Electronic Logging Devices Final Rule Announced By FMCSA
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that it has amended the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). These new regulations will establish minimum performance and design standards for hours-of-service (HOS) electronic logging devices (ELDs); require the mandatory use of these ELDs by all commercial motor vehicle drivers currently required to prepare HOS records of duty status (RODS) requirements concerning HOS supporting documents; and address concerns about potential driver harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELDs.
While, this regulation has not yet been formally published in the Federal Register, these new requirements will be required for compliance by all bus and truck operators 2 years after the publication date (estimated to be December 14, 2015, so ELDs will be required on or about December 13, 2017).
Simply put, an ELD is a technology that automatically records a driver’s driving time and other aspects of the hours-of-service (HOS) records. This allows easier, more accurate HOS recordkeeping and should limit form and manner violations. By synchronizing with the engine, an ELD monitors a vehicle’s engine to capture data on whether the engine is running, whether the vehicle is moving, the miles driven, and duration of engine operation (engine hours).
For those operators that already have an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRDs) as defined by 395.15, you have 4 years from the publication date to comply with the ELD requirements and replace your AOBRDs.
A few key highlights from the rule:
- ELDs will not be required on vehicles that are older than model year 2000.
- Up to 8 documents must be retained as outlined under 395.11 to provide supporting documentation. Supporting documents will fall into 5 categories:
- Itineraries, schedules, or equivalent documents that indicate the origin and destination of each trip;
- Dispatch records, trip records, or equivalent documents;
- Expense receipts;
- Electronic mobile communication records, reflecting communications transmitted through a fleet management system (FMS);
- Payroll records, settlement sheets, or equivalent documents that indicate payments to a driver.
- Drivers will have up to 13 days to provide their RODs and supporting documentation to the motor carrier.
- An ELD must have a display screen or be able to print out RODs.
- Driver harassment is clearly defined; a prohibition on harassment is explicitly included in the new regulation; procedures to guard against harassment through the technology are spelled out; and a procedure for recourse is available for drivers if there is harassment.
- Anyone making edits to an ELD record have a unique login ID. And drivers must be able to access their record without having to request access through another party.
- FMCSA will provide a list of certified ELD providers on its Web site, beginning 60 days after the publication date, https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/equipment-registration.
- The ELD Final Rule permits the use of smart phones and other wireless devices as ELDs, so long as they satisfy technical specifications, are certified, and are listed on the FMCSA provider web page.
- Canadian- and Mexican-domiciled drivers will also be required to use ELDs when operating on U.S. roadways.
Operators are advised to develop the following materials within the next two years during the transition period as we progress towards the compliance date:
- ELD User’s Manual;
- Instruction sheet on reporting ELD malfunctions & recordkeeping procedures during ELD malfunctions;
- Instructions on how to transfer ELD data electronically to the inspector (Email and Web Services or Bluetooth and USB).
- A supply of paper tracking forms (grid graphs) for at least 8 days of use, in case of ELD malfunction.
For more information or any questions, please feel free to contact ABA’s Suzanne Te Beau Rohde at (202) 218-7224, firstname.lastname@example.org or Brandon Buchanan at (202) 218-7227, email@example.com. You can also visit a special FMCSA web page set up to detail ELD compliance, https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices.