Is FMCSA Considering ELDs for Everyone?

Is FMCSA Considering ELDs for Everyone?

After nearly 5 years of the ELD mandate in effect, the FMCSA is looking to change things.

On Thursday, FMCSA released a notice requesting truckers, motor carriers, and ELD providers to comment on 5 areas of the ELD regulations.

They are hoping to simplify, clarify, or improve the regulations. But one question they want comments on may require more truckers, who tried to escape getting an ELD, to get one.

The 5 areas that the government is looking for comments on include: pre-2000 engine trucks, ELD malfunctions, ELD providers, ELD tech specifications, and the ELD certification process.

Let’s quickly look at questions for each of these areas.

Pre-2000 engines trucks

When the ELD rule was announced in 2016, there was a surge in pre-2000 engine trucks getting bought as drivers rushed to not deal with ELDs.

The reason for this exemption was the idea the many of these trucks did not have engine control modules (ECMs) that could gather and send the important telematic data to the ELD.

But, according to the FMCSA in this notice, “many vehicles with pre-2000 engines and most vehicles with rebuilt pre-2000 engines have ECMs installed that could accommodate an ELD.”

That is why they are looking for comments on this question: Should FMCSA re-evaluate or modify the applicability of the current ELD regulation for re-built or re-manufactured CMV engines?

ELD malfunctions

Currently, regulations require a driver documenting his or her RODS to switch to paper logs when an ELD malfunctions.

When this happens, a driver is to follow the motor carrier and ELD provider recommendations when a data diagnostic event is logged. Whenever an ELD fails to record a driver’s hours, enforcement personnel must be able to review the driver’s paper logs.

[Related: ELD Data Management Made Easy With Driver Scorecards]

By contrast, when an ELD malfunctions but continues to record the driver’s hours accurately, the driver should not switch to paper logs.

So, should FMCSA amend carrier and driver responsibilities to clarify when a driver must switch to paper logs?

ELD Providers

In the U.S., there are hundreds of ELDs that are self-certified by ELD providers, and only a few dozen have been removed.

In the U.S., the ELD rule requires ELD providers to keep their information current. However, the rule does not include a time restriction.

Should FMCSA require ELD providers to update their listing within 30 calendar days of any change to their registration information?

Additionally, should ELD providers be required to confirm their information on an annual basis?

Lastly, should an ELD provider’s ELD be removed from the FMCSA list if it fails to confirm or update its listing on an annual basis?

ELD tech specifications

FMCSA granted a temporary exception that allowed all motor carriers to configure an ELD with a yard-move mode that does not require a driver to re-input yard-move status every time the tractor is powered off.

Additionally, the ELD would switch to a “driving” duty status if

  1. the driver inputs “driving”
  2. the vehicle exceeds 20 mph, or
  3. the vehicle exits the geofenced yard

Should FMCSA consider adding this temporary exception to the regulation? Are there other factors related to this temporary exception that should be considered?

Another interesting question on ELD tech specifications is: Should FMCSA consider allowing a driver, rather than the motor carrier, to change his or her ELD configuration to an exempt status to help reduce the administrative burden noted by the industry?

Additionally, Should FMCSA consider expanding the list of special driving categories to include driving performed under an exemption? And, if so, in order to achieve an equivalent level of safety to prevent falsification, what data should be recorded to identify who made the change, why the change was made, and where the change took place?

ELD Certification process

In the U.S., the self-certification process looks to have been abused as many providers tried to take advantage of the ELD mandate.

In contrast, Canada’s ELD mandate requires the devices to be certified by a third-party, or by an accredited organization that will make sure that the proper regulations set by the Canadian government are being followed.

Should FMCSA establish a certification process for ELDs? If so, what should a certification process consist of?

This is your chance to make your voices heard. Go comment here to voice your opinions.

Need help managing your ELD data?

At CNS we keep you updated on industry regulations and changes, like the ELD rule and others, so your motor carrier business can meet safety standards and remain compliant.

Managing ELD data yourself can be confusing and stressful and requires a much different back-office skill set than managing paper processes.

However, it does not have to be.

Whatever ELD system you have, we can manage it for you so you can start taking advantage of your ELD data.

Don’t have an ELD? What ELD should you use?

We searched high and low for a partner in the ELD industry, testing over 20 ELD systems, before we decided to choose Pedigree as our preferred ELD.

Questions about DOT Compliance, Licensing, Audits, Programs, etc.?

Our DOT Specialists are here to help!

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