FMCSA’s DeLorenzo: Move to ELDs Benefits Everyone

February 28, 2017

By Stephane Babcock

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FMCSA's DeLorenzo. Photo: Stephane Babcock
FMCSA's DeLorenzo. Photo: Stephane Babcock

PHOENIX-- As Joe DeLorenzo, director of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance, sees it, there are positive reasons why all motor carriers need to be conscious of the upcoming electronic logging device mandate deadline of December 18, 2017. 

“There’s a lot of benefits for all of us towards our goal of making sure the transportation environment is as safe as possible,” said DeLorenzo, addressing attendees of the Omnitracs Outlook conference here on Feb. 28. He said that includes gaining shorter inspection times. “That’s 15 minutes you get back in productivity for your drivers.”

But to enjoy the benefits, as well as to be in compliance, fleets need to preplan, according to DeLorenzo, who added that while the hours of service regulations have not changed, the use of ELDs has changed the landscape.

“There’s more transparency into what drivers are doing,” said DeLorenzo. “So I’d be looking ahead now at what your operation looks like and how to construct that to make the sure the ELD implementation goes smoothly.”

The biggest mistake, according to DeLorenzo,  is taking things for granted and then waiting until the last second, and then finding out that some issue makes compliance that much more difficult. In answering his most commonly asked question – Who needs an ELD? – DeLorenzo answered it simply: “If you’re a driver who uses a logbook, you will need an ELD.”

For those with concerns about transferring data during an inspection, DeLorenzo agreed that problems may arise, which is why drivers have numerous options, including printouts, allowing for a screen display that is easily visible to law enforcement, emailing the records, or allowing the inspector to download it via a USB device or Bluetooth.

Towards the end of his presentation, DeLorenzo looked ahead to the upcoming Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse requirements, which will be implemented in January 2020.

“There’s a lot of misunderstanding,” said DeLorenzo. “But it’s an important rule that is going to being a big increase in safety.”

The main point of the rule, according to DeLorenzo, is to provide information to motor carriers about drivers that have had positive drug and alcohol tests and whether those drivers have completed the steps they need to return to duty.

In terms of reporting, he said the rule will require employers, third-party administrators and medical review officers to report any violations to the clearinghouse, as well as reports from substance abuse professionals about driver completing any mandatory return-to-duty and/or alcohol rehabilitation programs.

In terms of querying the system, employer will need to do so during the pre-employment screening process and during a driver’s annual verification. Drivers will also be notified electronically (if registered) any time information is added, modified or removed from the clearinghouse. No fees will be assessed for drivers to access their information.


  1. 1. tpauburn [ March 01, 2017 @ 05:48AM ]

    When you REQUIRE, shippers to have the freight on the dock, and will
    penalize, them the day of the shipment if truck is not out in 2 hours , then
    NO, the system will not work because the clock will run out, due to putter
    around in their yard or at a truck stop. THe issue is that all loads will
    necessitate the must of being First come first serve, and not allowing
    shippers and receivers, to make the all knowing comment OH, your 10 minutes late, and we will get to you sometime in the day, ( usually 5-7 hours later). WHEN YOU CORRECT THIS< then ELDs will function
    for now the country is headed to economic down fall, and the forcing drivers to be working in the night that they might not be accustomed ,to
    -- what is Safe about that !!!!!!!!!

  2. 2. Dinah Cruse [ March 01, 2017 @ 06:17AM ]

    ELD's are not a safety instrument, they are for compliance. FMCSA is a punative entity, working to punish trucking companies for insignificant, non-safety issues; form & manner are not safety issues. If they truly wanted to make the roads safer, more focus would be on 4-wheeled vehicles which cause 75% of all crashes with 18 wheelers. ELD's are coming due to collusion between ATA, large fleets and the people who have ownership in the device & communications companies. Shippers & receivers need to get prepared for detention time charges or be prepared to expedite the process when the truck arrives. Carriers will suffer and FMCSA and lawmakers will be oblivious to the problems as usual.

  3. 3. Carlton [ March 01, 2017 @ 06:33AM ]

    above comments, I agree, and if speed limiters are mandated, they should be on cars and pickups, This is where the main speed problem is. But I am seeing more speeding trucks and could it be because of ELD causing them to speed to save time. Is this safety. I will be quitting at end of year.

  4. 4. Greg Hardin [ March 01, 2017 @ 06:38AM ]

    Let's see what would most Americans do if they were fined hundreds of dollars for sitting in a traffic jam and then two days later an officer looks at your time and then gives you a ticket because your 14-hour clock expired while you were in the traffic jam. This happens hundreds of times a day. How about we fine every person in Washington that has to sit in traffic jams.

  5. 5. Valleyraven [ March 01, 2017 @ 06:40AM ]

    Off record, an ELD device manufacture told me the devices would be utilized in the future for road tax (mileage) measures. The FMCSA cited 53 lives would be saved per year with ELD. To Dinah's point, resources could be allocated in a much more productive manner to the general driving population in order to yield a more significant result. Further regulating the regulated is senseless.

  6. 6. BarbRRB [ March 01, 2017 @ 07:13AM ]

    ELD should be a choice. Truck drivers are the targets and always have been. Take a look at proven history, not calculation of the future. No one can truly predict the future accurately. With the past two years fatalities have risen. Truckers and companies are your cash cows and some are just sick of the finger pointing while the numbers go up. FMCSA you have a job and stay on point. This will not lower fatalities but increase.

