6 Common ELD Violations and Tips to Prevent Them

Electronic logging devices, or ELDs, were first introduced to reduce the frequency of traffic accidents and increase driver safety. If you work in the transportation or fleet business, you should be familiar with the ELD Rule and related laws. It’s true that before April 2018, both drivers and administrators were hesitant to accept completely new technologies. This was the primary motivation behind the ELD mandate.

To comply with the current laws, all carriers must have FMCSA-approved ELDs for trucks installed in their vehicles, according to the ELD mandate. Any infraction will have a direct impact on their CSA (Compliance, Safety, and Accountability) score.

Even though the FMCSA’s electronic logging device (ELD) rule has been in effect for more than three years, carriers and their drivers are still being charged for breaches that might be considered very basic and easily corrected ELD concerns. High CSA hours-of-service scores, out-of-service orders, civil fines, and a DOT audit can be the consequences of allowing these violations to continue.

Read out to learn more about the ELD rules, its violations, and how to prevent them.

What to Know About the ELD Rules?

In 2012, Congress passed a law titled “Moving Ahead for Progress in the Twenty-First Century.” It is generally referred to as Map-21. It proposed making ELD mandatory.

Due to disagreements, the law may not see the light of day until 2014. Finally, in 2015, the final regulation was written and ready for implementation. However, the law could not be enacted overnight.

As a result, the implementation was carried out in three stages:

  • The first phase (February 2016-December 2017): During this phase, owners and fleet operators were invited to implement ELD freely.
  • The second phase (December 2017-December 2019): Drivers converted to ELD or AOBRD.
  • Finally, all non-exempt drivers and fleet operators were required to utilize ELD.

What Is the Goal of the ELD mandate?

The ELD mandate has impacted millions of drivers across North America since its implementation. All CMV (commercial motor vehicle) operators are required to upgrade from conventional logging systems to contemporary ELDs under the ELD law.

The law’s goal is to:

  • Reduce the number of traffic accidents.
  • Drivers’ working circumstances should be improved.
  • Apply the HoS rule.

What Are Some of the ELD Violations and How to Prevent Them?

To prevent needless penalties or duties, be aware of the following typical ELD violations:

1. Operating without an FMCSA-compliant ELD device

The most prevalent form of ELD violation is the failure to use FMCSA-certified ELDs in vehicles. Fleet owners or truck drivers may install low-cost ELDs to minimize the initial expenses of improved devices, only to discover later that they are not even compliant with FMCSA rules. This leads to a Section 395.22A violation with a severity weight of 5, which is followed by heavy penalties and a drop in CSA ratings.

To prevent this violation, be certain that the device you pick is on the FMCSA’s Registered list of ELDs. Appearance on this list is the sole proof necessary of the ELD’s status. You will avoid problems this way.  Also, keep in mind that the FMCSA does not give ELD vendors with certificates or documents.

2. The device’s display screen is obscured

If the ELD’s display screen is not visible from the outside, officials may penalize you under Section 395.20B for the incorrect log.  If you are a driver, you may prevent this circumstance by placing the device such that the screen is viewable from outside the car.

When utilizing a portable gadget like a Smartphone, a little tilting and undocking are allowed. Mobile devices do not need to be handed over to authorized personnel for them to inspect the screen. Drivers can do this on their behalf without risking breaching the law.

3. Fail to transfer data when asked for

If a truck driver fails to transmit data from the device with an authorized enforcement officer promptly, they will be charged with no record of duty status under Section 395.8A, with a severity weight of 5.

This is just another reason to ensure that your cars are equipped with a fully working ELD that can communicate data electronically via Bluetooth or other means. Remember that while it is simple to discover economical ELDs for owners and operators, you must also ensure that they are as efficient.

4. Failure to notify a device malfunction

Drivers may incur penalties under Section 395.34A1 if they are unable to identify a problem in the device and must occasionally rely on paper logs. They must be aware of any device problems so that they may generate supporting documentation and transition to a paper record to prevent infringement.

They should be well-versed in device diagnostics and any flaws. The ELD maker can provide more information. To avoid being penalized, drivers should also submit a written notification to the fleet owner outlining any problems and provide a copy of the document to enforcement officials.

Finally, carriers must resolve any issues within 8 days. If they are unable to do so, they should seek an extension from the FMCSA Division Administrator.

5. Cannot log in or out

Before beginning their journey, every truck driver must enter their information into the hold. And log out once they’ve finished their task. If they are unable to do so, they will be charged with failure to keep a record of duty under Section 398.8A according to the ELD mandate.

As a result, fleet owners must give thorough training to truckers before allowing them to drive ELD-equipped cars, so that they develop the habit of logging in/out and not forgetting it at any cost.

6. Failure to note a malfunction that necessitates the usage of a paper log

Drivers may incur penalties under Section 395.34A1 if they fail to note any type of malfunction that requires the use of a paper log. This has a violation severity weight of 5.

To prevent this violation, all drivers must have a handbook on ELD diagnostics and malfunctions (available from the ELD vendor) and send a written notice to the carrier when a defect arises and continues to the point where the driver must convert to paper records. It is advised that a copy of this message be retained in the cab with the driver in addition to being communicated to the carrier.


Many other violations have fewer penalties and are similarly easy to avoid. Drivers should follow the instructions on their ELD to provide needed information such as addresses, shipping information, and caravan information. Drivers must also be able to present the three essential ELD documentation and validate logs in a timely way. One can find the fully updated mandate on the FMCSA website.

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