ELD Mandate Finally Arrives, to Growing Pains and Praise

December 18, 2017

By Steven Martinez

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The electronic logging device rule kicked in on Dec. 18 and enforcement has begun across the country.

While there were some reports of certain ELD providers having temporary software and server troubles, no doubt due to a sudden increase in usage, the day seems to have gone off without much trouble. Based on what he had heard, CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney characterized the day as quiet on the enforcement side.

"Today, jurisdictions around the country are implementing the ELD requirement," said Mooney in a CVSA news release. "Enforcement personnel have been trained in anticipation of the ELD rule and now that it is in effect, inspectors will be verifying hours-of-service compliance by reviewing records of duty status requirements electronically.”

While the rule is on the books,  a phased-in approach is being taken by law enforcement. Any violations stemming from a lack of ELDs will not count against a CSA score or be cause for being placed out of service until April 1. Fleets using automatic onboard recording devices, a precursor to ELDs, will be allowed to use those devices until Dec. 16, 2019, thanks to a grandfather clause in the mandate.

The ELD rule does not change any of the underlying hours-of-service requirements, but simply enforces the use of an electronic device connected to the vehicle’s diagnostic port to track and record hours of service, which replaces paper log books.

The American Trucking Associations officially welcomed the effective date of the ELD mandate, hailing it as a step forward for the industry. The use of ELDs was first proposed in 2007 and was finalized in 2010. The rule that is went into effect today was the result of a bipartisan measure included in the MAP-21 highway bill, which was passed back in 2012.

“Electronic logging devices have been legislated, promulgated, and litigated – with Congress voting three times in the past five years in favor of this requirement and a federal court rejecting a challenge to the rule," said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. "The time has finally come to retire decades-old, burdensome paper logs that consume countless hours and are susceptible to fraud and put the safety of all motorists first.

"The benefits of this rule exceed the costs by more than $1 billion, making it a rule the ATA can firmly support and easily adopt,” he continued. "Today marks the start of a new era of safety and efficiency for our industry and we thank the champions in the Department of Transportation and Congress who have gotten us to this point.”

ATA characterized the implementation as a step forward in the debate over hours of service. Bill Sullivan, the trucking lobby's group executive vice president for advocacy, stated that it will allow trucking to make a better case for corrections to HOS rules with regards to detention and the split sleeper berth provision.

“With the support of law enforcement groups and trucking industry groups like ATA that are concerned with the welfare of the motoring public, this requirement is now in the rearview mirror and we can turn our attention to other important safety matters surrounding the hours-of-service rules,” said Sullivan. “Simply put, with this requirement in place we can now move forward to a safer, better future for our industry.”


  1. 1. Russ [ December 19, 2017 @ 05:35AM ]

    One company in Idaho has just over 100 trucks and has 37 of them parked because the driver who won't use ELDS quit, that's almost 37% of the fleet, so that a little bit of a problem to some people. Iowa had handed out over 100 citations for no ELDS by 2 o'clock pm yesterday, so that's not all quiet on the enforcement front, the Iowa trooper said that many of the ELD violators told him they hope people just keep running until they are put out of service until it affects interstate commerce, good for them.

  2. 2. Kenny scott [ December 19, 2017 @ 07:17AM ]

    The ata members are one of the largest reasons highway death rate is up. Poor pay poor training and unhealthy drivers. On the other side why does a Ups trucks run 80 mph and have exceptions. I remember once hearing there is a new era for trucking that is going to make it money , that was deregulation. How has that work out. Almost all Saftey problems stem from deregulation and poor pay. With the good job situation of today you can easily replace a $65000 driving job with a job and a half in many areas. If you are young don’t get into this industry it is damed buy the Fmcsa and ATA.

  3. 3. Paul [ December 19, 2017 @ 08:55AM ]

    The ATA this and the ATA that....the ATA is NO friend of the owner operator. ,much like Obama being Soros’ Puppet, the ATA is the puppet of Swift, England, Hunt, etc. who fill ATA’s pockets full of money! Anyone who really thinks the ELD rule is going to make the road safer is a fool. A machine that tells you when you can run and when you have to sleep is ridiculous. When will they figure out we are NOT robots and one size does NOT fit all. There is a whole list of problems, and you all know what they are. To me, the biggest problem is these things give law enforcement the ability to track you 24/7 and I thought that was against my rights. I’m watched enough as it is...I don’t really think it’s anyone else’s business HOW I got from point A to point B. And when you go to the root of the problem, it’s always the same...some fat beuracrat sitting in an off ice who has never been within 25 feet of a big truck, but he’s going to make he rules I have to live by...typical beurocrat bulls..t!!!

  4. 4. Richard [ December 19, 2017 @ 10:13AM ]

    Cut all the worthless suit and titie slugs at the ATA back to the wages the drivers are starving with and see them cry their pansy eyes out.
    That is the most worthless organization in trucking.
    I hope some of the trucks in Idaho haul drugs and gasses to hospitals and cause fatalaties ...I would love to be part os a legal movement like that.
    The ONLY way the truckers will get anywhere is totaly shut the country down and give the big bird when ordered to work.
    SCREW the government and the do-gooder two shoes.

