In December 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) passed its new ELD rule which requires fleets to replace paper logbooks with electronic logging devices. The goal is to ensure Hours of Service compliance and “help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier and faster to accurately track, manage and share records of duty status (RODS) data.”
While we’ve previously answered questions about what this means to you and your fleet business, our team continues to field a number of questions from both current and potential customers. Today, let’s dispel a bit of confusion with a roundup of questions and answers to help you come into compliance.
What is the timeline to come into compliance?
Here are the phases and dates you need to know at this point:
- December 2015 – December 18, 2017: Using ELDs is voluntary. Paper logs and AOBRDs are accepted. However, you should be planning and preparing!
- December 18, 2017: By this date, you must have installed a registered ELD or an AOBRD/ELD that is not yet certified. These non-registered devices fall under the “grandfather clause” and provide two extra years to come into full compliance. Paper logs are no longer acceptable.
- December 16, 2019: ALL drivers, fleets and carriers must now have certified and registered ELDs that comply with all regulations installed on their vehicles.
Does the new ELD mandate apply to my fleet?
According to the FMCSA, there are a few exceptions to the rule, including:
- Drivers/fleets operating short-haul
- Drivers/fleets logging a maximum of 8 days out of 30
- Drive-away-tow-away operations where the vehicle driven is the commodity
- Vehicles manufactured before the year 2000 (ELD use is voluntary, info here)
When December 18, 2017 comes, what if I’m not compliant?
As long as you have an AOBRD or ELD installed by this date, you qualify for the grandfather clause giving you another two years to come into compliance or for your device provider/manufacturer to certify and register their device. Your final date for compliance is now December 16, 2019.
What happens if my registered ELD ends up being non-compliant?
With many providers, including several new and unknown companies rushing to capitalize on making the FMCSA list, it’s possible that their “self-certification” testing will not be as thorough as necessary to meet the specs listed in the mandate’s 440-page document. This includes the transfer of raw data files to an external FMCSA application called Electronic Record of Duty Status (ERODS), an application which is not yet fully developed, much less available for testing right now.
If your ELD is audited and/or removed from the FMCSA list because it is not compatible with the ERODS application, or for any other reason, the provider is not required to notify you. You’ll likely find out roadside when you’re cited and given a one-time notice. At that point, you will only have 8 days to swap out the device or risk having your vehicle placed out of service. For a more widespread issue, you will need to work directly with the FMCSA to create a timeframe for replacing all of your ELDs.
Isn’t President Trump going to overturn the ELD mandate?
According to an article published late last year by Overdrive, it’s not likely that Trump will touch the new ELD rule. With a Republican-led Congress responsible for passing the new mandate, it would be unusual for a GOP candidate to roll back a regulation implemented by his party. If a Trump reform were to occur, it would likely occur after the current compliance dates, if at all.
Does Spireon have a compliant ELD available?
We are now in the process of meticulously certifying and registering our FleetLocate FL7 device. To best serve our customers and avoid any issues down the road, we are waiting for the FMCSA’s Electronic Record of Duty Status (ERODS) application to be ready for testing. Once we’re able to vet the raw data transfer, we’ll be able to properly certify the FL7 for ELD compliance.
Part of our FleetLocate Compliance solution, the FL7 plug-and-play device also offers business intelligence that surpasses the HOS information provided by other vendors. It enables real-time monitoring of your fleet vehicles, driver performance and behavior tracking, plus advanced engine diagnostics that alert you for maintenance and repairs. It’s the ideal solution for better management, efficiency and safety.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what the new FMCSA rule means for your fleet and how to come into compliance. At Spireon, we’re committed to providing you with the best information available through each phase and will update you again if we continue to receive questions. If you have any, keep them coming! And to learn more about our FL7 and FleetLocate Advanced, just get in touch.