Can You Make the Grade When it Comes to ELDs and HOS?

Modified on January 31, 2023

By Sara Steele, Director of Compliance, Drivewyze

There’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to ELDs and HOS. From new guidance coming from FMCSA and changing regulations, to the average Joe with internet access calling themselves an expert, it’s easy to be confused. Let’s test your knowledge and see if you can make the grade – be careful on #4!

1. TRUE or FALSE? ALL trucks will be required to have an ELD installed in December, 2019.

FALSE: The 2019 date only applies to those still using AOBRDs who were grandfathered for two years because the AOBRD was installed prior to the December 18, 2017 date. Other trucks that were exempt in December, 2017 are still exempt.

2. TRUE or FALSE? Loading and unloading delays can be logged as emergency conditions to extend my day.

FALSE: Although the regulations do make some allowances for unforeseen contingencies, such as adverse driving conditions and emergency conditions, loading and unloading delays are not covered by these sections. Be sure you’re using the Emergency Conditions extension correctly. It only extends the daily driving limit — it does not extend the daily duty or weekly duty limits. To use emergency conditions, the trip must have been able to “normally and reasonably” be completed without a violation AND the unforeseen event must have occurred after the driver began the trip.  The term “in any emergency” cannot be construed to include situations such as a driver’s desire to get home, shippers’ demands, market declines, shortage of drivers or mechanical failures.

3. TRUE or FALSE? I can use personal conveyance if I run out of time because of a delay at a shipper.

TRUE: According to new guidance from FMCSA released in November, 2018: Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading is allowed. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available. Always remember that Personal Conveyance is an Off-Duty status — keep this in mind if you’re getting your 10 hours using the split sleeper berth provision.

4. TRUE or FALSE? I can use a glider kit to be exempt from the ELD mandate.

MAYBE: For those of you who don’t know what glider kits are, they’re simply new trucks without engines or transmissions. Your engine (and truck) is exempt from the ELD mandate if it was manufactured prior to 2000. According to FMCSA: “Vehicles with engines predating model year 2000 are to be treated as exempt, even if the VIN number reported on the registration indicates that the CMV is a later model year. While the driver is not required to possess documentation that confirms the vehicle engine model year, 49 CFR Part 379 Appendix-A requires motor carriers to maintain all documentation on motor and engine changes at the principle place of business. If a determination cannot be made at the roadside, safety official should refer the case for further investigation.”

If you’re registered in California, remember that beginning in 2020, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will require all trucks to be 2011 or newer, or trucks 2000 or older to be repowered with a 2010 or newer engine.

5. TRUE or FALSE? If an officer asks me to send my ELD logs by email, I can do this WITHOUT his/her email address.

TRUE: ELDs that use telematics to transfer logs use two methods: web services and email. Web services are the most efficient and preferred method of transfer. Email isn’t quite what it seems — in fact, it’s really misleading to call it an email transfer, since you never open your email to send the logs and the inspector never receives the logs by email. Here’s what actually happens: if the inspector asks you to send your logs via email, he might give you a code, such as his badge number to enter in the comments; you then choose “Email” as the file transfer method in your ELD and send the logs; the officer opens eRODS on his computer to find your HOS records. In reality, nobody ever opens an email app or types an email address.

So, how did you do? Any surprises?  Share with your friends and see if you can stump them! At Drivewyze, we care about safety, and being informed is the first step to being safe out there on the road.

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