The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a ruling that makes the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) mandatory for most motor carriers and drivers. Carriers who currently use papers logs must have ELDs installed and in use by December 18, 2017 to be considered compliant.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) — Technology for Hours-of-Service
According to the official definition by the FMCSA, an electronic logging device (or ELD) is “technology that automatically records a driver’s driving time and other aspects of the hours-of-service (HOS) records.”
The device synchronizes with the engine of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to record driving time and monitors important information such as location, engine hours, vehicle movement, and miles driven.
What are the Benefits of ELDs?
ELDs have many important benefits for fleets, including:
- Dramatically reducing the amount of time that truck drivers and administrators spend on paperwork.
- Simplifying the process of keeping Records of Duty Status.
- Reducing the cost associated with paper logbooks and processing.
- Decreasing the risk of errors in record-keeping.
- Increasing the efficiency of inspections.
In addition to reducing the cost and burden related to paperwork, ELDs can increase fleet productivity, compliance, and most importantly, driver safety.
Compliance Goes Mobile
A smartphone or tablet can be used as part of the ELD solution provided that it meets the FMCSA’s technical specifications and is certified and registered.
The Geotab Drive mobile app for Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR), Hours-of-Service (HOS), and Driver Identification, can be used on an Android or iOS phones and tablets. The smart driver app syncs data between the Geotab GO device and a tablet to provide numerous functions, such as automatic duty status changes, violation alerts, among others, and complete end-to-end inspection workflow.
My Fleet Uses AOBRDs. Do I still need to adopt ELDs?
According to the FMCSA, all motor carriers and drivers must be using only ELDs by the compliance deadline of December 16, 2019. However, during the first two phases of transition and compliance (four years from the date of publication of the final rule), the FMCSA permits the use of automatic on board recording devices (AOBRDs).
It’s wise to start evaluating and selecting ELDs as soon as possible. By beginning the process now, you can leave enough time for implementation and training, and as well, your fleet can start taking advantage of great benefits that ELDs offer.
Note: If you are using paper logs for Hours-of-Service, you must be using ELDs by December 18, 2017. Refer to the FMCSA’s website for more information on compliance.
Quick Guide to the FMCSA’s ELD Mandate