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FMCSA Reinforces Dec Start of ELD Mandate

Putting to bed any final speculation the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate will be delayed, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) confirmed it is proceeding with its plan to begin enforcing the rule on Dec. 18.

“We won’t be putting drivers out of service for simply failing to have an ELD, but if they’re not compliant with the hours of service rules or don’t have a paper record that shows that they’re compliant, they’ll continue to be put out of service,” explained Jon Dierberger, field administrator at FMCSA, during TU-Automotive’s Connected Fleets event. “That rule will still remain in effect.”

Last month, a last-ditch effort in the U.S. House to delay the Dec. 18 mandate on ELDs was soundly defeated when the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee rejected a proposal that would have denied funding in fiscal 2018 to enforce the rule on ELDs. As well, in June, the US Supreme Court decided it will not hear lawsuits against the DOT’s ELD mandate, effectively ending the bids to overturn the impeding regulation.

As reported by Fleet Owner, Dierberger explained that for the next two years the FMCSA will only allow the use of grandfathered in automated onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) that have been in use and installed prior to the Dec. 18 deadline. But, if one of those devices malfunctions and has to be replaced, it has to be replaced with an ELD.

Two years after the compliance date – Dec. 16, 2019 – all devices must be ELD compliant. AOBRDs will need to be upgraded or replaced if they can’t meet the ELD standard, according to Dierberger.

ELDs must be registered with FMCSA, which does not enforce any kind of validation process for product manufacturers. Currently, at least 80 self-certified devices have been registered with the FMCSA.

“As we go out and conduct compliance investigations, that’s when we find out just how compliant they are with the specification,” Dierberger explained. “So we are advising that motor carriers be very careful about who they’re doing business with.”

Though FMCSA has begun training federal and state inspectors, Dierberger noted that with 80 different devices out there, the agency isn’t focused on getting officers to try to understand how to read or react or use the interfaces on all of these different devices. The idea is that officers will look for certain data, which be transferred directly from the device to the officer for review.

Beginning Dec. 18, enforcement officers will look for certain data, which be transferred directly from the ELD to the officer for review.

“That’s one of the advantages and changes with the ELD rule – we specified a standard data set,” Dierberger said. “Standard data set allows us to display the hours of service information to the officer using a standard interface.”

Those with questions can email them to ELD@dot.gov.

Read full Fleet Owner article here.

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