ELD & Hours of Service

Know when you need ELDs: Criteria for ELD requirements

August 24, 2023
March 5, 2024

Understanding what triggers the requirement for ELD usage is essential for commercial motor carriers and drivers.

In this article

The mandatory usage of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) in the United States is triggered by specific criteria and regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

When do you need to use ELDs?

Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Classification

ELD requirements primarily apply to commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). These are vehicles used in interstate commerce and meet certain criteria, including:

  • Weighing over 26,000 pounds.
  • Transporting more than 15 passengers (including the driver).
  • Transporting hazardous materials in quantities that require placarding.

Crossing State / Province Lines

If a CMV operates across state/province lines, it falls under federal jurisdiction and must comply with FMCSA regulations, including ELD usage requirements.

Hours of Service - A Quick Guide for Drivers

Exemptions from Using ELDs

While ELDs have become a vital tool in improving road safety and HOS compliance, there are exemptions in place for specific situations and drivers. Here are some common exemptions:

Short-Haul Drivers

Drivers who operate within a 100 air-mile radius and return to their work reporting location within 12 hours are exempt from ELD requirements. Additionally, they are not required to maintain records of duty status (RODS).

Pre-2000 Model Year Vehicles

Vehicles manufactured before the year 2000 are exempt from ELD requirements. These older vehicles may lack the necessary electronic infrastructure for ELD installation.

Driveaway-Towaway Operations

Drivers involved in driveaway-towaway operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered, are exempt from ELD requirements.

Agricultural Exemptions

Certain agricultural operations and drivers may be exempt from ELD requirements during planting and harvest seasons, as determined by specific state and regional regulations.

It's crucial for carriers and drivers to be aware of these triggers and understand when they are required to implement ELDs. Failure to comply with ELD mandates can result in penalties and fines, so staying informed and adhering to FMCSA & NSC regulations is essential for safe and compliant operations within the commercial transportation industry.

Switchboard provides a third-party certified ELD and helps you manage your HOS & safety compliance. If you’re looking for a comprehensive and easy to use ELD for managing your hours-of-service, sign up to get a demo of Switchboard.

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