  5. 5. Richard Davis [ December 19, 2017 @ 01:35PM ]

    ATA's Chris Spear is a total IDIOT a MORON, that's all that can be said about him. That is the nicest thing I can think to say about him. Of course you IDIOT, you can stand the 1 billion dollar price tag it will cost. Because the money isn't coming out of your pocket. It will retire paper logs, that by the way drivers still have to take them along. Make it easier. I thought I read where drivers have to take 6-7 different documentation on his ELD along with him on the truck. And safer. Hate to beat a dead horse, but. Didn't the Wal-Mart truck in NJ. have a ELD in it and a lot more safety [ IN YOUR WORDS } equipment in the truck? The ELD didn't seem to stop that accident from happening.

  6. 6. Richard [ December 19, 2017 @ 01:47PM ]

    What about all these IDIOTS { PAUL} that think the #1 IDIOT Trump, is going to save them, help the working class. Where is the #1 MORON { in Tillerson's words } at now? What happened to doing away with bad regulations, that would cost money and jobs. I guess a billion dollars is not that much money in some peoples eyes. Maybe he was talking about bad regs. for the rich, the ones that keep them from getting richer, doing away with them.

  7. 7. rob [ December 19, 2017 @ 05:53PM ]

    Yeah Owner Operators get all the costs and the big companies get all the benefits. All the small fleets and owners have to buy in so that the big companies get the savings. such as they are. Oh well my trucks paid for and I can live with elogs.

    "The benefits of this rule exceed the costs by more than $1 billion, making it a rule the ATA can firmly support and easily adopt,”

  8. 8. rob [ December 20, 2017 @ 04:50AM ]

    Yup He won. The victor's speech. The continuing long slow death of the free enterprise USA. Truck drivers are so screwed. If you want really want to change this then you will have to VOTE people in who will not screw you over. VOTE

    “With the support of law enforcement groups and trucking industry groups like ATA that are concerned with the welfare of the motoring public, this requirement is now in the rearview mirror and we can turn our attention to other important safety matters surrounding the hours-of-service rules,” said Sullivan. “Simply put, with this requirement in place we can now move forward to a safer, better future for our industry.”

  9. 9. jay Westmoreland [ December 20, 2017 @ 09:03AM ]


  10. 10. Deborah Lockridge, Editor [ December 20, 2017 @ 09:04AM ]

    We'd like to hear and report on your specific experiences with the ELD mandate. Please send your stories to dlockridge [at] and include your name and company.

  11. 11. Ed [ December 20, 2017 @ 09:53AM ]

    Stay away from Fleetmatics. Terrible system and no customer support. Aweful

  12. 12. DJ [ December 21, 2017 @ 06:25AM ]

    We have been on elogs for a year now and our drivers are pretty happy with them. We only had one driver that "retired" because of elogs. The others gave them a try and really like them. I have drivers telling me that anyone who says that they can't make money with elogs is a "bald faced liar". He is making more now because Dispatch can see his hours, they can plan him better and they can now get detention and layover pay because it is all documented and presented to the offending shipper/receiver. The drivers like it because now they don't have to worry about law enforcement finding something they might have missed on their logs, they are planning their trips better and they are keeping the left door closed and not spending as much time in the truck stops yacking. (Their words, not mine.) With the elogs we will now be able to address the real complaint of the industry and that is the Hours of Service. They will have to be looked at and changed to make transportation of product more efficient.

  13. 13. Dave Wise [ December 21, 2017 @ 12:13PM ]

    the 14 hour clock is the real problem, more than ELOGS. You cannot race a clock safely I don't care what anyone says. We implemented ELOGS in our 9 driver fleet in the last month. My drivers have a minimum of 25 years experience and tell me they run faster than they use to and are stressed by the clock ticking all day long. We run over a million miles a year and have not had an injury or fatal accident ever. The severe lack of training by the mega carriers is much larger crash risk than the ATA is willing to admit. I would like to see an unbiased analysis of crash rates per mile with mega carriers running ELOGS and speed limiters compared to small fleets without either "safety" device over the last couple years. I'd bet my next paycheck the small fleets crash per million miles is significantly lower

  14. 14. Paul [ December 21, 2017 @ 07:09PM ]

    Well, in response to a real idiot [Richard], I guess you’re too ignorant to realize that the person you call a moron has done more to help this country in one year than the previous administration did in fact, had Killary been elected, we would be 3/4 of the way down the toilet by now. You should thank your lucky stars that us voters showed we are tired of the way things are going and need a change! And by the way, this eld thing is far from’s going to court, and as for calling me an idiot, after reading your comment, don’t call someone an idiot when it’s obvious you’re not as smart as they are!

  15. 15. Boky [ December 22, 2017 @ 01:44PM ]

    I am owner operater and been driving for 3 years. Used a paper log book so far but now switched to ELD. Can say that ELD is going to make much more problems than you can imagine. Computer does not know when I am tired and puch me to drive even if I do not want to (i am tired). You are constantly under the pressure and this thing make you nervous as hell. Among that, we will face a big problems with parking, loading/offloading etc. Dot representative said they did not fave a big problems so far. It is because more than 60% of trucks do not drive now. Nobody like to drive under the pressure.

  16. 16. Uncle Sam [ December 24, 2017 @ 05:46AM ]

    How you can make much more money on ELD if you can drive ONLY 140-300 miles per day ????? Whats wrong with all of these damn people who are telling funny stories about ELDs and. you can make much more money on them ???? What the hell ???? Dont lie to anyone else about making much more money !!!!


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