ELD RULE & COMPLIANCE –
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

By December 18, 2017, all qualified drivers must log records of duty status (“RODS”) electronically. This will replace all existing paper logbooks used to record compliance with Hours of Service (“HOS”).

To help you understand more about the electronic logging device, (“ELD”) rule, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions:

WHAT IS THE ELD RULE?

The ELD Rule was recently published by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). It is part of an initiative to improve safety on the road, while insuring drivers keep total control over their own Hours of Service (HOS) records.

What this means:

  • FOR EVERYONE - It mandates who must use an ELD and the timeframe for compliance
  • FOR YOU - It outlines how a driver is empowered to keep and certify records to prevent harassment or coercion
  • FOR US - It provides ELD solution providers with the technical specifications for how their products must operate to be compliant once the ELD Rule mandate is in effect

There’s a good chance if you keep HOS paper logs today, you’ll need to be compliant with the ELD Rule over time – so keep reading…

 

DOES THE ELD RULE APPLY TO ME?

As a rule of thumb, those currently using paper logs for HOS should confirm with their governing DOT (Department of Transportation) if the rule applies and understand what it would take to get ELDs in place ahead of the December 2017 mandate to go paperless.

The ELD Rule applies to commercial interstate truckers and bus drivers who meet the requirements based on weight or activity to record duty status information.

There are some exemptions to the electronic log mandate, which include:

  • Short haul drivers
  • Drive away/tow away operations where the commercial motor vehicle being driven is the commodity
  • Drivers that only keep logs for 8 days out of a 30 day period
  • Drivers operating vehicles that are older than model year 2000

 

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN ELD?

An ELD is an electronic logging device used by drivers to create compliant records of duty status. In general, an ELD must be connected with a vehicle’s engine to automate driving status and give a driver the ability to keep their record of duty status (RODS) and easily supply such records to roadside inspectors.

REMEMBER: An ELD does not automatically report your information to the government. Records of duty status (RODS) will still be requested roadside or via standard auditing procedures at the terminal.

 

HOW IS AN ELD DIFFERENT THAN AN AOBRD DEVICE? CAN I STILL BUY OR USE AN AOBRD?

ELD is a broad category for devices, including Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRDs) which meet the current specifications outlined in part 395.15 of the FMCSA regulations for Hours of Service (HOS).

REMEMBER: If you use or buy AOBRD certified devices today, you are compliant and have until December 2019 to ensure the solution meets the ELD Rule specifications. 

Over time, all AOBRD solution providers will certify that their electronic logging devices are compliant with the ELD Rule and register them with the FMCSA.

To be compliant with the ELD Rule, devices must be able to handle requirements such as driver certification of their own records of duty status (RODS), special driving categories, and transferring files from the vehicle to the roadside inspector DOT officer via wireless communication.

 

HOW DOES THE ELD TIMELINE AFFECT ME?

ELD Timeline

ELD compliance can be split into three phases:
PHASE 1 – AWARENESS & TRANSITION PHASE

This phase lasts two years from February 16, 2016 through December 18, 2017. During this time, all carriers and drivers that are subject to the ELD Rule should prepare to comply and consider starting to use ELDs. During this time, however, driver and carriers can use paper logs, logging software or AOBRDs for their records of duty (RODS). 

PHASE 2 – PHASED-IN COMPLIANCE PHASE

This phase runs from December 18, 2017 to December 16, 2019. During this time, drivers and carriers who are subject to the ELD Rule can use AOBRDs that were installed prior to December 18, 2017 or certified, registered ELDs. Paper logs will no longer be accepted.

PHASE 3 – FULL COMPLIANCE PHASE

After December 16, 2019 all drivers who are subject to the ELD Rule must be using certified, registered ELDs that comply with all ELD regulations.

 

WHY SHOULD I START USING AN ELECTRONIC LOGGING SYSTEM (ELD) NOW?

Don’t let the mandate put a bad taste in your mouth about ELDs – there are plenty of benefits to get going ahead of the deadline.

