ELD Mandate

*UPDATED* August 10, 2018

As 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.

UPDATE: March 21, 2018. New rules regarding AOBRD. 

The FMCSA has updated its information regarding Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD) devices. The devices have been grandfathered in until December 2019. The ruling has changed so that a fleet that currently uses AOBRD’s can now use an AOBRD in a new truck, provided that the new addition to the fleet has been outfitted for a future ELD device. Prior to this ruling, you could transfer an AOBRD, but any new trucks purchased to expand your fleet had to be outfitted with an ELD.

This new guidance has been put forth in hopes of making the transition easier for large fleets. To prevent confusion of running both ELD and AOBRD software at the same time, fleets can now continue to run the AOBRD software they had installed prior to December 2017 in all of their trucks, while all the trucks in the fleet have ELDs installed. The idea is that once the entire fleet has been outfitted with ELD devices the company will then switch over to running the ELD software, no longer using the AOBRD.

However, after December 16, 2019, all trucks will have to have ELD units installed.

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.

UPDATE: As of March 13, 2018 an additional 90-day waiver is being granted to agricultural commodity and livestock haulers. The FMCSA plans to publish clearer guidelines that address the unique concerns of this industry. This will include guidance on the 150-mile-radius rule, as well as personal conveyance. 

UPDATE: March 23, 2018. Congress has passed a spending bill that will exempt livestock haulers from the ELD mandate until the end of September. This does not apply to agricultural commodities haulers. Agricultural commodities haulers will still need to implement an ELD in their truck by June 18th, at the end of the 90-waiver. 

UPDATE: August 10, 2018. The U.S. Senate has passed a bill allowing livestock and agricultural haulers to keep paper logs until the end of September 2019. However, this bill needs some work before becoming finalized. Over the next two months, the House will have to work out the differences between the year-long extension for agricultural ELD exemptions that they had put to the table. After this, the bills will need to be passed again, with the approval of President Trump.

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.