Who Has to Comply With the Government’s ELD Mandate?

Who Has To Comply With the Government’s ELD Mandate?

September 2, 2016

Federal officials argue that the government’s new ELD (electronic logging device) mandate will make roads safer, truck drivers’ schedules more manageable and fleets more profitable – in the long run. Fleet and industry leaders, however, are looking more at the short run, the immediate road ahead, and asking some tough questions on a piece of legislation years in the making. We at ABCO Transportation began a series in late July to answer the major issues in the hopes of alleviating some of the consternation. This week’s question is: Who has to comply with the ELD mandate?

Mandate Wound Its Way Through Committees And Boards

After making its way through Congressional committees and undergoing considerable modifications and challenges, the ELD mandate became law on Dec. 10, 2015 when officials entered the legislation into the Federal Registry. Enforcement of the law begins in December 2017 and applies to all commercial trucking companies, including owner operator fleets. ABCO Transportation’s drivers must comply with the mandate’s requirements.

Industry expert Annette Sandberg discussed the new federal rule at length with FleetOwner, an online information source for fleet leaders. Sandberg served as administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, United States Department of Transportation.

Truck drivers must comply with the ELD mandate

All Drivers Who Have To Fill Out Log Books Must Comply

“All interstate truck drivers who currently are required to fill out records of duty status or log books are required to have an ELD,” she said. “However, there are a few categories of drivers that are not required to have these devices.”

Here are those exemptions:

  • Drivers who use paper records of duty (ROD) status or log books for not more than eight days during any 30-day period. (This group consists of short-haul drivers that use timecards instead of logbooks. However, if a short-haul driver uses a paper ROD more than eight days in any 30-day rolling period, that driver must have an ELD installed in their truck).
  • Drivers who do driveaways or towaways, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.


“Even though drivers mentioned here do not have to have an ELD, they must still comply with the HOS (hours of service) rules and keep required documents as detailed in the current rules. Additionally, motor carriers that employ ELD-exempt drivers must still have a system in place to ensure their drivers fully comply with HOS rules,” Sandberg said.

Some states have already adopted federal transportation rules for in-state truck driving. “If you live in a state that automatically adopts the federal rules, it is likely the federal ELD requirement will also apply to all your intrastate operations,” Sandberg said.

“Carriers that switch between intra- and interstate operations must do as before and comply with the federal regulations in the previous seven days prior to making an interstate trip. If you are a carrier that frequently switches between intra- and interstate operations, it may make more sense to install an ELD and comply with federal HOS regulations.”

Sandberg said fleet managers should obtain information from their state’s trucking association or state police to ensure their state is adopting the federal requirements and when.

The mandate applies to both owner operators and fleet employee drivers. Those who ship with ABCO and other transportation companies will have to ensure their trucks comply with the mandate’s requirements.

Mandate Set For Legal Challenge

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is challenging the requirement to comply with the ELD mandate, arguing it violates drivers’ Constitutional rights to privacy and protection against illegal searches and seizures. The Seventh Circuit court of Appeals in Chicago is scheduled to hear oral arguments Sept. 13.

In our next article, we at ABCO Transportation will address the question: What are some of the other requirements of the ELD mandate?