Is My Trucking Fleet ELD Exempt? - Stratix

Is My Trucking Fleet ELD Exempt?

Written by Gina Daniel-Lee

2 Min Read


Being the manager of a commercial trucking fleet in 2019 is a challenging proposition. Just within your own industry, you’re dealing with high rates of driver churn to tight profit margins. Externally, you and all of your competitors are facing disruption from Amazon and other e-retailers driving your margins even lower while increasing your volume and resource usage.

In the midst of all of that, you’re probably still struggling to fully comprehend your obligations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate. Implemented in three phases, the mandate is meant to standardize the tracking, managing and sharing of records of duty status (RODS) data by having an on-board device record this data from your engine.

Due to its scope, the legislation is being implemented in three phases:

  • Awareness and Transition (Feb. 2016-Dec. 2017)
  • Phased-In Compliance (Dec. 2017-Dec. 2019)
  • Full Compliance Phase (After Dec. 2019)

We’re in Phase Two, with the third and final phase quickly approaching. The problem, however, is that there is still confusion on what constitutes ELD compliance and who is exempt. This confusion is exacerbated by the fact that lobbying is still going on to create new exemptions for smaller fleets. Despite the widespread uncertainty, there are still only really two tiers of exemptions.

1. Independent Drivers are not required to use ELDs, but are still required to have RODS data from an onboard device or paper logs. They are comprised of:

  • Drivers who are required to keep RODS not more than 8 days within any 30-day period
  • Drivers conducting a drive-away/tow-away operation when the vehicle driven is the vehicle being delivered
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before the engine model (as opposed to the manufacture model) year 2000

2. Short-haul interstate carriers operating within 100 or 150 air miles of your work location. These drivers are not mandated to maintain RODS or use ELDs, but there are a number of criteria they must meet.

Commercial Drivers License (CDL) drivers:

  • Must operate solely within a 100 air-mile radius
  • Must be completely off-duty within 12 hours
  • Must report back to the same work location every day
  • Must have at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty between each shift.

Non-CDL drivers:

  • Must operate solely within a 150 air-mile radius
  • Must not drive through any state that requires a CDL for the type of vehicle being operated
  • Must report back to the same work location every day
  • Must not drive after the 14th consecutive duty hour on any 5 days within a period of 7 consecutive days
  • Must not drive after the 16th consecutive duty hour on any 2 days within a period of 7 consecutive days

Compliance with these rules can be a challenge, and whether you are exempt, or not – investing in full ELD functionality has numerous benefits to be considered, including:

  • Compliance when tracking air-miles and hours of service
  • Automated tax reporting calculation
  • Reduced liabilities
  • Paperless recordkeeping and reporting
  • Unassigned vehicle activity traceability

Modernizing your fleet to fully comply with the ELD mandate isn’t always easy, so your best bet may be to find a partner well-versed in managing modern tablet-based ELD solutions and enclosures that are an ideal fit for your fleet’s needs. There are plenty of other short and long-term transportation complications to get your head around; no need for ELD Mandate compliance to be one of them.

To learn more, download our guide How to Modernize Fleet Management with Mobile Technology.

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