  7. 7. Gary [ March 01, 2017 @ 08:56AM ]

    The fmcsa should take a poll on how many Drivers, Owner Operators plan on leaving the industry because of ELD's this December.

  8. 8. Stephen A Motyl [ March 01, 2017 @ 09:03AM ]

    Tracking American citizens regardless of whatever occupation they are in, is ILLEGAL and STRAIGHT NAZI. This isn't Germany Dec.7 1941.

  9. 9. tpauburn [ March 01, 2017 @ 09:39AM ]


  10. 10. Justin [ March 01, 2017 @ 01:50PM ]

    As a one-owner,one truck fleet with a dedicated route, ELDs will do nothing to improve my safety or efficiency.
    So much for ELDs being a positive for EVERYONE.

  11. 11. Michael B Rector [ March 01, 2017 @ 08:34PM ]

    As a one-truck owner-operator at the mercy of highway construction, 4-wheeler collisions, and traffic jam delays, having to install an ELD in my truck will force me to drive faster than I normally would to make sure I don't run out of time before my ELD reports me. Is this their idea of safety? And don't even get me started on a mandate that takes $75-80 per month out of my check with no benefit whatsoever to me. Maybe it's time to sell the truck and learn to say "Do you want fries with that?"

  12. 12. tpauburn [ March 02, 2017 @ 03:50AM ]

    Here';s you another, one, ELD, absolutely do not help a major carrier
    home based in AZ< their CSA, numbers may be ok, BUT, their accident/fatality listings also on the site, have not been helped by ELD,
    I dont think. ALso, ELDS do not help that car passing on the right hand lane and then needs to move quickly back into the traffic lane cause of the exit up and head, and then reduces the necessity space distance between the truck, Nah, ELD did nothing to improve safety, because of that person
    and anybody thinking ELDS, is gonna help in Traffic, when almost 70-90 of
    cars sitting at the light have that phone in the left hand, with EYES, glued upon whatever they are doing , NOPE not gonna help that either, What
    the infrastructure needs to do is make dedicated lanes for truck traffic, but
    alas that should have been dun years ago.

  13. 13. lee lenard [ March 03, 2017 @ 01:35PM ]

    for the over-the-road drivers or those running 12-14 hours per dispatch ELD are the most dangerous thing for public safety and life and well being of the driver that FMCSA has ever effected. On tight must complete runs, give up necessary "call of nature" and no way to have time to eat any decent meal in any shift. Yes, they force drivers to speed, run red lights, take chances when they should not and drive as aggressively as the truck is capable of responding to. Overall driver health will deteriorate exceptionally faster than previous and unhealthy drivers are a greater risk to public safety. YES, this is about large carriers having more advantage, driving small carriers as well as small distribution and service industries out of business. The cost to implement and maintain is overwhelming. The updates never stop. At least every 3 years your ELD will be out of date and no longer technically supported so you will have to buy a new one! THIS GIVE THE FMCSA A NEW JOB policing and working with manufacturers to produce the products. Many jobs in FMCSA analyzing all that data they can now retrieve electronically........sad part...more wrecks and lives lost are coming as more ELD's get installed and more jobs and income lost as small businesses have to go out of business.......BIG BUSINESS owns the FMCSA......

  14. 14. Paul [ March 04, 2017 @ 08:54AM ]

    I don't know how many times this will have to be said...the regulations will keep coming as long as we just keep taking them. The answer to all these regulations is simple....remember the "day without women" protest that's coming? How about just 3 days withou a trucker? Just 3 days...3 lousey days. It's not going to break anybody...if you're a driver for a big company you can be off sick for 3 days...and the results will be devistating to the lawmakers! The public will be pissed... let them. I think it should be Dec. 18 through Dec 20, just before Christmas and the day ELD's become mandatory! Cmon...3 lousey days!!! We have the power...just use it!!!!

  15. 15. Tim [ March 11, 2017 @ 02:07AM ]

    "Everyone" in this guys context is the FMCSA employees, the ELD manufacturers and the mega-carriers. Everyone else is "no one." True safety is taking a back seat to the convenience of the regulators. How long do you think it'll be before these things just "auto-dump" their files every time your truck passes a POE, a scale, a rest area or state line? If ELD's are such a boon to all, why do they need to be mandated? Absolute rigidity in HOS compliance is the enemy of safety. It doesn't know weather or circadian rythms or delays or personal needs or anything other than that ticking clock and your absolute subservience to it. I see many more Tracy Morgan type incidents on the horizon as this monkey wrench gets tossed into what has been a relatively smoothly functioning system. I have to click "I'm not a robot" to post this, but I'll need to be one to drive my own truck! What a crock....

  16. 16. Lori Evans [ March 13, 2017 @ 04:41AM ]

    The only way for ELDs to work correctly is to go back to the HOS that worked! Not the clock method. There is to much into play with a drivers day for the cllock method to work period! Fine , if your a big company and have yards all over the US. But our smaller companies ... We will end up dissolving. You can not put a clock on this type of business period! These people making the laws need to drive a truck for a couple months and understand. This is going to have a trickle effect and you watch. Inflation will arise to the money we are losing due to the clock !!


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