The ELD Mandate requires that all fleets and drivers subject to Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations implement a compliant electronic logging device (ELD) solution by December 18, 2017. The ELD rule, as set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), is intended to improve work safety for drivers and automate the process of tracking, managing, and sharing driver duty status records. An ELD solution, which can be standalone, or part of an integrated telematics system, automatically records driving times and other HOS data.

Rules coming for the from the ELD Mandate stipulate that a compliant ELD will automatically monitor a vehicle’s engine to detect if an engine is running, to determine vehicle motion status, and record data such as miles driven and total engine hours. Other technical requirements include GPS location updates, and the ability to view a driver’s Hours-of-Service status on an ELD’s display screen or on a printout. An ELD solution can include configurations of purpose-built tablets or displays offering hard-wired or wireless connectivity to the J-bus/CAN-bus, or portable or tablets with wireless connectivity such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to the J-bus/CAN-bus.

So, who is affected by the ELD Mandate? In general, the regulations apply to: trucks in interstate commerce weighing more than 10,001 pounds; vehicles designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers for payment to the driver; vehicles designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers; and vehicles used to haul hazardous materials in quantities subject to DOT regulations. In short, over 3 million vehicles and over 3 million drivers will be affected by the new ELD regulations. As stated previously, by December 18, 2017, ELD use will be mandatory, with the caveat that companies with vehicles using legacy Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) will have a 2-year grandfather period before they are required to transition to compliant ELDs in December 2019. Despite the grandfather provision – non-compliant fleets should start planning for the transition sooner rather than later.

ELD Mandate

So, where to start? If HOS rules have not been strictly enforced, it’s advisable to start familiarizing drivers and administrators with the regulations and penalty implications of the ELD Mandate. Begin checking driver logs for accuracy and alerting drivers to any violations – instilling good HOS practices before ELD deployment occurs. Making compliance second nature will be easier with the new electronic logging devices- which will eliminate paper logs and automatically calculate HOS and other relevant data.

Deploying an ELD program can be intimidating to fleet operators – there are numerous system choices and configurations, and then there is the time a vehicle must be off the road for new system installation. An ELD program can be challenging for drivers as well, who must learn the new systems and incorporate them into the daily workflow, while trying to maintain a productive pace. Orbital Installation Technologies are experts in electronic logging device and telematics systems installations, and are equipped to help fleets of all sizes meet the compliance rules of the ELD Mandate, while minimizing fleet downtime.

Ultimately the ELD Mandate is a positive change for the transportation industry. Improvements in road safety and driver well-being will be worth the investment.