ELD Data Transfer Options for Geotab Drive

Article Published by Geotab
Author: Mike Murkovic, Senior Software Developer, Team Lead

Carriers and owner-operators who have already adopted electronic logging will need to know how to digitally transfer their Hours of Service (HOS) data to an officer at an inspection site. This blog post describes how ELD data transfer works with Geotab Cloud ELD.  

ELD Data Transfer Methods for Geotab

Currently, there are three options provided by Geotab:

  1. Report Display — The officer has to be able to access the phone/tablet and view a compliant report of the HOS logs. This method is the fallback if there are any internet connectivity issues when transferring data using other methods.
  2. Email — An encrypted message is sent to the FMCSA directly and is then routed back to an officer.
  3. Web Services — Using encrypted HTTPS, the data is transferred over the internet to the FMCSA servers and then downloaded by the officer on their eRODs device.

comment field for Geotab Drive eld data transfer

The optional comment is to be filled in by the officer. This is so they are able to pick up transfered data via email/web services on their eROD device.

When using email, the FMCSA will respond to the party that sent the message with an “Okay” or error message.

If the driver’s username is an email address, Geotab will mark the driver as the person the FMCSA will reply to. This lets drivers find out on their own email system the result of the data transfer. The driver’s logs are not returned in the message, just the confirmation receipt.

Example responses from the FMCSA web services include:

  • Warnings: Invalid VIN
  • Information: Missing Required Field
  • Errors: Invalid Field Length
  • If Geotab is running, but the FMCSA servers have connection issues, you will get a message saying “Timeout communicating with FMCSA web service”. In this case, your best plan of action is to try Email or Report Display options.
  • The “Broadcast” message is provided by the FMCSA to all drivers, and Geotab outputs the broadcast on all web service responses

warning message in Geotab Drive eld data transfer
Sample ELD data transfer error message

At the outset of ELD enforcement, the FMCSA may not have fully rolled out their eRODs system, so drivers may be responsible for handing their phone/tablet to the officer to display the generated Compliance Report.

Advantages of Telematics Transfer by Web

The ELD regulations also allow local data transfer options (USB or Bluetooth®), but those are prone to spotty connections or cumbersome USB wires.

IOT is taking the world by storm, so Geotab embraces the future-based transfer methods that are simple for both drivers and officers. Web services are more responsive and will return confirmation or errors back to the driver immediately from the FMCSA servers.

We recommend web services as the first approach, but you must check with the officer/state as to their chosen methods. Each state has its own choice over what system to use, and it is likely that they will focus on web services.

Both email and web services data are fully encrypted between Geotab and the FMCSA to protect drivers’ data from theft or man-in-the-middle attacks.

Get Up and Running with ELDs

Now, you understand how to deal with getting your electronic data quickly and easily to the FMCSA with the Geotab Drive Transfer logs feature. If you still need to get you or your drivers up and running before the ELD phase begins, please go to our Geotab Cloud ELD page to learn more.


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