The final published rule for the ELD mandate passed as a law in December 2015 and came into full effect on December 17, 2017. However, FMCSA, the DOT branch responsible for regulating company trucks, only began enforcing the ELD mandate on April 1, 2018. The time between December 17, 2017, and April 1, 2018, is what they referred to as the soft enforcement period.
The trucking industry had already anticipated that there would be plenty of road bumps ahead when adjusting to this new platform even before the ELD law became final. It happened to be accurate, especially to those who find it hard to let go of using manual paper logs and adjust to the new device.
It was December 17 last year when authorities imposed a new change on the ELD mandate. The latest amendment states that truck drivers are no longer allowed to use automatic onboard recording devices or AOBRDs. Following the announcement, FMCSA and its sub-branch confirmed that there would be no grace periods or exemptions as the soft enforcement of the ELD final rule has passed.
Implementation of the ELD mandate may vary from state to state. Some quickly adapted to the new rule, while others delayed the execution due to some reasons.
Texas is The Leading State In ELD Mandate Compliance
Texas, the largest state of the USA, is the first to support the ELD mandate and enforce it to both interstate and intrastate truckers. After the release of the ELD mandate in 2015, the state announced that drivers must use electronic logging devices by December 19, 2019. This same date is also the deadline for updating the Hours of Service or HOS.
Now that Texas has updated its Hours of Service code following the guidelines set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it also obliged intrastate drivers to use ELDs.
Florida Follows After Texas
Following the move of the largest state in the USA, Florida begins setting up to adopt the intrastate ELD mandate issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2015. Intrastate drivers were given until December 31, 2019, to comply with the rule.
While Florida’s recordkeeping requirements changed considerably, the state’s Hours of Service code remained the same. Florida truckers are still allowed to drive for 12 hours following an off duty period of 10 hours.
In Florida, truckers may drive for 12 hours following an off duty period of 10 hours. Drivers can use a split sleeper berth time to complete the required 10-hour off duty time, and they are also allowed to combine sleeper berth time with other consecutive off duty time.
A driver is not allowed to exceed 12 hours of driving duty but can work on other tasks for up to 16 hours. They are also not allowed to drive after 70 hours of being on duty in seven consecutive days or after 80 hours of being on duty for eight straight days.
California Postpones Enforcement Of ELD Mandate For Intrastate Drivers
Unlike the states of Texas and Florida, California delayed the implementation of the ELD mandate. Even before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implemented full enforcement on December 17, 2017, California has already expressed its intention to postpone the ELD mandate for Intrastate Drivers.
California is one of the most dynamic states when it comes to intrastate trucking. The state decided to postpone the implementation of the ELD mandate for intrastate drivers until December 31, 2020. However, the state’s regulators do recognize that a lot of difficulties may turn up due to this decision, so there is a possibility that the adoption date may still be changed.
For interstate drivers, on the other hand, the state’s ELD enforcement began on October 1, 2018. Interstate drivers should already be aware of the ELD mandate violations. Non-exempt truckers are required to use an FMCSA-compliant electronic logging device; otherwise, costly penalties will apply.
There are little changes made to Hours Of Service Regulations in California. Truck drivers should not drive for more than 12 hours and are prohibited from driving after the 16th consecutive hour from first coming On-Duty. A new work period is required to reset after 10 hours of following Off-Duty time.
Additionally, those impacted by the ELD rule shouldn’t drive after being On-Duty for 80 hours in an eight consecutive day period. After eight days, the cumulative total will reset to zero with the beginning of any Off-Duty period of at least 34 straight hours.
New York Made An Emergency Ruling To Adopt The ELD Mandate
Under federal law, states should incorporate the ELD mandate into its own rules after its effectivity in 2015. Unfortunately, not all regions followed one of which is the state of New York. An issue arose when the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association or OOIDA argued that the New York DOT was enforcing the ELD regulations even though the state laws did not change to include the mandate.
The court dismissed the complaint, but in light of this issue, an emergency rulemaking took place on January 16, 2019, in favor of the ELD mandate. As of January 17, drivers are now required to comply with the ELD mandate.
Canada’s Take On The ELD Mandate
The official Canadian Electronic Logging Device mandate already made news in the country. And by June 12, 2021, truck drivers will need to replace their old recorders for the new electronic logging devices. The Canadian ELD mandate is similar to the U.S., but it remained a complicated rule for many. Like in the U.S., non-compliance is equivalent to costly penalties that affect both the drivers and the carrier.
The Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators is currently developing its own set of regulations. Similar to the U.S. mandate, the rule requires fleets in Canada and the U.S. to transition from using old paper logs to electronic logging devices. These devices also need certification to ensure compliance with the mandate.
The Canadian government is currently in collaboration with the U.S. to develop a set of rules which both countries approve. Comparing both the U.S. and the Canadian mandates, there are around 75 percent overlap between the two. Both countries have the same purpose, which is to improve truck drivers’ working conditions, specifically their working hours, which in turn creates safer roads.