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ELD Connectivity Options

ELD Connectivity Options

Recently, there has been quite a debate over the issue regarding the ELD devices that will cost the fleet companies a lot, if they are planning to make the transition, as per the mandate published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The annual cost of installation and maintenance is estimated to be at least $165. However, the officials argue that the cost us nothing compared to the savings that will result, if the trucking enterprises implement the regulations accurately.

After the publication of the final version of the ELD mandate, FMCSA has nixed the requirement that the machines should have data or web connectivity. This would somewhat allow the fleet enterprises to incorporate the new innovation into their vehicles with lower cost than was previously estimated. This is an effort on the administration’s part to lower the cost for the trucking industry to ensure better compliance options.

The compliance machines as per the mandate, still need to be installed with a Bluetooth device and a USB 2.0 port. This means that the truckers will not have to pay for any monthly subscription charges, if they so choose. Tom Cuthbertson, ELD provider Omnitracs, explains that the devices that are regulated to be installed in the trucks must have Bluetooth connectivity and USB 2.0 connectivity, if they are to produce any productive results. One will not perform well without the other.

The same rule applies to the carriers or drivers who opt for a telematics-equipped machine. They will require a system to transfer the data via a wireless web service in addition to emailing option. The real reason for this is that according to the mandate, the drivers must be able to show their records on the road, during a roadside inspection, if they are required to do so. They must be able to access their 24-hour records, as well as the records from the previous week. However, this inspection or routine regulations will vary with each state, and local or regional authorities will determine, how the enforcers will receive the information from the truck drivers.

Cuthbertson also said that the states will be required to receive data transfers via the telematics option or local connection option. They won’t be required to be fully equipped with a composite suite of connectivity options. For example, State A may decide that it will require its enforcers to receive data via email or USB 2.0, while State B will allow only wireless web transfer or Bluetooth. This would allow each vehicle operator to transfer their records and duty status to the inspector, via their compliance devices, wither remote or local.

Therefore, if the driver is running a connectivity device that uses local connectivity suite and enters State A, and is required to transfer his duty records to the inspector, he must make use of the USB 2.0. When the same vehicle hits the highway in State B, he should make use of the Bluetooth connectivity option, as mandated by the state. However, in both instances, the roadside safety inspectors will dictate and specify the data transfer method. It will be their sole responsibility to stipulate which compliance devices they will allow in their respective states. – See more at:

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