The ELD mandate set by the DOT effects most drivers. According to the guidelines set forth by the FMCSA, there are only a few ELD exemptions. 

Why Are ELD Standards So Strict?

It’s about safety.

The goal of these strict ELD standards is to ensure safer working environments for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. That makes our highways safer as well.  The rule also makes it easier to track hours of service (HOS) data.  As a result, there has been a decrease in the number of accidents involving commercial motor vehicles by preventing driver fatigue.  For these reasons, the number of exemptions remains low because any driver on America’s highways needs rest to recharge and be alert to prevent accidents and injuries.  

The largest number of at-fault accidents involving commercial motor vehicles happen in the last hour of an 8-hour driving period.  Drivers who are paid by the mile often don’t want to stop to rest, so they take a chance.  To address this problem, the ELD was designed to automatically record driving time.  The device monitors the vehicle’s engine to capture the following information:

  1. Whether the engine is running.
  2. If the vehicle is moving.
  3. How many miles were driven
  4. Number of hours the engine was in operation

Do you qualify for ELD Exemptions?

Drivers who:

  • Use the timecard exception
  • Use paper RODs no more than 8 days out of 30
  • Operate vehicles manufactured before 2000
  • Operate driveaway/towaway operations if the vehicle is the delivery or is a motor home or recreation vehicle trailer

Vehicles that:

  • Are manufactured before 2000
  • Have engines older than 2000 even though the vehicle is newer

Mobile home transporters are not exempt.  Also, drivers living outside the US but driving within the US are not exempt.  

Motor carriers need to provide documentation to support their ELD exemption status, however, drivers do not need to carry the documentation.  

Most CMVs must comply with the ELD mandate, and as a result, their operation can reap several benefits.  

Benefits of ELDs Beyond Compliance

Many drivers and fleet owners are still on the fence about the ELD rule.  But eventually, they may find that their operation is enjoying a few benefits they didn’t expect such as:

  • Save time due to reduced paperwork
  • Prevent fuel waste by monitoring your idling time,
  • Improve your efficiency and productivity with automatic monitoring of vehicle diagnostics,
  • GPS tracking, which helps drivers and fleet managers plan routes and assign loads,
  • Tracking driving behaviors to improve a fleet’s CSA scores,
  • ELD data can be used as evidence in accidents to determine whether or not a driver was at fault
  • Improved fleet safety and reduced risk of vehicle theft or hijacking, which reduces insurance premiums
  • Fewer accidents due to efficient route management, reduced driver fatigue, and improved driving behaviors

Overall, CMV companies also enjoy increased profits due to all the above, so maybe it’s a better tool than you first thought.     

What Happens if You Are Not Compliant With the ELD Mandate?

It has been a few years now since the implementation of FMCSA’s mandate that requires all truck drivers to install ELD devices in their truck’s dashboards to collect and communicate relevant driving data, with the purpose of promoting driver safety. 

Unless exempted from the mandate, then, by now, you are already familiar with the added guidelines that the mandate ensues. 

The mandate may have at first been bothersome, but it has proven to be effective at decreasing the number of accidents as a result of driver fatigue. And, though many fleet operators and drivers have indeed complied with the mandate, those who do not will find that their lives as a trucker will become much more difficult, to the extent of possibly losing their CDL license entirely. 

Violators of FMCSA’s mandate can face many consequences, namely:

  • Receiving steep fines
  • Suspension of license
  • Having CDL revoked
  • Being fired from their company
  • Accidents due to not complying with HOS rule
  • Being sued as a result of accidents

Simply stated, all truckers without ELD exemptions must adapt to the new mandate. Luckily, TruckingOffice supplies an ELD system for trucking with integrated TMS so that drivers can get their jobs done in the simplest, most user-friendly way possible. 

Finding the Right ELD for Your Trucking Company

If you are searching for a reliable, easy-to-use ELD, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the false promises and bad products.  Take a short break from all that and check out the features of our TruckingOffice ELD.  We offer an affordable, simple to install, and easy to understand device that you need to have on board, regardless of the size of your operation.  

Our product was designed by truckers for truckers, so we know what you need to be compliant with the ELD mandate.  When used in conjunction with our TMS, you will save time, improve safety, and increase profits with fewer headaches along the way.

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