In order for an eLog solution to be compliant to DOT’s FMCSA regulation part 395.15, the software (and accompanying hardware) needs to be able to perform the following functions:
- Allow law enforcement to view your HOS logs during inspection
- Disallow updating statuses while the vehicle is in motion
- Be tamperproof and alert driver of device failures
- Connect to the truck’s engine for mileage data
Most of those are easy to tackle with software development. (We’ve taken extra steps to make #1, #2 and #3 easier on the driver, but more on that later.)
For an application to be compliant, mileage data has to be drawn from the engine’s computer via an EDR (engine data reader). The reason for this is because calculation of miles travelled via GPS location pings can be inaccurate due to the nature of satellites and GPS technology.
What is an EDR?
An EDR is a device that connects to your vehicle via the engine’s diagnostic port. For smaller trucks (Ford F-250 for example) it is an OBDII port. For larger vehicles (Freightliners) it is either a J1939 or J1703 port.
Reading engine data can become very complex due to the variety of makes and models. Especially when you start involve class 7 trucks and up, the protocols used are less standardized which means that it takes a team with specialized knowledge to accurately pull data from those types of trucks.
So, there you have it. The most important requirement to consider when selecting an eLog solution is making sure it connects to the truck’s engine for a true mileage reading.