On December 10, 2015, the FMCSA announced the ELD mandate. As per this new rule, all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must be equipped with AOBRDs (Automatic On-Board Recorder Devices) or ELDs (electronic logging devices) by the end of December 2017.
Now the ELD mandate is just months away. Are you fully prepared for it?
To answer some common questions regarding the ELD mandate and help fleet managers like you, we created this quick guide. It will help you understand how the final ELD rule will impact your trucking company and fleet.
Let’s start with the most basic questions.
What’s an ELD and How Does it Work?
An electronic logging device or ELD attaches to a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to synchronize with the engine and record vehicle movements. An ELD automatically and accurately records all driving activities throughout the day. It also records driving time and monitors important information, such as location, ignition and power status, engine hours, vehicle movements, and total number of miles driven in each jurisdiction and state.
ELDs also detect and report any malfunctions, faults, or maintenance issues in vehicles.
What is the ELD Mandate Final Rule?
As per the ELD final rule, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently mandated the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) for most commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The purpose was to create a more efficient and safe working environment for drivers, fleet managers, and trucking company owners. With ELDs, it becomes more convenient for fleet managers to track, manage, and share the record of duty status of drivers.
According to their official announcement,
“(FMCSA) announced the adoption of a Final Rule that will improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.”
Are You Exempt from the ELD Rule?
The ELD mandate applies to majority of CMV drivers. Any driver who maintains more than eight days of duty status logs will require an ELD. This includes unique situations, such as agricultural carrying fleets, vehicles carrying livestock, and oil field drivers. However, the ELD rule doesn’t apply to the following:
- Pre-2000 vehicles
- Tow-away drivers
- Drivers who don’t need to maintain RODS
- Drivers who maintain logs for less than 8 days in a 30-day cycle
For a more detailed information, read “Is Your Fleet Exempt from the ELD Rule?”
Having said that, many truck drivers and vehicles that are exempt from the ELD rule, are using electronic logging devices anyway. It’s because of the numerous benefits ELDs provide, e.g., location tracking, simplified IFTA calculation, vehicle maintenance, fault detection, etc.
The ELD Rule Deadline
Motor carriers are required to shift from paper logs to ELDs by December 2017. Fleets using AOBRDs must be using certified, registered ELDs by December 2019. Here’s a quick review of the ELD timeline:
- March 2014 — the FMCSA released its ELD proposal
- December 10, 2015 — the FMCSA published its final ELD rule
- December 18, 2017 — drivers using paper logs must switch to ELDs
- December 16, 2019 — drivers using AOBRDs must switch to ELDs.
Here is an infographic explaining the entire timeline.
Benefits of the ELD Rule
There are countless benefits of adopting an ELD solution. Ranging from paperwork savings, increased safety and productivity to compliance, higher productivity and more.
Here are some of the most common benefits of electronic logging devices.
Savings on Paperwork
ELDs save a lot of time by eliminating tons of manual paperwork.
Drivers will no longer have to manually fill out and submit paper logs. It leaves more time for driving, which results in higher work efficiency, productivity, and profits. Also, fleet managers will no longer have to do all the tedious manual calculations required for IFTA reporting. ELDs can help calculate IFTA reports automatically.
Increased Efficiency and Safety
ELDs will do wonders for road safety. Fleet managers will be able see an accurate picture of their fleet’s activities, and management will become a much easier task. Electronic logging devices increase HOS compliance as well as reduce driver fatigue that result in fewer accidents and injuries.
Since an ELD is directly connected to the engine of the vehicle, it proactively tracks and identifies any potential issues and faults. All of it results in a safer driving experience.
The FMCSA estimates that the final ELD rule will “save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles.”
All these factors will result in greater productivity, more ease, better compliance, and higher safety for fleet managers and trucking companies.
Reduced Fatigue and Increased HOS Compliance
With automatic recording of duty status, ELDs will help improve HOS compliance which results in preventing fatigued drivers from getting behind the wheel. This translates into fewer accidents and loss of lives.
Additionally, as ELDs keep notifying drivers of any upcoming HOS violations, compliance becomes a whole lot easier. Forms & Manner violations can be completely avoided with electronic logging devices and electronic logging.
The ELD mandate deadline is just months away. It’s high time to be compliant while there is still some time left.