ELD Mandate: the basics
With the long-awaited implementation of the FMCSA’s ELD (Electronic Logging Device) Mandate, gone are the days of drivers logging their records with pencil and paper.
The FMCSA has travelled a long road to pass this rule that requires fleets to install ELDs to track their drivers’ Hours of Service – and all along the way it’s been met with confusion and concern. Now that it’s a reality, fleet managers and owners need to find the best way to adapt their businesses to comply with the ELD Mandate.
We’ve rounded up some basic information to help you on your way to compliance.
Many fleets have been operating with Automatic On Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) or Electronic Logging Devices for some time already. But if yours isn’t an ELD that complies with the required technology and you want to avoid hefty fines, you have until December 2019 to install an ELD.
What are ELDs?
ELDs are tools that allow truck drivers and motor carriers to comply with Hours of Service regulations by electronically capturing Records of Duty Status.
Automatic On Board Recording Device (AOBRD)An Automatic On Board Recording Device (AOBRD), is a term used to describe a device installed in a vehicle to log driving hours. Although still used, the term is being phased out to make way for FMCSA-compliant Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) as mandated in the ELD Final Rule.
Commercial motor vehicle (CMV)A commercial motor vehicle, or CMV, is a vehicle that is used for business purposes or interstate commerce and meets at least one of the following criteria: weighs more than 10,000 pounds, has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, transports 16 or more passengers not for compensation or nine or more passengers for compensation, or transports hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards.
Duty statusAlso called Record of Duty status or driver log, duty status is the document used by a driver to record his/her driving time.
Driver logSee ‘Duty status’.
Electronic logbooks (e-Logs)Short for electronic logbooks, which are records of driving hours that are captured and stored electronically using an on-board recording device.
Electronic Logging Device (ELD)An Electronic Logging Device, or ELD for short, is a device designed to automatically record a driver’s driving time and other aspects relating to Hours of Service (HOS) compliance. The device does this by monitoring a vehicle’s engine and traveling time.
What type of ELDs can be used?
ELDs need to meet certain specifications to comply with the mandate. Some of the most important requirements include:
- It must connect to the vehicle’s engine to record if it’s moving.
- Location information must be captured automatically.
- It must allow the driver to log in and select whether he/she is on-duty, off duty, or sleeper berth.
- It must have a mute button, so drivers aren’t interrupted when off-duty or in the sleeper berth.
- It must provide data in a standardized format.
- This data must be transmitted to law enforcement through wireless web services, USB or Bluetooth 2.0.
What are the long-term benefits of ELDs?
Apart from the obvious cost and time savings your business and your drivers will make by cutting back on reams of paperwork, there are a number of others benefits to using Electronic Logging Devices. By being better informed on a driver’s status, fleet managers are able to plan better. Communication between drivers and dispatchers is improved, and it’s also been shown that drivers using ELDs report fewer accidents, which means overall road safety is boosted.
How much is it going to cost my company?
It’s true that ELDs used to be prohibitively expensive for many for hire and private motor carriers, especially smaller owner-operated businesses. But developments in modern technology mean prices have dropped considerably. These costs will also quickly be offset by the savings made in other areas like fuel efficiency improvements and better use of driver resources.