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ELD Mandate compliance made easy.

Frequently Asked Questions

General ELD Information

What is the ELD Mandate?

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule was published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on December 16, 2015.

This rule requires drivers to keep an electronic log of the time they spend driving, also known as their “hours of service” (HOS).

The ELD rule went into effect on February 16, 2016 but compliance will not become mandatory until December 18, 2017. In the meantime, fleets and drivers are expected to prepare for their eventual transition to ELDs.

How does the ELD Mandate affect me?

As a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Rule, the ELD mandate applies to commercial motor vehicle operations and drivers required to keep paper records of duty status (RODS).

What is an ELD?

ELD stands for Electronic Logging Device. ELDs enable commercial motor operations and professional drivers to track and keep a verifiable record of their HOS (hours of service). Every driver required to keep a Record of Duty Status (RODS) is now subject to the recent ELD rule and should begin logging their hours electronically as soon as possible.

Isn’t that just an AOBRD?

Technically, AOBRDs are Electronic Recording Devices, though not all AOBRDs are compliant with the new regulations established by the FMCSA. (See: What do I need to look for in an ELD?) If your current AOBRDs does not meet the FMCSA’s requirements, you will need to upgrade to a compliant ELD system before the compliance deadline.

What’s the difference between AOBRD vs. logging software programs?

What makes a logging software program an ELD are its capabilities and ability to keep users compliant. The term “AOBRD” is generally used to describe an electronic logging system that fails to meet all of the FMCSA’s ELD guidelines.

Can drivers use portable ELDs?

Yes. Drivers can use portable ELD devices to record their hours of service. As long as these devices are mounted in a fixed position in the vehicle and are visible to the driver from their seat, they can qualify as compliant.

What do I need to look for in an ELD?

To be considered a compliant ELD, an AOBRD must be capable of the following:

  • Telematics Transfer: The ELD must be able to electronically transfer data to an authorized safety official on demand via wireless web services and email. OR Local Transfer: The ELD must be able to electronically transfer data to an authorized safety official on demand via USB 2.0 and Bluetooth®.
  • Automatic Recording: The ELD must record the following at certain intervals: Date, Time, Location Information, Engine Hours, Vehicle Miles, and Identification for the Driver, Authenticated User, Vehicle, and Motor Carrier.
  • Automated Entry: This must occur at each change of duty status, at 60-minute intervals while the CMV is in motion, at the beginning and end of personal/yard move use and at engine-on and engine-off events.
  • Duty Status Graph: The ELD must display or printed presentation of a graph grid of driver’s daily duty status changes.
  • Annotations and Edits: While original records cannot be revised and must be retained, edited versions of these must be supported by the ELD.
  • Detection: The ELD must be able to monitor engine connectivity, timing, etc., to identify data inconsistencies and detectable malfunctions.
What is the ELD implementation process like?

Once you select an ELD provider, they will be responsible for supplying the ELD devices, compliant logbook software, and ongoing support. It’s important to choose a provider that offers unlimited training and can be with your fleet through every step of the implementation process.

Do I have to get a GPS system?

A GPS vehicle tracking system is not necessary for compliance with the ELD mandate. That said, GPS-enabled fleet software can offer a myriad of benefits and significant savings for any ELD-using fleet. Check out some of our GPS features to learn more.

What is all this going to cost?

Good question. While price should always be taken into consideration, it shouldn’t be the sole deciding factor in your decision to purchase a solution. It’s always a good idea to get a live demonstration of an ELD solution before buying. This demonstration will give you some great insights into the solution’s features, quality, and ease of use. Schedule your ELD demo today.

Will this affect profitability?

The cost of implementing and maintaining a solid ELD system is nothing compared to the fines that await those who do not comply with the ELD mandate. To learn more, check out our whitepaper, Making the ELD Mandate Work For You: What is the Real Cost of Compliance?

Is the ELD mandate actually beneficial for fleets?

Since its publication, the ELD rule has gained plenty of supporters and dissenters. While the former cite the rule’s anti-harassment protections, the latter focus on the difficulty and cost of compliance.

While the debate may rage on for years to come, the fact is that the ELD mandate is now law. The mandatory compliance deadline is on its way, which is why it’s important that fleets and drivers to make the switch to ELDs as soon as possible.

