How Do Truck Drivers Provide ELD Driver Logs to Police?

eld driver logs October 28, 2016

The truck driver, coolly, confidently directing 50,000 pounds of steel, rubber and cargo down the wonderful highway – the quiet rumble of a 14.8-liter engine generating 500 horse power. This is the life of the cowboy, the rugged sojourner, taking in the wild aroma of freedom and adventure.

While the American landscape paints a hardy picture of this free-spirited individualism, drivers inevitably must confront the realities of modern law enforcement and federal regulations, which includes hours-of-service monitoring. By December 2017, all commercial trucks will have to be equipped with electronic logging devices. The question becomes: How do truck drivers provide ELD driver logs to officers?

While all of ABCO Transportation trucks are equipped with ELDs, transmitting ELD driver logs to officers during traffic stops warrant explanation.

ELD Mandate Requires Drivers Provide Logs to Officers

Industry expert Annette Sandberg examined aspects of the federal government’s ELD mandate during a conference with FleetOwner, an online information source for fleet leaders. Sandberg was an administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and deputy administrator for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Preliminary versions of the mandate underwent numerous revisions during its development in order to establish a set of regulations with the aim of making public roads safer and protecting drivers. Fleets and drivers are responsible for adhering to the mandate’s requirements of equipping their trucks with the devices, which replace paper recording of hours of service.

Once the mandate goes into effect in December 2017, drivers must demonstrate to enforcement officers that their trucks are compliant with mandate requirements.

Officers enforce ELD driver logs

“The ELD rule requires certain transfer capabilities for all devices. An ELD provider must decide which type of transfer capability they will have,” Sandberg said.

There are two types of capabilities:

  • Peer-to-Peer Transfer (Local Transfer): This requires the ELD (or eLogs) manufacturer to have both Bluetooth and USB 2.0 available
  • Telematics Transfer (Electronic Transfer): This requires the ELD (or eLogs) manufacturer to have both web services and SMTP email available.


“These two types of transfer methods allow roadside enforcement to download the driver’s logs,” Sandberg said. “If for some reason the ‘transfer’ methods do not work, the device must allow the roadside officer to see the display without entering the truck.

“The new rule has additional data that must be on the display including items such as the driver’s CDL number, beginning and ending odometer, and ELD malfunctions to name a few.”

Read our earlier articles explaining how the ELD mandate affects drivers and shippers. If you have more questions about the ELD driver logs, contact us today.