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The use of ELDs has been made mandatory by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This means that every long haul driver that keeps Records of Duty Status (RODS) will now be required to use electronic logging devices. Everyone affected by the ELD mandate would do well to begin using electronic logging methods as soon as possible.
While drivers are technically still allowed to use paper logs and automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) until December 2017, it’s recommended that fleet managers use this time to research ELD providers and gradually introduce ELDs to their drivers.
In December of 2015, the FMCSA released the final ruling on the ELD rule, which mandates that fleets already required to keep proof of duty status (RODS) adopt the use of electronic logs by the end of 2017. As of December 2017, drivers will be free from the hassle and error potential of paper HOS logbooks.
While some consider this ruling an inconvenience, ELD logging offers many benefits for both fleet managers and drivers. The verifiable nature of electronic logs protect drivers from employer harassment to illegally exceed their hours of service. The mandate’s purpose is to improve driver safety, diminish HOS violations, prevent logbook falsification, and improve public safety by keeping fatigued drivers off the road.
How do you know if your company’s fleet is required to comply with the many ELD regulations in the mandate? As an FMCSA ruling, the ELD mandate affects all commercial motor vehicles operators that are required to keep records of duty status (RODS). Only a few drivers will qualify for any of the FMCSA ELD exemptions.
Who is Exempt?
One of the most important steps in making the mandate work for you is choosing an ELD provider who is well-equipped to help you deal with any compliance issues you encounter along the way. You’ll want to select a provider who can customize their ELD solution to fit your fleet—a provider who acts as a member of your team. Getting compliant can be tricky, so it’s always a good idea to have a team of experts on your side to offer solutions and advice. Do your research, read reviews, and get to know your potential providers before making a final decision on an ELD system.