What You Need To Know About The ELD Mandate

Posted by Ryan Gotcher on Jul 11, 2019 7:43:30 PM

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The electronic logging device (ELD) Mandate is a ruling established as a part of MAP-21. The final rule can be found here and was published in December of 2015.

The ruling discusses ELD usage, and mandates carriers and drivers to use them. Full compliance for the ELD ruling is just around the corner and begins on December 16th, 2019.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides a handy infographic to show compliance dates, and what they entail.

The first thing a trucking company or driver needs to ask is whether they are subject to the mandate. Taken straight from the FMCSA website they are three groups who are always exempt from having to use ELDs.

  • Drivers who use paper logs no more than 8 days during any 30-day period.
  • Driveaway-towaway drivers where the vehicle being driven is the commodity. Or the vehicle being transported is a motor home, or recreation vehicle trailer (and at least one set of wheels of the transported vehicle must be on the surface)
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.


The FMCSA has also announced a few extended exemptions for certain companies or associates who apply:

  • The United Parcel Service, expiring in October 2022
  • Motion Picture Association Of America, expiring in January 2023
  • Truck Renting and Leasing Association, expiring in October 2022


How Does an ELD Help Me?


If you are subject to the ELD Mandate, don’t worry about having to take on the new tech. ELD’s are proven by the FMCSA and verified by success stories from carriers to be beneficial to businesses.

One benefit is that ELDs help keep drivers safe. The FMCSA on its new ELD website has a useful infographic discussing ELDs. For safety there are a reported 1,844 crashes avoided annually, and a 562 fewer injuries per year. This includes an enormous bonus of 26 lives being saved each year through ELD usage.

ELDs can also be used to keep dispatchers up to date on driver’s status. As ELDs automatically record various statistics, as covered in our ELD Overview blog, these statistics can be remotely delivered to dispatchers. This can also help dispatchers react to inconvenient situations, such getting a real-time awareness of detentions. 

Getting inspected can be lengthy hassle. With ELDs roadside inspections can go faster. ELD are regulated to be able to transfer data to law enforcement officers in a number of different ways. As the hours of service (HoS) data can now be transferred through a standard system enforcement officers no longer need to dig through paper logs. This can help reduce the time roadside inspections take.

Saves carriers money, and drivers time. The infographic located on the bottom of this page, states that an annual $570 million is saved due to crash reductions from ELD usage. As the data is collected automatically an annual $2.4 billion is saved by carriers in paperwork costs.

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How To Find An ELD


Finding an ELD can be tough. Luckily the FMCSA provides a list of registered and ELD Mandate compliant ELD Vendors.

One recommendation to check out is Samsara. They provide everything a trucking company will need in an ELD. When looking at new ELDs it may be prudent to consult the Better Business Bureau and online reviews to ensure you making an informed choice.


What The Mandate Requires


Taken from a page from the ELD FAQ page, there are a few key requirements of the ELD rule. These requirements are also in the ELD FAQ that can be found here.

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The Mandate sets ELD performance standards. This regulates the design, and technical specifications of ELDs. It also requires ELDs to be certified and registered with the FMCSA.

It also requires the use of an ELD by commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours of service, and records of duty status. 

The ELD Mandate also prohibits harassment of drivers based on ELD data or connected technology. This also provides recourse for drivers who believe they have been harassed. This means carriers can’t force a driver to commit an action that would result in a violation of the HoS rule. However, to be considered harassment the carrier must be able to see the information from an ELD or connected technology.

Another requirement establishes what supporting documents the drivers and carriers are required to keep. This requirement states drivers must send off eight supporting documents within thirteen days of receiving them to carriers that must retain those documents for six months. These documents can be anything from itineraries, bills of lading, or dispatch records to payroll records or settlement sheets. The full list can be found here.  
This all means that the ELD rule establishes a new way of recording HoS. 

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Topics: Insider, ELD