ELD mandate – What is it, and how does it affect you?

ELD mandate – What is it, and how does it affect you?

What is the ELD mandate?

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. ELDs would also make the collection and reporting of driver hours easier and quicker.

Provision for ELDs was included with MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), which was designed by the FMCSA to modernize transport systems and signed into law on July 6, 2012.

The ELD mandate rules were published in the United States on December 2015 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and compliance was expected of all drivers using paper logbooks by December 18, 2017. Drivers currently using Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRDs) were required to transition to e-logs by December 2019 (also known as the “grandfather clause”).

The ELD mandate specified that commercial drivers needed to use one of the self-certified logging devices listed on the DOT website to record driving hours.

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ELD mandate exemptions

Some commercial drivers, vehicles and driving operations are currently exempted including:

  • Short-haul drivers: The short-haul exemption is for drivers who use the 100 air-mile radius exception or 150 air-mile radius (non-CDL short haul) exception – see Sections 395.1(e)(1) and 395.1(e)(2).
  • Drivers already exempted from keeping HOS records, such as agricultural workers.
  • Drivers that only keep logs for eight days in any 30-day period.*
  • Driveaway-towaway operations: If the commercial motor vehicle being driven is part of a shipment (the truck is the product being delivered) an ELD is not required.
  • Pre-2000 vehicles: Vehicle models dated model year 1999 (based on the VIN) or earlier are exempt from the ELD mandate.

The FMCSA are reviewing exemptions and may update these in time. Read this article to learn more about ELD exemptions.

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*Fleets with drivers that have a high probability of needing to keep logs for more than eight days in a 30-day period (e.g. to cover absent drivers) should implement an ELD solution.

Stay informed about ELD changes

We offer helpful resources to help fleet managers and owners keep up to date with compliance changes.

Contact our sales team for assistance on choosing a fleet management solution that helps you meet your ELD obligations or read more on our blog.

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When are the ELD mandate changes happening?

Many of the changes required by the ELD rule have already happened with the initial awareness phase starting back in 2016. Commercial drivers and fleet owners (including owner-operators) were informed about the upcoming requirement to phase out paper logbooks for Record of Duty Status (RODS) and replace with certified ELD hardware.

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February 2016

Federal ELD mandate passes

December 2017

HOS paper logs not accepted; AOBRDs are okay

Today

Companies tracking HOS through AOBRD need to start migrating.

December 2019

Only FMCSA-certified electronic logs are accepted.

Some fleets were already one step ahead having fitted AOBRDs to their commercial vehicles. These carriers were given a two-year extension on migrating to ELDs by December 2019.

The ELD mandate continues to be reviewed by legislators, meaning additional compliance requirements may be added to the existing legislation.


Will you be ELD-mandate compliant after December 2019?

After December 2019 drivers using AOBRDs will no longer be compliant with the ELD final rule. It is important you have upgraded your device to a certified ELD before then to avoid fines, downtime or DOT audits.

To help make sure you’re prepared for the next phase of ELD mandate compliance, review our list of recommendations.


What is the difference between AOBRDs and ELDs?

The main difference between ELDs and AOBRDs is that ELDs track information more accurately. For example, an ELD can identify a change in duty status, logging in and out, engine on and off, and system malfunctions.

Unlike AOBRDs, ELDs display log edit history, which DOT inspectors require when reviewing logs.

Read more about the difference
between AOBRDs and ELDs

How do ELDs benefit my business?

Any change can be hard but there are benefits for switching from paper logs to a digital ELD solution.

The use of ELDs can make it easier for truck drivers to stay compliant, automating the recording of on-duty, off-duty and driving operations. Because the hardware is directly connected to the vehicle it improves the accuracy of HOS logs and can reduce the chance of being fined for things like missing or out-of-date logs, exceeding the daily limit, and form and manner errors.

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A certified ELD solution can help give drivers peace of mind during inspections, reducing downtime and minimizing the chance of fines or demerit points, which can cost your business thousands of dollars and even require you to cease operations.

With automated ELD record keeping and reporting, any DOT audits and roadside inspections can be managed quickly, efficiently and with a minimum of stress.

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