The December 18, 2017 compliance deadline for the FMCSA’s electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is quickly approaching for the transportation industry. The mandate will require all drivers of commercial motor vehicles who are currently required to complete daily records of duty status to begin tracking their duty status with an ELD. If your drivers are currently using paper logs, you’ll need to switch to an ELD by December 18, 2017. The ELD devices link to a semi truck’s engine, capturing the movement, and records how much time a trucker spends behind the wheel. The FMCSA will allow smartphone apps to serve as compliant ELDs when they interface with the truck through a cable, which could potentially reduce the financial burden for your fleet.

Important Considerations/Exemptions for Your Drivers:

1) If you have already adopted an automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) or electronic onboard recorder (EOBR), your current system will be grandfathered in for an additional two years, until December 2019.

2) Likewise, drivers of vehicles with engines manufactured before the model year 2000 are exempt from the ELD rule.

3) Drivers who use paper RODS for no more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.

4) Drivers who are required to keep RODS no more than 8 days within any 30-day period.

5) The HOS regulations do not apply to the transportation of agricultural commodities operating completely within the 150-air mile radius by for hire or private carriers.

The ELD mandate will take effect as scheduled, but there will be an enforcement grace period as well as a new temporary exemption for agricultural haulers. Once the mandate is enforced, commercial vehicles will not be placed out of service for not having an ELD (or device conforming to older automatic on-board recording device, AOBRD, standards) — at least not for a few months yet. It also won't count against the carrier's record. For commercial drivers required to be keeping track of their hours of service (HOS) and record of duty status, enforcement officers will be looking to see that drivers have proper logs and are in compliance with HOS requirements. From December 18, 2017 through April 1, 2018, drivers who aren't using an ELD but have paper logs in order will receive a citation, but won't be placed out of service. The carrier will know a violation happened, but the violation won't count against the carrier's Safety Measurement System maintained by the Department of Transportation.