There is a lot of confusion about the law coming down from the FMCSA, and transportation organizations have only until December 2017 to comply with the new regulations. But what is the ELD Mandate precisely, and what does it mean for commercial motor carriers and truck drivers?

The Basics

In 2012, the United States Congress enacted the “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” bill, or, more commonly referred to as MAP-21. This bill outlined the criteria for highway funding, included a provision requiring the FMCSA to develop a rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs).

In its simplest form, an electronic logging device—or ELD—electronically records a driver’s Record of Duty Status (RODS), which replaces the paper logbooks some drivers currently use to record their compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) requirements.

What's Changing

Paper logbooks are going away. Fleets have until December 2017 to implement certified ELDs to record HOS. Fleets already equipped with AOBRDs (Automatic On-Board Recording Devices) will have until December 2019 to ensure compliance with the published specifications.

Who Needs to Comply?

Any driver who operates a vehicle weighing over 10,001 lbs, is designed to transport nine or more passengers, or is transporting hazardous waste (with placards) must begin using an ELD by December 2017. (Exceptions: pre-2000 vehicles, driveaway/towaway operations, drivers maintaining RODS for less than eight days in a rolling 30-day period, or drivers who use the 100 air-mile and/or 150 air-mile short haul exceptions.)