The FMCSA details return-to-duty procedure

The FMCSA details return-to-duty procedure

From April 1, non-exempt drivers without compliant ELDs will be placed out of service.

Although the ELD mandate became effective from December 18, 2017, full enforcement didn’t begin. Before the ELD mandate implementation date, the CVSA had confirmed that drivers wouldn’t be placed out of service until April 1, 2018. The FMCSA also announced that ELD violations wouldn’t affect carriers’ CSA scores.

However, now the full enforcement is about to begin in the next few days. Enforcers will issue out-of-service orders from April 1 to non-exempt drivers without compliant electronic logging devices.

To provide more clarity, the FMCSA has detailed the out-of-service and return-to-duty procedures in a recent media update.

Joe DeLorenzo, the FMCSA’s head of compliance and enforcement, told that non-exempt drivers without ELDs will be placed out of service for 10 hours, just like a driver who previously didn’t have a paper log.

Joe added, “Once that 10-hour period is up, assuming the driver has at least a paper log, we are going to provide flexibility for that driver to proceed to their final destination and deliver their load.”

However, Joe DeLorenzo also confirmed that drivers will not be able to start their next trip if they don’t install an ELD.

He told that — after returning to duty — the driver must “be compliant with the ELD rule before being dispatched on their next trip.”

To summarize:

  • Drivers will be placed out of service for 10 hours after April 1 if they don’t have a compliant ELD solution.
  • If they at least have a paper log, they will be allowed to proceed to their final destination and deliver the load.
  • Drivers will have to be compliant before being dispatched on their next trip.

Joe DeLorenzo also told that, despite the soft enforcement period, safety inspectors have been noting ELD violations since December 18, 2017. According to him, only “four percent [of inspected drivers] have been cited for not having an ELD when required to.”

Smaller fleets and ELD compliance rates

In other news, a recent CarrierLists survey reveals that approximately 10% of smaller fleets are still not compliant. The survey also shows that the moving average over the past six weeks remains very stable at 89%.

There are some smaller fleets with less than 20 trucks, however, which still need to adopt ELDs before full enforcement begins on April 1.

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