ELDs and CDLs: Get your most-asked questions answered

The new electronic logging device mandate has raised a lot of questions. Here are answers to some of the more common.


By Codi Vallery-Mills, BEEF Magazine

Feb 08, 2018


The recent electronic logging device (ELD) mandate that was handed down recently for commercial truckers is likely here to stay, but there is hope that maybe those regulations get relaxed a bit.


In the meantime, ag producers and livestock haulers have plenty of questions. Do I need an ELD for my truck or don’t I? Do I need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for my horse trailer or don’t I?


Those were among the questions people in attendance at an ELD and transportation meeting, hosted by the Black Hills Stock Show and South Dakota Stockgrowers, were hoping to find out on Jan. 31.


John Broers, South Dakota Highway Patrol captain, was on hand to help navigate the various scenarios drivers threw at him during the meeting. He says there has been a lot of misinformation that needs to be clarified about the mandate.


To that end, Broers busted a few myths about ELDs. According to him:


·         Trucks equipped with ELDs will not shut off after hitting the mandated maximum hours of drive time.

·         There is a GPS in the ELDs but that does not mean law enforcement can track you.

·         There are no changes to the daily driving limits, it just means everything will now be logged electronically versus paper.

·         If you are an “occasional” driver of eight or fewer days a month outside the 150-mile radius or ag exemption area, you can continue to use paper log books and not implement the ELDs.

·         Drivers with trucks older than 1999 will continue to use paper logbooks because the ELDs are not compatible with older truck models.


How are the ELDs read when stopped by a highway official? There is a computer-like screen that law enforcement can read. The ELD information can also be emailed direct to a law enforcement official.


Paper logs are required to be in your truck as back up. “Technology can fail. Be able to pick up where your device stopped at,” Broers says.


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