ELD Mandate Basics: What You Need To Know

Posted on: February 19th, 2020 10:18 am

The term “ELD” stands for electronic logging device and has become a key part of a relatively new safety law in the industry. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) published the ELD Mandate as a congressionally mandated rule for commercial motor vehicles. Previously, drivers used to hand-log their hours on paper. Now, the FMCSA requires that drivers electronically record their Record of Duty Status (RODS) to stay compliant with Hours of Service (HOS) requirements.

Why did the ELD Mandate come into effect?

The MAP-21 bill passed by Congress included a provision for the ELD Mandate. ELDs will help drivers manage records and increase safety on our roads. By syncing with vehicle engines, ELDs help to record driving time quickly and accurately. Moreover, RODS data can be tracked, managed, and shared more easily and give precise HOS recordings. This ensures drivers stay within the legal limit.

The FMCSA’s mission is to make highways safer for all drivers, and the ELD Mandate is one way of fulfilling that. Fatigued driving is one of the biggest dangers to truckers, and the ELDs assist with HOS regulation enforcement. Therefore, ELDs can help prevent the hundreds of crashes and deaths caused by fatigued drivers. In addition, companies can be held more accountable for following HOS regulations and guaranteeing their drivers take the breaks they need to create safer work environments.

What are the latest Mandate updates?

The ELD Mandate was officially effective on February 2016 and held the first deadline to comply in December 2017. Trucking fleets had until December 2017 to install certified ELDs, while fleets that already equipped vehicles with electronic logging technology (AOBRDs) had to ensure they met the specifications of the mandate.

The latest update to the Mandate occurred in December 2019, stating that commercial vehicle inspectors will no longer offer a “soft enforcement” grace period. After December 16, 2019, truckers without an ELD onboard or those whose AORBDs are not compliant will get an out-of-service violation, unless a motor carrier operates under a short haul rule exemption.

Although the mandate came out in 2015, adoption rates are still a concern for the FMCSA. ELD implementation rates remained low as of November 2019. With the “soft enforcement” period no longer in effect, fleets that do not comply will be punished accordingly and drivers could be left out of a job.

Where can I find more information?

Forward Air is proud to keep trucker safety a top priority by complying with industry regulations such as the ELD Mandate. If you’re interested in driving with us, view our openings here.


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(855) 256-0629

6431 Alum Creek Drive, Suite J
Groveport, OH 43125

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