Electronic Logging Device Ruling: Do You Know What’s Included and If You’re Required to Comply?

Many companies have put off installation of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ruled in December 2015 that many carriers must be in compliance by the end of this year. Specific compliance deadlines are as follows:

  • Drivers and carriers currently using paper logs or logging software must be using ELDs by December 18, 2017.
  • Those using Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD) prior to the December 2017 compliance date have until December 16, 2019.
  • The only drivers exempt from the ELD mandate are those with vehicles from 2000 or earlier, those who keep records of duty (ROD) status for 8 days or less within a 30 day working period or those who operate tow-away or drive-away services.

Here’s the good news about ELDs: they not only offer a safety advantage, but can also make it quicker and simpler to track, manage and share ROD information. So if you’ve put off implementation, benefits await.

Keep in mind that the Hours of Service regulations you’re already used to don’t change. The only thing changing is how drive time is recorded and reported. If you’re so inclined to read the full 500 page ruling, you can visit the FMCSA website. But here’s a top-line summary:

  • Every ELD device must be hooked directly to the Engine Control Module (ECM) and meet minimum hardware requirements to allow for:
    • the ability to track both driver and vehicle in real-time
    • automatic recording of driver identification, engine hours, vehicle miles, date, time and location
    • data that is transferable during roadside inspections via wireless or web-based services, email, USB or Bluetooth
    • graph generation of a driver’s daily duty status changes. The ELD must also be capable of generating a graph grid of a driver’s daily duty status changes
  • Paper logs are no longer required once you have an ELD. However, there are eight required supporting documents for every 24-hour period which must be turned in within 13 hours of generation. They include:
    • dispatch or trip records
    • bills of lading, itineraries, schedules or other documents which prove point of origin and ultimate destination
    • receipts for expenses
    • any mobile communication records sent through fleet management systems
    • proof of driver compensation, i.e. payroll records, settlement sheets or similar documents
  • If a driver submits more than eight documents within a single 24-hour period, the first, last and six others must be maintained.
  • If fewer than eight documents are sent, the carrier must save all of them.
  • Documents must be accessible six-months following submission.

So that’s your basic overview of the pending ELD requirements. There’s plenty of detail on the FMCSA site, so that’s a great first stop if you’re looking for more specifics. Keep an eye out for our next ELD blog as well—we’ll be sharing some considerations for choosing ELD technology.