It is no secret that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) put a mandate on the usage of Electronic logging device (ELDs) in the year 2015. Ever since, the second largest state of the USA, Texas, is the first to adopt this mandate and imply the same for intrastate drivers. Texas has made the usage of electronic login devices (ELDs), a compulsion by December 19, 2019 and has also updated its Hours-of-Service code. By updating the hours of service code the state has made it obligatory for intrastate truckers to apply ELDs in their work.
For Compliance it is important that every commercial motor vehicle (CMV), transporting goods intrastate must keep themselves updated with this new rule.
ELD is a login device that records hours of service providing vehicle diagnostics and driver information. It has proved to be more efficient that other devices serving in the favour of the trucking business and therefore has been accepted by most after the FMCSA mandate. It is said that after Texas coming in line with the mandate, Florida is next to follow the mandate too.
The state’s new mandate is not very detailed with regulations and has scarce information to enlist. The regulations are more or less synonymous with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate and the different regulations of the final ELD rule. However, it is still not disclosed if the exemptions will be the same.
What are the ELD mandate rules? What are the exemptions? What category do you fall in? What are the current safety regulations? Let’s find out
Rules of the ELD Mandate
- It is important that commercial motor vehicles are equipped with ELDs before December 19, 2019.
- The ELD must be used to log in hours of service.
- The ELD installed in the vehicle must be FMCSA certified and should match up with the FMCSA defined standard. Only then will the device be considered valid.
- Drivers of the commercial motor vehicle have to carry supporting documents along with the ELD in case of any check.
The documents required may include;
- A manual of how to use the ELD
- A sheet of data transfer method supported by the ELD and step-by-step instructions to produce and transfer the driver’s records to enforcement
- A sheet of instruction that declares the ELD malfunctioning reporting requirements and recorded procedures during ELD malfunctions
- An 8 day supply of blank hours of service graph-grid logs to be used in case of any ELD malfunction
There were three parts to the FMCSA’s ELD implementation timeline. The state of Texas is in agreement with the third part. The ELD rule first came into existence in the year 2015. That is when this device replaced the register or pen and paper. Drivers were expected to switch to an automatic on board recording device (AOBRD) instead. By 2019, the third part, that is, the mandate will expect truck drivers to have ELDs installed for compliance, is what Texas has accepted.
There are several safety regulations a driver must follow. These regulations are important to follow irrespective of having to follow the ELD mandate or not. An ELD will only ensure that these regulations are being followed by maintaining a record of the log time. These safety regulations include;
- A truck driver can drive his vehicle or be on the road for a maximum of 11 hours each day. This includes loading and unloading time as well.
- After completing 11 hours on road, the driver must be off duty for 10 hours at a stretch.
- A driver cannot be on duty for more than 14 hours in a day. This comprises of both on duty and off duty driving time.
- A truck driver must take a stop and rest for half an hour every 8 hours while driving.
- A truck driver is only allowed to work for 70 hours in 8 days.
- Overdriving, on the other hand will be considered against the law.
ELD rules must be followed wherever possible. However, in some cases, it is difficult to follow these rules. Although these exemptions are subject to change any time, here are a few exceptions of the ELD mandate.
- If agricultural produce is being transported during harvest period within the 150 air-miles area, the transportation vehicle will be exempted from the ELD rules.
- If the commercial motor vehicle is older than the year 2000, the ELD device will not accept the engine motor of that vehicle.
- Towing trucks that deliver commercial motor vehicles are exempted from the ELD rules.
- Truck drivers that are usually not required to maintain record of duty status (RODS) for reasons like driving within the 150 air- mile area, etc. are not expected to install the ELD.
- Truck drivers with record of duty status of less than 8 days due to short transportation are not expected to install the ELD.
However, every trucker must be able to produce proof for a few FMCSA criteria which would confirm that his vehicle falls under the exemption in case he is stopped by an official during transportation.
ELDs have been a big success in recent years and hence are being willingly accepted by most businessmen and owners of the trucking companies.
Like Texas, many other states are likely to comply with the ELD mandate soon. Most states are already in line with the rules of the FMCSA. However, Texas is just the first state to announce their acceptation of the ELD mandate. Several states in the United States of America follow the FMSCA rules by default and hence would be in line with the new ELD mandate as well.
It is important to keep yourself updated with the rules and regulations of the ELD mandate. Check if your fleet needs an ELD installation or if it falls under the exemption points. Get the ELD installed the soonest you can if your fleet caters to intrastate driving in Texas.
For any assistance or additional information on ELDs installation, you could visit us at Matrackinc