Despite several remaining questions and requests for exemptions, the ELD mandate is now in effect. However, the FMCSA is including some caveats like a grace period and an agricultural exemption to help ensure a smooth transition.
FMCSA Grace Period
While the ELD ruling has gone into effect on schedule, drivers will not need to fear being placed out of service for violations—at least, not right away. If a driver is in violation of the ELD mandate or grandfathered in rules for automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs), they will receive a citation, but they will be able to remain on the road. However, enforcement officers will still want to see the driver is keeping track of their hours of service and records of duty status.
In addition, violations of this nature will not count against the motor carrier’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) score for the duration of the grace period. They will know the violation occurred, but they will not receive a penalty until after April 1, 2018, when the grace period concludes. At that point, violations will start to affect SMS score and enforcement officers will remove violators from the road.
Remaining Agricultural Concerns
The agribusiness industry posed several legitimate concerns to the FMCSA, resulting in a 90-day waiver exempting drivers carrying agricultural products from the ELD mandate. During this period, the FMCSA plans to draft guidelines to help clear up the lingering questions affecting the agribusiness industry’s ability to comply with the ELD ruling.
Investing in the Best ELD
Many carriers waited until the final quarter of 2017 to implement ELDs. While they may be compliant, waiting until the last minute does not allow a lot of time for adequate research to ensure they have the best ELD. If your fleet is struggling with an inferior ELD, DriverCheck has an easy-to-use solution. We enlisted the help of truck drivers to create a superior product that meets your needs while being compliant. To learn more, contact us today.