Short-haul trucking and ELDs


The ELD mandate deadline is December 16, 2019 and approaching quickly and many short-haul trucking companies and drivers are taking that seriously, even though they may not have to.


As mentioned, even though some drivers may not necessarily need an ELD, some FMCSA hours of service rules still apply, including a time limit of no more than 11 hours and driving restrictions after 14 on duty hours.

Although short-haul drivers are not required to maintain a detailed log of their duty status, they are required to record their on-duty time and ELDs make that process much easier. With there always being a possibility of exceeding the FMCSA limitations, ELDs can protect you if you exceed the driving time limit or distance.

Short-haul drivers, fleet managers and/or company owners need to consider ELDs and the reasoning behind so many short-haul fleets installing ELDs.

First, you need to know if you are a short-haul driver, which is covered below. However, if you need a more detailed breakdown of short-haul exemptions, review our post on HOS short-haul exemptions.

Are you a short-haul driver?

The FMCSA rules and regulations state that you are a short-haul driver, if:

  • Start and return to the same location within twelve (12) hours of duty time.
  • Maintain your time-clock function.
  • Do not drive for more than eleven (11) hours.
  • Have ten (10) consecutive hours in off duty between shifts.
  • Operate within a 100 air-mile radius from your starting location (CDL driver)
  • Operate within a 150 air-mile radius (non-CDL drivers)
  • Does not drive through a state that requires a CDL for the vehicle they drive

Exceeding the short-haul limitation

A driver may violate the short-haul limitations by going over the radius limit or exceeding the time it takes to return to their reporting location.

If this happens, drivers are required to maintain a Record of Duty Status (RODS) for 8 days or less. After 8 days drivers must maintain a RODS according to the 8-day rule.

The 8-day rule is one of the biggest issues for any short-haul fleet because they are unable to determine if they will hit that 8-day limitation.

3 other reasons why short-haul trucking companies install ELDs

As mentioned above, remaining DOT compliant is the most important and biggest concern for short-haul trucking companies or any trucking company for that matter.

However, there are other reasons to install an ELD, including automatically calculating your air-miles, monitoring your driver’s driving habits and tracking driver’s idle-times.

1. Calculate 100 Air-Miles with ELDs

What is the 100 air-mile radius?

It can be difficult for drivers to calculate air-miles when they are on the road and an ELD eliminates this issue by automatically recording the distance covered.

This allows drivers to know when they will exceed 100 air-miles without calculating it, allowing them to stay completely focused on driving.

ELDs automatically record the distance covered and help drivers calculate how many air-miles they have driven.

2. Monitor driving habits and driver scorecards

Some ELDs, such as Pedigree ELDs—an electronic logging device solution we are partnered with—allows fleet managers to track and pinpoint drivers who have unsafe driving habits.

ELDs give you the ability to monitor reckless drivers by tracking driving behaviors, such as aggressive cornering, braking and acceleration.

Overall, the benefit is the improvement your company’s safety level and ultimately safety rating through less accidents, penalties, and liabilities.

3. Track driver idle-times

Many short-haul trucking fleets are interested in tracking a drivers’ idle-time due to the impact it can have on fuel savings throughout the year.

The US Department of Energy estimates that a long-haul truck idles for approximately 1,800 hours per year. With a fuel cost of $3/gallon, one truck could potentially consume over $5,000 in fuel each year by idling.

An ELD will allow fleet managers to locate drivers who idle too often or for longer periods of time, which could save short-haul trucking fleets thousands of dollars each month.


ELD solutions

We offer ELD devices for truckers to avoid all of the issues mentioned above. At CNS, we believe that taking a proactive stance on DOT compliance is the key to a successful long-haul or short-haul trucking company. Remember that the ELD mandate deadline is on December 16, 2019.

Also, knowing all Hours-of-Service rules and exceptions will allow you to stay DOT compliant and plan your operations more efficiently.

All CNS services are geared toward keeping your trucking company safe and compliant and we partner with Pedigree Technologies for this exact reason.

If you have any questions, call 888.260.9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.

Short-haul exemption: 100 air-mile radius


Are you 100 air-mile exempt?

What is an air mile?

An “air mile” is a nautical mile measuring a straight distance between two points, excluding any twists or turns.

What is the short-haul exemption?

If you are a short-haul driver or fleet, in addition to time restrictions, there are two types of short-haul exemptions related to distance, the 100 air-mile exemption and the 150 air-mile exemption.

  • 100 air-mile exemption

The exemption applies to CDL drivers and to qualify they must remain operating within a 100 air-mile radius, return to the same work reporting location, go off duty within 12 hours and keep time cards with their start times, end times and total hours worked for the day.

  • 150 air-mile exemption

This exemption is slightly different in that it applies to non-CDL drivers and instead of the operating radius being 100 air-miles, it is 150 air-miles. Similarly, drivers are required to keep timecards, return to the same work reporting location, and they do not drive through a state that requires a CDL for the vehicle they drive.

Exceeding the short-haul limitation

A driver may violate the short-haul limitations by going over the radius limit or exceeding the time it takes to return to their reporting location.

