FMCSA ELD question-and-answer session sheds light on several concerns

Vehicle identification numbers, rental vehicles, and unassigned driving time among the topics discussed

Posted July 11, 2017

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) held a Q & A webinar on electronic logging devices (ELDs) last week to allow attendees to get ELD-related questions answered. Some of the questions that were discussed during the session are highlighted below.

Key Q & As:

  1. Question: Can vehicles with engines manufactured before model year 2000 be exempt from ELDs if the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on the registration shows model year 2000 or newer?

    Answer: As it stands today, the VIN on the registration is the basis for the model year 2000 or newer criterion for vehicles being required to have an ELD. However, the FMCSA is considering the use of the engine serial number as one criterion to determine if an ELD is required. There should be an FMCSA Q & A forthcoming on this issue.

  2. Question: Will there be an exemption from having to log onto an ELD in a rented vehicle subsequent to a breakdown of the vehicle the driver was driving and using an ELD?

    Answer: The FMCSA is considering a “rented vehicle’s ELD exception” that may allow an exemption for some time period from using an ELD in the rented vehicle if the driver is required to use an ELD. An already known option is that a driver with a portable ELD can move the ELD to the new truck if the port for the engine control module, or ECM, is compatible.

  3. Question: After December 18, 2017, will drivers be allowed to use logging apps not integrally synchronized with the engine when paper is allowed?

    Answer: In situations when paper logs are allowed, drivers may use logging apps that are not integrally synchronized with the engine the same way they can be used today insofar as paper logging requirements are concerned, including printing and signing the prior seven days logs when an electronic signature is not possible.

  4. Question: How many times can a carrier insist a driver accept the unassigned driving time before it is harassment?

    Answer: This is a primarily an employer/employee relationship issue. Carriers should have a policy requiring drivers, as a term of employment, to accept correct legitimate edits and unassigned drive time applicable to the driver.

  5. Question: What happens if the ELD is stuck on the drive line in error and continues to record drive time after the driver has stopped driving and is just on-duty (not driving)?

    Answer: When the device malfunctions, the driver is to switch to paper, so the device record becomes irrelevant. Nothing happens with the errant ELD records because the paper log(s) is the actual record. An annotation should be made on the ELD record explaining what happened and reference the paper log(s).

  6. Question: When a driver uses paper logs and later enters the time in the ELD, what should happen to the paper logs?

    Answer: The paper log should be retained in the back office for six months, even if the time is entered into the ELD system as an edit. It was the actual official log for the day and it supports the accuracy of the edits.

This article was written by Mark Schedler of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.


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