The federal rule that will require all truck operators to use ELDs will be published this Friday. The rule will take effect on December 11, 2017; all ELD devices must be installed and in use by this time, which gives carriers a 2 year window to comply. The FMCSA asserts that the rule will save the trucking industry $1 billion per year, as a result of time and money saved on paperwork. They also suggest that the rule will save approximately 30 lives and 550 injuries per year. Below, the key aspects of the ELD rule:

Rule Requirements

Upon beginning use of an ELD, drivers will no longer be required to keep and maintain paper logs. They will, however, be required to maintain supporting documentation and submit them to their carrier or, for owner-operators, keep them on file. The new ELD rule requires drivers who are currently using paper logs to switch to electronic logs, with some exceptions:

  • The mandate will not apply to truckers operating vehicles older than model year 2000 (this is a newer exception that has been added after the version of the rule was proposed in 2014).
  • The mandate will not apply to drivers who keep records of duty status in 8 or fewer days out of every 30 working days
  • The mandate will not apply to drivers in drive-way and tow-away operations

Device Requirements

Electronic logging devices that meet the minimum standards laid out in the rule will not be required to track a vehicle or a driver in real time, and will not be required to include driver-dispatcher communication capabilities.

The Devices must:

  • Automatically record date, time and location information.
  • Automatically record engine hours, vehicle miles.
  • Record identification information on the driver who is using the device.
  • Synch with its corresponding vehicle’s engine to record engine on and off times.
  • Present a graph grid of a driver’s daily duty status changes, either on the unit itself or in printout.
  • Be able to transfer data during roadside inspections on-demand. This must be done by either a wireless web-based service, email, USB or Bluetooth.

Supporting Documents Requirements 

Drivers will no longer be required to keep their paper logs. However, they must keep a maximum of 8 supporting documents, either electronically or on paper, for every 24 hour period that includes on-duty time. They must also submit these supporting documents to their carrier company within 13 days of receiving them, and carrier companies are required to keep all documents for 6 months. If a carrier submits more than 8 documents for a 24 hr period, the carrier company must keep the first and last document for the day, and six others.

Supporting documents include:

  • BOLS, itineraries, schedules
  • Dispatch records, trip records
  • Expense receipts
  • Electronic mobile communication records sent via fleet management systems
  • Payroll records, settlement sheets

Once the rule comes into effect on Dec 11, 2017, it will be illegal for carrier companies, brokers or any other industry stakeholder to use the devices to harass or coerce drivers; a system will be developed for drivers to report these instances, and fines will be put in place to penalize those who commit harassment.

References consulted – accessed December 10th, 2015

Attention Carriers: Electronic Logging Device Mandate Takes Effect December 2017 was last modified: by