How Does the ELD Mandate Affect Truckers and Those in Need of Transportation Services in 2020?
In February 2016, a new law relating to truckers using ELDs was passed. Allowing some time for trucking companies to prepare, the law came into effect, nationwide, from December 2017 onwards. But what is an ELD? What is the ELD mandate? And how does the law affect truckers and businesses using trucking services in 2020? Read on to learn more.
What is an ELD?
ELD stands for “Electronic Logging Device”. All trucks are now required to be fitted with ELDs to track the number of hours vehicles are being driven, and the length and frequency of breaks that truckers are taking to rest. The goal of the ELD mandate is to protect drivers pressured to work for long hours and ensure that essential breaks are being taken, for the health of the driver and the safety of everyone on the road.
What is the ELD Mandate?
The primary focus of the ELD mandate is to record hours of service (HOS). The mandate includes rules surrounding a drivers hours on duty and driving time. The ELD mandate specifies that:
- Truck drivers must take a 10-hour break for every 14 hours they are on duty.
- Truck drivers must take a 10-hour break for every 11 hours of driving time.
Additional HOS rules apply in relation to how many total hours are worked over a seven or eight day period, and how regularly 30-minute breaks are taken.
ELD non-compliance can be revealed in the course of roadside inspections, or via a Department of Transportation (DOT) on-site audit. The ELD mandate is a key change for trucking companies, large and small. With the new rules are strict penalties, including fines as high as $11,000 and the potential to be shut down for non-compliance.
Changes to the ELD Mandate, 2020
Some changes were made to the ELD mandate in May 2020 that became effective on September 29th. These revisions were made to give drivers more control over their hours of service. The rule changes predominantly affect how and when 30-minute breaks are taken, and how time can be split between working and resting. Drivers are still required to adhere to restrictions but there is more flexibility for scheduling than in the initial law.
ELD Exemptions 2020
Due to the impact of COVID-19, additional exemptions were made for those transporting emergency relief products. Such items include medical supplies, medical equipment and groceries. For drivers transporting emergency relief products, the hours of service rules are not applicable. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released its latest update to Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 Under 49 CFR § 390.25 on September 11th 2020.
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