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The Electronic Logging Mandate—What you Need to Know

Posted on 7/9/2015 by in Technology

The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate is supposed to reach a final ruling on September 30, 2015. Continue reading to find out what you need to know and how you can prepare.

The E-logging mandate isn’t as simple as a mere switch from paper logs to ELDs; the law touches on data exchange, Record of Duty Status (RODS), requirements and communication from the cab to the back office, and other nuances.

It’s been a long time coming and the transportation industry must hold its breath until the final details emerge from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In the meantime, it’s important to strategize your plan for compliance. 

Summed up, the mandate requires most drivers to carry an ELD. This device electronically logs a driver’s RODS and will act as a replacement for paper log books. ELDs integrate with the truck’s engine to accurately record driving activity, which is tracked through the device and shared wirelessly with the back office. Today, many fleets use Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRDs) and the difference between this device and an ELD is ambiguous. Your AOBRD, if it’s recent enough, may be able to function exactly like an ELD as long as it can take software updates. 

A common misconception about the mandate is that the ruling will go into effect on September 30 of this year. Based on the proposed rule, there are two significant dates you need to be aware of when prepping for compliance: September 30, 2017 and September 30, 2019. The 2017 date is the official date when fleets must equip their trucks with an ELD, if they are operating on paper logs — however, if a fleet switches from paper logs to an AOBRD between September 30, 2015 and September 29, 2017, the carrier would be eligible for the grandfather clause and have until September 30, 2019 to update their AOBRD software to comply with the ELD mandate. PeopleNet’s enhanced display AOBRDs are easy to use and can achieve ELD compliance with a simple software update — no hardware installation required, based on the changes outlined in the proposed rule.

One of the main goals of this regulation is data output standardization. This means that, during roadside inspections, enforcement will extract raw data from the ELD via USB (or other methods of data capture) that will undergo calculation through an algorithm created by FMCSA.

With PeopleNet, this transfer is simple. Our tools connect with one another wirelessly through a network that goes beyond the truck — carrier’s data will store in the “Cloud,” meaning that managers can access everything from reports to vehicle health remotely and in real-time. Not only does PeopleNet facilitate an easy inspection, but we allow carriers to retrieve information quickly. All of your data remains secure and you maintain control.

While it can seem daunting to tackle legislation, PeopleNet makes it easier for you. PeopleNet streamlines all the necessary reporting so drivers can concentrate on the road and carriers can organize their material without piles of paper. They strive to achieve compliance with all of their technology so companies can do what they do best hassle free. 

It’s important to remember that since the final ruling is yet to occur, any component of the mandate could change. In an ever shifting legal landscape, it’s difficult to know where to turn. We’re here to help. FTS Plus+ members are eligible to receive special discounts on the PeopleNet system. To learn more about PeopleNet and how we can improve performance for your fleet, please visit www.ftsplus.com/peoplenet.