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Can’t escape it now… The supreme court recently said, “We’re not going to get involved.” As a result, Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) on commercial vehicles will be required starting on December 18, 2017.

Although much information has been published, there continues to be a lot of discussion about exemptions to the upcoming ELD rule. Specifically, who will be exempt from using electronic logging devices?  Here are some clear answers as to whether you must comply or not.  

Who is exempt from the ELD rule?

The final ELD rule does apply to most commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, including fleets who carry agricultural wares, vehicles carrying livestock, and oil field drivers. But four exemptions remain. If you qualify for any of these, you are exempt from using an ELD.

  • Pre-2000 Vehicles
    If the manufacturing date of your commercial vehicle is before the year 2000 (1999 or earlier), you’re exempt from using an ELD.  The reason being that most vehicles manufactured prior to that date do not have an engine control module (ECM). These modules are needed for ELDs. This is based purely on the truck’s manufacturing date, not the engine’s. If unsure, you can find the manufacturing date by using the last 4-digits of the VIN.
  • Drive-away-Tow-away Operations
    If you are a tow-away driver and delivering a CMV, you don’t need to have an ELD. The tow-away drivers who deliver a truck don’t actually own the vehicle, and so are not mandated to install an ELD in it.
  • Drivers Who Don’t Maintain RODS
    Drivers not required to maintain Record of Duty Status (RODS) do not need to have electronic logging devices. This rule exemption relates to drivers who use the 100 air-mile and 150 air-mile short-haul exceptions.
  • Drivers Who Maintain RODS for Less Than 8 Days
    If a driver maintains RODS for less than 8 days in a 30-day rolling period, they’re not required to have an electronic logging device.  Now, should a driver occasionally drive outside the exemption radius as long as they are still logging for less than 8 days in a 30-day cycle, the exemption still applies.

But remember, if the driver breaks this exception more than 8 times in a 30-day period, the driver will need an ELD for the remainder of that 30-day cycle.

There you have it. The four exceptions to the ELD rule.  I’ll summarize for clarity. The ELD mandate does apply to most CMV drivers. However, the ELD rule doesn’t apply to:

  • Pre-2000 vehicles
  • Towaway drivers
  • Drivers who don’t need to maintain RODS
  • Drivers who maintain logs for less than 8 days in a 30-day cycle

Yet, even though some drivers and vehicles don’t need ELDs, fleets are adopting ELDs because of their various benefits. More and more brokers will most likely require ELDs as a sales tool for retaining and soliciting new customers due to the perception that the ELDS will reduce operational costs, improve efficiency, and increase profits.  Of course, all that remains to be seen.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us. We are happy to help you make sense of the requirements and how they might pertain to you.

Keep the wheels rolling.

Robert Beard

President, Pay4Freight