The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) said it will start “phasing-in” enforcement of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate requirements on December 18 this year, with plans to begin using the out-of-service criteria (OOSC) associated with the ELD mandate starting April 1 next year.

The group said in a statement that setting an April 1, 2018, effective date for ELD OOSC enforcement “will provide the motor carrier industry, shippers and the roadside enforcement community with time to adjust to the new requirement before vehicles are placed out of service for ELD violations.”

CVSA also sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) notifying the agency of its commitment to implementing the ELD mandate.

“What’s important to remember is that [ELD mandate] violations will count towards a motor carrier’s safety rating starting in December; this is not a ‘soft enforcement’ effort. We can’t even use that term,” Collin Mooney, CVSA’s executive director, explained to Fleet Owner.

But the reason OOSC enforcement won’t begin until April 1 next year is that it allows the enforcement community “to get a better handle” on how many fleets are in compliance with the rule.

“We don’t have a handle on how many motor carriers are not in compliance with the [ELD mandate] yet; some say it’s 10% while other say it’s as high as 40%,” Mooney noted. “Even though we inspect only a small fraction of the trucks out there, it still gives us a good sample size as to how many are in compliance with the new rule.”

David Heller, vice president of government affairs for the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), detailed some of those criteria in a webinar earlier this year. Trucks can be placed out-of-service for 10 hours if:

  • They are not equipped with an ELD;
  • They are using a non-authorized ELD, which is one that does not meet the FMCSA’s specification and one that does not appear on its certification list;
  • They are unable to produce or transfer data from their ELD to law enforcement officials;
  • They do not repair a malfunctioning ELD within eight days;
  • The driver simply did not log into the device as required.

CVSA stressed that the congressionally-mandated ELD compliance deadline is still set for December 18 as of this moment and so on that day inspectors and roadside enforcement personnel will begin documenting violations on roadside inspection reports and, at the jurisdiction's discretion, will issue citations to commercial motor vehicle drivers operating vehicles without a compliant ELD.

Beginning April 1, 2018, however, inspectors will start placing commercial motor vehicle drivers out of service if their vehicle is not equipped with the required device, the group said.

As a reminder, CVSA stressed that motor carriers may continue to use grandfathered automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) no later than Dec. 16, 2019.

CVSA’s Mooney added that while his group hasn’t selected a “focus area” for its annual Roadcheck International 72-hour safety enforcement blitz, typically held in June every year, ELDs are “high on the list.”

“Hours of service enforcement has always been a key component of Roadcheck, and as we’ll be six months in with this new rule, it will be something we look at,” he said.