Electronic Logging Device Rule: Midyear Update

Intended to 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, the electronic logging device (ELD) rule goes into effect on December 18, 2017.

According to the FMCSA, the rule replaces the use of AOBRDs (automatic onboard recording devices) over a four-year implementation period. The rule applies to most carriers and drivers who are required to maintain RODS, and:

  • Specifies who is covered by the rule and exceptions to it.
  • Provides for ELDS to be certified, registered, and listed on a FMCSA website.
  • Includes technical specifications to ensure ELDs are standardized and compliant.
  • Includes a phased implementation timeline to give drivers and carriers time to comply.
  • Includes provisions to help prevent data tampering and harassment of drivers.
  • Creates standard data displays and data transfer processes, making it easier to demonstrate compliance and faster to share RODS with safety officials.

The FMSCA says that the rule impacts carriers and drivers who are using paper logs or logging software (they must transition to ELDs no later than December 18, 2017); and carriers and drivers who use AOBRDS prior to the compliance date (they must transition no later than December 16, 2019).

“Here at Odyssey, we’re in the process of transitioning to full use of ELDs and will be fully compliant ahead of the December 2017 and December 2019 mandates,” said Steve Janso Director, Procurement – Package Logistics, for Odyssey Logistics. “We’ve mobilized a team to work with all our carrier partners and look forward to a full move away from paper and on-board computers to this more streamlined, compliant system.”

What You Need to Know Now:

In 14 Things You Need to Know Before ELDs Become Mandatory, Truckinginfo.com outlines some of the key points that shippers should keep in mind during the switchover to mandatory, electronic logging devices. Ranked as the “number-one issue facing the industry in the American Transportation Research Institute’s Annual Survey for 2016,” the movement to ELD is well underway, according to the publication.

“You can definitely see the wave of ELD adoption moving forward,” David Heller, vice president of government affairs at the Truckload Carriers Association, told Truckinginfo. Here are four points to keep in mind for the year-end deadline (read the full list here):

  1. It is highly unlikely that the rule will be set aside or postponed anymore. The Supreme Court has declined to hear the ELD suite brought by the OOIDA (Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
  2. The “grandfather” provision may not be as much of a reprieve as you think. “The regulatory standard for the optional electronic logs currently in use is for automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs). If you are using these, you can continue to use them for two years after the deadline,” Truckinginfo states.
  3. Drivers will have more control over editing. One big change in the ELD rules is that in order to address concerns and legal challenges about electronic logs being used to harass drivers, drivers have more control and responsibility over edits, according to Truckinginfo.
  4. Unassigned vehicle moves need to be accounted for. “If a technician needs to take the truck out for a road test or someone needs to move the truck around the yard, say to take it to the fuel dock, that driving time will be recorded in the ELD and needs to be assigned to a driver,” according to Truckinginfo.

Odyssey will continue to monitor any changes in the ELD law and the upcoming deadline and will update you as needed.