Safety & Compliance

ELD Mandate Update

A review of key topics addressed in the recently issued Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on electronic logging devices

August 2015, - WebXclusive

by Tom Cuthbertson, Omnitracs LLC

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The Electronic Logging Device mandate is in the last stages of being released as a final regulation.

As of the last published calendar, it is now with the Office of the Secretary of Transportation for review and next it will go to the Office of Management and Budget for the last major hurdle before being released.

According to the calendar, the mandate is currently behind schedule, but that doesn’t mean that fleets should delay in understanding how the latest developments will impact them, or how to get their fleet to be ELD ready.

As toOmnitracs the recent proceedings, there were four major items addressed in the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM): Driver Harassment, Technical Specifications, Mandatory ELDs for drivers required to maintain records of duty status, and Supporting Documents.  (Author’s note: Supporting Documents will not be addressed in this article because any effort here is of the carrier’s responsibility.)

Driver Harassment

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Association addressed driver harassment in a comprehensive manner based on what is in the SNPRM and from the points made in many of the FMCSA listening sessions.

The issue of harassment was settled by giving the driver control over log edits from both the back office and the ELD in the vehicle, control over unassigned driver movements, and muting of the sound on the ELD.

Drivers also gained in this area with the reduction in GPS accuracy and vehicle information recording when in personal conveyance, and also creating the additional regulation of Prohibition of Coercion.

The Prohibition of Coercion NPRM addresses entities such as the carrier, dispatcher, brokers and shippers from pushing drivers to record information incorrectly in the records of duty status and identifies civil and punitive damages should coercion be found to be true.

Technical Specifications

Technical specifications were extremely lacking in clarity in the vacated EOBR regulation of 2010 to the point of being almost impossible to implement, which led for the need of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee task force to address these.

Comprised of suppliers, members of the Owner Operators Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), enforcement, carriers, and safety organizations, the task force generated recommendations that addressed all technical aspects of the process by which the ELD records information to files that are required to be transferred to the enforcement body.

Technical specifications were supplied for enforcement transfer of information, security and recording of Hours of Service information all of which were addressed in the SNPRM.  

Mandatory ELDs

Mandatory ELDs will bring some vehicle operational functions into play.  As many in the industry know, it is sometimes necessary to move a vehicle within the yard, which presents a gray area.

The current regulation indicates that any time behind the controls of the vehicle is considered as time driving the vehicle. However, the ELD mandate defines a “yard move” event to be counted as on-duty.  

Drive when not in a yard move is triggered at no more than 5 MPH with no time or distance allowed. There is discussion on the regulation to supply a grid graph with a line 5 and possibly a line 6 to handle Personal Conveyance.

Additionally, as suppliers, more details will be required in recording of information on each event and duty status to be sure the devices are tamper-resistant


FMCSA made a comprehensive effort to address the technical specifications of the new regulation. Many of us asked for guidance to further understand the rule and successfully implement it. 

The next step is to see what has been modified in the final issue of the regulation to confirm what will need to be modified in order to be fully compliant.

All current modifications made by FMCSA have been made with the expressed purpose of improving overall fleet management, and any modifications from here will only provide more tools for fleet managers and drivers to better adapt to the mandate.

Tom Cuthbertson is Vice President of Regulatory Compliance at Omnitracs, LLC. He also provides regulatory compliance information and ELD news to

This article was authored under the guidance and editorial standards of HDT's editors to provide useful information to our readers.



  1. 1. Lesley A Williams [ August 06, 2015 @ 07:35AM ]

    Don't really see the need to mandate this for all companies,Big company yes! mainly for them is the caliber of people they are putting behind the wheel, some might even be able to speak English. I guess if you pay your way safe you can do that,but small company's who actually have to live by the law sees this as a lot of expense needless wasted. this is not one size fits all. what about shippers,costumers,time wasted for loading and unloading, what is their responsibility on this, if any. Dump it back on the trucking company again i guess. I can't pay for traffic managers vacations oops i didn't say that. Any way how about beaning able to stop the clock would help out, you know what you stole from us in 2003. A driver that is paid by the mile the full allotted time the driver can even when a little tired the driver will push it, and this is safe!! Remember you can't stop or you lose money as a driver. This need to be far more reaching than just dumping it back on the trucking company's. Any research beaning done on that area??? by our so called experts!! What is their experience behind the wheel if any, at best a so called educated guess. What about the latest big crashes from company,s that have this technological and still and fatality.
    Any expert call on that. This will not reduce crashes and never will. Its just another way of controlling people. 38 years in business and never needed a baby sitter so why now. What i like to know is who is going gain form this financially ???? Nothing to do with safety,if it is where are the facts to back it, i don't see it. Who's dream is this Hello!!! Freedom no more lets just chip eveybody

  2. 2. Carlton Biggs [ August 06, 2015 @ 07:54PM ]

    who is going to train self employed O/O to use this.everyone is not computer savy and I am one of them. I got a smart phone and never learned to use it and returned it. When this is mandatory, I and a lot I talk to will be out of business. I read newspapers and lots of jobs for truck drivers and will be more job openings when m,andatory.

