Many carriers currently operate with AOBRDs, an electronic device that records a driver’s hours of service (HOS). ELDs also record a drivers hours- so what’s the difference? ELD’s are simply put, more accurate.
An electronic logging device (ELD) connects to the vehicle to automatically track the drivers actual hours of service, record mileage, location, drive time, when the engine is on or off and capture a complete history of edits that are made, with annotations. While AOBRDs also track hours of service, there is much more manual entry and the editing capabilities are less detailed.
The ELD rule began in 2015 where the conversation started, and ELD use was voluntary. Two years later in 2017, confusion remained on who needed to comply. Now, all drivers and carriers subject to the mandate must use and register ELDs with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) by December 16, 2019 spending close to $1,100 per truck for the new ELDs according to an article in Inbound Logistics.
To address cost concerns, ELD Facts mentions “the FMCSA has provided that smartphones, tablets, and rugged handhelds can be used as long as the system as a whole meets ELD requirements, including a hardwired connection to the truck’s engine.”
The FMCSA has provided a list of registered ELDs, self-certified by the manufacturer to help carriers with the process. However, not all devices are 100% compliant as some vendors managed to get on the list without a compliant ELD solution according to ELD Mandate Facts. Always double check the compliance criteria when selecting the devices for your organization.
There are some exceptions to the 2019 Mandate including (1) Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000, Driveaway-towaway drivers (transporting a vehicle for sale, lease, or repair), provided the vehicle driven is part of the shipment or the vehicle being transported is a motor home or recreational vehicle trailer. Some commercial and non-commercial drivers fall under the short-haul exemption as well but qualification must be met. Learn more about the Top 6 exemptions of the ELD Mandate.