Are You Ready for the New ELD Rule?
As drivers and fleets begin to use electronic logging devices (ELDs), it may seem that they’re more trouble than they’re worth. But make no mistake – the federal ELD rule is designed to protect the safety of both drivers and the public.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the ELD rule is intended to keep fatigued drivers off the road. It also streamlines the collection and sharing of records of duty status (RODS) information by requiring drivers to use electronic devices instead of paper logbooks to record it. A side benefit of the ELD rule is that it should increase hours of service (HOS) compliance and help fleets better schedule vehicle maintenance.
The federal government first announced the requirement in 2015, but many drivers and fleets still have questions about how ELDs work and what information they must record. The website for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides in-depth information on ELDs. But as a basic overview, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about ELDS and their use.
• Who must comply with the ELD rule? The ELD rule applies to most commercial trucks and buses that maintain RODS on paper or with an automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD). It also affects contractors who manage equipment and vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds. There are a few exceptions to the compliance requirements above. These include drive-away, tow-away drivers; drivers who use paper RODS for not more than eight days out of every 30 days; drivers who operate vehicles manufactured before 2000; and drivers who operate under short-haul exceptions.
• What information must ELDs record? ELDs must monitor whether a vehicle’s engine is running, whether the vehicle is moving, how many miles are driven and the duration of engine operation. An ELD must also synch with a commercial vehicle’s engine to record HOS data.
• How is ELD data shared with law enforcement officers? During the implementation of the ELD rule, from Dec. 18, 2017, to Dec. 16, 2019, law enforcement officers may view data from an ELD on paper printouts or the device’s display screen. After the implementation period ends, ELDs must be able to transmit data electronically by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to a portable computer.
• May drivers edit ELD information? Yes, drivers may edit logs electronically, and accept or reject edits from their carriers. According to the rule, drivers are ultimately responsible for all data entered in ELDs.
Know Your ELD Options
ELDs can range from plug-in devices that capture only required information to those that collect data that fleets can use to better manage maintenance and fuel costs. Under the ELD rule, drivers and fleets must choose ELDs that are self-certified as meeting required technical standards and are registered on FMCSA’s website. The FMCSA does not certify ELDs itself.
Mack Trucks is working with Geotab Telematics and other top suppliers to offer ELD solutions that meet the needs of fleets and drivers. These devices are designed to work alone or with existing telematics systems to collect data required under the ELD rule.
Geotab’s Drive is a mobile app for Android and iOS mobile devices that can be used with a Geotab GO device to meet recording requirements. Geotab Drive works as an AOBRD, allowing drivers to record HOS logs and Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports.
Geotab also offers solutions that pair with GuardDog® Connect to deliver a range of uptime services for model year 2011 and newer trucks with Mack engines. With Geotab, GuardDog Connect and Mack ASIST™, fleet managers can do more than meet ELD rules. They also can:
• Review all fault codes in real time
• More quickly determine the underlying case of faults
• Schedule routine maintenance proactively
• Receive up-to-the-minute data on how any vehicle in a fleet is operating
Of course, we recognize that not all vehicles are equipped to use GuardDog Connect. To meet these drivers’ needs, we also offer easy-to-install ELD solutions from manufacturers such as Rand McNally, RoadLog™ and Omnitracs.
The experts at your local Mack Trucks dealership can help you explore ELD options and find a solution that meets your needs. You also can visit the SELECT Part Store™ for ELD devices that meet the FMCSA’s required technical standards. Plus, when you enroll at SELECT you’ll receive real-time stock status and pricing information from your local dealer, 24/7 online ordering, fast delivery and exclusive discounts.