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.