HomeResourcesBlogA Guide to Electronic Logging Exemptions (ELD)
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A Guide to Electronic Logging Exemptions (ELD)

By Verizon Connect June 19, 2023

Electronic logging devices (ELDs) automate the recording of commercial driving hours – Hours of Service (HOS) – to make sure drivers adhere to the legal limits, with the aim of reducing unsafe or fatigued driving. ELD apps also make the collection and reporting of driver hours easier and quicker.

Who is impacted by the ELD mandate?

The ELD Final Rule applies to commercial interstate truckers (including owner operators and small carriers), bus drivers, and most motor carriers who are required to maintain RODS and HOS. Those who meet the requirements to record duty status information based on weight or activity are also required to comply. 

Canada-and Mexico-domiciled CDL drivers are included, unless they qualify for one of the exceptions to the ELD rule. Visit the Department of Transportation ELD home page for more information.

Who is exempt from the ELD rule?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) currently allows the following ELD mandate exemptions:

  • Drivers who use the short-haul, timecard exception
  • Drive-away/tow-away operations where the commercial motor vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered, or if the vehicle being transported is a motorhome or recreational vehicle trailer 
  • Drivers operating vehicles that are older than model year 2000
  • Drivers that only keep paper logs for 8 days out of a 30 day period
  • Agricultural (within a 150 air-mile radius), farm and livestock vehicles

Short-haul drivers: The short-haul exemption is for truck drivers who use the 150 air-mile radius (non-CDL short haul) exception.

Driveaway-towaway operations: If the commercial motor vehicle being driven is part of a shipment, an ELD is not required for the driveaway-towaway driver. If the vehicle being driven is going to be sold as a commodity the vehicle and driver are exempt from the ELD mandate. For example, if a CMW is being driven from a manufacturer’s yard to the shipping yard of a purchasing company, compliance is not required because the commercial vehicle is the commodity being delivered. 

Pre-2000 vehicles: Vehicle models dated 1999 or earlier are exempt from the ELD mandate regardless of the vehicle registration date. This exemption applies specifically to the age of an engine in a vehicle or the VIN as most pre-2000 vehicles are not equipped with an engine control module (ECM). If the VIN is pre-2000, the vehicle is likely exempt. However, some vehicles have had engines swapped in from another vehicle using a glider kit. In this instance, the engine model year determines whether or not the vehicle is ELD exempt. If an engine is pre-2000 but the vehicle itself is not, the exemption still applies. 

Drivers with 8 days of RODS or less: Drivers who use Records of Duty Status (RODS) for 8 days or less in any 30-day period, are also exempt from using electronic logging devices. If a driver doesn’t frequently go over the 8 days of RODS, they can use an ELD on demand for the times they do. However, if a driver is continually going over 8 of every 30 consecutive days, it’s best to install a permanent ELD solution on their vehicle.

Agricultural & farm vehicles: All of the above electronic logging device exemptions apply to the agriculture industry, including agricultural commodities. Livestock haulers require additional time and flexibility because they are delivering a living, breathing commodity that must be cared for properly. Currently, all livestock haulers are ELD exempt unless they travel beyond a 150-air mile radius, then they must comply with HOS rules and ELD requirements.

How do ELDs benefit my business?

Even if you are not legally required to use ELDs there are many benefits in switching to an automated compliance and fleet management solution as drivers in the trucking industry, including:

  • Boosting driver safety and CSA scores through automated driver management.
  • Reducing paperwork with data readily available via the cloud at all times, simplifying operations and reducing operating costs.
  • Faster completion of roadside checks and assurance that your drivers and vehicles are compliant, leading to greater uptime and more revenue.
  • Lowering costs for fuel and maintenance using optimized GPS routes and monitoring for unproductive idling time, leading to reduced vehicle wear and tear.

Most Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers are now required to comply with the ELD mandate. If you are not in compliance, you’re subject to fines, violations, increased insurance rates and more. Plus, the benefits of switching to an ELD solution far outweigh the costs. Aren’t sure if you’re required to comply? Don’t risk it. Contact one of our fleet experts today to learn more.

To learn more about fleet compliance management as well as common mandates and requirements, download our free Fleet vehicle compliance management guide.

Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.

Tags: ELD & Compliance, Safety, Team Management

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