Photo: Omnitracs

Photo: Omnitracs

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.