The ELD Mandate

What You Need to Know About Electronic Logging Devices

Every fleet manager has two main goals: making their fleet safer and improving efficiency. With the rise of new technology, these aims are no longer mutually exclusive. But if you’re dragging your feet about adopting new technology, you’re running out of time. The ELD Mandate is a new law that goes into effect later this year, making vehicle Record of Duty Status (RODS) tracking mandatory.

Find the answers to frequently
asked questions about the law and
how it impacts contractors.
  • What is the ELD Mandate?

  • Why is this law being enacted?

  • When does it go into effect?

  • What does this mean for contractors?

  • Are there exceptions?

  • How will it impact your business?

  • What happens if you don’t comply?

  • What comes next?

  • What solution is best for your needs?

What is the ELD Mandate?

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate is a U.S. federal regulation requiring operators of commercial motor vehicles and heavy machinery to record data related to vehicle operation and driver hours of service (HOS).  This law requires replacing paper logs or other non-compliant recording devices with Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD).

Why is this law being enacted?

Driver fatigue plays a major factor in many accidents. The goal of the ELD Mandate is to promote safer operation habits by ensuring HOS limits are not exceeded. Automated reporting eliminates the possibility for error or miscalculation. It has been estimated ELDs will prevent 26 deaths per year and save more than $1 billion on paperwork.

When does it go into effect?

The ELD mandate went into effect in February 2016, and all drivers must be compliant with the law by December 18, 2017. From that date until December 16, 2019, drivers can use Automatic On Board Recording Devices (AOBRDS) installed prior to December 2017 and certified, registered ELDs. After December 2019, all drivers must use certified, registered ELDs to be fully complaint with the mandate.

What does this mean for contractors?

A common misconception is that this mandate will only impact the trucking industry. In reality, any operator who is required by law to track HOS must comply with this law.

Specifically, this includes:

  • Any vehicle (including construction vehicles) weighing more than 10,000 pounds
  • Interstate commercial vehicles currently required to keep RODS
  • Vehicles equipped with hazmat placards
  • Passenger vehicles with more than 8 or 15 passengers (depending on class)

Are there exceptions?

Yes, there are exceptions. These include:

  • Short-haul drivers with a timecard exception (those who operate within a 100 mile radius)
  • Non-CDL freight drivers operating within a 150 mile radius
  • Drivers who use paper RODS for 8 or fewer days in a 30-day period
  • Vehicles manufactured before 2000
  • Drive-away/tow-away operations where the vehicle is the commodity
  • Slow-moving equipment like cranes that are statistically not a risk to the traveling public
  • Utility Service Vehicles (USV) that are necessary to maintain public utility services

How will it impact your business?

In basic terms, ELDs provide an electronic solution for fleet owners to save time by making it faster and easier to accurately track, manage and share RODS. Telematics solutions that fulfill the requirement give contracts and mixed fleets many advantages, including the ability to see and track the health and status of each piece of equipment, gauge asset utilization and identify where efficiency can be improved.

Additionally, this creates an opportunity to create a safer work environment for drivers and operations, especially on the jobsite where safety always comes first. With the insight ELD telematics data provides, managers can easily and accurately track HOS, ensuring regulation compliance and protecting drivers against fatigue.

While ELD adoption is inevitable, there are many advantages and benefits to embracing these new technologies. From simplified HOS logging to more effective asset management, the telematics solutions provided can have a positive, long-lasting effect on your fleet.

What happens if you don’t comply?

Compliance enforcement comes in the form of hefty fines, with an initial estimation of $8,672 per violation, per machine.

What comes next?

The growth and improvement of technology continues pushing mixed fleets towards improved efficiency and safety. With more accurate data, fleet managers will be able to make better decisions about how and where their fleet is allocated, which in turn will lead to improved profitability. The future is about interconnectivity and this is just the first step.

What solution is best for your needs?

Because ELDs will be a requirement, it's important for contractors to get maximum ROI on their purchase by choosing a telematics solution build specifically for their needs. Mixed fleet and construction-specific solutions give insight into each and every piece of equipment instead of just aggregating data on a basic compliance-driven level.

By using an ELD built specifically for the construction industry, contractors, operators and managers can track issues, gauge maintenance and proactively (instead of reactively) manage their equipment. With the insights and data provided by these types of systems, contractors can cut necessary costs and spending, take a preventative approach to maintenance and steer clear of technical and mechanical issues. The end result is lower costs, better management and increased asset utilization.

Contractors and owners who embrace the ELD mandate can begin making more informed decisions when it comes to their machinery, and ultimately elevate their return on investment for a more successful business and fleet.