Installing an ELD (Electronic Logging Device) may be a strenuous process. As per the DoT’s (Department of Transportation)  mandate, every commercial driver must have an ELD in their vehicle to record their Hours of Service (HoS).

An ELD captures data like HOS and driving behavior electronically. It also records your fuel consumption, vehicle movement, any defects in the vehicle, engine operation and efficiency, etc.

If you do not have an ELD, you can face heavy fines and penalties. In worst cases, FMCSA can suspend your license. But if you are here, you have probably already selected and bought an ELD and are at the final step before compliance.

In this article, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of installing an ELD.

How to Install an Electronic Logging Device – ELD

First, locate your diagnostic port. The diagnostic port can be located in either of the following locations- near the handbrake, the fuse box, above the footrest, near the pedals or under the wheel. You will have to connect your ELD with your vehicle through a cable. It will either be 6-pins or 9-pins.

Next comes the plugging. Your cable will have two ends. You need to plug these two together. You have to attach the two by inserting them into each other. And then twist or rotate the locking system until you hear a satisfying click. By doing so, you have ensured that the cable is locked and will not detach itself during its use.

Next, plugin the ECM device into the OBDII port of your vehicle through the cable. Your device has now been successfully installed in the vehicle. Now you have to switch on the device. For this, the accessory power of the ELD should be on. You can either turn the key to the accessory to get it to work or start the truck. To connect your ELD to your device (smartphone, laptop, or tablet), you need to use the Bluetooth feature. Find the ELD in the pairable devices on your phone and connect them. You should do it when your truck is on, and your ELD is plugged in and running.

Ta-da! Your ELD has been successfully set up and is ready to record your driving activity and HOS data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ELDs and their installation.

Who Needs an ELD?

If you are a commercial driver who works for more than eight days a month, you need an ELD. Every commercial vehicle has to have an ELD by law since April 1, 2018. It is to maintain electronic logs of your Hours of Service (HOS) and collect Records of Duty (ROD) data. The FMCSA and DOT require you to comply with this law.

How do I access my ELD data?

You can use an ELD on your phone or tablet with a stable internet connection. Most ELDs come with a user-friendly interface, so you won’t have much difficulty accessing them.

How does an ELD work?

The device is connected to your vehicle’s OBD port. It transmits data from the engine and records your vehicular activity.

Which ELD should I Buy?

Today, many companies are offering ELD services in the market. Though the services of all these devices are similar, they all have some distinguishing features.

• Some ELDs come with GPS tracking and other additional services.

• On the other hand, some ELDs offer auto-generated reports.

• The sleep mode features and battery life features of all ELDs differ.

How much does an ELD cost?

The ELD can be a little expensive, but not enough for it to burn a hole through your pocket. You can find ELDs of different cost in the market. Apart from basic hardware cost, you will also have to incur monthly subscription fees.

If you want to skip monthly subscription fees altogether, you can read about best ELDs with no monthy fees here.

Besides, the initial investment may seem hefty, but its long-term benefits outweigh the initial cost. It is definitely worth the one-time investment.

An ELD is essential for commercial driving. Now that you have successfully understood how to install an ELD, we can assume you are a compliant driver with safe driving habits. Happy driving!