Ready or not, ELD enforcement begins April 1

March 30, 2018

Land Line Staff

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Full enforcement of the ELD rule is starting April 1, ending the “soft enforcement” period in which noncompliant drivers were not put out-of-service.

Starting April 1, a carrier that doesn’t have an ELD when required will be placed out of service. The driver will remain out-of-service for 10 hours in accordance with Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance criteria.

At that point, to facilitate compliance, the driver will be allowed to travel to the next scheduled stop and should not be dispatched again without an ELD. If the driver is dispatched again without an ELD, the motor carrier will be subject to further enforcement action.

In addition to using a self-certified electronic logging device, drivers are required to have these items:

  • A user’s manual for the driver describing how to operate the ELD;
  • An instruction sheet describing the data transfer mechanisms supported by the ELD and step-by-step instructions to produce and transfer the driver’s hours-of-service records to an authorized safety official;
  • An instruction sheet for the driver describing ELD malfunction reporting requirements and recordkeeping procedures during ELD malfunctions; and
  • A supply of blank driver’s records of duty status graph-grids sufficient to record the driver’s duty status and other related information for a minimum of eight days.

Keeping those extra log sheets handy will come into play if your electronic logging device fails.

Doug Morris, OOIDA’s director of safety and security operations, says drivers experiencing technical difficulties should continue to record their hours of service the old-fashioned way.

“The rule does require drivers to have paper logs available just for this reason,” Morris says. “So, just make sure you have paper logs available, because we know there will be problems.”

If the problems persist, you may have to ask FMCSA for an extension.

Dale Watkins, supervisor of OOIDA’s regulatory and compliance unit, says the motor carrier can request a temporary extension from FMCSA. The request must be made in writing to the agency’s division administrator in the state where the carrier is domiciled.

Related coverage: Wendy Parker has an Easter quiz for you to take about what’s real and what’s not.

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