The ELD Mandate Deadline Looms! Are You Ready?

Posted by Skye Robinson | October 18, 2017 | blog, Newsletter
Oct 2017 services scared dog face ELD deadline looms

It’s October, and you know what that means. Yes, Halloween, but possibly something even scarier: the final countdown to the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate that goes into effect on December 18. Despite push back from organizations that want the deadline delayed, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) plans to start enforcement on that day. Are you ready?

What is the ELD mandate?
The ELD mandate was first published by FMCSA two years ago, in December 2015. The intent behind the rule is to require the use of ELDs in place of paper logbooks that drivers use to record hours of service. A primary goal of the mandate is to keep drivers compliant and therefore safer while on the road.

The latest on the ELD mandate
As the deadline looms, here’s the latest news that you as a fleet manager need to know, summed up from a lengthy article at

  • Enforcement will begin on December 18, 2017.
  • Drivers won’t be put out of service solely for not having an ELD, but they still have to be compliant with the hours of service rule or have a paper record showing that they are, or else they will be put out of service.
  • Despite the looming deadline, the ELD adoption rate has been slow. One study determined more than half of commercial fleets were still using paper logs as recently as last month.
  • That same study found that not a single owner-operator in the study had an ELD or planned to by the deadline of December 18.
  • Until December 2019, drivers can use automated onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) that are installed prior to December 18, 2017.
  • After December 2019, all devices will have to be ELD-compliant.
  • ELDs must be registered with FMCSA, but FMCSA doesn’t validate or certify the devices, meaning drivers could be using non-compliant ELDs. FMCSA only requires that devices be registered.
  • At least 80 self-certified devices have been registered so far.
  • If a device is deficient or hacked, the burden of compliance will fall on the motor carrier.
  • Drivers will have eight days to get a new device if it turns out they have a non-compliant one.
  • Enforcement officers will not be trained on the 80+ different devices currently on the market. Instead they will be trained to look for standard data only. The ELD mandate specifies a standard data set that should make this possible.
  • Individual states will be able to decide which method will be used to obtain data from a driver.
  • The ELD mandate will affect approximately 3.4 million drivers.
  • FMCSA estimates the ELD mandate will prevent 1,800 crashes and save 26 lives per year.

Not everyone agrees the deadline should stand
Many groups are currently speaking out and asking for the deadline to be pushed out one to two years. Despite the concerns expressed, however, fleet managers should plan to comply by December 18—even if the deadline is pushed out after all.


The Silver Lining to the ELD Mandate
The ELD mandate will bring about potential benefits for you as the fleet manager, including reduced paperwork, more efficient dispatch, and improved communications. Read more…

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