FMCSA updates language concerning ELD malfunctions

New guidance addresses use of electronic logging software

Posted June 12, 2019

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued new guidance clarifying that electronic logging software may be used in place of paper logs when an electronic logging device (ELD) malfunctions.

The guidance reads as follows:

When should a driver use paper logs or electronic logging software if an ELD malfunction occurs?

Answer: A driver should only use paper logs, or electronic logging software, or other electronic means to record their hours of service (HOS) if the ELD malfunction hinders the accurate recording of the driver’s HOS data (i.e., 10/11, 14/15, 60/70 hours, or 30 minute).

FMCSA also made revisions to the question below. Changes are in bold:

What must a driver do if there is an ELD malfunction?

  1. Note the malfunction of the ELD and provide written notice of the malfunction to the motor carrier within 24 hours;
  2. Reconstruct the record of duty status (RODS) for the current 24-hour period and the previous seven consecutive days, and record the RODS on graph-grid paper logs, or electronic logging software, that comply with §395.8, unless the driver already has the records or retrieves them from the ELD; and
  3. Continue to manually prepare RODS in accordance with §395.8 until the ELD is serviced and back in compliance. The recording of the driver’s HOS on a paper log, or electronic logging software, cannot continue for more than eight days after the malfunction; a driver that continues to record his or her hours of service on a paper log, or electronic logging software, beyond eight days risks being placed out of service.

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