Pre-ELD Predictions Ran the Gamut
Have ELDs Worked?
- Motorist safety
- The $1.6 billion in paperwork savings
- Financial Burden on small truckers
- Adding time to freight movements
- Trucks with pre-2000 engines. This is specific to the engine, not the chassis. The FMCSA had initially said that pre-2000 trucks would be exempt based on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), but later revised that to be vehicles with engines that were built in 1999 or earlier regardless of the VIN.
- Trucks using AOBRDs (until December 2019). This is an extension, not an exemption. The FMCSA gave a short-term extension to trucks who had an automatic on-board recording device (AOBRDs) installed prior to the December 18, 2017 deadline.
- Drivers who use the short-haul, timecard exceptions. These drivers are not required to keep records of duty status (RODS) or use ELDs.
- Drivers who are required to keep RODS, but not more than 8 days within any 30-day period.
- Drivers conducting a drive-away-tow-away operation. For instance, if the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered, or if the vehicle being transported is a motorhome or recreational vehicle trailer. Such vehicles aren’t required to use ELDS.
- Certain agriculture shipments. If the commodities are being shipped within a 150-air mile radius from their source, the truck doesn’t require an ELD. This exemption also applies to the movement of supplies and equipment for agricultural use from a wholesale or retail distribution point.
The ELD Mandate ranked as a top issue for commercial drivers and motor carriers, according to the ATRI Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry report. The October 2018 report indicates that trucking companies and drivers are still adjusting to the mandate, even months after the enforcement deadline. What the ELD mandate really brings attention to are the Hours of Service (HOS) rules, which is now the number two issue for carriers and number three issue for motor carriers, according to ATRI. With paper logs, there was wiggle room that allowed truck drivers to make their way down the road to find parking, but with ELDs, there is less (or perhaps no) wiggle room. HOS rules, set by the FMCSA, limit driving times to no more than 11 hours a day within a 14-hour workday. Drivers must then be off duty for 10 consecutive hours before they can drive again. With the use of electronic logging, many drivers have complained that they are put in the situation to try and make their destination before their drive-time clock runs out. Some argue that this goes against the original purpose of HOS rules to make roads safer. In September 2018, the FMCSA sought public comment on revising certain areas of the current HOS regulations. The FMCSA is looking at expanding areas of the 14-hour on duty limitations. Some areas up for discussion are drivers who encounter adverse driving conditions could gain two additional hours of drive-time. Another is a revision to the 30-minute break time for truck drivers after eight continuous hours of driving. A third is to reinstate the option for splitting the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers who operate trucks with a sleeper-berth compartment. The intent of the FMCSA is to look at the rules and evaluate potential changes so as to alleviate any unnecessary burdens being placed on drivers. The FMCSA has not indicated when any changes would be announced.