Questions about ELD Mandate Enforcement

It happened. The ELD Mandate went into effect on December 18 of last year. You already set up your fleet so every vehicle has an ELD and you made sure all the devices and reports are in compliance. But, maybe you have a friend that wasn’t quite as diligent with their fleet operations, so what happens to them if they aren’t compliant?

Here are all the answers to all of those lingering questions you want to ask – you know, for a friend…

What is currently happening to drivers without ELD-compliant devices?
According to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, starting December 18, inspectors and roadside enforcement personnel began documenting violations on their roadside inspection reports. At their discretion, inspectors have been able to issue citations to drivers without a compliant ELD or grandfathered AOBRD.

Are there any other penalties?
Starting on April 1, 2018, drivers will be placed out of service if their vehicle is not equipped with a proper device.

What about smaller carriers? Don’t these rules only apply to the “big guys”?
Many organizations that opposed the ELD rule lobbied Congress to tried to get delayed enforcement of the rule, especially for smaller carriers and independent drivers. However, those delays did not go into effect and all drivers required to record HOS are subject to ELD requirements.

If my friend installs AOBRDs after the December 18th, 2017 deadline is he compliant? 
Carriers installing AOBRDs (automatic on-board recording devices) after December 18th, 2017 are not compliant because they are not covered by the grandfather clause. Any vehicles that were already equipped as of December 17, 2017 can continue to use the AOBRD for another two years before switching to a new ELD-compliant device. However, any new vehicles in that fleet will need to have a fully ELD-compliant device.

What if our state doesn’t have ELD rules?
While many states do not have their own rules about ELDs, the mandate is a federal rule and enforceable throughout the all fifty states. All states will have the equipment necessary to review eRODS (electronic records of duty status) and determine if a device is compliant and that a driver is following HOS rules.

Ok, ok, I get it. We all need ELDs, but aren’t there SOME exceptions?
There are several exemptions to the ELD rule, and it’s important to know how they affect your vehicles as some exemptions, like the grandfather clause, only provide a delay in enforcement. Joe DeLorenzo, director of the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) Office of Enforcement and Compliance, says exemptions fall into two categories: exemptions that were already in existence and exemptions that are new and specific to ELDs. DeLorenzo said no matter what type of exemption a driver may operate under, it is important they are able to explain the exemption to law enforcement and why they qualify.