Omnitracs' Road Ahead blog

One Year Until the ELD Mandate Compliance Date: Common Questions and How to Prepare 

Tom Cuthbertson
VP of Regulatory Compliance

A year ago, the ELD Mandate regulation was released as a final rule, and carriers now have one year until the compliance date of  December 18, 2017. Step one in preparing for ELD compliance should be using the time you have now to understand the details of the regulation. Omnitracs has received a lot of questions from customers and we’re going to share some common themes.

Common theme #1: Unassigned vehicle movement events and the process for the driver and the carrier
The FMCSA wanted to be sure that all driving of a commercial motor vehicle is captured. The requirements specify that drivers need to be identified as either a primary driver or an exempt driver. This is to be used at login to the ELD and there is an expectation that when the vehicle is moved, there will be a login to account for the vehicle movement. 

If there is no login, then the device is required to capture the movement of the vehicle, where it moved, what time moved, and the duration. These unassigned vehicle moves with no login will be presented to the next valid login by a driver and they will be required to accept or reject them. If accepted, they will be inserted into that driver’s log as a drive segment. If rejected, then they will be sent to the carrier for them to identity the driver or classify the unassigned movement. This report will be available and will likely be part of an internal DOT audit.

Carriers need to look at their specific operations and determine who is moving vehicles and set logins accordingly for those circumstances — such as CDL mechanic road test, transfer vehicle to OEM, or other short type movement. Be sure to educate drivers that login is a requirement when moving vehicles.

Common theme #2: Editing of the logs and responsibility of driver vs. carrier
Drivers are allowed to edit logs in the vehicle and the carrier is allowed to pose edits to a driver. The control of the daily log is in the driver’s hands. The driver can only extend drive time and not delete or reduce. He or she will have the ability to edit most other items, but not all. If the carrier makes an edit to a driver’s log, it can only be sent as pending until the driver accepts the edit and if not, the driver is to provide an annotation on the rejections. Now, the carrier has to have a process for determining how to handle the rejections. 

Care by the carrier is also needed when making edits as the host system driver may see the problem and be making an edit at the same time. That may be reason for the rejection. We have had experience in the log editing process and will be providing processes in the Omnitracs devices to minimize any issues.

Common theme #3: When driving actually starts and how Yard Moves is to be used
The start of Drive is simple at this time. If the vehicle hits a maximum of 5 MPH, the vehicle is considered in drive. This goes for the unassigned vehicle moves as well. There is no tolerance for distance or time, just a simple 5 MPH.  

This brings into play the regulatory requirement for sensing a stop — when speed is detected at 0 MPH in no more than three seconds, a timer of five minutes starts. If the timer reaches five minutes and no action by the driver, they are asked if they want to remain in drive or go to on-duty. If no response in a minute, the driver is placed into on-duty. This will help with work zone delays, accidents, or excessive heavy traffic to not use up drive time when you are stopped for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

The Yard Move is introduced as an event that is manually invoked and turned off by the driver. This event is measured in hours of service as On-Duty. Regulation guidance says that Yard Moves are on-duty driving, but changes with the ELD Mandate give the Yard Move. Carriers need to train drivers to be sure they take themselves out of Yard Move when leaving the yard or there can be complex edits that the driver or carrier will need to perform. We at Omnitracs will be providing drivers warning if they hit 20 MPH. Yards that have public access such as truck stops will not qualify as a Yard Move.

Common them #4: Short-term rentals
Short-term rental vehicles or any length rental of a commercial motor vehicle that has a driver required to keep Records of Duty Status will be required to have an ELD as of the compliance date. That is currently the way the ELD Mandate is defined. The device as defined by the regulation must be mounted for the driver to see the screen while the vehicle is in motion.  

This may be difficult for some carriers, but Omnitracs minimizes this with the IVG and XRS products that have a very short installation time, should these circumstances arise.

Common theme #5: Certification of the ELD with the FMCSA
There is a process that the suppliers must follow with the FMCSA to be classified as a certified ELD. This process does not guarantee the device is compliant. It is a registration process and the supplier certifies that their device meets the requirements of the regulation and there is no vetting by the FMCSA of the device or provided documentation. There is a challenge process should something be found to not be compliant with the regulation.

Understanding the ELD Mandate is the first step in preparing your fleet for the mandate. Omnitracs will continue to provide training and awareness of the ELD Mandate regulation and be sure that the products meet all the requirements of this regulation. Additionally, the Canadian ELD Mandate is forecasted to be released within a year and we will continue to keep customers and the industry informed. 

For more information on the ELD Mandate, visit

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