ELD Mandate: What's Required?

The FMCSA has finally published its mandate regarding electronic logging devices (ELDs). Carriers will have to start using electronic logs to record hours of service in two years—by Dec. 16, 2017.

Owner-operators were hoping for an exception, but the FMCSA didn’t exempt small businesses from the mandate. It did, however, make some changes that should help small trucking operations.

What’s required?

Here are some highlights of the final version of the ELD mandate:

  • Trucks made before the year 2000 don’t have to have an ELD.
  • ELDs don’t have to include voice or text messaging (i.e. in-cab communication).
  • The truck’s location doesn’t have to be tracked in real time.
  • It’s illegal to use ELDs to harass drivers.
  • Companies can be fined for pressuring drivers to violate HOS or other rules.
  • Drivers have to keep up to 8 “supporting documents” in their truck.
  • You can use your phone or tablet to keep logs, but it has to connect to the engine through the ELD.