Federal officials have taken another step to make the transition to mandatory electronic devices less painful. If drivers are cited at roadside for not complying with the ELD rule come the Dec. 18 deadline, the citation will be a "no points cite" that will not affect the Safety Measurement System that feeds into CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores – through April 1.

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Having decided to grant part of a United Parcel Service request for a limited 5-year exemption from some provisions of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will now allow all motor carriers not just UPS and drivers to make use of two new temporary exemptions from the ELD rule.

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We are less than six months away from implementation of the new ELD mandate, which goes into effect on December 18, 2017. That means, now is the time to prepare! Here are some commonly asked questions about how these new rules pertain to fleet managers.

What are electronic logging devices?

Electronic logging devices are used to record hours of service (HoS) for drivers. They also record driving time, miles driven, engine operation time, vehicle movement, and GPS coordinates, among other things.

What companies and fleets require ELDs?

All commercial motor vehicle (CMV) fleets that operate across state lines will be impacted by this new mandate. Any company or fleet that employs drivers that keep 8 days of logged driving time (determined by records of duty status, or RODS) out of 30 days will also require ELDs in their vehicles. Drivers who are not required to keep RODS may be exempt.

What are the deadlines for compliance?

There are two main deadlines, one of which may apply to your company depending on the situation.

If your company is not currently using a regulation-compliant automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) system, your fleet must have their compliant ELDs installed by December 18, 2017.

If your company is currently using a AOBRD system that is compliant with current legislation, your fleet has until December 16, 2019 to convert to ELDs.

When should my company begin switching to ELDs?

As soon as possible. Affected fleets must have ELDs installed and drivers trained by December 18, 2017. There's no reason to risk a failed compliance check in the coming year!

What are the benefits of using them?

There are three main benefits to using ELDs in your fleet vehicles.

First: Less time is required for processing paperwork and inspections, making your drivers’ work more efficient.

Second: A real-time connection between management and fleet vehicles can also increase productivity and efficiency through better route planning and tracking of deliveries and driving hours.

Third: Increases overall driver and fleet safety by staying compliant with the rules.

Want help navigating these changes? Just let me know, I’m happy to help you and your fleet make the transition.

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