Short-haul drivers are exempt from the ELD mandate.
According to the ELD mandate, unless drivers are breaching the short-haul limitations set by the FMCSA for more than 8 days in any 30-day period, they don’t require electronic logging devices. However, the short-haul exemption is a tricky one.
Unless short-haul fleets are planning for the long-term and being very careful, they could be surprised. In theory, they could realize at the 7th or 8th day that they need an ELD. At that point of time, it is too late to do anything about it, which means they’d be noncompliant.
This is one of the main reasons why many short-haul fleets are installing electronic logging devices before December 18, 2017.
But that’s not the only reason.
ELDs have several benefits, other than compliance, that encourage short-haul fleets to install these devices. From minimizing administrative burdens to reduced paperwork to increasing safety, there are multiple reasons why short-haul fleets are also installing ELDs, despite being exempt.
In this blog post, we share with you stories of two different companies that transitioned to ELDs despite the fact that a large number of their drivers qualify for the short-haul exemption.
Let’s start our post by first explaining the short-haul exemption and its requirements.
What is the Short-Haul Exemption?
According to the FMCSA’s regulations, the short-haul exemption is for drivers who:
- Start and return to the same location within 12 hours of duty time
- Maintain a time-clock function
- Do not drive more than 11 hours
- Have 10 consecutive hours off-duty between shifts
- Do not exceed the 100 air-mile radius from the starting position
As mentioned earlier, if short-haul drivers do not fulfill any of the above-mentioned requirements for more than 8 days in any 30-day period, they would need FMCSA-registered ELDs, just like everybody else.
Note: It is important to note here that the 30-day period does not refer to a month. It’s a rolling 30-day period. For instance, a period from June 20 to July 20 would be considered a 30-day period.
Now that you are familiar with the short-haul exemption and its requirements, let’s see what the short-haul fleets have to say about ELD adoption.
Short-Haul Fleet #1: Lindenmeyr Munroe
Lindenmeyr Munroe is an independent paper and packaging distributor in the U.S., which has over 160 trucks. Many of their drivers qualify for the short-haul exemption.
Matthew Mascia, Corporate Transportation & Logistics Director at the company, shares that in the days when they were operating without ELDs, they met a series of challenges. The prominent ones were fuel tax reporting, driver shift sheets, and unintentional and undocumented hours-of-service and RODS violations.
Matthew adds, “When the mandate came around, it kind of created the perfect storm for us to really sit down and talk about what we were going to do for our operating fleet.”
However, instead of just installing ELDs for truckers who didn’t qualify for the short-haul exemption, Lindenmeyr Munroe implemented ELDs across its entire fleet. It made them fully prepared for the upcoming ELD mandate and any possible surprises that they could come across down the road.
Matthew explains, “Being a sales driven organization, we are going to make our deliveries where our customers need us to. So if we didn’t have the ability or an unavailable driver, that would be unacceptable from a delivery perspective.”
The prudent approach by Lindenmeyr Munroe enables them to make deliveries anywhere their customers demand. They wouldn’t be handicapped now just because some of their short-haul drivers do not have ELDs and, therefore, can’t drive beyond their short-haul limitations.
Short-Haul Fleet #2: Preferred Meals
Preferred Meals is another company that installed ELDs across its entire fleet, despite the fact that many of its drivers qualify for the short-haul exemption.
Perman Rejepov, who is a distribution metrics specialist at the company, said that implementing ELDs for everyone made sense, despite their fleet comprising of CDL, non-CDL, long-haul and short-haul operators.
Now, apart from fleet uniformity and compliance, Preferred Meals also enjoy the following ELD benefits, as mentioned by Perman Rejepov:
- Air miles and hours of service tracking
- Automated IFTA tax reporting calculation
- Reduced liabilities
- Automated recordkeeping and paperless reporting
- Unassigned vehicle activity traceability and notifications
He also cautioned companies to be vigilant while selecting ELDs because not all ELDs available in the market are fully compliant. He also said that the companies must first understand the “differences between short-haul versus long-haul and the criteria for both.”
He said, “Most of our short hauls do not qualify as a short haul based on the criteria for the ELD mandate. We have a route structure that is continually changing.”
He also spoke about the difficulty that his company faced in bringing drivers and fleet managers in terms with using ELDs. He told that it involved educating and training them about ELDs, the importance of ELD mandate compliance, hours-of-service maintenance, and the difference between short-haul and long-haul operations.
Short-Haul Exemption in the Words of Joe DeLorenzo
Speaking at a webinar that discussed the short-haul exemption and the implementation of ELDs for short-haul drivers, the FMCSA’s Director of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement, Joe DeLorenzo said:
“Essentially what we do with this short-haul exemption is we say if you’re leaving from the same place and you return to your normal work reporting locations, operating within that 100-air-mile radius, you’re not going to have to fill out a log book.”
He also reminded everyone the importance of educating drivers and documentation.
“My advice to anybody that operates under these exemptions is to make sure that your drivers understand the exemption and are able to articulate that in the event that they’re stopped so that it’s clear why they don’t have a log book. It’s also important that at the carrier’s place of business, that documentation of that driver’s time is maintained.”
Joe DeLorenzo also highlighted the importance of understanding the 8-day rule. Apart from focusing on planning and carefully managing each driver, Joe also explained that it is okay to breach the short-haul limitation, as long as it doesn’t happen for more than 8 days in a 30-day period.
“That’s fine as long as that doesn’t happen more than 8 days out of every 30 you can maintain your hours of service on a paper log. You want to make sure drivers could articulate that,” explained DeLorenzo.
He further added, “What you don’t want to do with these exemptions is figure out on day eight or day nine of those 30 days that you needed to have a record of duty status and therefore have an ELD. It goes by driver, so as a company, if you’re going to manage to this exemption you need to make sure each driver stays within those eight days out of every 30, then you’ll be OK.”
Even if you qualify for the short-haul exemption, you can still install ELDs. Transitioning to ELDs will ensure that your operations run smoothly and you’re able to make deliveries even if it is outside the 100 air-mile radius.
Also, you’d be able to enjoy the various ELD benefits, e.g., reduced paperwork, reduced fuel wastage and consumption, real-time alerts for important events, efficient route management, automated IFTA calculation, improved safety, and much more.
If you are looking for a reliable and FMCSA-certified ELD solution, try KeepTruckin.
KeepTruckin ELDs are FMCSA-certified and start from just $20 per month with no additional charges whatsoever.
If you have any questions, give us a call at 855-434-ELOG or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Request Demo