Understanding the ELD Mandate

The electronic logging device (ELD) rule is meant to help foster a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier track, manage, and share driving status data. An ELD synchronizes with the vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, providing real-time information about each trip. The ELD mandate is meant to improve safety and enhance productivity. Click To Tweet

Pros and Cons of the ELD Mandate

  • PRO: Can save drivers time by reducing paperwork
  • PRO: Keeps dispatchers and truckload managers informed of a driver’s status, making safety and compliance easy
  • PRO: Smartphones and tablets can be used as the vehicle’s ELD as long as the system meets specific requirements, including a hardwired connection to the truck’s engine
  • CON: Some drivers view the mandate as a form of micromanagement
  • CON: The ELD will restrict the number of miles each driver is allowed to travel
  • CON: Small carriers are at a disadvantage, as it may be difficult for them to afford the new devices on top of their other expenses

Who does the rule apply to?

The ELD rule applies to most motor carriers and drivers who are currently required to maintain records of duty status, as well as commercial buses and trucks.

What happens if a driver is stopped and doesn’t have the required ELD?

The inspector will likely cite the driver for failing to have the proper record of duty status. They may place the driver out of service for several hours, leading to costly delays. At the end of this period, the driver will be allowed to complete the trip to the final destination using paper logs.

What is the carrier’s responsibility?

Each carrier must ensure that they’re using a registered device. This includes periodically checking both the registration and revocation list.

Is anyone exempt from this rule?

  • Drivers who only use paper status records for no more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers of vehicles made before 2000.
  • Drivers who conduct tow operations.

Implementing Technology

The ELD rule is based on a series of previous rules, each building upon the one that came before. Many fleets were already using automatic onboard recording devices to reduce paperwork before the rule was put into effect, so the change is not as dramatic as some might expect. The ELD is projected to reduce accidents, fines, and enhance productivity, with pros seeming to outweigh cons.

Contact Us to learn more about the ELD mandate and how it affects you.