ELDs are THE regulatory topic on everyone’s mind in the transportation industry these days. As per the FMCSA, the objective of the rule is to help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier, faster to accurately track, manage & share records of duty status date. The time leading up to required compliance of this rule is know as the “awareness and transition phase”; so we thought it would be an important time to check in with the mandate. This week, our department has done some research to provide drivers with the key dates, exceptions, changes to the regulation, and some costs that will be associated with it.

Important Dates:

  1. Effective date: February 16, 2016 – this is the date 60 days after the rule’s publication in the Federal Register.
  2. Compliance date: December 18, 2017 – this is two years from the publication date.
  3. “Grandfather Clause” Extension date: December 16, 2019 – for any vehicles already equipped with an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD). 
  4. “Full Compliance” date: December 16, 2019 – by this date “all drivers and carriers subject to the rule must use certified, registered ELDs that comply with requirements of the ELD regulations.” (FMCSA)


  • Drivers who use paper “records of duty status” (RODS), for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers who conduct drive-away and tow-away operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.

Expected Changes to the Mandate:

The FMCSA has not verified any device, as regulation could still be edited/modified. Reviews, new laws and even lawsuits would be the reason behind any edits.

Furthermore, it is expected that the Canadian ELD requirements will mirror that of the USA ELD Mandate. While no official regulation is out yet, it will likely be finalized after the USA ruling is complete/final.

The Cost:

Omnitracs is a company that has been working alongside the FMCSA regarding the ELD mandate and the only device provider to date that will be fully compliant. They have been working to provide general information on the ELD ruling, and offer some predictions on cost.

Per Omnitracs’ ELDFacts.com, ELDs range from $165 to $832, with the most popular being about $495/truck. This would not include installation and maintenance costs.

The FMCSA has seen providers with more affordable ELD devices come into play. As a result, the FMCSA has allowed the introduction of ELDs that can run with smartphones/tablets, and the costs will not be as great as initially thought: “To address those ELD cost concerns, the FMCSA has provided that smartphones, tablets, and rugged handhelds can be used as long as the system as a whole meets ELD requirements, including a hardwired connection to the truck’s engine.” – ELD Facts (Omnitracs).

With more than two years until “full compliance” is required, this is a topic that we will need to revisit a few times. Our commitment remains to provide drivers with the most up to date and critical information they need to maximize their productivity while on the road. So, make sure to keep checking back in on the blog in the coming months for more ELD info.

ELD Mandate: The Dates, Exceptions, Regulatory Changes, and Costs Drivers Need To Know was last modified: by