ELD Compliance And Implementation Solutions — Are You Ready?
For fleet professionals, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Electronic Logging Device Mandate (ELD) is not new news. Since early 2016, the FMCSA has been working to raise awareness about the coming deadline and new requirements. Yet as 2017 draws to a close, the deadline is becoming less of something to talk about and more of a reality. In a few months, your fleet will need to be fully compliant, which means now is the time to ensure you understand the mandate well.
December Deadline Is Approaching
According to the FMCSA website, all motor carriers and drivers who are subject to the ELD rule are required to make the switch by Dec. 18, 2017. The only exception to this deadline? Those fleets that are exempt from the mandate altogether and those drivers and carriers who are already using a grandfathered automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD).
The implementation of the mandate has taken place in several phases. Phase I is defined as Awareness and Transition Phase, and this is the time when the FMCSA works to make carriers aware of the mandate so they can make the transition by the Dec. 18 deadline. During this time, carriers are allowed to voluntarily use ELDs, but are allowed to use paper logs and logging software. The goal of Phase 1 is to ensure that all carriers are equipped with the right knowledge to be compliant by the deadline.
Phase 2, the Phased-In Compliance Phase, spans two years from Dec. 18, 2017 to Dec. 16, 2019. During this time, drivers and carriers who are not exempt from the ELD mandate must use certified and registered ELDs, or they can use AOBRDs that were installed prior to the Dec. 18, 2017 deadline.
Phase 3 is the Full Compliance Phase. On Dec. 16, 2019, all drivers and carriers who are not exempt from the ELD mandate must use registered ELDs that comply with the requirements of the mandate. After this date, the AOBRDs will no longer suffice.
What does this mean for your fleet? It means that, unless you are already using an AOBRD or are exempt from the mandate, you only have a little time to find, register, implement and train your staff to use an ELD device. Now is the time to start the search for a device that fits your fleet's needs and budget.
Who Is Required to Comply?
All commercial motor vehicles are required to comply with the ELD mandate, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions include:
• Drivers who are not required to maintain paper records of duty status (RODS) for more than eight days out of every 30.
• Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, and the vehicle they drive is the item being delivered.
• Vehicles manufactured before the year 2000.
Unless your fleet falls into these categories, you are required to comply with the deadline by Dec. 18, 2017, or face hefty penalties if you do not.
Understanding the Requirement
To avoid fines and penalties, carriers and drivers need to understand what defines an approved device. According to the FMCSA, an ELD that is compliant with the mandate will:
• Record driver's driving times automatically
• Accurately record the driver's hours of service
• Meet all technical specifications of the mandate
• Be integrally synchronized with the commercial motor vehicle's engine
The devices must also be equipped with anti-harassment and anti-tampering technology, such as mute buttons that prevent the carrier from interrupting a driver's sleep and limited ability to edit ELD records stored on the device. These offer important protections to honest drivers who are striving to maintain proper hours of duty.
The device includes data such as:
• Vehicle geographic location information
• Engine hours
• Vehicle miles
• Driver or authenticated user identification
• Vehicle identification
• Motor carrier identification
The ELD mandate does not remove the requirement to retain supporting documents that verify HOS compliance, but it does make it easier by allowing those documents to be in digital format. Under the new mandate, all carriers must retain a maximum of eight supporting documents per every 24-hour period, for a total of six months. The electronic log device solutions allow for these records to be automatically retained in a digital format, making compliance with these requirements much easier.
Understanding the risk of non-compliance is also critical. Under the mandate, federal penalties have been put in place to fine those drivers and carriers who do not comply by Dec. 18. The fines are hefty, too, with the initial calculated fine for a violation being several thousands of dollars. The amount of time will depend on the other circumstances surrounding the violation, but it will be a large one.
ELD Compliance Solutions With Track Your Truck
With the right solutions in place, ELD compliance doesn't have to be complicated. Track Your Truck offers fully functional, approved FMCSA electronic log device solutions that allow you to quickly and easily implement this technology into your fleet. With our FMCSA ELD mandate solutions, you can be fully prepared for the changes coming with the mandate, and move forward with confidence knowing that your fleet is fully compliant. Find out more about our compliant GPS tracking devices and electronic logging devices, and make the decision now to upgrade your tracking system to a compliant one before the deadline hits.
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