Guide To FMCSA ELD Mandate

The long-awaited final rule on electronic logging devices (ELDs) has been released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The new ELD regulations mandate the use of electronic logging devices for records of duty status (RODS).

What Is the ELD Rule?

According to the FMCSA’s official announcement, the ELD rule will “improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.” ELDs will benefit the trucking industry in many ways, by saving time and costs associated with paper logs, increasing the efficiency of record-keeping and inspections, and most importantly, by preventing accidents and saving lives.

ELDs for Safer Roads and Greater Efficiency

An ELD (or electronic logging device) automatically records Hours of Service (HOS), driving time, and monitors information such as location, engine hours, vehicle movement, and miles driven. The ELD collects these critical pieces of data by attaching to a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and synchronizing with the engine.

Key advantages of using ELDs over paper logs:

  • Saves time — More time for driving and taking care of business!
  • Saves money — Less money spent on paper logs and administration.
  • Reduces risk of error.
  • Makes compliance easier.

Is My Fleet Affected by ELD Rule?

Essentially all CMV carriers that operate across state lines will be impacted. Any driver who maintains 8 or more days worth of duty status logs, out of 30 days, will require an ELD. The FMCSA does allow exceptions for drivers who are not required to keep records of duty status (RODS), as well as:

  1. Drivers who use RODS for not more than 8 days during any 30 day period.
  2. Drivers of vehicles older than model year 2000.
  3. Driveaway-towaway drivers, as long as the vehicle driven is part of the shipment.

Timeframe for Compliance

To phase-in the use of ELDs, the FMCSA has set out two specific implementation deadlines. By December 18, 2017, all affected motor carriers and drivers must use either an ELD or AOBRD (automatic onboard recording device). By December 16, 2019, all motor carriers and drivers subject to the rule must use only ELDs. For more information on compliance, please visit the FMCSA’s website.

fmcsa eld timeline

If you are a motor carrier, it’s important to begin the transition to ELDs now.

To help fleets in the planning process, Geotab has prepared a quick guide to updated ELD regulations, Understanding the FMCSA’s Final Rule on ELDs: An Overview of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) and Compliance for Fleets.

In this report, you will learn:

  • What is an ELD?
  • Who does the new ELD rule impact?
  • What should motor carriers do to comply?