Who is Exempt from the ELD Rule?

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A new rule will soon be the law of the land in the trucking industry. The electronic logging device (ELD) rule will require drivers to have a device in their truck that records how much time they’ve been driving. The goal of the ELD rule is to more accurately track how many hours someone is working each day. However, there are certain situations where truck drivers may be exempt from the ELD rule. So, what do drivers need to know about this new law, who is exempt from the ELD rule and what are the pros and cons of this major industry change?

Who is Exempt from the ELD Rule and Everything Else that Drivers Need to Know

Here are four things that truck drivers should know about the ELD rule, from exactly what it is to when it will go into effect.

What is an ELD?

An ELD is a device that connects to the engine of your truck. When the truck is in motion the ELD will record, so it knows when you are driving and when you are not. The ELD will send this information to both shippers and law enforcement. The goal is that it will track how long people are driving and lower risk of driving fatigue. The main goal behind this rule is to increase safety on the road.

Who’s enforcing the rule?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be enforcing the ELD rule. This government agency website has everything you need to know about driving regulations, including who is exempt from the ELD rule.

How much does it cost?

ELDs aren’t cheap. The FMCSA estimates that installing ELDs could cost trucking companies anywhere from $165 to $832 annually per ELD. The average cost of the device per truck is about $495. Not only is this a big chunk of change for trucking companies, but it is especially costly for owner operator drivers.

When do truckers need to start using ELDs?

Truck truckers who are not exempt from the ELD rule will need to start using the devices starting this December.  That doesn’t leave much time, so make sure you are complying if you are not exempt.

Who is Exempt from the ELD Rule?

who is exempt from the ELD rule

There are a few ways that you could be exempt from the ELD rule. Here’s a list of the exemptions to ELDs, according to the FMCSA.

  • Any vehicle made prior to the year 2000 is exempt from the ELD rule because these vehicles don’t have the proper technology that is needed to install the ELD.
  • Driveway-towaway operations don’t need to install ELDs.
  • Any driver who isn’t currently required to maintain Record of Duty Status, or RODS, won’t need an ELD. This includes drivers who maintain RODS for less than eight days in a 360-day cycle.

Pros and Cons of the ELD Rule

The government’s choice to enforce the ELD rule has caused quite a stir in the trucking industry. There are people who are for and against the rule, and they all of their reasons. Here are some of the pros and cons of the ELD rule.

Those who are in favor of the new rule say there are many benefits of ELDs. For example, they will reduce fuel costs and usage, there will be less administrative burdens in tracking hours, and there will be better route management. Lastly, the devices will track bad driving habits, such as speeding. Those who are against the ELD rule claim that limiting driving hours will cause major issues in delivery schedules. They also note that the devices are costly and question what proof exists that the devices record accurate information every time.

Now that you know who is exempt from the ELD rule, what are some things you’re doing to prepare for this new change? Share with us in the comments below!

Author: Lenay Ruhl

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  1. I think that the ELD rules could be beneficial in alot of areas. However, there are many drivers that deliver, drive 30 – 40 miles and sit for 2 – 6 hours waiting to be reloaded. Even though they are “off-duty” and doing nothing but sitting, napping, waiting, their 14 hour clock is ticking away. There needs to be some changes made for situations like this. A driver sits waiting to be unloaded or reloaded for multiple hours should still be allowed to resume a reasonable amount of drive time. All this is doing is making deliveries take longer and cost EVERYBODY more in the long run. There needs to be a variance for the end of the drive time also. My husband was literally 6 miles from home and had to shut down due to the ridiculous ELD rules

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  2. So,I drive a 1/2 ton chevy express van to deliver medical equipment to care facilities. I haul less than 2000 lbs at any given time, do not carry mass quantities of hazardous mat, so not drive more than 150mi from my warehouse, and in most cases do not drive any more than 6 hours on any given day, sometimes i don’t even drive 11 hours in a week. My question is am I exempt from any federal or state violations of ELD if my company installs a device on my vehicle?

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