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Data transfers and inspections: what drivers need to know


Now that the April 1 ELD enforcement deadline has come and gone, it’s a good time to review just how ELDs electronically transfer data during inspections. From what we’ve been seeing and hearing from drivers, it’s a source of some confusion.

Data transfer procedures vary depending on which type(s) of ELD your fleet uses and the transfer method – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a breakdown of what drivers should expect during inspections depending on transfer method: 

E-mail: the safety official must provide the driver with a routing code to reference in the email. Note: The e-mail address is preprogrammed into the device by the ELD vendor.

Drivers cannot email logs to themselves. This is a common “problem” reported to ELD technical support specialists, but it is not indicative of a malfunction  – ELDs are not designed to permit that.

USB: If a driver is using an ELD with USB, the safety official will provide a secure USB device allowing the driver to transfer data to the official, who will then transfer the data to a computer. 

Bluetooth: If the driver is using an ELD with Bluetooth capabilities, the inspecting official will provide a pairing code for the driver to enter into his/her ELD. The driver will then initiate the Bluetooth electronic transfer of the data from the driver’s ELD to the safety official’s device. 

WIFI: If transferring data via wireless internet, the inspector will give the driver a routing code (this code helps the official locate the data once it is transmitted). The driver then initiates a web transfer to an FMCSA server to be retrieved later by the safety official’s software.

If there’s a system failure, a finicky Bluetooth or an email isn’t cooperating, drivers can still comply by showing a printout of their log or the actual ELD display. 

To learn more about upgrading to an ELD, visit: ELD Compliance

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