Do you have questions about hours-of-service limits, record-keeping requirements, and exceptions? Find the answers you need to stay compliant and on the road with the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) regulations that went into effect Dec. 18, 2017.
Do logging apps on mobile devices that don’t receive data from the vehicle automatically meet ELD requirements?
No. Drivers required to use an electronic log must be using an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) or ELD. Both devices get data from the vehicle to automatically determine when the driver is driving. If the app isn’t connected to the vehicle to get the data, it is not an AOBRD or ELD and cannot be used to comply with the requirement.
How do I know the ELD system I’m using is compliant?
If you are using an AOBRD, you should have a letter from the provider stating the device is compliant with the AOBRD requirements in §395.15. If your device isn’t compliant with ELD regulations, it will be listed on FMCSA’s “ELD Registry.” If the provider can’t provide a letter stating the device is §395.15 compliant and it isn’t on the ELD Registry, it can’t be used to comply with ELD requirements.
What happens if I’m not using an ELD when going through a roadside inspection?
You won’t have an acceptable log as required by §395.8(a). The fine and consequences are the same as before Dec. 18, 2017, when a driver couldn’t present acceptable logs when requested.
Are there exceptions to the 14-hour rule if I’m stuck at a customer for several hours or have a breakdown that takes hours to resolve?
Not specifically. The 14-hour rule is a “consecutive hour” rule, so once you start your day as a driver, the clock is ticking (if you start at 7 a.m., you must stop driving by 9 p.m.). On-duty time, off-duty time, driving time, and sleeper-berth periods of less than 8 hours all count toward the 14-hours. The only exceptions to the 14-hour rule apply to “special” drivers—drivers operating property-carrying vehicles who don’t require a CDL to operate and who return to their work reporting location, drivers who have returned to their work reporting location within the last five workdays, and drivers using the “split sleeper berth” exemption (the 8-hour sleeper break doesn’t count toward the 14 when the driver is using this exception).
What happens if I run out of hours due to the 8-hour, 14-hour, or 60- or 70-hour limit while sitting at a customer, and the customer tells me I have to leave?
You have to leave when the property owner (customer) tells you to leave. Yes, it is a violation of the hours-of-service limit involved, but a driver has no choice. The key is keeping driving to a minimum and not falsify the log. Get to the nearest safe place you can to take the required break, log it as it was done, and put a note on the log (whether paper or electronic) explaining why you drove when out of hours. If this happens occasionally to a fleet’s drivers, it won’t be an issue, as it’s somewhat expected. However, if drivers are operating over the limits regularly (10 percent of more of the time), for whatever reason, then there’ll be a problem.
What if I reach one of the limits (8-hours, 11-hours, 14-hours, 60- or 70-hours) and can’t find a safe place to take the required break?
There’s no exception allowing you to keep driving, so any driving past the limit is a violation. Good trip planning and route knowledge can help prevent it from happening. If it does happen, keep driving to a minimum, and don’t falsify the log. Put a note on the log (whether paper or electronic) explaining why it happened. If it happens occasionally to a fleet’s drivers, it won’t be an issue, as it is somewhat expected. However, if drivers are operating over the limits regularly (10 percent or more of the time), for any reason, there will be a problem.
This is the third of a three-part blog series. Truckstop.com Director of Industry Relations Susan Collins talks with Thomas E. Bray, lead transportation editor for J. J. Keller & Associates Inc. in Neenah, WI., concerning the impending ELD rule, which became mandatory in December 2017. Read Part 1 and Part 2 here.