The ELD mandate, also known as ELD Final Rule, was issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as a measure to improve the safety of drivers and road traffic. The rule requires truck drivers to use ELDs – electronic logging devices that automatically capture hos data such as truck movements with GPS locations, miles driven and engine hours. ELDs calculate the time that drivers spend behind the wheel and prevent them from violating hours of service rules and regulations.
ELD Final Rule was published in December 2015 with the compliance deadline in two years on December 18, 2017. However, some states regulators decided to postpone the adoption of the ELD mandate. The Golden State is one of the examples.
Interstate carriers in California
Even though the ELD Mandate took effect on December 18, 2017, California laws did not have the needed regulations to enforce the new ELD rules within the state. It meant that local DOT inspectors had no legal basis to give citations and fines for the federal electronic logging rules violations.
California’s ELD enforcement for commercial interstate drivers began on October 1, 2018, after local officials adopted the FMCSA’s logbook regulations. Electronic logging devices must be used by most interstate carriers in California who are required to maintain records of duty status (RODS) per Part 395, 49 CFR 395.8(a).
Intrastate carriers in California
Intrastate carriers and drivers operate only within one state. California is one of the most significant states in terms of in-state truck driving. The state’s regulators decided to postpone the enforcement of the ELD mandate for intrastate drivers. At the moment California state officials name December 31, 2020, as a deadline for truck drivers to comply with the new rules.
However, officials recognize that a lot of obstacles may arise in the process. For example, local hours of service rules differ from the federally mandated hos requirements. There is a possibility that the adoption date is not yet final and could be changed.
Who is exempt from the ELD mandate?
According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration most drivers, who maintain RODs (Record of Duty Status, known also as drivers’ logs), are the subjects to the new rule. ELD mandate applies to trucks, as well as to commercial buses.
However, there are a few exemptions. The next categories of drivers are not required to install ELDs in their vehicles:
- Drivers who are required to use a paper log for not more than 8 days during any 30-day period
- Drivers who conduct driveaway, towaway operations with the vehicles being commodities to be delivered
- Drivers of vehicles, manufactured before 2000
Drivers who are not required to maintain RODs are not required to install ELDs on their vehicles.
Users of automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRD) who installed and used devices prior to the Dec. 17, 2017 are temporarily exempt from installing ELDs. All drivers using AOBRDs must convert to ELDs by December 16, 2019. Delay in ELD compliance date for AOBRD users is often referred to as “the Grandfather rule”.
AOBRD vs ELD
The Automatic On-Board Recording Devices, or AOBRDs, like ELDs, are pieces of hardware installed on the vehicles. Through a connection with a vehicle’s engine, AOBRDs collects data on hours of service. The crucial difference between AOBRDs and ELDs is the amount of data the two types of hardware can collect.
ELD records are more accurate and detailed. The new generation of hardware is also more restrictive: ELDs allow less editing of data and warn drivers about going over the recommended amount of time behind the wheel.
ELD compliance timeline
According to rules, established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there are two major ELD deadlines:
- December 18, 2017 – Commercial Motor Vehicles must be equipped with ELD or AOBRD;
- December 16, 2019 – Commercial Motor Vehicles must be equipped with ELD.
- October 1, 2018 – ELD mandate regulations enforced for commercial interstate drivers in California
- December 31, 2020 – Estimated adoption of ELD mandate for intrastate drivers in California
California hours of service for truck drivers
- Not allowed to drive more than 12 hours during a work period;
- Not allowed to drive after the 16th consecutive hour from first coming On-Duty;
- 10 consecutive hours Off-Duty are required to reset for new work period;
- Not allowed to drive after having been On-Duty 80 hours in any 8 consecutive day period;
- The 8th day cumulative total may be reset to 0 (zero) with the beginning of any Off-Duty period of at least 34 consecutive hours (34-hour restart).
How will ELD implementation affect your business?
ELD enforcement changes the ways companies run their operations. There are multiple benefits of installing and using electronic logging devices:
- productivity growth – drivers are not required to fill out paper logs and can dedicate more time to other work-related activities;
- reduced risk of liability – keeping track of information helps avoid issues in case of traffic violations and inspector checks;
- convenience – automated data recording saves time and may be used in IFTA reporting and DVIRs.
How to record hours of service with ELDs?
The first step is purchasing a device. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration compiled a list of registered ELDs. FMCSA-approved logging devices must be installed and used by the compliance deadline. Before ordering a device, check if it is on FMCSA’s list.
All users of the ELD system (drivers, supervisors and support personnel) must have separate accounts and user IDs. ELD must be directly connected to a vehicle’s engine computer module (ECM) via diagnostic port. Before using a vehicle, a driver must log in into his/her account in an electronic system. After that, the device starts to record driving hours and duty status automatically.
Benefits of HOS247 devices
Our devices are in compliance with FMCSA’s regulations.
- easy to use and to edit;
- simple installation process;
- devices are comparable with the majority of trucks and semi-trucks;
- outstanding customer support
Contact us to ask any questions about our ELDs, request demo or order devices now.
I’ve co-founded, built and managed several transportation-related businesses. Now, I’m a founder and CEO of HOS247 – an AI Transportation Platform for trucking companies, freight brokers and other logistics operations. We are transitioning old-style operations to technology-advanced logistics entities and help them to grow their businesses. ELDs (electronic logging devices), fleet tracking and management 2.0 combined with AI-powered dispatch tools.