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ELDs – More than a Paper Replacement

Back in 1976 Florida orange juice growers came up with a clever advertising slogan, “Orange juice, it’s not just for breakfast anymore.”  In the world of trucking your ELD “Is not just a logbook anymore.”  Since U.S. and Canadian ELD mandates require nearly all federally regulated trucks to replace their paper logbooks with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to automate collection and reporting of Hours of Service (HOS) data, every truck has an intelligent device that can do more than be just a logbook. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how your ELD can enhance your driving experience, monitor your equipment/data sources and simply put – optimize your overall operations.    

An ELD can be Just an Electronic Logbook 

The ELD logbook replacement makes HOS logging simpler, more accurate, and avoids fines with its automated record keeping – so easy that hardly anyone would welcome going back to paper.  Drivers save time and the hassle of paper logs creating the ease of showing HOS compliance at the “click of a button”.  Inspectors see a consistent format, accurate records, and let’s admit it, a legible record that makes any engagement between drivers and officials faster and more efficient.  The ELD mandate only requires the ELD replace the logbook, but to the possibilities go far beyond just that function. 

ELD as Much More 

Your ELD is a smart electronic device that can do much more than simply replace your logbook.  With the introduction of tablet or phone into the cab, an ELD system now has significant computer power and communication capabilitiesThis means it can monitor many elements or “things” around or in the truck and upload this information to the internet or display it to the driver Essentially ELD has transformed a logbook into an “Internet of Things” (IoT) solution for trucking.  Here are some examples of how IoT around a truck might be valuable to both the driver and fleet operator.   

Flexible ELD Solution to meet your business needs


Automatically monitor and alert the driver about what’s going on with the load, truck, and trailer by connecting to sensors that can detect liquid fuel load levels, tire pressure (TPMS), hub health, refrigerated load temperature, and more.  ELD software intelligence provides more than just gauges by displaying warnings before problems become failures. 


Capture and transmit out-the-cab video records of incidents such as crashes or dangerous braking to document “at fault” evidence when needed.  ELD can record and transmit incident records to the carrier to help reduce insurance costs and improve driver safety performance. 


ELDs, especially those built on open systems like Android, can be configured with a variety of applications either standalone or integrated with fleet management systems. Some of these configurable integrations include navigation, rest stop and parking advice, toll by-pass, safety alerts, and electronic paperwork capture and display of work-orders, receipts, and more. 

Diagnostics and Maintenance

An ELD connects to the engine OBD port to capture engine power status, vehicle motion status, miles driven, and engine hours to meet the ELD mandate.  That same connection gives access to vehicle diagnostic fault codes that the ELD can display to the driver and report to the FMS.  Faults like a stuck fuel adjuster, coolant temperature problem, exhaust faults, and more can be monitored and alarmed, if needed, to schedule maintenance to prevent issues from becoming breakdowns.  Think of it as a mechanic riding along under the hood to help ensure the drive train is performing as it should. 

ELDs, Fleet Management Platforms 

A Fleet Management System (FMS) manages the information from devices integrated with the ELD as well as devices like telematics/tracking devices by giving an integrated view to the driver and to the dispatcher.   

An ELD and its connected system of sensors and applications can operate standalone, but the FMS adds the big picture intelligence to provide dispatchers and operators the information they need to operate most efficiently and safely. 

Think Ahead 

Choosing an ELD is not something that you can or should put off.  Canada enforcement of the ELD mandate starts January 1, 2023.  It’s important to consider “future proofing” your ELD by selecting a solution that can expand as your needs change to integrate with sensors and vehicle monitoring devices making a substantial difference in your business success. 

Final Comments 

Your ELD is a tool that can do just one task, HOS capture/reporting, or it can be a key piece of a fleet management systemKeep in mind, you don’t have to jump in with both feet right away.  Choose an ELD that can be part of an open system, delivering value with your initial purchase and increasing its value over time. Our recommendation, take the time to educate yourself on which options are available and choose the best solution that meets your needs  ELDs, not just for logbooks anymore. 


Canadian ELDS – Clock is Ticking to Get on Board

Both Canada and the U.S. require Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) for almost all trucks that transport the $Trillions of goods within Canada and across our shared border. The U.S. mandate began in December 2019 so Canadian cross-border truckers had a head start in ELD adoption vs. some Canada-only operators. Canada imposed its initial phase of the ELD requirement in June 2021, with its final phase coming up on January 1, 2023, when full enforcement begins.

Still deciding which ELD solution is right for you? There’s still time and resources to make that decision easier. Let’s talk about the mandate, why it’s important, and how we can help you get started if you need some help choosing. If you have already selected and deployed your ELD solution for Canada, we’ve got some valuable tips regarding cross-border ELD compliance and the cost/benefits for your ELD solution.

Let’s discuss a few high-level topics to help make the transition to ELD implementation and deployment easier.


Canadian ELD Mandate in a Nutshell

The Canadian ELD requirements do not come with new regulations for driver hours of service (HOS); however, they do automate the capture of records of duty status (RODS) and eliminate the hassle and time spent dealing with paper logbooks (I think we’re all ready for a more efficient process).

