Redwood Blog

ELD Compliance: Is Your Broker Exposing You to Risk?

What is an ELD?

An ELD is an Electronic Logging Device that accurately tracks, manages, and shares records of duty status (RODS) data. It does this by synchronizing with the vehicle's engine to record driving time. As a result, it creates a safer working environment for drivers and more certain hours of service (HOS) tracking. ELD Manufacturers must conform to certain technical specifications laid out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Then, they must certify their ELDs, and register them with FMCSA.

What is ELD compliance?

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration now requires most carriers and drivers who have an obligation to maintain RODS to use Electronic Logging Devices. Anyone using Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRD) must replace them with ELDs over a four-year period. Carriers and drivers who are subject to the rule must install and use ELDs by the appropriate deadline.

Furthermore, the FMCSA states that anyone classed as an Enforcement Partner "must understand enforcement and compliance procedures during each implementation phase, and which regulatory guidance applies to each."

So, what do the new laws cover, exactly?

There are six main parts to the new regulations.

1. Specifying who is covered by the rule and exceptions to it.
2. Noting that ELDs must be certified and registered.
3. Technical specifications to ensure ELDs are standardized.
4. Implementation timeline to give drivers and carriers time to comply.
5. Provisions to prevent data tampering and harassment.
6. Standardized data display and transfer processes.

You can read more about each of these six pieces of regulation using the documentation here.

When do these laws take effect?

The specific deadline depends on the carrier. There are two primary dates which cover most carriers - those who use paper logs, and those who use AOBRDs.

1. Carriers and drivers who are using paper logs or logging software must transition to ELDs no later than December 18, 2017.
2. Carriers and drivers who use AOBRDs before the compliance date must transition to ELDs no later than December 16, 2019.

What happens if my carrier isn't compliant? Are there penalties?

The specific penalties for ELD non-compliance have not yet been given out by the FMSCA. However, Anette Sandberg, who spent half a decade running the FMSCA stated that it very well might be a "zero tolerance" policy. Because it is a mandatory regulation, enforcing it means dropping the safety rating for a carrier to Unsatisfactory. That means they've got 60 days to comply - or shut down altogether. This penalty is only a speculation on what the penalties may include. However, the effects could be drastic if your carrier is non-compliant.

How do I know if my carrier is ELD compliant?

All ELD compliant carriers must register with the FMSCA. In some cases, you can ask each of your carriers for a copy of their ELD compliance registration paperwork. If the paperwork itself is not available, you can ask to speak with the individual authorized by the carrier to certify the ELD. This person is otherwise known by the FMSCA as their primary point of contact (POC).

Another option, of course, is to work with a reputable 3PL company whose carrier network is ELD compliant. For example, Redwood has an excellent carrier base that is entirely consistent with the new ELD rules. You can read more about our carrier network here.