What Does the ELD Mandate Mean for Your Business?

What Does the ELD Mandate Mean for Your Business?
At GW Transportation Services, part of our role as a third-party logistics provider and dependable partner involves educating our clients about industry news and updates. As philosopher Sir Francis Bacon said, “knowledge is power.”
 
Recently, the ELD mandate went into effect. Find out what that means for the trucking and logistics industry. 
 
After months of laying the groundwork, the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate went into effect December 18, 2017, but was not fully enforced until April 1st. Up to this point, law enforcement officials have been issuing citations, but there have been no repercussions for those notices. Unfortunately, all of that changes now that the law is being enforced. Not only can violations rack up Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) Points, but vehicles can be forced out of service.
 
For third-party logistics providers, this means it’s more important than ever to make sure your carriers and trucking companies are in full compliance. 
 
Here’s an overview of the mandate.
 

ELD Overview

In June of 2012, Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), designed to help government better manage transportation spending. It included the Electronic Logging Device rule, which mandated the use of technology to ensure transportation providers were compliant with Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules. Previously, drivers used a paper-based logbook to track their hours, but in recent years, many fleets have begun using automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRD) to reduce time spent manually entering hours driven.
 
If drivers have an AOBRD, they don’t have to upgrade their equipment yet. They’ll just need to ensure that their device is compliant with the standards detailed in Rule 395.15, including automatically recording their hours of service. Drivers must also be able to produce a log of the last seven days of service if requested by a law enforcement officer.
 

Considerations

At the present time, drivers not only need to have the devices installed and operational, but they must know how to use them. The device must be able to connect through a hardwire to the vehicle’s engine in order to accurately log the hours it’s in service.
 
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to buying an ELD. At this point, numerous providers have stepped forward, offering the hardware and software necessary. For many transportation companies, this means they’ll be able to narrow their choices slightly, allowing them to find a good fit.
 

Possible Exemptions

There are instances where a transportation company may not be required to make the switch. However, they still might decide to install an ELD for their own drivers’ safety and convenience. 
 
Here are a few instances where exemptions are allowed under the rule:
 
  • Drivers using paper-based logs for eight days or fewer every 30 days
  • Drivers whose vehicles are older than model year 2000
  • Drivers who are required to track their records of duty status for eight days or fewer every 30 days
  • Drivers of tow trucks, where the vehicle being towed is the product being delivered
  • Drivers of tow trucks pulling motor homes or recreational vehicles with one or more sets of wheels on the road
 
If you have questions about the ELD mandate, we can help. Give us a call at (877) 260-1595 and we’ll give you information that can help you find the perfect solution for your shipping and transportation needs.