need to spend manually tracking this data. Hours of service, remaining hours available, miles driven, etc., all of this is tracked with an ELD.

Many Companies Already Track Drivers

Many commercial trucking companies already use recording devices inside and outside the truck/trailer. Traffic/speed/attention monitoring can help commercial trucking companies reduce the number of crashes involving their drivers.

In closing, we see ELDs as a piece of the puzzle to improve road safety for all drivers. Electronic logging devices ensure commercial truck drivers obey the rules. This helps reduce truck accidents. Commercial trucking is more than just moving goods from one location to another. Every driver on the road owes a duty of care to operate their vehicle as safely as possible.