The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued the federal ELD law, which the Department of Transportation (DOT) enforces. It requires commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators to use electronic logging devices to record their driving hours instead of paper logs.
DOT ELD Mandate FAQ
A driver who must comply with the ELD mandate should have a packet of information available in the truck. This packet should contain a user’s manual for the ELD so that the driver can consult it with any questions about how to operate the device. It should also have an instruction sheet to describe how to transfer data that is recorded by the ELD along with clear instructions for producing and transferring HOS records to their safety officials.
Another instruction sheet should be available describing the different ways that your ELD may malfunction and how to keep records during these system failures. In the event that the ELD does malfunction, there should be an eight-days’ worth of paper RODS graph-grids to keep pertinent records.
No. The user’s manual and all instruction sheets can digital in accordance with the federal register titled “Regulatory Guidance Concerning Electronic Signatures and Documents.”
Motor carriers are required to keep all data, as well as their back-ups, for a minimum period of six months. When keeping the back-up copy, it should be maintained on a separate device from where the original data are stored. All records must be kept in a way that promotes the privacy of the driver.
Data will not be retained unless there is a clear violation.
The motor carrier is for ensuring that their device is registered with the FMCSA. This will require them to check the registration and revocation list regularly. The list of approved devices can be found on the FMCSA website. If an ELD is removed from the approved list, the FMCSA will attempt to notify those who may be affected by the change. It is prudent to sign up for ELD updates to receive these types of notifications.
It is not required to configure the driver account to record special driving categories. However, if the motor carrier does configure this for a user, the printout will show the periods using a variety of line styles including dashed lines, dotted lines, and perhaps shading. The graph-grid should also show the appropriate abbreviation.
If the motor carrier does not configure the driver to allow for special driving categories, it will be up to the driver to annotate the record to demonstrate when these categories take place.
Yes. A vehicle manufactured in the year 2000 or newer without an engine control module (ECM) must still comply with the electronic logging device mandate. If the current engine does not support this function and is unable to obtain an ECM, the motor carrier must find an ELD that does not depend on ECM connectivity but still meets the accuracy requirements of the rule.
Supporting document requirements went into effect on December 18, 2017.
Eight supporting documents are required for every 24-hour period that a driver is on duty. At the latest, drivers are required to submit their RODS and other supporting documents to the motor carrier no later than thirteen days after receiving them. If a motor carrier has more than eight supporting documents, the rules require them to keep the first and last document created.
Motor carriers should keep at least six months’ worth of records.
Yes, there are several different categories for supporting documents. These documents are necessary to verify a driver’s RODS. They can fall into one of five categories:
- Bills of lading, itineraries, schedules, or other documents that specify the starting and stopping point of each excursion
- Dispatch records, trip records, or similar documents
- Expense receipts related to on-duty time spent not driving
- Phone or text message records showing communication via a fleet management system
- Payroll records, settlement sheets, or other documents that show driver payment
If a driver keeps paper RODS, the carrier should also keep all toll receipts. If you have a driver who keeps paper records of duty status, these toll receipts do not count toward the eight required supporting documents.
Drivers are not required to physically maintain records of phone and text communications or payroll. These documents may, however, be a part of a larger electronic record retained by the carrier or kept physically at the main business location. The information contained inside of electronic mobile communication records is only counted as one document per day.
No. Documents from throughout the day are significant for complying with the 60/70 hour rule. This helps to ensure HOS compliance with the rule based on the total number of hours a person works over a set period. Supporting documents are essential to verify the duty statuses in determining fulfilment of the 60/70 hour rules.
Any supporting document should contain the following items:
- Driver name, carrier-assigned identification number, or vehicle unit number as long a the information can link the document to the unique driver
If the motor carrier can produce eight documents that contain all of the above four elements, documents that contain everything except time will also be accepted.
If a driver has and submits more than eight documents, the motor carrier is required to keep the first and last documents of the day as well as six others. If the driver submits fewer than eight documents, all documents must be kept.
Drivers should provide all of the supporting documents they have to any authorized safety official for review whenever requested.
Paper RODS are not kept on either an ELD or an automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD). Instead, they are kept manually or on a computer that does not sync up with the vehicle. Printouts of RODS from electronic logging devices are the statements that the devices are required to create whenever requested by an authorized safety official.
An edit changes the record but will not cancel out or overwrite the original record. An annotation is a note or update related to the record that drivers or other authorized individuals can manually input into the ELD. All edits, no matter who makes them, should also be annotated to note the reason for the change.
An edit showing a time switch from off duty to on-duty but not driving should be annotated to note the reason. Then, both should be sent for driver approval.
Yes, drivers can annotate records to show the beginning and end of a certain period. This can include use of the vehicle for personal use, yard moves, adverse driving conditions, or oilfield operations.
Both drivers and motor carriers are permitted to make edits to the record in order to correct mistakes or fill in missing details. Edits are required to include an annotation explaining the reason for the change. Once this is completed, drivers must approve that all edits submit the records. In a situation where the driver does not approve the change, this is shown in the record as well.
The ELD is required to keep the original record along with the new changes.
The ELD shows the driver’s records of duty status, but both drivers and carriers are responsible for the records. Driver approval of edits is designed to protect drivers from one-sided changes. If the driver is unwilling or unable to approve the edits, the carrier’s edits and annotation are still shown on the record.
The initial records are kept after edits and annotations are added. When drivers wish to see the records but cannot access them directly from the ELD, the motor carrier should provide them, limiting these requests to a six-month period. RODS must only be kept for a six-month period.
No. ELDs are designed to record information including when the vehicle is actively in motion. It cannot be edited to reflect this time as non-driving time instead.
All of the driver’s work should be accounted for according to the hours of service rules. Without operating the vehicle with an ELD, the driver can add his or her not-driving work into the system manually.
Yes. These edits are permitted to keep a precise record of duty status. The electronic logging device does keep the original record along with the date, time, and identity of the person making edits.
If this is the case, the ELD in the vehicle the driver is operating should be able to produce a complete report for that driver whenever requested for the current 24-hour period and the previous seven days.
Both motor carriers and drivers are both responsible for ensuring that RODS information is available for review at the roadside. If the driver has multiple ELDs that are not compatible, the driver must enter any missing duty status by hand or provide printouts from other systems. This allows authorized roadside personnel to see an accurate representation of RODS for a given 24-hour period and the previous seven days.
The electronic logging device mandate demands documentation of the record of duty status for a particular vehicle, so the information from the previous week should either be uploaded into the new ELD or made available in paper format.
The driver associated with each time record may be edited. The drivers may be swapped on the record if the record inaccurately reflects who was behind the wheel. Each co-driver must approve the change for this edit to be made.
Drivers must look over this time when logging in. If the unassigned time does not belong to the driver, it should be noted in the record. If it does belong to the driver, it should be added to the documentation.
Motor carriers must be able to notate why time has been unassigned. Alternatively, they may assign this time to a driver. They are required to keep all unassigned driving records for a six-month period.
Drivers who use vehicles for personal use must annotate on the record that the driving time is for personal use.