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February 26, 2017 7:00 PM, EST

ERoad Displays Its Electronic Logging Device

John Sommers II for Transport Topics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The president of ERoad North America predicted here that his company’s electronic logging device will be the first type of tethered recorder to win formal approval from federal regulators.

Norm Ellis, a longtime executive with the Omnitracs division of Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and an ERoad executive since January, said that while untethered, handheld ELDs will become available, he predicted they will have to overcome “some significant challenges” in gaining approval.

ELDs will become mandatory in December for interstate truck drivers. Ellis estimated there are about 1.4 million U.S. drivers who will need to make the switch from paper logs before then.

The ERoad in-cab device, about the size of a large coffee mug, plugs into the truck’s engine, its ignition and a power source. The ERoad device on display at TMC can be set up exclusively for logging for hours of service, or can be scaled up for other purposes, including toll payments, tax calculations and driver management.

The devices stick with a specific truck but can handle several drivers for a given truck, including a setup for team drivers.

ERoad was founded in New Zealand, and its U.S. operations are run from Portland, Oregon.

The Feb. 26 ERoad presentation was part of the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting here. TMC is a division of American Trucking Associations.

Ellis said the ERoad ELD has a display mode for presentation to truck safety inspectors. He said it is designed to meet obligations as set forth in the federal ELD rule, but it displays nothing more than that minimum.

ERoad says its ELD meets Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration standards and it has retained PIT Group to verify that, which PIT has done. Now ERoad is waiting for final approval from FMCSA.