If you’re a truck driver, you should have Dec. 18, 2017 highlighted on your calendar. That’s the day on which commercial drivers must be in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s mandate for using electronic logging devices (ELD). Following that date, drivers are subject to fines and penalties if they are not found to be in compliance with the mandate. The ELD mandate is proposed to convert CDL drivers’ hours of service and other material from pencil-and-paper logs to electronic records. Through the use of ELDs, drivers will be able to log basic information directly from the engine of their trucks as well as information they log themselves such as trailer numbers and shipping documents. This allows such information to be logged automatically and more accurately than on paper.
Being in compliance with the ELD mandate means trucking companies need to be aware of which devices count under the new rules, how to ensure those devices remain in compliance, and how to confirm the devices are being used in accordance with the law. For example, carriers need to be conscious that any action they take that they know will lead to drivers violating their hours of service rules constitutes harassment — they can face stiff penalties for such transgressions. These actions considered harassment of drivers include interacting with the driver while the driver is supposed to be sleeping and wrongly editing records on the ELD. Carriers also need to be sure their drivers carry all of the required materials related to their ELDs, including user’s manuals, instruction sheets and paper logs in the event of an error.
The future is now for the trucking industry, and carriers can’t afford to wait much longer to bring their trucks and drivers into compliance with the ELD mandate. The consequences for overlooking the deadline for compliance may be bothersome at best and devastating at worst for carriers. It’s in a trucking company’s best interest to make sure everything is taken care of earlier than the deadline. The guide below from Track Your Truck features what you need to be aware of regarding the future ELD mandate deadline, so make sure you’re ready for Dec. 18.