Understanding the Electronic Logging Device Mandate

on Jan 05, 2016
Understanding the Electronic Logging Device Mandate

Rules and regulations are always up for discussion and undergoing changes, so it can be hard to be in-the-know. One important final rule to study up on is the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in December 2015. It will take effect two years after publication on December 16, 2017. 

With the use of an ELD, drivers are not required to keep paper logs. However, they will be required to maintain supporting documents and are responsible for submitting to their carrier. 

According to the FMCSA, the mandate as a whole will save the industry $1 billion annually in time and money from less paperwork. Additionally, the FMCSA says it will save 26 lives and 562 injuries a year. 

Here’s a look at the mandate’s key components, summarized from an original reported by Overdrive: 

Mandating ELDs 

This mandate will apply to all drivers required to keep records of duty status. 

Exemptions apply to: 

  • Drivers who keep records of duty status in eight or less days out of every 30 working days 
  • Drivers in drive-away and tow-away operations 
  • Truckers operating vehicles older than model year 2000 


Device specifications 

ELDs are required that the devices automatically record date, time, location, engine hours, vehicle miles, and ID information of the driver. It must also log when the vehicle’s engine is both off and on. Lastly, the device must be able to transfer data on-demand during roadside inspections via a wireless device, email, USB drive or Bluetooth. 

Supporting documents 

Drivers will still be required to keep up to eight supporting documents (electronic or paper) for every 24-hour period that includes on-duty time. These must be submitted to the carrier by the driver within 13 days of receiving them. Carriers are required to keep the records for six months. 


Supporting documents include: 

  • Bills of lading, itineraries, schedules or other documents that show trip origin and destination 
  • Dispatch records, trip records or similar documents 
  • Expense receipts 
  • Electronic mobile communication records 
  • Payroll records, settlement sheets or similar documents that show what and how a driver was paid 


Harassment of drivers 

The new rule makes it illegal for carriers to use the ELDs to harass drivers and establishes a system for drivers to report instances. 

Harassment by ELD is defined as any action by a carrier toward a driver that the carrier “knew or should have known” would have interrupted a driver’s off-duty time. 

A copy of the final ELD rule can be found here. 

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