The Complete Guide to the ELD Mandate
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published the Final Rule requiring carriers and drivers currently using paper record of duty status (RODS) to adopt electronic logging devices (ELDs).
Who must comply?
The rule applies to most motor carriers and drivers currently required to prepare and retain paper RODS to comply with the HOS regulations under part 395.
The following drivers are exempt from installing and using ELDs and may continue to use manual paper or electronic logging system RODS:
- Drivers using paper logs no more than 8 days during any 30 day period
- Drivers who conduct driveaway – towaway operations, where vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered (i.e. transporting an empty vehicle for sale, lease or repair)
- Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.
Further, for those drivers who are not required to maintain RODS because they operate under the short haul/ 100-air mile exemption, may continue without adopting ELDs. However, if the driver exceeds the conditions of the exemption rule for more than 8 days in any 30 day period, those drivers will be required to adopt ELDs.
When does it apply?
Drivers must transition to using compliant ELDs by December 2017 unless they have automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) that are grandfathered under this rule.
This means that drivers using AOBRDs must also transition to using compliant ELDs, but they will have an additional two years to do so (until December 2019).
What are the key technical features of an ELD?
The Final Rule sets out details of the technical standards and functional specifications for an ELD to be considered compliant and eligible for self-certification and registration on the FMCSA website.
The ELD must support:
- Automatic capture of records at certain intervals from connecting to the vehicle: e.g. date, time, location, engine power status, engine hours, miles driven and motion status
- Personal Use and Yard Use to be recorded as off-duty time if carrier authorizes the vehicle to be used for such use.
- Annotations and edits to ELD records to be permissible for drivers and carriers. However, original records cannot be overwritten and must be retained along with the edited versions.
- Detection of malfunctions with internal audit controls built into the system to notify data inconsistencies and system failures.
- Data transfer to enforcement officials upon request using either a wireless web service or email, and Bluetooth or USB.
- Driver HOS Graph Grid display to be available for the enforcement official without entering the vehicle, as backup to data transfer capability.
What does this mean for me and my drivers?
The decision to replace paper logbooks with an electronic solution requires a major commitment from drivers and carriers. With the ELD mandate, you will be searching for the best technology provider with the right solution for and compatibility with your business.
Key questions to ask:
- How should I manage the transition?
- Is the solution simple and intuitive for my drivers?
- Will it be easy to train my drivers and staff?
- Will I be compliant using it now and in the future?
- Will I have the right support from my technology provider?
- Will the solution meet my operational needs?
- Owner operators with personal use
- Yard use
- Easy installation for my lease vehicles
- Team driving
- Multiple terminals
- Outsourcing back office administration
- Can I leverage the solution for other value added services?
- Fleet management and real time tracking
- Commercial reporting on fuel, idle, speed and geofences
- Electronic tax reporting and filing for IFTA and WMT
- DVIR, vehicle service and maintenance management