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ELD rules for CMV drivers and Fleet Operators

There Have Been Many Changes In Regulations In The Transportation Industry Due To Constant Growth And Evolution. Transportation Has Seen A Reduction In Performance Statistics Because Of The Increased Demand For Expedited Deliveries, Refrigerated Transportation, And The Rise Of Technology, Coupled With Driver Shortages.

Therefore, The Biggest Deposition With Rules And Regulations Is The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate In Tandem With The Hours Of Service (Hos) Regulations. The Mandate Aims To Create Safer Roads With More Precise And Compensated Drivers With Better Data.

It Is Important For The Shipper, Drivers, And Carriers To Understand The Gradation Of Both The FMCSA Electronic Logging Device(ELD) And FMCSA Hours Of Service (Hos) Mandate.

What Is ELD Mandate?

In December 2015, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (Fmcsa) Released Its Electronic Logging Device Rule, Also Known As The ELD Mandate.

In 2012, The United States Congress Formulated The “Moving Ahead For Progress In The 21st Century” Bill, Which Combined A Provision That Required The FMCSA To Come Up With Regulations For ELD Solutions In Commercial Vehicles.

This Rule Aimed At Eliminating The Use Of Paper Logbooks By Using More Reliable Technology For Logging Hours And Other Important Data About Driver Activities And Performance i.e by using electronic log book.

Even Before The ELD Mandate, The Transportation Industry Was Involved With The Transition From Paper Logs. Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (Aobrds) Are Still In Use By Some Drivers For Reducing Paperwork. Though The Aobrds Often Meets Some Of The Standards Of The ELD Mandate Like A Recording Of The Driver's Duty Status, Changes In Status, And The Amount Of Time The Driver Has Operated The Vehicle.

The Electronic On-Board Recording Devices (Eobr) Regulation Was Heralded To ELD, But It Did Not Serve And Had To Be Eliminated Due Lack Of Compliance With Hours-Of-Service Regulations.

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD trucking) Can Efficiently Track Drivers' Hours Of Service. It Can Integrally Synchronize With The Truck's Engine And It Can Successfully Send Data To Safety Or Fleet Managers Who Easily Interpret E-Logs In Real-Time.

Potential Benefits Of ELDs

The ELDs Are Significantly Compliant With Recent Regulations Around Hours Of Service.

  • The Drivers Can Save Time And Efficiency Due To The Reduction In Paperwork As They Have Access To Electronic Logging Devices.
  • The Loads Can Be Planned With More Efficiency And The Delivery Times Can Be Easily Estimated.
  • The Fleet Managers Can Accurately Comply With The Hos Of The Drivers And In Case Of Any Issue, They Can Easily Address It.
  • The Need For Paper Logs Is Also Reduced Which Makes It Very Much Easier For The Drivers.

Therefore, ELDs Have Significant Potential For Making The Process Easier For Drivers, Fleet Managers, And Human Resource Departments Of Transportation Companies. The Mandate Makes It Effective By Making The Processes More Efficient By Eliminating Unnecessary Paperwork And Thereby Decreasing The Margins Of Error.

What Are The ELD Standards For Drivers And Carriers?

The ELD Mandate Requires Motor Vehicle Drivers To Record Their Hours Of Service Using ELDs. An ELD Can Be Defined As Any Dot-Certified Electronic Hardware Which Connects To A Commercial Vehicle's Engine For Recording The Driving Hours. The Device Types Usually Vary From Smartphones To Tablets And Laptops. The Key Part Is That It Makes The Entire Process Paperless.

The ELD Mandate Enforces The Following:

  • It Requires The ELD Use Of Commercial Drivers Who Are Required To Prepare For Hours-Of-Service (Hos) Records Of Duty Status (Rods).
  • It Sets The ELD Performance And Design Standards Because It Requires The ELDs To Be Certified And Registered With The Fmcsa.
  • It Established What Supporting Documents Drivers And Carriers Are Required To Keep.
  • It Prohibits Harassment Of Drivers Based On ELD Data Or Connected Technology (Such As Fleet Management System).

Official ELD Timeline :

  • On December 16th, 2015 The Final ELD Rule (Known As The ELD Mandate) Was Published.
  • From December 16th, 2015 To December 18th, 2017 Marked The Two-Year Pre-Compliance Phase In Which All The Commercial Vehicles Were Required To Become Equipped With Aobrds Or ELDs.
  • December 18th, 2017 To April 1st, 2018 Was One Of The Soft Rollout Periods For The Adoption Of ELDs. This Period Gave Drivers And Carriers Enough Time To Gradually Adjust To Using ELD And Enabled The Fmcsa To Ensure ELD Providers Understood Every Requirement.
  • From April 1st, 2018 Marks The Date Of The Full Roll-Out Of The ELD Mandate, Which Means Compliance In The Use Of Either ELDs Or Aobrds Would Be Enforced.
  • December 18th, 2017 To December 16th, 2019 Is The Two-Year Period In Which Only ELDs Can Be Installed In Vehicles.
  • From December 16th, 2019 Every Single Device Must Be ELD Compliant.

The ELD Mandate Is Applied To Carriers And Drivers Who Are Required To Maintain (Records Of Duty Status) Rods. Therefore, It Involves Most Of The Drivers And Motor Carriers.

But There Are Some Exceptions To The ELD Mandate:

  • The Drivers Who Operate Under Short-Haul Exceptions Are Not Required To Keep Rods, So They Can Continue To Use Paper Time Cards.
  • The Drivers Who Operate Vehicles That Were Manufactured Before The Year 2000.
  • The Drivers Who Use Paper Time Cards For A Maximum Of 8 Days Out Of Every 30-Day Period.
  • The Driveaway/Towaway Drivers(Where The Vehicle Itself Is The Commodity).