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July 11, 2017
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July 26, 2017
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An ELD Primer

Why It All Matters. 

Safer, Smarter Driving

Years in the making, the nation’s Electronic Logging Device legislation is scheduled to take full effect on December 18, 2017.

As we noted last week, NATCO VP Cori Eckley attended last month’s Capitol Hill Fly-In policy forum, which included discussions on what looks like some fairly thorny issues on implementation of the ELDs across the industry.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of the topic. To begin, here are some basics of this device that will have a substantial impact—positive, we hope—for carrier, dispatcher, customer, and 3PL segments of our national trucking landscape.

(Know that NATCO is not the authority on ELD legislation, and as such we strongly recommend you confirm decisions with the right authorities.)

What is It?

ELD Component

The ELD is a combination of physical device and app that monitors and records a carrier’s Record of Duty Status (RODS) toward compliance with Hour of Service (HOS) rules. Many carriers have traditionally logged these on paper, and physical paper trails take additional time to process and evaluate.

The list of companies selling registered ELDs is long. (We’re not necessarily endorsing any of these; we’re simply linking you to a list.) Note that the checklist for verified specifications is long and fairly complex.

What are the Benefits?

Projected by the legislation, the main benefit is in safety. The FMCSA estimates that full implementation of the ELD will prevent nearly 2,000 crashes and 675 injuries, while saving 31 lives each year.

Properly implemented, the ELD will allow customer, dispatcher, and 3PL business to make informed decisions on the hiring of qualified, safe carriers, all toward protecting lives, loads, reputations, and highway safety.

Additional benefits: reduction of paperwork, reduction in maintenance, increased carrier productivity, improved Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) scores to reduce possible violations.

Am I Exempt?

In certain circumstances, carriers are exempt:

  • Drivers who use paper RODS less than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers involved in drive-away-tow-away operations (i.e., the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered) or the vehicle being transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer with one or more sets of wheels on the surface of the roadway.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before the model year 2000 (as reflected on the vehicle registration).
  • Drivers who are required to keep RODS not more than 8 days within any 30-day period.