Here are the most frequently asked questions about the ELD Mandate.
What is an ELD?
An Electronic Log Device (also known as an ELD) is exactly as it sounds – it’s an electronic form of logging your Hours of Service (HOS). An ELD is a device that replaces paper logs and other AOBRDs (Automatic On-Board Recording Devices) in order to record and track HOS.
How does it work?
ELDs record owner operator and vehicle data, which allows for a simple and easy format to keep track of your HOS compliance. An ELD synchronizes with your truck’s engine to automatically record driving time. You’ll be able to log in and record On-Duty, Off-Duty, or On-Duty Not Driving.
When does the mandate take effect?
By December 18th, 2017, all CDL owner operators that are required to keep a log for Hours of Service must be using an ELD. If you currently use an AOBRD, you have until December 16th, 2019 to make the switch to ELD.
Is an ELD expensive?
It certainly sounds like an ELD would be costly, and the original devices weren’t cheap. New technological advances, however, have reduced the cost drastically. ELDs can actually save owner operators and carriers money by reducing HOS violations and their resulting penalties. ELDs also help to eliminate down time, and increase route efficiency. And because you won’t be using nearly as many paper logs, you’ll save money daily!
What happens if the ELD stops working?
If your ELD stops working for any reason, there are four simple steps to follow until it’s fixed:
Take note of the failure by writing down the date, time, and type of failure.
Reconstruct handwritten logs for the current day and the previous 7 days.
Prepare a handwritten log until the ELD is working again.
Notify your carrier within the first 24 hours.
Do ELDs automatically report violations?
It is a common misconception that an ELD will automatically report any violations, which would lead to increased inspections and fines. This is completely false. An ELD is only connected to the engine of a single vehicle. ELDs store data so that it can easily be accessed to show compliance.
What is the roadside inspection process?
In the event of a roadside inspection, drivers are required to electronically transfer their HOS records for the last 8 days (including the current day) to the roadside inspector. There are several methods to transfer your records, including online, email, USB connection, and Bluetooth connection.
Does the mandate have other requirements?
Aside from logging your hours in an ELD, drivers are required to carry a few other documents for safety measures. Along, with the ELD, you’ll carry a user manual on how to operate the ELD, an instruction sheet with step-by-step instructions for transferring HOS records, an instruction sheet describing ELD malfunction reporting requirements and recordkeeping procedures during ELD malfunctions, and a supply of blank paper logs sufficient to record the duty status for a minimum of 8 days in case there is a malfunction. All of the required documents should be provided to you when you or your carrier purchase an ELD.
Are there benefits to using an ELD?
The ELD mandate brings the transportation business to the 21st century, and helps owner operators cut down on deadhead miles, as well as assists in keeping accurate records. The ELD simplifies compliance by eliminating long-term paper logs, and in doing so results in a significant cut back in the most common violations, since drivers will always have an accurate and up-to-date log on file. With electronic transfer capabilities, inspections go significantly faster and easier, meaning you’re back on the road in no time. And ELDs even store additional useful information, such as location, speed, and engine date, which helps both carriers and their drivers in legal litigation.
Are there any exceptions to the mandate?
There are a few noteworthy exceptions to the mandate. If for example, you are a carrier or driver who currently uses an AOBRD, you have until December 16th, 2019 to make the switch to an ELD. Any commercial motor vehicles older than the model year 2000 do not have an engine that is compatible with an ELD, and so they are not required to use one. Short-haul drivers who use the 100 or 150 air-mile radius, drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations (where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered) as well as owner operators who use paper RODS no more than 8 days out of every 30-day period are exempt, as well. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you are exempt.
Is your commercial motor vehicle older than the model year 2000?
Are you a short-haul owner operator who uses the 100 or 150 air-mile radius?
Do you conduct drive-away-tow-away operations in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered?
Do you use paper RODS for no more than 8 days out of every 30-day period?
This sounds complex. Is an ELD hard to use?
ELDs are designed with simplicity in mind. They are user-friendly, and with just a few touches on a screen, you are up-and-running. ELDs take the worry out of compliance so that you can focus on driving!