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ELECTRONIC LOGGING TO BE REQUIRED BY 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration scheduled the publication of the final version of its rule mandating electronic logging devices (ELDs) for December 16, 2015. Motor carriers and the drivers of commercial motor vehicles will have 2 years from that publication date - December 16, 2017 - to comply with the new rule.

The new rule will require that truck drivers use ELDs, rather than paper log books, to track their driving. The purpose of the rule is to allow federal regulators to more easily police and make it more difficult for a driver to cheat the rules that limit how long drivers can remain on the road. The restrictions are aimed at reducing fatigued driving and accidents.

Drivers using an ELD will no longer be required to keep and maintain paper logs. However, supporting documentation (i.e. bills of lading, dispatch records, fuel purchase receipts, etc.) must still be maintained. The final rule permits the use of smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices as an ELD, in theory. Certification of numerous technical specifications for the device is required, however. For example, the devices must be able to sync with the vehicle's engine to record on and off time and transfer data using specific, approved methods during a roadside inspection.

There are exceptions to the drivers required to use an ELD. The ELD requirement will not apply to: 1) drivers that keep duty status records in 8 or fewer days out of every 30 working days; 2) drivers in driveaway-towaway operations; and 3) drivers operating vehicles older than model year 2000.

More information about the new ELD mandate can be found by visiting

More information about the new ELD mandate can be found at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/electronic-logging-devices-be-required-across-commercial-truck-and-bus-industries and https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices-and-hours-service-supporting-documents.

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