A federal rule mandating electronic logging devices goes into effect on December 18, 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reminded commercial trucking firms and truck drivers and commercial bus operators Thursday.
While most commercial tractor-trailers and commercial buses and other vehicles will be subject to the new rule requiring electronic logging devices (also known as ELDs), there are some exceptions, According to the FMCSA, the following drivers and vehicles are exempted from the rule:
- Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions may continue using timecards; they are not required to keep records of duty status and will not be required to use electronic logging devices
- Drivers who use paper records of duty status for no more than eight days out of every 30-day period
- Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered
- Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000
The FMCSA said that the electronic logging device rule also applies to Mexican and Canadian commercial drivers authorized to drive in the U.S.
All commercial drivers are required to keep hours-of-service logs that record their hours of driving and rest. The requirement is primarily an anti-fatigue measure designed to prevent commercial drivers from falling asleep at the wheel due to lack of rest and excessively long driving hours. The ELD rule requires commercial trucks to be equipped with devices that automatically record driving activity.
Although the rule has come under attack by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which argues it will cost independent truckers a small fortune without adding much benefit in return, its widespread support among large trucking companies likely means it will survive Trump’s regulatory rollbacks.