While 2017 felt like the year of the ELD, the use of electronic devices for HOS logging has actually been around since the mid 1980’s. It wasn’t until 2000, however, that the FMCSA began to make appeals to reform HOS and use electronic logging devices. That initial reform made little headway, eventually being blocked by court order in 2004, but it and additional attempts to curb HOS violations in 2010 helped pave the way for the 2014 Congressional passing of MAP-21 — a transportation reauthorization bill that not only mandated ELDs but required FMCSA to write the ELD rule.
ELD History in the Making
After some bumps in the road, ELD history — and compliance rules — were finally made reality. The ELD final rule, set in three phases spanning four years, was created to help create a safer work environment for drivers, to accurately record HOS, to make it easier and faster to manage and share records of duty status (RODS) data, and to address driver harassment. To review past, present, and future ELD mandate dates of interest, view our ELD Mandate Timeline SlideShare and keep reading for more details.
ELD Mandate Timeline Dates
ELD Final Rule Published: Phase 1
December 16, 2015
December 16, 2015, not only marks the date upon which the ELD final rule was published, but it marks phase one, or the ELD awareness and transition phase, of the ELD compliance timeline. It was on this date forward that commercial drivers could voluntarily begin using ELDs in preparation for future — and mandatory — ELD compliance dates.
ELD Final Rule Compliance: Phase 2
December 18, 2017
The December 18, 2017, ELD date, 2 years after the voluntary transition phase began — marks the beginning of mandatory ELD compliance. On this ELD phase-in compliance date, all commercial drivers subject to the ELD rule must operate using electronic logging devices and maintain ELD supporting documents. Logging software and paper logs are no longer permitted. The only exceptions are drivers exempt from the ELD rule or drivers using a previously installed (installed before December 18, 2017) AOBRD. These previously installed AOBRDs, however, are only permitted for two years (until the final ELD compliance date), and they cannot be replaced with another AOBRD should they become inoperable within that time. In essence, AOBRDs cannot be legally installed on or after this date. According to a FMCSA spokesperson, on this date, non-compliance could result in citations and fines, and companies that continually violate the ELD rule could be subject to federal investigation.
March 18, 2018
Drivers hauling livestock and agricultural commodities: The March 18, 2018, ELD deadline is a temporary ELD mandate extension that applies to drivers hauling livestock and agricultural commodities. This temporary, 90-day ELD extension was given to allow “FMCSA time to evaluate the HOS exemption applicable to the transport of agricultural commodities and review the concerns unique to the agricultural industry identified by NPPC [National Pork Producers Council] and others.” Read more about the new ELD compliance deadline for livestock and agricultural haulers here.
Short-term rental trucks: FMCSA’s grant for a temporary waiver for short-term rental trucks, defined as 30 days or less, means that short-term rental trucks now have until March 18, 2018, to meet ELD compliance. The waiver applies to all short-term truck rentals not exceeding thirty days, but “rentals lasting 8 days or fewer are permanently exempt from the ELD mandate.” Read more about the ELD waiver for short-term rental trucks, including the terms and conditions that must be met, on our blog.
April 1, 2018
By April 1, 2018, failing to meet ELD compliance will result in out-of-service orders.
Mandatory Use of ELDs: Phase 3
December 16, 2019
Phase three, or the final phase of the ELD compliance timeline, marks the ELD full compliance date. On December 16, 2019, ELD use is mandatory for all commercial drivers, unless exempt. On this date, grandfathered AOBRDs (those installed before December 18, 2017) are no longer permitted. Changes from 2017’s to 2019’s requirements on ELD user documents, ELD supporting documents, and ELD data retention should be verified at fmcsa.dot.gov.
ELD Compliance Timeline SlideShare
For more information and handy ELD timeline visuals, view our ELD mandate timeline SlideShare. As we move through ELD compliance dates, it will quickly keep you informed on the key ELD compliance dates — past, present, and future.