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Are you ready for ELDs?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Attention US fleets and those Canadian fleets who operate on American soil: Are you prepared for the ELD mandate?

With the US ELD mandate deadline coming in closer than many fleets are prepared for, PeopleNet took the time at its in.sight user conference today at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville to inform fleets in attendance about what they should be keeping in mind before the December 18, 2017 deadline.

Leading the information session in a crowded conference room was Elise Chianelli, PeopleNet’s director of product management who summed up and cleared up the most important parts of the 516-page final rule for fleet executives.

She reiterated to the crowd that for those fleets still running paper logs, they have until December 17, 2017 to be on e-logs. For those fleets who are using some kind of e-log like an AOBRD, they have until December 16, 2019 to comply.

“Essentially, those fleets would have an additional two years to go from the way e-logs work today to this new world of ELDs,” she said.

Chianelli added that there are some exceptions to the rule and that not all truck drivers have to be on ELDs with the upcoming mandate.

“The first is the short haul exemption,” she explained. “So for those drivers that are qualified and driving within 100-150 air miles, they will be exempted from using the ELD…however, in the event that the driver is required to use a paper log eight days in a rolling 30-day window, they will be required to use an ELD to complete the trip.”

As well, there is an exemption for driveaway and towaway drivers (who drive the commodity they are delivering) and those CMVs that are older than model year 2000.

She stressed that there are no exemptions for rental or leased vehicles, as many in the industry have speculated.

“So for example if you have a driver who has to rent a truck for two days they will be required to use an ELD under the final rule,” she said.

Another aspect of the final rule that was outlined was that ELDs do not have to remind the driver when they are coming close to going over their hours-of-service.

“However, we (PeopleNet) feel this is a huge value to add in order to help drivers maintain compliance,” Chianelli said. “FMCSA just said it’s not required.”

She added that PeopleNet will continue to go forward with ‘safe mode’ on their systems, where the display isn’t constantly changing and only displays pertinent information as to not distract the driver.

Chianelli also reminded fleet owners in attendance that ELDs have to be fixed mounted onto the dashboard and within arm’s reach of the driver.

“This really goes back to distracted driving,” she explained. “We don’t want devices sitting on a seat and slipping and drivers to go and reach for them. FMCSA was very clear about the devices being fixed mounted and within arm’s reach of that driver while the vehicle is moving.”

The devices do need to detach and come out of the vehicle, however, during a roadside inspection, as officers will not climb into the cab to check the e-log personally.

In the event that the ELD malfunctions and doesn’t work correctly, motor carriers have a total of eight days to replace or fix the device according to Chianelli.

As well, the final rule now permits drivers to do yard moves that do not count towards their drive time.

“Essentially the motor carrier, if you so choose can enable the use of personal convenyance or yard moves,” Chianelli said. “The driver can declare a yard move status, and it won’t be declared as drive time, but rather on duty not-driving time. But here’s where that gets a little scary. Say a driver is in yard mode and then they take off driving and they pull into a scale house and they forgot to put themselves in drive mode instead of yard moves mode. So PeopleNet is continuing to work on how to prompt drivers to remind them to log out of yard moves mode.”

Finally, Chianelli reminded fleet executives who are looking to purchase ELDs to check on the FMCSA website to make sure the device they are purchase is compliant.

“FMCSA said it was the due diligence of the carrier to make sure the solution they are purchasing is compliant,” she said.

To learn more about the final rule, please visit:

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