  3. 3. kevin kuper [ August 18, 2015 @ 04:54PM ]

    I'm like Lesley W., I've been at this trucking business for about 40 years, most as an O/O. I can't see why the mandate, other than control of the trucking industry by the DOT. back a few years we (the trucking community) had a pretty good safety record, But it seems to me, that since the implement of voluntary use of E-logs by big companies, and the implementation of the 14 hour rule, The accident and fatality rate has now risen. I'm just curious why no one has ever thought about this fact. Is it because the people pushing this mandate, don't want to admit failure, or is it the money involved or should I say lost. Then 14 hour clock should be abolished. that might stop most drivers from pushing themselves, and maybe start driving at a leisure pace, instead of trying to beat the clock. the rule should be 14 hours on 10 hours off. As to say if I want to drive 6 hours and take 6 hours off, I should still be able to drive 5 more hours before my 10 hour break, not 2 hours. Let the driver adjust his own schedule to suite his biological clock, Not some 9-5 person in an office. If it's about SAFETY, this should be investigated before the implement of the mandate

  4. 4. Ken M [ August 22, 2015 @ 07:44AM ]

    Sometime the "problem" isn't the problem. It may be a case of a solution looking for a problem. Meaning lobbying groups and misinformed advocacy groups work hard at getting their agenda heard and acted on.
    This is how they raise money and remain relevant.
    Imagine if all of us (truckers) could put our differences aside and concentrate our energies on our lives our careers. We can make a difference in the trucking industry with our actions and our voices. How about starting with phone calls to the right places. Rep. Bill Schuster (R) of Pennsylvania is the chair of the House committee on transportation, his office phone number is 202-225-2431, Senators John Thune (R) South Dakota 202-224-2321 and Bill Nelson (D) Florida are co- chairs of the Senate Transportation Committee chairman. Call them and tell them how you feel. Then get your state rep and senators info and contact them.
    Another direct impact of mandated Elogs will be truck sales, truck accessories and parts sales. Truck stops will see a decline in revenue. A lot of owners will be exiting the business, less small businesses more market decline. Fewer trucks on the road, slower freight, more expensive to ship, higher prices at the markets. Far reaching? Yes!
    Let's not just complain about this make your voices heard by the people making these rules, they really do listen when enough people call. If you want a good advocacy group to speak for you get an OOIDA membership its $45 and tax deductible as a union dues type deduction.


  5. 5. Frank L [ September 07, 2015 @ 09:30PM ]

    Ken is right lets make some phone calls. It's all about Goverment Control from all these Dumb Ass Liberal that we need to ship to China. I don't work for the Gov. They work for Me. Oh and I payed for my truck and trailer they didn't .35 years of trucking safe I'm not racing a ticking time Bomb in my truck do I hear a Amen.

  6. 6. mike m [ October 30, 2015 @ 11:19PM ]

    Once the Gov gets the rule passed ,they will have whon,So to say look wat we did.But if any one read the summary. FMCSA made all modifacations with express pupors of improvivn Fleet management,,,hence the word Fleet.this is more control for fleet managers,,There will b more crashes,than u have ever seen,Every one will b in a hurry to beat the clock,Drivers will b more at each other,There wil b no good out come of this tool,other than easer for dot,i have been o/o for 20 + years ,Imight b wrong i dont think the country can servive with eobr,s.,The attitude should b i,ll get there when i fill like it.U might have to stay out a little longer than u like,But this will change ,wen the shelves r bare,Rember the country cant make it with out o/o,The gov is blind to truckin,they r forgeting about all the speciallized carriers,not so much heavy hall but all u small companys,that your big companys cant do .i dont c eobrs lasting verry long,that just my opinion,iAM THINKING IF WE APROCH THIS WITH I DONT CARE ATTITUDE,THEY WILL START TO CARE,Dont no if this made any sence to who ever reads this,This log system will make u wont to go faster,,,SLOW WAY DOWN,,iWILL DO MY PART ,,,U DO YOURS,,,THEN THEY CAN PAY FOR YOUR SERVICES,,,O U WONT IT ON TIME ,THAT COST,,HAVE A GREAT DAY DRIVERS,,,LETS GET ON OUR PAGE ,THE GOV CAN HAVE THER EOBR PAGE,,

  7. 7. Gregory Hooyman [ December 01, 2015 @ 12:09PM ]

    Gentlemen, I have read all your comments, I understand your concerns but the rule is coming and there is nothing we can do about it. Instead of complaining about it lets look at the bright side, you can purchase a ELD device for your truck for as little as $550 with NO monthly charges, great for small fleets or owner operators, no more log books, time to fill out, the device does it all for you, how much will that save you right there, I have one and love it, I hated doing log books and then having to save them, keep track of hours, not knowing when or if I violated on and on and on Lets go forward

  8. 8. Shawn Roseman [ December 13, 2015 @ 03:54PM ]

    Basically what they are telling us is that us truckers are too f****** stupid to draw a line on a paper log, make a notation and use a calculator to keep track of our service hours and because we are to stupid to do this, we need someone to hold our hand and micro manage us every hour, every day. Is this USA or Nazi Germany??

    We should move forward by striking, when people start starving because there is no food on the shelves, they'll negotiate.


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