In 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) kicked-off the new ELD mandate. The mandate stipulates that by December 16, 2019, all commercial motor carriers must have an electronic logging device. The device tracks hours of service by recording vehicle miles, engine hours, date, time, and location.
The mandate replaces previous methods of tracking hours of service (HOS) such as AOBRDs or EOBRs, which keep Record of Duty Statuses (RODs). However, the official federal HOS rules remain the same but will be more easily enforced due to the automatic logging capabilities. ELDs must meet specific standards recommended by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association.
How Will ELD Standards Change in 2020?
Since 2017, the transition to ELD has been gradual. The majority of motor carrier operations added the devices during the first few months of 2018. Operations that were already using AOBRDs have until December 16, 2019, to make the switch to ELDs.
However, by 2020, all US-based commercial motor vehicles must have an ELD installed to be in compliance with the mandate.
So far, enforcement officials have allowed fleet owners and operators time to change to ELDs. However, that window is slowly closing. Drivers may have to do roadside inspections of enforcing the mandate. To avoid penalties, fleet operators and independents need to have the following on-board at all times:
- Paper log sheets as back-up;
- An ELD user manual;
- A certified, registered, regulation-compliant ELD;
- Instruction sheet for reporting ELD malfunctions; and
- Instructions for data transfer mechanisms supported by the ELD.
According to the standards, non-exempt drivers without compliant ELDs or grandfathered AOBRDs will receive a fine. These fines can be hefty, upwards to thousands of dollars.
Upcoming Issues and Concerns to Think About
Trucking is one of the most common jobs in the United States, and implementing the ELD mandate is a massive undertaking. Things are bound to go wrong, but, in the end, the devices will improve highway safety dramatically. Several concerns have yet to be worked out that can cause issues in the coming months and years, such as:
- ELD isn’t allowed everywhere – Some areas prohibit commercial vehicles having an ELD. These areas include any US government or government contractor facilities.
- Crowded rest stops – Drivers pushed past their hourly driving limits need to log more frequent rest hours.
- More tickets and fines – Operators who resist complying with the new standard for installing the devices face stiff penalties. However, the number of tickets will drop once drivers and operators have complied with the mandate’s rules.
To ensure that you aren’t caught off-guard, start looking for an ELD provider today. It’s going to take time to make the change and learn how to use the device properly. Plus, if you have a fleet, you’ll need plenty of time to train drivers and other personnel on using the system.
TruckingOffice Has the Solution for Your ELD Needs
With the TruckingOffice ELD System, getting compliant is quick and affordable. The easy plug-and-play feature will have you feeling like a pro in no time. You’ll appreciate the flexibility that allows you to use your own devices whether you’re using an Android, iPhone, or a tablet.
Our ELD system is FMCSA certified and highly recommended by truckers who are already enjoying the benefits of our product. We have experts available to assist you in any way to be sure the process of switching is as stress-free as possible.
Time is running out. Get started today to be sure there are no unexpected delays. Sign up for your TruckingOffice ELD System here.