Update on ELD Mandate: ELD Exemptions and Ease of Transition

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Update on ELD Mandate: ELD Exemptions and Ease of Transition

ELD MandateAs the ELD mandate looms closer, it has left many drivers and carriers wondering where they stand. Various industry’s in the world of trucking are applying for waivers and exemptions from the mandate that will come into effect December 18, 2017. Many companies are concerned that this one size fits all mandate regarding hours of service will hurt a widely diverse industry. The FMSCA has been listening to these concerns and has allowed exemptions to the ELD mandate and how driver log audits can be handled.

Who is getting an ELD exemption?

The first ELD exemption came from a request from the Truck Rental and Leasing Association, who originally asked for a 30-day waiver. The FMSCA deemed that 8 days or fewer was sufficient time waived. Those driving a rental must have the rental agreement, current paper log for the last 24 hours, including the log for the past 7 days.

A special consideration has been granted to those who use a portable, driver based ELD program to record their change duty status when they leave their vehicle. The driver can record his change of duty outside of the truck, as long as the driver annotates the ELD record to the appropriate duty status. This comes from a request from UPS, but has been granted to all carriers and is good until October 20, 2022.

The FMSCA has also given a blanket exemption for all carriers when performing yard moves. This exemption allows a driver to perform multiple yard moves, without having to re-enter this information each time into the ELD monitor each time the tractor is turned off.

The hours of service rules do not apply to “wash and fuel” employees who never leave company property, and therefore, will also be exempt from the mandate.

Vehicles that currently use an Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD) have been grandfathered in until December of 2019. This means that the AOBRD can be moved to a replacement truck, provided the unit was purchased prior to December 2017. Those purchased after this date will not be grandfathered.

Special 90-Day Exemption for Livestock Drivers

The agricultural industry has also requested that they be waived from the mandate, specifically regarding livestock transportation. The FMSCA has granted a 90-day waiver after the December 18 deadline as they consider the industry’s application, as well hours of service regulations. This will allow these drivers to use a paper log of duty status during this 90-day time frame.

Other ELD Mandate Exemptions:

  • Drivers who use the timecard exception, including drivers who use the 100 air-mile and 150 air-mile short-haul exceptions.
  • Drivers who use paper records of duty study (RODS) for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.

If a driver is caught without an ELD, but can prove hours of service with an accurate paper log, they can be ticketed in violation of not having an ELD. However, this will not count against the driver’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) score, nor will it put the driver out of service. It is at the discretion of each states as to whether the driver will receive a ticket. This leniency will only last until April 1st, 2018. After that, drivers caught uncompliant will be put out of service, and the tickets will count against their SMS score.


Whether it counts against your SMS score or not, PSTC recommends that you avoid the hassle and expense of a ticket if you are caught lacking an ELD. Check out our selection of ELD’s to suit your business and budget.

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2017-12-07T14:29:53+00:00 December 7th, 2017|Hours of Service, United States|

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