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Clarification on ELD connectivity requirements: What’s needed to comply with mandate

I wrote recently XRS-in-vehicle-EOBR-modulethat in its final version of its electronic logging device mandate, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration nixed the requirement that the devices have data or web connectivity, as part of an effort by FMCSA to allow cheaper compliance options.

Compliant devices, per the rule, now must at minimum be equipped only with Bluetooth and a USB 2.0 port, meaning truckers won’t be strapped with paying for monthly subscription charges if they so choose.

Compliant ELDs won’t require web connectivity/telematics functionality

In what FMCSA said was an effort to reduce the costs associated with complying with the looming electronic logging device mandate, the agency removed the ...

But, says Tom Cuthbertson of ELD provider Omnitracs, if operators opt for a device that uses solely local connections like USB and Bluetooth, the device must be equipped with both Bluetooth connectivity and a USB 2.0 port, not one or the other.

The same applies to carriers/drivers who choose a telematics-equipped device: They must be able to transfer data via both a wireless web service and via email.

The reason is, as Cuthbertson told Overdrive and as the rule denotes, drivers must be able to show during roadside inspections both their current 24-hour records and records from the previous 7 days, but it’s up to each state to determine how its enforcers will receive that information from truck operators.

Ready for a change: e-logs set to become ELDs

While ELD features may not be ready now, the technology will soon be impacting drivers and fleets as features become available from now until 2019. ...

States will be required to receive data transfers via one local connection option and one telematics option, but they won’t be required to have the full suite of connectivity options, Cuthbertson said.

For instance, State A may decide its enforcers can receive data transfers via email and USB 2.0, meaning they won’t be able to receive data via wireless web service or Bluetooth connection.

State B, however, could outfit its enforcers with means for receiving transfers via email and Bluetooth. Or via wireless web service and USB 2.0.

In any instance, operators with compliant devices would be able to transfer their duty status records to an inspector, as compliant devices must offer both connectivity options in the category they choose — local or remote.

FMCSA: Penalties for not complying with ELD mandate still in the works

Former FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg speculated in September shutdown orders would be in place for carriers and drivers who don't comply with the agency's ELD ...

So, to the example above, if an owner-operator running a device that utilizes local connections hits State A and must transfer his records of duty status to an officer, he or she will make the transfer via USB 2.0.

When the same owner-operator hits State B, he’ll connect at roadside via a Bluetooth connection.

In both instances, however, safety officers dictate the transfer method, and compliant devices will allow for the transfer method they choose.

Bigfunbus 1
Bigfunbus 1

I use Big Road application it is by far the  most easiest ELD to use everyone check it out please!


Has anyone heard of an item that performance minded diesel truck owners can plug into their engine harness ? This "chip" as it's called looks for the input from the truck's sensors that go to the engine computer, ECM. This chip reads the input and decides that it can tell the computer to do what it deems necessary to increase the performance without the computer knowing what's really happening. Sort of hacking the ECM.

As far as ELD's are concerned I believe that those ELD could be succeptible to the same kind of modifications that the chip does to the  the engine computer. It seems that the only winner in this ELD thing will be the companies that make them. As soon as the hackers get their hands on them it will be the wild west all over again. Some driver that has been over hours or has violated the 14 hr day rule could be stopped and when the inspector plugs into the ELD it give the driver a glowing report. IMHO this  ELD system can and probably will be hacked so that it could be just another piece of BS that the jerks in the bureaucracy think will control the behavior of the already overworked driver. I believe that most drivers are hard working dedicated citizens that want to do a good job. On the other side we have the rule makers which are made up of mostly citizens that think the worst of everybody because that's what they and their peers actually are. So they assume that everyone deals with life like they do by lying and cheating. I know that there are some drivers that fit into that category but most do not.  The bureaucrats who know squat about what a professional driver has to be able to know to do the job correctly feel the need to justify their pathetic existence by adding all these idiotic rules to truck driving.

Jose Monteiro
Jose Monteiro

I agree with your comment, however, stop fighting the method by which you must record your compliance with the regulations, and start fighting the regulations itself. The only reason no one is fighting to change the regulations is because with paper logs, you can ignore them by falsifying your logs, but with elogs, that's going to be much harder to do, which is why organizations are fighting the elog. Wake up people, you're fighting the wrong war!

James Jaillet is the News Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at