The Top 5 Things You Need to Know About the ELD Mandate

 

1. What is the ELD Mandate?

The ELD (Electronic Logging Device) Mandate was established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in December of 2015 mandating fleets across the United States to equip their vehicles with ELD to electronically log their Hours of Service (HOS), as well as keep record of electronic logs for up to 6 months. Previously, drivers were required to retain paper logbooks to keep record of HOS compliance. The ELD Mandate is intended to lessen the burden of paper logging, increase accuracy with electronic logging, reduce HOS violations, prevent fatigued drivers from operating a vehicle and overall increase safety for both drivers and the public.

 

2. Who is Impacted by the ELD Mandate?

The ELD Mandate will affect approximately 3.1 million vehicles in the U.S., according to the FMCSA. The rule applies to commercial motor vehicles, which are defined by the FMCSA as “any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property” and meets any of the following criteria:

  • Weighs 10,000 lbs or more
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not for compensation
  • Is used in transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

The industries most likely to be affected are the construction, delivery, food distribution, freight/goods transportation, passenger transportation, and energy industries.

 

3. Who is Exempt from the ELD Mandate?

Vehicles that are exempt from the ELD requirements are, according to the official FMCSA website:

  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000
  • Drivers using paper RODS no more than 8 days out of every 30 day period
  • Driveaway-towaway drivers who transport empty vehicles intended for sale, lease, or repair, as long as the vehicle they are driving is part of the shipment

Of course, it is important to remember that even if you are not required to use ELD, you still must comply with regulations for recording HOS.

 

4. What Devices Comply with the ELD Mandate?

The FMCSA has taken into account the cost of adopting new and expensive technology, and has thus allowed fleets to use devices that are already apart of their daily routine. Smartphones, tablets and rugged handhelds are all allowed by the FMCSA to be used for ELD as long as the system meets all of the mandate’s requirements – such as a hardwired connection to the engine of the vehicle. The use of these devices, which many truck drivers already own, not only lowers the associated costs but also allows greater flexibility, as they are easily portable.

 

5. When Should You Start Complying with the ELD Mandate?

Although the first compliance deadline is December 18, 2017, it is a good idea for carriers and drivers to switch over to ELD as soon as possible – or at least begin researching ELD compliance solutions. Not only will this lower the risk of being unprepared when the official deadline approaches, but the sooner you can start reaping the many benefits of adopting ELD – the better.

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