Monday, March 26 2018
Orlando, Fla.— The Electronic Logging Devices Mandate (a.k.a. ELD) began its second phase on December 19th, 2017. For those in the trucking industry, it meant changing completely the way work hours are logged.
The ELD mandate is a rule that will enforce commercial motor vehicle drivers, who are currently required to record their hours of service, to record them using ELDs. More specifically, the mandate is targeting drivers with trucks model year 2000 or newer. Both Canada and Mexico-domiciled drivers are included in the mandate, as well.
There are a few exceptions that won’t require the use of ELDs:
• Drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days during any 30-day period.
• Driveaway-towaway drivers (were the vehicle driven is the commodity) or the vehicle being transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer (at least one set of wheels of the vehicle being transported must be on the surface while being transported)
• Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.
The mandate has been divided into three phases and its phase one went into effect in December 2015, giving carriers about two years to prepare to comply with the new regulation.
During phase two, in effect now, which is focused on compliancy, the enforcement and penalty phases are actually postponed until April 1, 2018. In other words, drivers will not receive points against their compliance, safety, and accountability score if they fail to meet the ELD requirements until April 1st, but drivers can still be given warnings (or possibly a fine) if they don’t have an ELD or grandfathered Automatic On-Board Recording Device when pulled over between now and the first of April.
In phase three, which is the final, carriers and drivers must be prepared to fully comply to the mandate and is predicted to take place after December 16, 2019. From then onward, all drivers and carriers will be held responsible for complying to the official ELD mandate — overruling any current exceptions to the rule.
Despite the inconvenience of installing new systems and the amount of training and familiarization it may bring at the beginning, there are a few benefits that we most focus on:
• ELDs make it easier, simpler, and quicker to keep driver logs.
• ELDs limit mistakes and reduce form and manner errors.
• ELDs provide information to drivers and motor carriers so that drivers can better manage fatigue and schedule issues.
• ELDs correctly record location and accurate information to easily track duty status.
• ELDs are a good management tool and back office asset to improve productivity and enhance compliance.
• With ELDs, there is less paperwork, and driver logs are orderly, clear, and accurate.
While the interstate Hours Of Service rules remain you will now be able to download a driver’s report within 30 seconds during an inspection.
Always remember that education is your best ally when it comes to new industry-wide rules and changes. The better informed you are about these current phases and exceptions, the better prepared you will be to avoid fines and other unnecessary complications.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extraordinary educational resources on this topic if you have further questions.