ELD Mandate Soon Takes Effect

by Melanie Baravik
November 27, 2017

Phase 2, phased in

There’s less than a month before Phase 2 of the ELD Mandate takes effect and about two years until the final Phase 3 effective date. Phase 2 accepts AOBRDs installed before December 18, 2017 as compliant, but all new hours-of-service (HOS)-recording devices must be ELDs. This means that they’re self-certified and registered with the FMCSA and their specs are in compliance with the Mandate. When Phase 3 is implemented on December 16, 2019, ELDs will be the law of the land and AOBRDs a thing of the past.

AOBRDs track drivers’ location at the change of each duty status, manually or automatically — that’s the only criteria they must meet. ELDs, on the other hand, have to be hooked up to vehicle engines and automatically record data, including location, speed, miles driven and engine hours. Both devices record HOS information, but ELDs are a little more technical and keep track of more information.

ELD compliance grace period

In August, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) announced that carriers and drivers will not be put out of service for noncompliance with Phase 2 until after April 1, 2018. During this grace period, drivers will be issued citations if they’re still using paper logs, but they won't be forced to stop operations. On April 1, the CVSA issues an updated North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Handbook and Pictorial and carriers can be shut down for not using an approved ELD.

It’s important to note that while AOBRDs are compliant devices until 2019, none can be installed after this year’s December 18 deadline. So, if you’re planning to install an AOBRD, you don’t have long — but you can skip the extra step, upgrade to an ELD and avoid the headache when AOBRDs are no longer accepted.

Recently, the FMCSA said drivers that are issued citations during the grace period won’t receive points against their Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score. CSA scores reflect driver safety and help identify risky carriers — points are assessed against drivers cited for texting and driving, maintenance and HOS violations, among other illegal behaviors.

Earlier this week, the FMCSA issued a statement about a few more exceptions being made to help carriers and drivers around the country ease into ELD compliance. According to the statement, the agency will release a 90-day exemption for agricultural commodities carriers and further guidance for their HOS rules. The FMCSA will also provide more information about the Mandate’s personal conveyance provision. These resources should be available before December 18.

ELDs for construction fleets

Though you might think your mixed construction fleet is exempt from the Mandate, double check before the deadline passes. Some of your vehicles will need an ELD if they meet certain criteria:
• Vehicles or a combination vehicles and equipment (e.g. truck and trailer) weighing more than 10,000 pounds
• Interstate commercial vehicles required to keep records of duty status (RODS)
• Vehicles with hazmat placards
• Passenger vehicles with more than 8 or 15 passengers (depending on class)

While the ELD Mandate has most notably impacted the trucking industry, construction is one of many others that will still feel its effects. ES Track was created by contractors, for contractors, and goes beyond ELD compliance to give you a bird’s-eye view of every asset and jobsite. Get a certified ELD solution and easily manage your mixed construction fleet, together in one dashboard. Still have questions? See the FMCSA’s FAQs and subscribe to The Yard for future updates.

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