ELDs and Construction: What You Should Know

By Brian Frederick
September 21, 2017

How the E-logs mandate affects the construction industry

There’s a lot of confusion out there about the Electronic Logging Devices Mandate that goes into effect later this year, including who and what type of machinery it applies to. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking just because you’re a contractor, it doesn’t apply to you. If you do, you could find yourself facing potentially tens of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties.

Here’s what you need to know about the E-logs law and how it applies to your construction business.

The basics

The minimum you need to know about this law is that it’s a federal regulation requiring truck and heavy equipment operators to record information about their hours of service via an automatic on-board recording device.

For an in-depth look at the law and answers to frequently asked questions, visit our ELD Mandate page.

The part that applies to construction

While the majority of individuals and companies that will be affected by this law are in trucking and transportation, there are a significant number of contractors that will need to comply as well.

In fact, any piece of vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds will be required to be ELD compliant by the December 2017 deadline.

And it’s not just trucks either. While there are exceptions for short-haul drivers (under a 100 mile radius), utility service vehicles and drive-away/tow-away operations, drop-offs and pick-ups of equipment are not always immune.

Any combined pickup/trailer combination that weighs in over the 10,000 pound limit must be included. For example, if one of your employees drives a three-quarter ton pickup to a jobsite, that vehicle is exempt. But if he attaches a trailer and tows a backhoe, putting him over the weight limit, it isn’t exempt.

Confused? Don't be. You can find a list of exceptions and answers to common questions here.

The device

To make sure you don’t end up looking at fines for non-compliance, it’s important that you have a certified solution that meets at least minimum requirements. This includes being capable of directly connecting to a machine’s engine to capture movement. They must be mounted and secured when it is moving, must feature the driver’s name, plus company information. It must record and be able to electronically transfer hours of service data to law enforcement officers, as well as being encrypted and tamper-proof.

In other words, you need a solution like ES Track.

Why ELDs are actually a benefit

It’s understandable to think ELDs are just an unnecessary cost for construction, or just another cash grab by the government. But that’s not the case. By choosing an ELD device with added functionality (ES Track, for example), you’ll find that the benefits far outweigh the costs.

By tracking and analyzing usage, routes and status, you’ll be able to identify waste and inefficiency. Predictive maintenance helps avoid costly repairs and critical breakdowns. Operator scorecards improve jobsite safety and GPS tracking eliminates fears of theft or lost equipment. And that’s not even considering the money you’ll save by avoiding fines.

Overall, the ELD mandate is going to reap many rewards. In addition to improving public safety,  the smart contractor will recognize it for the opportunity it is: a chance to improve efficiency, cut waste and operate more profitably.

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