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ATA Addresses the ELD Mandate and Current State of OOIDA Lawsuit


Earlier this week, transportation influencers, carriers, government officials, technology providers and trucking enthusiasts gathered at the American Trucking Associations (ATA) Management Conference and Exhibition (MCE) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In an educational session, Megan Bush, ATA Manager of Safety Policy, presented an overview of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate and the pending court case filed by the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). Here is an overview of the most up-to-date requirements and court filing status.

Synopsis of the ELD mandate

The ELD mandate – or Final Rule – applies to drivers currently required to complete paper logs. Drivers have until December 18, 2017 to convert from paper logs to an electronic device. For drivers already using existing equipment such as an automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD), the mandate includes a grandfather provision providing two additional years, until December 16, 2019, to comply. There are exemptions to the rule, such as drivers who use timecards and driveaway-towaway operations, voiding the requirement of maintaining records of duty status (RODS) or other electronic equipment. The six main components of the mandate include:

  1. When using ELDs, motor carriers must set up user accounts for employed drivers required to use ELDs and support personnel authorized to manage ELD related accounts. The company owner and driver employed by the company must maintain a driver and administration account. Additionally, unassigned drive time must be accounted for and electronic log records must be kept for six months.
  2. When recording time and edits on an ELD, the device must switch to driving mode at 5mph. Driving time cannot be edited and drivers must verify any changes the carrier or owner makes to the ELD records.
  3. Supporting documentation is required from drivers and carriers in order to verify HOS compliance. Each document must contain the driver name (or a driver identification number), date, time and location.
  4. Personal conveyance provision is not limited and recorded as a special category (off-duty time). Whereas yard moves are recorded as a special category (on-duty not driving time).
  5. ELD manufacturers are required to self-certify their device in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s technical specifications, register with the FMCSA and list their device for the general public on the FMCSA’s website. Currently, many ELD providers have opted out of listing their product on the FMCSA’s public list due to their need to test and design their devices in accordance with the mandate’s technical specifications and commercial motor vehicle fleet needs.  
  6. Data transfer to law enforcement can be transmitted through one of two manners:
    1. A “telematics” pathway capable of a wireless web service and email
    2. A “local” process that provides Bluetooth and USB 2.0 transfer

In both instances, a graph grid is required on the electronic logbook display or paper printout that clearly showcases hours of service (HOS) compliance.

Status of electronic logging device court case

Shortly after the ELD mandate was finalized in late 2015, the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a lawsuit. In mid-September, the Court of Appeals heard oral arguments from OOIDA and the FMCSA. The Appeals Court judge expressed great skepticism with OOIDA’s claims. A final decision from the court is expected in late 2016 or early 2017. Megan Bush assured the audience that the ATA is confident the ELD mandate will withstand this legal challenge.

To learn more about electronic driver logs, get the ELD ebook and discover what you need to do to prepare your fleet for the FMCSA’s ELD regulation. 

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