What is an ELD?
An electronic logging device (ELD) is a technological advancement that allows a commercial driver to track their hours of service (HOS). This is a cost-efficient, environmentally conscious, and simple solution to managing your drivers’ workloads. This device also gives you the opportunity to identify potential violations before they occur, helping to relieve administration burden and stress. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires the majority of commercial vehicles to have an ELD.
The FMCSA sets HOS regulations to ensure that those operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are safe and alert while on the road. Longer daily and weekly hours are associated with more crashes and a higher risk for drivers and others on the roads. Rules for HOS differ depending on whether the driver is transporting property or passengers.
Driver hours of service limits are as follows:
|Driving Hour Limit
|Can drive at most 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
|Can drive at most 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty
|On-Duty Hour Limit
|After 14 consecutive hours on duty, may not drive until taking 10 consecutive hours off duty; off-duty time does not extend this 14-hour period
|After 15 consecutive hours on duty, may not drive until taking 8 consecutive hours off duty; off-duty time is not including in the 15-hour period
|60/70 Hour Limit
|Cannot drive after 60/70 total hours on duty in 7/8 days; this period restarts after 34 or more consecutive hours off duty
|Cannot drive after 60/70 total hours on duty in 7/8 days
|Can only drive if it has been 8 hours or less since the last off-duty or sleeper berth period; these off-duty periods must be at least thirty minutes; this regulation does not apply to short-haul exemption drivers
|Sleeper Berth Provision
(For On-Duty Hour Limit)
|If a driver is using the sleeper berth provision, they must take a minimum of 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, off duty, or a combination of these two
|If a driver is using the sleeper berth provision, they must take a minimum of 8 hours in the sleeper berth; this can be split up into two periods as long as neither is less than 2 hours
How ELDs Work
ELDs make it easier to track your fleet’s HOS compliance. These devices automatically record driving time by monitoring a vehicle’s engine to track how long it is running and how many miles the CMV travels. Drivers can make limited edits to these logs to correct mistakes. All edits must be annotated. This system helps prevent errors, manipulation, and false information that can occur when drivers record HOS manually in a paper log.
What are the ELD Requirements?
The FMCSA’s ELD rule requires that most commercial drivers use these devices to prepare HOS records and records of duty status (RODS). All such devices must be certified and registered and fleet managers/motor carriers are responsible for ensuring all ELDs they use meet these criteria.
The ELD rule allows limited exceptions:
- Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions. They may continue using time cards and are not required to keep Records of Driver Status (RODS). They also do not need an Electronic Log Device (ELD)
- Drivers who use paper Records of Driver Status (RODS) for no more than 8 days out of every 30-day period
- Drivers who conduct driveaway-towaway operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered
- Drivers of vehicles manufactured before the year 2000 that cannot support Electronic Log Device (ELD) hardware
Responsibilities for Motor Carriers
As a motor carrier, it is important for you to stay compliant with all FMCSA regulations under the ELD rule. This includes retaining supporting documents for each 24-hour period that a driver is on duty. HDS Safety Services can help you electronically organize and manage your ELD files and we can audit your HOS records to ensure compliance.
Although the FMCSA does not require real-time tracking of CMVs using ELDs, some motor carriers do use data from these devices to monitor their fleets for business purposes. This is allowed so long as you do not harass or coerce your drivers or otherwise violate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
Audit Your ELD Records with HDS Safety Services
HDS Safety Services can monitor your ELD devices and help make sure your fleet is adhering to DOT compliance regulations. We also offer a variety of other DOT and FMCSA compliance services including audits, training, drug and alcohol testing, and driver qualification file management. With so many rules to keep track of and continuing updates to requirements, it is invaluable to have someone on your side to help you stay compliant.