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Does Your Business Really Need An Electronic Logging Device (ELD)?

If you run a commercial business, you may be wondering whether you need an electronic logging device (ELD) in your commercial vehicles. For the most part, the answer is ‘yes.’ There are very few commercial businesses that will be exempt from utilizing ELDs.

This page will go through the companies that need to comply with the ELD mandate and the companies that are expressly excluded from this legislation.

Which Vehicles Need ELDs?

If your business must keep Records of Duty Status (RODS), then it is almost certainly a business that needs to comply with the ELD mandate.

For the most part, if a business travels interstate and meets one or more of the following requirements, then then they will need to use ELDs:

  • Have a vehicle weight of over 10,000lbs (when factoring in any cargo)
  • Hold 16 or more people if the passengers are not paying, e.g., a school bus, company transport vehicles, etc.
  • Hold nine or more people if the passengers are paying for the service.
  • Are hauling hazard materials in sufficient enough quantities to meet the legal requirement to display that dangerous cargo is being carried.

Which Vehicles Do Not Need ELDs?

Most short-haul commercial vehicles will be exempt from ELDs. This means a maximum of 11-hours of driving, typically in 14 hours (with a 30-minute break every 8-hours). This can be extended to a 16-hour driving window every 5-days. However, the driving must start and finish to qualify under this exemption at the same location.

If the vehicle was manufactured before 2000 (i.e., the engine was built in 1999 or earlier), there is an exemption from this rule. This is because the engines are not compatible with electronic logging device systems.

Finally, most agricultural vehicles are exempt from the ELD mandate. This is assuming the following criteria is met:

  • Agricultural vehicles weighing over 26,000lbs cannot travel within 150-miles of the farm, but they do not need an ELD.
  • Agricultural vehicles weighing under 26,000lbs, assuming they are covered, can travel anywhere without using an ELD.

Do bear in mind that agricultural vehicles are often subject to additional legislation when it comes to transport.  Just because they do not require an ELD does not mean they don’t need to meet other agricultural transport requirements.

What Are The Penalties For Not Conforming To The ELD Mandate?

If you operate a vehicle that requires an ELD and does not have an ELD, you will not be allowed to operate the car. You must have an ELD installed before you continue to drive it. This, essentially, means that the vehicle cannot be used for business. This can impact earning potential.

On top of this, there can be fines for anybody not ELD compliant. The fine will vary based upon the severity of the breach. Most people report that the penalty will likely be anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000. However, there have been fines that are issued beyond this.

Anybody that breaches the ELD mandate will be caught eventually. This is because the federal government is trying to ensure that the roads are kept safer, and the only way this can be accomplished is if the businesses that need to use an ELD end up getting an ELD.

Final Word

If you drive a vehicle that requires an ELD,  then you must purchase and get one installed as soon as possible. If you do not, you could potentially be harming your business.

Jacob Maslow is a Columnist at Disrupt Magazine. Based in the Middle East, he specializes in Journalism. He is the founder and editor of several news sites including Legal Scoops and Streetwise Journal.

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