AEMP Focus on Telematics: Government Regulations on Electronic Logging Devices (ELD)
Friday, July 21, 2017
Posted by: AEMP
Fleet managers with on-road vehicles who haven't yet integrated Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) into their vehicles may want to wait a bit longer.
This week, the House Transportation Committee voted 31-20 to send this year's Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill to the full house. Along with it goes a rider that could set back or even kill the implementation of the ELD rule.
The bill (full text downloadable here) details a number of on-road driver and fleet issues. The upcoming Electronic Logging Device mandate is only five months away, which makes this latest update to the regulation important.
The bill discusses two parts of the ELD mandate.
The first part affects implementation of the ELD mandate and how it will affect fleets. The bill says that because the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate is projected to cost over $2 billion to implement the cost to smaller fleets will be a heavy burden and has "no compensating benefit to their bottom line."
That said, the Department of Transportation is ordered to analyze whether a full or targeted delay in ELD implementation and enforcement would be appropriate and, if so, what options DOT has within its statutory authority to provide temporary regulatory relief until all ELD implementation challenges can be resolved. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is directed to “provide a report on its findings to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations within 60 days of enactment of this Act.”
The second issue pertains to the logging devices and technology. The Committee is concerned about reports of serious complications associated with implementation. Many significant technological concerns remain unresolved, including certification of devices, connectivity problems in remote locations, cyber vulnerabilities, and the ability of law enforcement to access data.
For those reasons, the Committee has ordered FMCSA to "review ELD manufacturers technology platforms to confirm that devices not only meet standards and specifications necessary for all affected industries and fleet sizes to be compliant but also provide a user interface that is reasonably easy to navigate." No deadline has been set for complying with this order
Currently, the list of ELDs recognized but not endorsed by the FMCSA includes about 80 different models.
Todd Spencer, executive director of the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, has said the government has refused to certify any specific ELD as compliant with the rule, though, which makes it difficult for fleet managers and owner/operators to select the device that will work with their vehicles and deliver data in a format that will be accepted by enforcement agencies. As of now, ELD compliance requirements are that to be included on the FMCSA list, each ELD must:
Conform to the technical specifications as described in the Federal Register (available here)
Be certified as compliant by the provider
Be registered with FMCSA.
At this point, selecting a device manufactured by a telematics system provider you are already comfortable with is your best bet.
As in most things, timing is everything. The ELD mandate at this point still stands. To delay or rollback implementation would require the bill to be passed by the House and Senate and signed by the President by mid-October, if the government follows standard operating procedure.
But, as we've seen recently, the current White House hasn't be shy about ordering deadline extensions, especially when regulations are in play.
AEMP will keep our collective eyes and ears on the ELD topic and post updates as soon as we get them.