ELD Exemptions

Am I exempt?

There are only a few exceptions to mandatory ELD implementation. The following drivers may qualify for an exemption:

  • 100 Air-Mile Radius Drivers: Drivers using the 395.1(e) logbook timecard exceptions (short-haul drivers)
  • Drive-Away/Tow-Away Drivers: Drivers transporting a vehicle for an operation (repair, sale, etc.) wherein the vehicle itself is the product being shipped.
  • Pre-2000 Model Drivers: Drivers operating vehicles manufactured prior to model year 2000.
  • Limited Log Usage Drivers: Drivers whose paper log usage does not exceed 8 days in a 30-day period.
What information is required for exemption?

Even if you or your drivers qualify for an exemption, you will still be expected to provide authorized safety officials with any motor carrier records they require.

Are drivers from the Canada and/or Mexico required to use ELDs when operating in the U.S.?

Yes. Unless they qualify for an exemption, drivers from Canada and/or Mexico must use a compliant electronic logging system to record their HOS when operating in the United States of America.

Important ELD Dates

How soon can ELDs be installed in commercial motor vehicles (CMVs)?

ELD installation is simple and can be completed in a matter of minutes. Drivers should consider installing their ELD system as soon as possible to give themselves plenty of time to become accustomed to electronic logs.

When do I have to switch to ELDs?

We’re currently in what the FMCSA has dubbed the “Awareness and Transition Phase”. While ELD use is not totally mandatory yet, drivers and fleets are expected to use this time to transition to electronic logging. Here’s what to expect in the coming years:

  • December 2015: Publication The ELD mandate is published.During this first phase, drivers may still use paper logs, logging software, and Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) to record their HOS. Fleet owners and managers should use this opportunity to research ELD providers and introduce the use of ELDs to their fleets.
  • December 2017: Compliance Deadline ELD use becomes mandatory for all except those using exempt AOBRDs.This two-year phase will involve the phasing out of most non-ELD forms of logging. The exception to this will be AOBRDs that were installed before the start of Phase Two. Under the ELD rule’s grandfather clause, users of these AOBRDs will be given an extra two years to become compliant.
  • December 2019: Full Compliance Use of registered ELDs becomes mandatory.As of December 16, 2019, the use of registered ELDs will be mandatory and enforced for all carriers subject to the ELD rule.
Why should I implement ELDs before I have to?

Selecting and introducing an ELD system can be both time-consuming and laborious, especially if you have a larger fleet. Finding the right ELD provider, training your drivers, and establishing an accountability and reporting process to ensure compliance can’t be accomplished in one or two business days. This is why it’s essential to plan for the disruptive nature of the purchasing, installation, and training processes ahead of time. If you wait too long and rush the implementation, you could risk losing out on profits and productivity in the frenzy that will likely follow.

Usage & Compliance

Who is required to comply with the ELD Mandate?
As an FMCSA rule, all CMV operators who keep records of duty status (RODS) are subject to the ELD mandate.

Can multiple drivers use the same electronic logging device?

Yes. To become an active user of an ELD-enabled vehicle, a driver can log in from an ELD app on their mobile device, choose the vehicle they will be using, and begin driving. To change the active driver, the new driver simply has to log in and select the vehicle in association with their accounWhat makes a logging software program an ELD are its capabilities and ability to keep users compliant. The term “AOBRD” is generally used to describe an electronic logging system that fails to meet all of the FMCSA’s ELD guidelines.

What kind of documentation do drivers need to keep onboard?

According to the FMCSA, a driver using an ELD must have the following in their commercial motor vehicle:

  • An operational manual for the ELD
  • Instructions for the data transfer mechanisms supported by the electronic logging device.
  • Instructions for reporting and recordkeeping during ELD malfunctions.
  • A backup supply of paper RODS graphs (enough to record the driver’s HOS for at least 8 days).
How are ELDs used in a Roadside Inspection?

While few drivers would describe a DOT inspection as “easy”, ELD Fleet™ makes the process as painless as possible with a convenient Roadside Inspection portal. In this portal, a DOT officer can review logs for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days, receive a copy of the driver’s logs via email, and view vehicle inspections.

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