The trucking industry’s regulatory landscape is an ever-changing one. The U.S. government has enacted several policies in the past that have shaped the industry into what it is now. One of the biggest changes includes the use of ELD devices. This includes software to track on-duty hours and hardware that integrates with a vehicle.

The good news is that ELDs and the final ELD rule have a lot of benefits for truckers and carriers. The ELD mandate can also help drivers comply with many federal regulations.

ELDs eliminate some of a driver’s and fleet manager’s regulatory burdens, making it easier for drivers to comply with federal regulations.

Following are some of the many ways that drivers can benefit from using ELD devices.

ELD devices protect against driver harassment and coercion

A good number of drivers have raised their concerns about getting harassed or coerced into driving illegally.

Some carriers harass or coerce their drivers to run past their hours-of-service (HOS) limits. When drivers get caught by safety inspectors, they deal with the problem on their own since carriers can simply deny having to do anything with the driver’s illegal run.

When drivers run past their HOS limits, they’d most likely be fatigued and drowsy. Driver fatigue and drowsiness are two of the main causes of road crashes. Drivers’ lives and careers are put in jeopardy when they are harassed and coerced into running illegally. The problem has become so grave that one of the key requirements of the ELD rule is to prohibit driver harassment.

According to the FMCSA, the ELD rule, “prohibits harassment of drivers based on ELD data or connected technology (such as fleet management system). The rule also provides recourse for drivers who believe they have been harassed.“

With ELDs installed in their vehicles, drivers are protected against harassment and driver coercion.

Next we’ll discuss two major ways ELD devices protect drivers.

1. ELD devices are tamper-resistant

Drivers and carriers have limited abilities to make edits to an ELD’s records. It’s also worth noting that the original records cannot be edited.

Because there will always be an electronic breadcrumb that would point to the revised and original records, carriers won’t be able to force drivers into violating their hours-of-service limits.

The drivers will also have final authority on driver edits. It means that they can accept or reject the edits suggested by their fleet managers.

2. The ELD mandate encourages drivers to file coercion complaints

When drivers feel they’ve been harassed by their carriers, they can file a written complaint under 49 CFR 386.12(b).

Here are some of the things drivers need to remember when filing a complaint in accordance with the ELD mandate:

  • Complaints should filed no later than 90 days from the time they were harassed.
  • The driver’s name, address, and telephone number should be included in the complaint.
  • Drivers should include the name and address of the carrier that harassed them.
  • Drivers should complete and concise statement of the facts that will substantiate their harassment allegation.

Hours-of-service regulations and compliance

Through the use of ELD devices, drivers have an easier time tracking their driving hours and staying within their hours-of-service limits.

Because ELDs are connected to the truck’s Electronic Control Module (ECM), they track the vehicle’s movements automatically. It means that instead of the drivers having to log their Record of Duty Status (RODS) manually — which can take a few minutes, or several hours (from an annual perspective) — ELDs do that for drivers.

With no more manual logging and wasting valuable time, drivers can finally focus on what they do best — driving.

Drivers won’t have to keep a mental note of how many driving hours they have left. ELDs give audible notifications to drivers if there is an upcoming HOS violation, so they can find a safe place to park in time.

Avoiding form and manner violations

While form and manner violations will only garner truckers a 1-point violation to their compliance, safety, and accountability (CSA) score, if left unchecked, it can easily add up and damage their CSA scores in the long run.

There are several factors that come into play when form and manner violations are involved, such as:

  • Missing log sheets
  • Missing miles
  • Co-driver name missing
  • Duplicate logs
  • Date missing
  • Hours missing error
  • Graph incomplete error

The good news is that drivers won’t have to worry about most of these when they’re using ELDs.

Since ELDs track pertinent details automatically, a driver’s likelihood of getting hit with a form and manner violation basically vanishes.

Our Motive ELDs can help drivers with preventative vehicle maintenance.

Motive ELDs have vehicle inspection and diagnostic features that drivers can use to help them with their vehicle inspection and maintenance. For example, our vehicle diagnostic feature will send real-time alerts whenever a fault code is detected. Drivers can then pull up and do a quick maintenance check to make sure everything is in order.

In addition, our ELD devices can also be used to monitor recurring maintenance problems by accessing the historical fault-code reports for each vehicle.

When drivers are made aware of their vehicles’ recurring maintenance problems, they can be more cautious with how they handle their trucks to avoid the same issues over and over again.

ELD devices — what’s next?

With all the features that ELD devices possess, truck drivers find it easier to comply with federal regulations.

Drivers are alerted when they’re nearing a violation. They can avoid form and manner violations, as well as inspection and maintenance violations.

Of course, these are just some of the many benefits that drivers enjoy with the right ELD.

Request a free ELD demo to see how it all comes together.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 855-434-3465 or send us an email at