Electronic Logging Devices: The New Rule

In December of 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published its final rule regarding electronic logging devices (ELDs). This policy change replaces the paper logbook system that many trucking companies previously used, with the goals of this policy change including greater accuracy and compliance with hours-of-service regulations. In December of 2017, the FMCSA’s rule on ELDs went into effect, requiring most commercial motor vehicle carriers to comply beginning December 18, 2017.

There are some exceptions to this requirement of ELD compliance:

  • Some companies have been using automatic on-board recording devices (AORBDs). Company fleets that were already equipped with AORBDs prior to December 2017 can continue to use them. They will have until December 2019 to comply with the new ELD rules.
  • The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance issued a statement that it would implement a “soft launch” of the new ELD rule. Under this soft launch, roadside enforcement personnel would begin documenting violations of the rule on December 18, 2017, and would additionally issue citations at the discretion of each jurisdiction. Until April 1, 2018, however, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance stated drivers would not be placed out of service for non-compliance. From April 1, 2018 onwards, drivers who are not in compliance with the new ELD rule are subject to being placed out of service by roadside enforcement personnel.

Finally, it is possible for an employer to meet the requirements of the new ELD rule by requiring drivers to use smartphones, tablets, or other wireless devices. The FMCSA has made clear that this is acceptable so long as the smartphone, tablet, or other wireless device still meets the technical specifications laid out in the ELD rule.

Is your employer’s fleet of trucks non-compliant with the new ELD rule? Is your employer still requiring drivers to use only paper logs? Give us a call ((952) 657-5780) if you’d like a free consultation to discuss your situation!