Compliance Brief: ELD Mandate

Compliance Brief: ELD Mandate

More than 3 million commercial truck drivers on the road today are affected by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandate regarding electronic logging devices (ELD), also known as the ELD mandate. Here's what you need to know to make sure you're prepared.

What Is the ELD Mandate?

The ELD mandate is a U.S. federal government regulation enacted by the FMCSA, specifying that operators of commercial motor vehicles covered by this law are required to use an electronic logging device or ELD.

On Dec. 16, 2015, the FMCSA published its final rule requiring the adoption and use of an ELD by all drivers currently required to complete paper logs. The mandate went into effect on Feb. 16, 2016, with a compliance date of Dec. 18, 2017.

What Is an ELD?

An ELD is an electronic logging device that automatically records a driver's duty status (RODS) and Hours of Service (HOS). An ELD is designed to help fleet operators reduce paperwork and violations. The mandate doesn't change the rules regarding logging HOS, but it does require the logging process to be electronic.

What Are the Benefits of an ELD?

  • Save drivers time by reducing paperwork
  • Keep a dispatcher updated on a driver's status, enabling them to better plan for loads in light of HOS compliance needs
  • Reduce the hassle of keeping a paper log

How Does This Affect My Fleet?

All CDL drivers who are required to keep RODS must use an ELD to document their compliance with HOS rules. As per the mandate, an ELD must:

  • Be "integrally synchronized" with the truck's engine
  • Capture the driver's HOS electronically
  • Graphically display RODS
  • Transfer data during roadside inspection

The ruling affects any interstate commerce driver who is operating a vehicle with:

  • An actual weight or rated weight of 10,001 pounds or more (single or combination)
  • More than 8 or 15 passengers (depending on compensation)
  • Any amount of hazardous materials requiring placarding

Requirements of an ELD Under the Mandate

  • All data transfers from the ELD must be encrypted.
  • Data must be in a standardized format and easily transferable to law enforcement officials.
  • Data elements (location, mileage, time stamp, etc.) must be uniform.
  • An ELD cannot be used to harass drivers or infringe upon their privacy.
  • An ELD must use evolving technology that can adapt to the changing needs of carriers and drivers.
  • Providers must self-certify to ensure they meet the technical requirements.

Are There Exemptions to the ELD Mandate?

As per a CDL short-haul exemption within the final rule, CDL short-haul drivers operating within a 100 air-mile radius or non-CDL drivers operating within a 150 air-mile radius won't be required to install an ELD. Remember, if the requirements to meet the short- haul exemption are broken, you will need to keep RODS for those days and for days that you use the 16-hour short-haul exemption.

Additional exemptions include drivers who conduct driveaway-tow-away operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.

CDL drivers are exempt from logs and 30-minute breaks if they:

  • Stay within a 100 air-mile radius of base (a driver may cross state lines and still claim exemption)
  • Return to base at end of each day
  • Drive no more than 11 hours in a 12-hour span after a minimum of 10 hours off duty
  • Do not exceed more than 8 days out of any 30-day period

Non-CDL drivers are exempt if they:

  • Stay within a 150 air-mile radius of base
  • Return to base each day
  • For 2 of 7 days: Drive no more than 11 hours in a 16-hour span after a minimum of 10 hours off duty
  • For 5 of 7 days: Drive no more than 11 hours in a 14-hour span after a minimum of 10 hours off duty
  • Do not exceed more than 8 days out of any 30-day period

Operators of pre-2000 model-year trucks are exempt due to vehicle connectivity concerns and retrofitting costs. Exemptions are based on Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

ELDs Are Required for Rental Vehicles

Commercial drivers are required to log hours electronically while using rental trucks and tractors, but there is an exemption for short-term rental vehicles.

Short-Term Truck Rental Exemption in the U.S.

Updates made by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration include an 8-day exemption for drivers of short-term rental vehicles. Drivers are still required to log hours, but with Penske, you have options.
Truck Rental Period
Paper Logs
Portable ELD
Penske Driver App
8 days or less
9 days or more