New Changes in Electronic Logs

Truck drivers have long been required to keep log books, which track their trips, rest time and on-duty hours. Since 1937, the federal government has required drivers to log their hours of service (HOS) in various formats. Today, HOS are logged electronically. This led to the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. If your trucking company in Oakland, IA falls under the ELD mandate, your drivers are required to use an ELD to keep track of their hours of service.

Here’s more information on the ELD mandate and why it’s important.

Why do drivers keep track of their HOS?

Driving fatigue is a leading cause of accidents, whether you’re in a regular vehicle or a commercial truck and trailer. Even though you’re sitting down most of the time, long drives require attention and focus. The federal government requires HOS logging in order to ensure a driver is not forced to work or drive longer than the maximum hours allowed.

Electronic logging devices are superior to paper log books for a few reasons. First, it’s harder to manipulate the results, so drivers won’t feel pressured to lie on paper for the company. Second, ELDs are more accurate, allowing companies and the government to get a better sense of who’s on the road, for how long and whether they’re taking the required breaks. Finally, ELDs usually require less effort from the driver themselves, since they’re automatically synced to the vehicle’s engine. They also make it simple to transfer logs to any safety officials who request them.

What does the ELD mandate require?

The ELD mandate went into effect in February 2016, and became mandatory in December 2017. All commercial driving operations that were required to keep paper log books are now required to use ELDs. This includes vehicles over five tons, interstate commercial drivers required to keep records of duty status, hazmat vehicles and those that carry more than eight or 15 passengers, depending on the vehicle class. There are certain exemptions, too, including pre-2000 vehicles, drive-away, tow-away vehicles and those that operate in a 150-mile radius who either use time cards or don’t have commercial status.

The ELD mandate requires that all the qualified vehicles have an ELD installed. There are privacy measures available, such as limited geographical tracking for when the driver is off duty. Most ELDs allow the driver or select company personnel to make notes on the log when necessary.

Finally, make sure your ELD is on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s approved list. This is a list of registered, self-certified ELDs that comply with the rules. If it’s not, you or your company could be cited for violation of the ELD mandate.

If you own a commercial truck driving company, or are thinking about starting one, ELD mandate compliance is a must. Not only is it the law, but it encourages drivers and companies to practice safe driving.

If you need the services of a trucking company in Oakland, IA, get in touch with Steve Emken Trucking today.