Heavier Enforcement of ELD Mandate to Begin April 1
Law enforcement will begin placing non-compliant trucks out of service at the beginning of April.
While the ELD mandate has been in effect since December, 2017, drivers found to be out of compliance with the mandate by law enforcement have only received minor penalties such as citations during the transition period. That will change beginning April 1, 2018 as drivers not using an ELD to record HOS can have their trucks placed out of service for the infraction.
Director of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement for the FMCSA, Joe DeLorenzo stated at last week’s Mid-American Truck Show, “If that happens, in accordance with [the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s] out-of-service criteria, it’s 10 hours off, just like if you had no log today.” Once a rig is placed out of service, a driver may continue to their destination, but is not permitted to drive again until an ELD is installed and operational within the vehicle. If a driver attempts to make another trip without an ELD, it can result in another 10 hours off for the trucker and carrier.
Officials have also debated special considerations for drivers on personal conveyance and separating hours of service for drivers hauling freight vs driving home or to a restaurant. ELD’s allow drivers to switch categories for when they are on personal time, such as getting a bite to eat. While rules have traditional stated that personal conveyance does not apply when the truck has a load, the FMCSA recently suggested a revision that considers the reason for the trip rather than if the truck is loaded.
Additionally, the FMCSA made recommendations regarding HOS short haul exceptions for agricultural transporters. According to the proposal, drivers operating within a 150-mile radius of the source commodity would not start their 11 hours of driving during a 14-hour day until they leave the radius, regardless of the amount of time they have been driving within the radius.
Director DeLorenzo also acknowledged a recent challenge with unassigned hours and recommended that carriers maintain a “maintenance log-in” to address unassigned hours that are caused when maintenance personnel move vehicles.