As the mandatory electronic logging device (ELD) rule implementation nears, the trucking industry is preparing for the transition from paper logbooks to digitized records.
The ELD rule, congressionally mandated as a part of MAP-21 and set for implementation on December 18, is meant to help create a safer work environment for truck operators. It also hopes to make it easier and faster for operators to precisely track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data.
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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) office of enforcement and compliance director Joe DeLorenzo explained that while the enforcement of the new rule will not change the Hours of Service enforcement, it would have new requirements on how workdays are tracked.
Citations and warnings will be issued to those truck operators who do not conform to the ELD requirements. On December 18, the ELDs will begin tracking hours of service violations by the minute.
“Technically there’s never been wiggle room,” said Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) executive director Collin Mooney said, adding that all violations found at the roadside will be documented.
DeLorenzo said that the FMCSA will not be concerned by one violation detected in a day. Multiple violations picked up by an ELD, however, will call for compliance reviews.
There are exceptions to the rule. Trucking companies that operate with a 160-kilometer radius and do not require a logbook are exempted from utilizing ELDs. Drivers required to prepare a RODS for eight or fewer days in any 30-day period can also stick to using paper logbooks. Trucks that are rented for eight or less days will also be allowed to use paper logs.
Paper logs are also going to be accepted in truck that have pre-2000 model year engines, Today’s Trucking reported.
The CVSA will begin trainer sessions next week to allow state representatives to learn more about ELDs.
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