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Electronic Logging Device Rule: What Does It Mean For You?

In December 2015, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) published its Electronic Logging Device (ELD) final rule. Most motor carriers and drivers who are currently required to complete paper logs to document record of duty status (RODS) will be required to use ELDs beginning in December 2017.

All ELDs must capture, transfer, and display an identical data set regarding a driver’s hours of service status for enforcement purposes. Compliant devices must automatically record the following elements at certain intervals:

  • DateElectronic Logging Device
  • Time
  • Location Information
  • Engine Hours
  • Vehicle
  • Vehicle Miles
  • Motor Carrier
  • Authenticated User
  • Identification Information for the driver

At a minimum, ELDs must be able to transfer data using either wireless (via wireless web services and email) OR local (via Bluetooth and USB). To ensure that data transfer is possible when there are connectivity issues, all devices must be equipped to provide either a digital display or paper printout of the standardized information set when requested by an enforcement official. Devices not using a printing method as a backup method must be designed so that the digital display is reasonably viewable by an inspector without him/her entering the commercial motor vehicle.

ELD providers must register through a FMCSA website and certify that their products meet the technical specifications. FMCSA will maintain a list of provider-certified ELD devices on the agency’s website.

Changes to Supporting Documents

Under the new rule, motor carriers must retain up to eight supporting documents for every driver for each 24-hour period. These documents come from several different categories, including:

  • Bills of lading, itineraries, schedules, or equivalent documents that indicate the origin and destination of each trip
  • Dispatch records, trip records, or equivalent documents
  • Expense receipts
  • Electronic mobile communication records that reflect information transmitted through a fleet management system
  • Payroll records, settlement sheets, or equivalent documents that indicate payment to a driver

Exceptions to the Final Rule

  • Drivers who use paper RODS for no more than 8 days during any 30 day period
  • Drivers who conduct driveaway/towaway operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000

 Summary of information from Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Learn more at www.cvsa.org


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