ELD rule released

December 10, 2015

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released its highly anticipated final rule, mandating the use of ELDs by interstate drivers of commercial motor vehicles who currently use a driver’s record of duty status (driver’s log) to record their hours of service.

The final rule requires motor carriers to install FMCSA-registered and certified ELDs on their commercial motor vehicles within two years of the publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Carriers who currently use automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) according to the specifications in Section 395.15 have four years.

The devices have to meet specific standards, including be connected (“integrally synchronized”) to the engine of the vehicle so that driving time can be automatically recorded. Also, the devices must automatically capture date and time, vehicle position, and vehicle operational parameters.

All FMCSA-registered and certified ELDs will be listed on FMCSA’s website: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/devices. The agency expects to have the website available by early February.

The final rule includes exceptions to the ELD requirement for short-haul drivers, drivers involved in driveaway-towaway operations, and vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.

Short haul drivers who use the 100 air-mile radius or 150 air-mile radius exceptions will be exempt from logs and ELDs, but ELDs will be required for drivers who don’t qualify for those exceptions on more than 8 days within any 30-day period.

Drivers involved in driveaway-towaway operations when the vehicle being driven is part of the shipment and drivers of vehicles that were manufactured before model year 2000 are required to continue using paper records of duty status.

The final rule also addresses supporting documents and driver harassment.

The supporting document portion of the final rule specifies five categories of documents, which are generated or received in the normal course of business, must be maintained by the driver and motor carrier. It also identifies four data elements that a document must contain to qualify as a supporting document. The supporting document provisions will go into effect two years after the publication of the final rule in the Federal Register.

The driver harassment portion of the final rule provides procedural and technical provisions designed to protect drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs.

The final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register within the next week.

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