Everything You Need To Know About ELD Compliance And Its Impact

The trucking business is an integral part of the economy and is worth more than $ 700 billion in the United States alone. Thus, over the years, the trucking business has witnessed some massive transformations. One such was the increase in the use of technology, which replaced the old traditional ways to save time and effort.

Among the many technological aids, one which stood out amongst the others was the use of ELD. Gradually, many operators started adapting to this new technology. However, FMSCA implemented the ELD mandate and gave a strict deadline of December 17, 2017, for all the operators to work in compliance with this rule.

In this article, you will find everything you need to know about ELD compliance and how it impacts you.

What Are ELDs?

To understand the ELD final rule, you must have a clear idea of what ELDs are. Electronic Logging Devices, or ELDs from here on, are electronic hardware that used to record the driving hours of commercial motor vehicles. 

An ELD is attached to the motor vehicle and synchronizes with its engine. The ELD, thus, can capture and transmit various sorts of data such as motor vehicle information, driver information, engine status, location of the vehicle, and distance covered.

Before the introduction of ELD, the trucking industry used the traditional method of paper logs, which were maintained manually. Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) later came as a good alternation, but it still lacked many features that ELD now provides.

What Is ELD Compliance? 

FMSCA implemented the ELD mandate or ELD Final Rule, which came into fruition in December 2017. As per the ELD mandate, it became mandatory for commercial motor vehicles to use ELDs. The primary goal of FMSCA was to create safe driving environments.

According to a study, fatigue was the primary reason behind 20% of road accidents. The increasing cases of such accidents led to changes in rules and regulations governing the driving hours of motor vehicles, called Hours of Service.

To be compliant with the ELD mandate, you must ensure the following,

  • First and foremost, you must have an ELD installed. FMSCA specified the features which ELDs need to have, such as internal synchronization with control engine, automatic recording of driving details, and electronic data transfer.
  • Apart from having an ELD installed, you must also take the necessary precautions while purchasing your ELDs. The FMSCA has a list of self-certified and registered ELDs. However, even if the manufacturer is on the list, it can not be guaranteed that the ELD is fully compliant with the ELD mandate.
  • There are certain documents drivers and carriers must have on-board such as user’s manual describing how to operate ELD, and supply of driver’s RODS graph-grids.

Should You Be ELD Compliant?

As you must have been wondering all along, should you be worried about the ELD final rule?  The ELD mandate applies to all the commercial motor vehicles who must main maintain a Record of Duly Status (RODS).

Since 2017, FMSCA has granted the following exemptions:

  • Engines manufactured before 2000 are safe from the ELD final rule. It is primarily because these vehicles lack the Engine Control Module, which is required to install ELD.
  • If you are a tow-away driver or if you are responsible for transporting commercial motor vehicles, you shouldn’t be worried about having an ELD.
  • Drivers who have RODS of 8 days or less are also not required to have an ELD.
  • FMSCA also exempts drivers who specifically cover short routes. This exemption applies to two groups, 100 air-mile, and 150 air-mile.
  • FMSCA also provides exemptions to UPS and Motion Pictures Association truck drivers.

Impact Of ELD Mandate

The ELD mandate has brought notable changes in the trucking industry. ELD mandate has made it necessary to replace the paper logs and AOBRD with ELD. Although ELDs can be costly, it also has several benefits that will help you in the long run. 

  • FMSCA predicts that ELDs can prevent up to 26 deaths per year.  ELDs can save more than $1 billion per year from the paperwork itself.
  • ELDs will save a considerable amount of time for drivers by eliminating the time required to fill and verify paper logs. Thus, improving your productivity.
  • 81% of large fleets with more than 250 trucks have fully adapted to the ELDs. The smaller fleets, however, have not been as quick as the former. Only 33% of such fleets have installed ELDs to their motor vehicles. The most significant reason for the same is the cost of installing ELDs, which smaller fleets are hesitant to invest.
  • ELD mandate plays a vital role in preventing the harassment of drivers by carriers. Carriers can no longer force drivers to drive more than their HOS. It also encourages them to file complaints against such incidents.

What You Can Do

At this point, it is hard to deny the importance of ELD and the benefits it brings to the table.  There are several reasons why you should use ELDs, even if the ELD mandate does not apply to you. Despite its shortcomings, ELDs will yield better results in the long run. Many companies provide ELD Compliance solutions, and one of such is Samsara.

Samsara is a fleet management solution that provides many services to help increase your productivity regardless of the size of your fleet. The efficient equipment tracking by Samsara allows you to monitor your motor vehicles with ease, and equip you to standards of Samsara safety and efficiency.

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