Heavy trucks still need to have an ELD by December 18. Congress withdrew a proposed bill that would have delayed the mandate by two years.
However, trucks will not be placed out of service immediately when they're found without an ELD. The out-of-service enforcement has been postponed until April 2018, according to new guidance issued this week by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). The agency states:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) congressionally mandated ELD compliance deadline is still set for Dec. 18, 2017. On that date, inspectors and roadside enforcement personnel will begin documenting violations on roadside inspection reports and, at the jurisdiction’s discretion, will issue citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers operating vehicles without a compliant ELD. Beginning April 1, 2018, inspectors will start placing commercial motor vehicle drivers out of service if their vehicle is not equipped with the required device.
The agency says that delaying the out-of-service penalty will give carriers and enforcement personnel more time to adjust to the new requirements.
The out-of-service delay is good news for both carriers and brokers, as truckers were worried about getting stranded at inspection stations during the week before Christmas. Not only would that potentially prevent drivers from returning home for the holiday, but December has become a very busy time for truckload freight.
In recent years, demand has continued to rise through January, instead of tailing off in November, because of the expansion of online shopping and last-minute deliveries in December, as well as retail re-stocking to accommodate gift card redemptions after the New Year.
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