If this happens, drivers are required to maintain a Record of Duty Status (RODS) and more importantly, if they maintain a RODS for more than 8 days in a 30-day period, they must have an ELD because the mandate exemption does not apply after that 8 days.

The 8-day rule is one of the biggest issues for any short-haul fleet because they are unable to determine if they will hit that 8-day limitation. It is important to note that it is nearly impossible to implement an ELD on short notice, therefore, many questionable short-haul fleets are beginning to install ELDs.

Verifying compliance?

If you have drivers that exempt, it is imperative that you check time records to verify compliance with time and distance restrictions.

If a driver is in violation, you must also verify that they followed proper procedure by taking a 30-minute break and submitting their daily log.

If your company is audited and you or your drivers are found to be misusing these exemptions, you will be cited for each violation every day it occurred which can lead to a rather large fine.

ELDs and short-haul exemptions

In most cases, a driver that qualifies for the 100 or 150 air mile radius is exempt from the upcoming ELD mandate, but there are exceptions.

The final regulation says if you are running short haul, you are not required to maintain Record of Duty Status (RODS) and, therefore, do not need to log your hours with an ELD, unless you break the rule more than eight (8) times in a 30-day rolling period.

If you do break the rule more than eight times, you will need an ELD to log your hours until you get back to the number of eight or fewer in a 30-day period.

Although not always required, ELDs can be an excellent resource for a short-haul fleet. Constant awareness of a driver’s distance, eliminating any concerns of going beyond the radius limit, and monitoring driver scorecards are just two of many benefits.

Do you still need an ELD? We can help you out!


Stay DOT compliant

Knowing these rules and regulations will allow you to stay compliant and plan your operations more efficiently.

All CNS services are geared toward keeping your trucking company safe, compliant, and on the road.

If you have any questions, call 888.260.9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.

HOS short-haul exemptions and HOS compliance


What are short-haul exemptions?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) developed several Hours-of-Service rules and regulations with a goal for these HOS rules to minimize driver fatigue and improve road safety for everyone.

However, the FMCSA has created certain exemptions giving drivers and carriers flexibility, depending on their situation. Different rules apply to passenger-carrying drivers, property-carrying drivers and drivers of hazardous materials.

Considering all of the potential HOS changes and so we are on the same page, we will discuss a few important Hours-of-Service rules, including the 14-hour rule, the 11-hour rule and the 30-minute break.

What are 3 important hours-of-service rules?

  • The 14-hour rule?

The 14-hour rule disallows a property-carrying driver from driving longer than 14 consecutive hours after starting duty. The driver cannot continue driving until they have taken ten (10) consecutive hours off-duty.

Passenger-carrying motor vehicles are limited to 15 cumulative hours. This differs from the 14 consecutive hours of property-carrying drivers.

For both property-carrying and passenger-carrying vehicles, off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.

  • The 11-hour rule?

The 11-hour rule states that property-carrying drivers are allowed a maximum of 11 hours of drive time after 10 consecutive hours off duty, if they stay within the 14-hour window.

On the other hand, passenger-carrying drivers can drive up to 10 hours after eight consecutive hours off duty.

  • The 30-minute break rule?

According to the 30-minute break rule, drivers can’t log driving time if eight hours have passed since the last off-duty period of 30 consecutive minutes. Drivers can perform non-driving tasks after eight hours without taking a break, but they cannot drive.

Are you a short-haul driver?

The FMCSA rules and regulations state that you are a short-haul driver, if:

  • Start and return to the same location within twelve (12) hours of duty time.
  • Maintain your time-clock function.
  • Do not drive for more than eleven (11) hours.
  • Have ten (10) consecutive hours in off duty between shifts.
  • Operate within a 100 air-mile radius from your starting location (CDL driver)
  • Operate within a 150 air-mile radius (non-CDL drivers)
  • Does not drive through a state that requires a CDL for the vehicle they drive

The 16-hour short-haul exemption – Do you qualify?

The FMCSA implemented a hours of service exemption allowing short-haul drivers to extend their 14-hour driving window by two hours each week.

This could apply to you if you are a short-haul driver and report back to the same work location each day, you might be able to take advantage of the 16-hour short haul exemption.

The exemption doesn’t extend the 11-hour daily driving limit but does provide you with up to 16 hours to complete your workday.

ELDs and short-haul exemptions

In most cases, a driver that qualifies for the 100 or 150 air mile radius is exempt from the upcoming ELD mandate, but there are exceptions.

The final regulation says if you are running short haul, you are not required to maintain Record of Duty Status (RODS) and, therefore, do not need to log your hours with an ELD, unless you break the rule more than eight (8) times in a 30-day rolling period.

If you do break the rule more than eight times, you will need an ELD to log your hours until you get back to the number of eight or fewer in a 30-day period.

Learn why ELDs can be an excellent resource for a short-haul fleet.

Do you still need an ELD? We can help you out!


Stay DOT compliant

Knowing these rules and regulations will allow you to stay compliant and plan your operations more efficiently.

All CNS services are geared toward keeping your trucking company safe, compliant, and on the road.

If you have any questions, call 888.260.9448 or email at info@cnsprotects.com.