Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) allow fleet managers to automatically store driver information along with hours of service without having to deal with the hassle of manual paperwork.
In March of 2014 the FMCSA issued a mandate, if approved, which will require interstate commercial trucks and busses to have ELDs installed in all vehicles. With the public comment period on the mandate at a close the FMCSA will take the next few months to review the feedback before crafting the final rule.
What does this mean for truckers? The mandate requires that drivers who use paper logs must switch to ELDs. In order to verify compliance the mandate also covers technical standards for electronic logging devices. In addition the mandate also sets parameters to protect drivers from harassment by forcing load planners and dispatchers to set manageable schedules and expectations for route completion. With an ELD mandate fleet owners will have two years to comply with the final rule, resulting in every interstate commercial vehicle being equipped with an electronic logging device that will store driver information and hours of service.
With change on the horizon, drivers and fleet owners should prepare for the benefits and challenges of switching to ELDs.
The ELD mandate will impact both managers and drivers. Load planners and dispatchers who are involved in the planning of driver schedules will also be held accountable for FMCSA regulation violations. With the implementation of an electronic logging device, managers will have clear visibility into a driver’s hours of service, allowing them to proactively adjust schedules to comply with regulations.
Issues With ELD
Many shippers won’t allow for trucks to remain in their lot over a certain period of time and if the driver has met their HOS limit they could be forced to violate the FMCSA regulation. However, drivers are allowed to move their vehicle for up to two hours after their HOS limit has been met if the situation is due to “unforeseen circumstances” such as weather implications.
The View From the Driver’s Seat
Fleets companies continue to face driver shortages and the current ELD mandate has many drivers frustrated with the extent of regulations. The mandate is beneficial to drivers as it improves road safety by drastically reducing driver fatigue and the risk of accidents.
How do you feel about the ELD mandate?