Ever since the FMCSA introduced the ELD mandate and made it mandatory for most CMV drivers, there has been a lot of talk about electronic logging devices (ELDs) and electronic logs.
We saw a rise of many new companies as ELD manufacturers and providers. At the same time, we also saw that many new e-log mobile apps were introduced to replace paper logs.
However, the problem which we often see is that there is a lot of confusion among CMV drivers and fleets managers regarding these two terms. They don’t seem to differentiate between an ELD and an e-log mobile app.
Having a clear understanding of both these terms is essential — especially considering that the ELD mandate is right around the corner. It’s less than six months away.
If you do not know the differences between elog mobile apps and electronic logging devices, you will not be able to stay compliant after the December 18, 2017, deadline.
In this blog post, we will try to eliminate any confusion surrounding these terms.
ELDs are electronic logging devices that would help you stay compliant after the December 18, 2017, deadline. These are actual hardware devices that connect directly to the vehicle’s ECM (Engine Control Module). This connectivity enables the electronic logging device (ELD) to communicate with the vehicle and record whether a vehicle is moving or not.
Consequently, the ELD then records and update a driver’s duty status based on the vehicular movement.
According to the FMCSA’s ELD mandate, there is a set of criteria for an ELD to be legible and compliant. Following are the technical specifications of electronic logging devices:
Here is the final ELD rule published by the FMCSA if you are interested in learning more about ELDs and their technical specifications.
Elog mobile apps are different than electronic logging devices (ELDs).
The elog mobile apps were first introduced to help drivers record their Hours-of-Service on their mobile devices instead of doing manual calculations on paper logs. In BOYD based ELD systems (BOYD = Bring Your Own Device), these elog mobile apps supplement the electronic logging device and its functionalities.
At its core, the elog mobile apps are literally a replacement of paper logs in that they are a graph grid that drivers use to track their Hours of Service. Of course, being a mobile app, there are many more features and benefits for drivers.
For example, unlike paper logs, the elog mobile app can notify drivers for upcoming HOS violations, allows them to easily send logs via email or fax, DVIRs, and much more. So there are obvious benefits of using an elog mobile over paper logs.
But the most important point to understand is that simply using an elog mobile app doesn’t make you compliant with the upcoming ELD mandate.
As we mentioned earlier, ELDs and elog mobile apps are completely different things. Don’t get confused between them.
ELDs or Electronic Logging Devices are hardware devices that connect with the vehicle’s ECM and record the data. On the other hand, elog mobile apps are more of a replacement for paper logs. As elog mobile apps — without an ELD connection — cannot connect with the vehicle, they are not compliant with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate.
In order to be 100% compliant with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate, you will need to buy electronic logging devices that connect with the engines of your vehicles.
Now that it is established that you need ELDs to stay compliant, here is another important point you need to remember.
Not every ELD in the market will make you compliant.
Yes, that is true. Only FMCSA-certified ELDs will guarantee compliance. This is why when you are buying ELDs from any ELD vendor, make sure they are listed in the FMCSA’s list of certified ELDs. Otherwise, it’d be a waste of money.
As you can imagine, there are dozens of elog mobile apps and ELDs in the market right now. Based on our research, KeepTruckin’s mobile elog app is currently the highest rated app in both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. It’s 100% free to download and has over 12,000 5-star reviews.
For finding ELDs that best suit your requirements, use our ELD Features Comparison Tool to see which features each ELD provider is offering. Additionally, don’t forget to take a look at the ELD Price Comparison tool to calculate the true final cost of ELDs.
Need more assistance for finding the right ELD provider? Download our free guide “The Complete Guide to Choosing the Best ELD Provider”.