For us members of the American trucking community, a considerably significant new policy is about to be implemented that will likely change the industry forever. In 2012 the United States Congress a bill dubbed the “Moving Ahead for progress in the 21st century” or MAP-21 for short. The bill covered a number of stipulations which carry relevance in the trucking industry. For truckers, perhaps the most pertinent element of MAP-21 is the provision that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implement a ruling regarding mandatory usage of Electronic logging device (ELD) technology. So, you might be asking, what the hell is an ELD exactly, and what does the new ELD mandate have to do with me? We’ll try and break it down for you.
The essential function of an ELD is to electronically record a driver’s Record Of Duty Status (RODS). In this regard, an ELD serves as a substitute for a driver manually logging their compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) requirements via pen and paper.
Ostensibly, ELD technology is being mandated for the purpose of ensuring road safety and reducing injuries and fatalities involving trucks and buses. The rationale essentially boils down to the notion that an electronic device is more accountable than pen and paper when it comes to ensuring compliance with HOS policy, and the US congress is looking to crackdown on overworked drivers on the road. As the ELD Mandate official fact sheet says, with the use of an ELD “Drivers always know where they stand on compliance and they always have a current log.”
ELD manufacturers will be required to self-administer their product’s compliance with a number of mandatory statutes.
There are 3 primary functions which ELD devices must perform in order to comply with the mandate:
1) All ELDs must employ Integral Synchronization, which is basically a system that automatically captures an engine’s power status, vehicle motion status, miles driven and engine hours.
2) ELDs must maintain the ability to record location information. Under the new mandate location information must be recorded at each change of duty status, once every 60 minutes that the vehicle is in motion, at all engine-on engine-off instances and at the beginning and ending of all personal use instances or yard moves.
3) All ELDs must contain a graph grid display. This is basically a function that presents a graph grid of a driver’s daily duty status changes either on a digital display unit or via printout.
Once officially implemented, the ELD mandate will apply to all drivers who are currently required to keep RODS in eight or more days out of every 30 days. In this regard, short haul drivers who fall under hours of service exemption will not be required to comply. Overall, the FMCSA estimates that the mandate will affect approximately 3.1 million trucks and about 3.4 million drivers.
The date of final ruling regarding ELD implementation has been shifted around several times, but as of mid September the FMCSA is expected to finalize all official ELD statutes and requirements by October 30. Once finalized, drivers and fleets will have 2 years to reach full compliance and will be required to have a fully functional electronic logging device installed in their trucks. As for fleets that already implement ELD technology, they will have until 2019 to ensure compliance with the late October ruling.
In the next few weeks we’ll be taking a closer look at the ELD implementation by laying out some of the options currently available.Posted by