  • No more paperwork! Drivers save time every day with ELDs since they automate driving status and minimize support documentation requirements
  • With most systems, including Fleetmatics LogBook, dispatchers have real-time visibility into location and can help improve estimated times of arrival to customer locations and dispatching decisions
  • Like Fleetmatics LogBook, ELDs that are integrated with vehicle tracking offer a wide range of safety and productivity features that go beyond basic compliance and can help create ROI (Returns on Investment).

Click here to learn more about the benefits.

 

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST MY FLEET TO BE COMPLIANT?

Cost and pricing model will vary by provider, depending on which components are included in an ongoing subscription and which components you own outright. For example:

  • Some providers may give you the engine connectivity hardware and ongoing software as a subscription, but give you flexibility to buy the right devices for your drivers’ needs
  • Some providers may include the driver’s device for an upfront cost or in a higher pricing subscription, but this hardware is often proprietary with less flexibility of how it can be used beyond electronic logging

REMEMBER: You can turn the cost of compliance into a profit with the right ELD solution in place.

 

DO I NEED TO HAVE GPS TRACKING TO BE ELD COMPLIANT?

To ultimately meet the ELD Rule specifications an ELD solution must provide automated, accurate location information at specified increments, which is best accomplished with a GPS-based solution.

 

ARE CELL PHONES ALLOWED TO BE USED WITH ELDs?

Yes. The ELD Rule accommodates the use of smartphones and other wireless devices as ELDs. Fleetmatics LogBook embraces this approach today by utilizing smart phones and tablets for driver interaction with hardware installed in the vehicle.

 

WHY IS FLEETMATICS A GOOD CHOICE FOR AN ELECTRONIC LOGGING SOLUTION PROVIDER?

Fleetmatics has years of experience delivering simple and effective solutions to help with compliance for drivers on the road as well as the team back at the home terminal. 

Fleetmatics LogBook is an add-on subscription to the Fleetmatics REVEAL vehicle tracking solution. LogBook includes the necessary engine connectivity hardware and installation into your vehicle. It also includes access to web-based software for your office team to view HOS driver status in real-time along with compliance reporting and alerts.

Here is some information about our current LogBook solution:

  • The design of Fleetmatics LogBook is compliant with  Federal 395.15 AOBRD regulations, which will remain in force until December 2019, which is the final ELD Rule compliance mandate deadline
  • Fleetmatics LogBook is designed with extensibility for future ELD Rule specifications well ahead of the compliance timing requirements with a simple software update for our LogBook users
  • Our LogBook connects to a wide variety of mobile devices and works alongside our other mobile applications like the REVEAL Field App to support capabilities like dispatching and navigation
  • It minimizes upfront costs and helps ensure you remain compliant today and in the future

 

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?

Feel free to visit the official FMCSA resources on ELDs and the ELD Rule by clicking here

 

I’M USING LOGBOOK TODAY. WHAT DOES THE ELD PUBLICATION MEAN TO ME?

If you are using LogBook today, the solution is compliant with Federal regulations. The good news is, you do not need to take any action at this time.

Fleetmatics will continue enhancing LogBook to be compliant with the ELD Rule specifications. When ready, Fleetmatics will register LogBook with the FMCSA as compliant and a simple app update will be available on your drivers’ mobile devices.

Using LogBook today gives you the security of using a compliant solution and the flexibility to seamlessly upgrade to the ELD regulations when your fleet is ready. What happens then?  Your hardware will remain intact and Fleetmatics will help give you the tools and training necessary to transition your drivers and administration ahead of the mandate compliance deadline.

 

CAN I ADD MORE LOGBOOK UNITS?

Yes. You can continue to use LogBook and add more units as desired. Our current LogBook solution is compliant and updates for the ELD Rule will NOT require you to change hardware later.

 

This article is provided for educational purposes only and to provide general information. It does not constitute specific legal advice, and should not be treated as such. You should contact a licensed professional attorney to obtain advice where appropriate. Fleetmatics does not warrant or represent the information contained in these blog posts.

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