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The Development of ELDs at Teletrac

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The long awaited Final Rule concerning electronic logging devices (ELDs) was passed less than one month ago. News of the upcoming rule had been circulating for years.

Originally, when the Department of Transportation (DOT) released proposals of ELDs installed in-vehicle as an industry mandate, and commercial motor vehicles would move away from paper logs, Teletrac Navman’s team of engineers began to create a solution to market to the industry.

Quality Assurance Test Engineer, Ken Strahan, was one of the early engineers on the team. Ken recalls the beginning of development nearly eight years ago when the team started with a blue monochrome device, known as an MDT, and used it for simple messaging. The process was basic, “We took the existing messaging device, programmed HOS (Hours-of-Service) into it, as well as gave it the ability to pass J-Bus data through the terminal because there was just one input on the device at the time,” explains Ken. This process allowed the original message display to be programmed with HOS. And over time, Teletrac’s electronic logging device evolved. From an early Windows OS4 mobile device with added memory and HOS features, to CTO tablets with expanded messaging displays, to the current Samsung 4 tablets.

Teletrac Navman has passed through four generations of electronic logging devices, “our product is well vetted and we are among the original providers of an electronic HOS solution,” says Ken.

In collaboration with customers, including Ryder, Ken and Teletrac Navman’s engineering team ensured the device they developed over time adapted to customer needs to meet HOS compliance, becoming an accurate and functional solution for fleet managers and drivers. “An ELD needs to be able to capture a driver’s daily activity in-vehicle, recording status changes, drive time, distance and location,” says Ken. “That information must be available and secure locally within the in-cab, [with] that data uploaded to a system for information availability at the [business’s] home-base. All this information has to be available as mandated by government requirements.”  Additionally, when drivers are out on the road, the device must be functional for their personal compliance, “the driver must be able to display their driver activity on the ELD to highway patrol or any other government authority, both in-cab and back at [the carrier] location,” adds Ken.

Over time, the DOT has made changes to the mandate. With deep experience in the field, Teletrac Navman’s electronic logging device has adapted to the changes and grown to offer flexibility and improved compliance no matter the size of a business’s fleet. 

Click here to learn about Teletrac Navman's self-certified ELD solution.


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