How USB and Bluetooth ELD’s (and WiFi)
ensure 100% ELD Mandate Compliance

Most fleets today are looking at Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) based ELD systems, where an engine-connected device records vehicle motion data from the Engine Control Module (ECM) and relays it to the driver’s smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth or Cellular.

But not all BYOD ELDs are the same.

It is important to understand the method each ELD vendor uses to communicate with the driver’s mobile device to ensure ELD compliance.

 
Beware of Cellular – Based Connections 

A cellular-based ELD model is the most common in the market with numerous vendors offering this. This model relies on cellular networks to relay vehicle motion data from the vehicle’s ECM to the driver’s mobile device to trigger an automatic duty status change on the driver’s log. 

You should note that this method is not ELD compliant. In the absence of a cellular network, the ELD in the vehicle cannot send data to the driver’s mobile device. That means the driver’s log will not be up to date and they will not be in compliance with the ELD requirements. For ELD compliance, you need a direct connection between the engine connected ELD and the mobile device.

 
Why a Cellular-Based Connection Doesn’t Guarantee Compliance

In a recent webinar held by the FMCSA, Danielle Smith, Transportation Specialist, Passenger Carrier Division, highlighted how unreliable cellular-based ELDs can be:

“If your customer is operating out West, where there is very spotty coverage, they may need to understand that [their] device may not be able to populate the driver’s Record of Duty Status if they do not have that cellular connection. That’s very important to understand.”

When using a cellular-based ELD, the vehicle motion data that is needed to trigger an automatic duty status change will not be sent to the driver’s phone. Their logs will not update. If they are inspected without up-to-date logs, they will receive a violation and be put out of service. This risk is very real.

 
USB and Bluetooth BLE for ELD Compliance.
In contrast to cellular based ELDs, Wireless Links’ Piccolo BLE ensures ELD compliance with a dual USB cable & Bluetooth ELD
connection.
The connection triggers an automatic duty status change on the driver’s log. We even took it one step further and thought about scenarios where the USB is disconnected. In those instances, the Piccolo BLE will send data through a Bluetooth connection. This unique hybrid device ensures full compliance at all times, in both urban and remote areas.  
 
Bluetooth ELD and USB Connected for ELD comliance 

Take It One Step Further With An In-Cabin WiFi Hotspot

At the start if the article we stated that most fleets are looking for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) based ELD systems. The BYOD trend is bringing in new challenges in the form of additional cellular data costs. 

At Wireless Links, we understand how important it is for fleets to stay compliant but economical at the same time. That is why we developed the Piccolo Plus Wifi Hotspot, an advanced and economical telematics device with integrated ELD support, enabling fleets to meet the ELD mandate without incurring additional cellular data costs. The Piccolo Plus, which is connected to the vehicles ECM, acts as a WiFi hotspot.  This allows the driver’s mobile device to connect over WiFi to the Piccolo Plus and receive data from the vehicle’s ECM. The built in WiFi allows you to cut costs by paying for just ONE SIM for both Fleet Management & ELD Compliance,. In addition, you save money by purchasing less expensive WiFi-Only tablets.

ELD With WiFi Hotspot

Final Words

Now that the FMCSA has come out and publicly warned the industry about cellular-based ELDs, there is no reason why fleets should take on unnecessary compliance risk with a cellular-based ELD system. That is why we offer multiple advanced ELD options to fit your needs and requirements

Request a free demo of the Wireless Links ELD solution to experience how it can help your fleet stay compliant, minimize administrative burden, and maximize profit.  

 
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