The ELD objectives are simple:

  1. Enforce HOS in a consistent, verifiable way, something that paper logbooks fell short on
  2. Make the roads safer by reducing driver fatigue
  3. Enhance the driver’s work-life balance by ensuring HOS compliance is free from pressure to drive unsafe hours without sufficient rest

Beginning January 1, 2023, Canada will fully enforce its ELD mandate. Trucks will be required to have a certified ELD device connected to the engine that automatically captures operating parameters along with approximate location information in a form that can be immediately shown/provided to any compliance officer when requested. (There are some categories of trucks that are excluded and the means of “showing” HOS to officers varies. This link is a useful source of those details.)


ELDs a Threat?  – Move on, Chicken Little is in the Rear View Mirror

When ELDs were initially proposed, there were concerns within the transportation communities regarding the potential threat it presented: privacy concerns, the potential for loss of income, or ELD costs would bankrupt truckers. Fortunately, both Canadian and American truck drivers can see from years of experience with ELD deployment in the U.S. that the “fears of the unknown” have been laid to rest.

Demonstrated benefits include:

  • Driver surveys confirm that ELD automated HOS records are way better than the hassle of paper logbooks
  • Automated means to show Record of Duty Service saves inspection time
  • Drivers and fleet managers save considerable administrative time dealing with HOS
  • Good ELD records support higher CSA scores which can improve business opportunities
  • Competition among ELD providers has led to a range of cost-effective solutions


Cross-Border ELD Requirements and why they Matter

On January 1, 2023, all trucks operating in the U.S. and Canada must utilize an ELD that complies with both countries’ requirements. 

The U.S. and Canadian requirements are nearly the same, but there are some differences to be aware of:

  • Canadian ELDs must be certified by a third party (review the list here).
  • U.S. ELDs are self-certified by the manufacturer; however, certified devices are required (review the list here).

When choosing your ELD solution a few things to verify will make your selection easier:

  • Is the device certified for use where you drive?
  • Does the provider allow seamless operation when crossing the border?
  • If you have an ELD for your U.S. transportation needs, verify that the device and its software version are certified in Canada.
  • Can your ELD tablet support two-way messaging, document storage, or equipment malfunction alerts?
  • Are over-the-air updates supported by your ELD device (as regulations can and do change)?
  • Do you need your ELD application to support tax reporting or driver inspections?


Act Soon, but Think Long-Term

While ELDS have already replaced the standard paper logbook with an easy-to-use, automated platform; the technology offers substantial opportunities for far greater benefits. Like having a smartphone, you could just use it to make calls and share text messages, but you’d be missing out on the advanced technology within the phone. The same is true for your ELD solution.

ELDs have many of the same capabilities as smartphones, making them “Internet of Things” or IoT platforms for your truck. Capabilities like high-speed wireless data connections, GPS location, data storage, security features, imaging and cameras, and more can be leveraged in telematics solutions to save fuel, optimize route management, and enhance dispatch/driver communications when your ELD is integrated into a telematics and fleet management system.

(We’ll discuss this more in an upcoming blog.)


Conclusion: ELDs are your Friend

ELDs may be new to you and your operations, but they are now a mature technology with proven benefits that make a trucker’s life better. As you adopt ELDs to your own driving experience or manage it for a fleet, take the time to understand the value you expect, train users to make adoption go smoothly, and keep your eyes open to opportunities to use your investment in ELDs to make your business even more efficient and profitable.

Explore our solutions or contact us today to learn more about how Pedigree Technologies can help you stay compliant as Canada’s ELD mandate goes into full effect January 2023.



John Elsner New CEO of Pedigree Technologies

Pedigree Technologies names seasoned business executive John Elsner as the new CEO

Fargo, ND – September 14, 2022Pedigree Technologies, a premier provider of technology solutions in the telematics and IoT space for North America announces today the appointment of John Elsner as its new CEO. Wade Wilson, who has been acting as Chief Executive Officer for the past eight years will be stepping down from his role to pursue other opportunities.

As Pedigree embarks on a plan to invest, augment resource and grow its Fargo, ND headquartered business, its Board of Governors has appointed Elsner to lead this new and exciting initiative.

Elsner joined Pedigree in January 2021 after a long career and key leadership positions with CalAmp, a Pedigree supplier, and leading manufacturer of telematics and IoT devices.  With prior roles at both hardware and software companies, he brings over 20 years of executive sales and product management experience that is critical to the organization’s future success.  His vast industry knowledge and experience is in line with the principles of Pedigree focusing on both technology and the end-user.


About Pedigree Technologies

Pedigree Technologies is challenging the status quo. Traditional solutions overlook the complex operating environments of Heartland industries such as transportation, oil & gas, and heavy equipment. These enterprises require a 360-degree view into all service and supply chain assets, not just fleets. Using telematics as a foundation, Pedigree integrates and layers smart technologies to offer a more expansive view into assets, inventory, and business-critical systems. The power of Pedigree is to connect the unconnected, all through a single pane of glass.