The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA) has published <strong “=””>a list of ELD mandate changes their goal is to improve the clarity of current regulations on the use of electronic logging devices (ELD’s) and address certain concerns about the technical specifications raised by industry stakeholders. FMCSA seeks industry comments on this public notice by November 15, 2022.
Some of the potential changes could improve ELD functionality and its standards. This will eventually help industries choose the right ELD when shopping for a suitable product.
The potential changes are the followings;
- Applicability to Pre-2000 Engines
- Addressing ELD Malfunctions
- Removal Process
- Technical Specifications
- ELD Certification
Unlike Canada’s ELD Certification process, FMCSA accepts a self-certification process for ELDs. What is self-certification?
In the U.S., ELD’s are certified by service providers working with manufacturer’s hardware, not the FMCSA. In order to get certified, service providers are required to register their own ELD service, with compatible devices. They self test their ELD devices to meet all technical specifications detailed in the ELD Rules provided by the FMCSA. After they meet all requirements, verified ELDs can be self-certified and registered with FMCSA.
This process has been highly criticized. In Canada, an ELD must be certified by a third-party verification agency approved by the government. The third-party evaluates the service provider’s chosen ELD device, or devices, to determine whether they meet all regulatory requirements. In the list published by FMCSA, FMCSA is asking if it should establish a certification process for ELDs here in the U.S., and if so, what a certification process should consist of, and what would be the impact to the industry with existing services in operation today.
If the certification process is implemented, it’s going to be a big change in agency staff, state enforcement personnel, ELD providers, and the industry.
Removal process from FMCSA’s list of ELD-certified devices
There are several questions about the process for revoking non-compliant ELD from the list of registered self-certified ELDs.
- If an ELD provider goes out of business and fails to self-revoke, should FMCSA be able to immediately remove the device from the registered ELD list?
- The ELD rule requires ELD providers to keep their information current. However, the rule does not include a time restriction. Should FMCSA require ELD providers to update their listing within 30 calendar days of any change to their registration information found in section 5.1.1? Additionally, should ELD providers be required to confirm their information on an annual basis? Should an ELD provider’s ELD be removed from the FMCSA list if it fails to confirm or update its listing on an annual basis?
- Providers must respond to the Agency’s written notice of required corrective action within 30 days to remain on the list. Additionally, the provider is given 60 days after the Agency provides a written modification to the notice of proposed removal or notice to affirm the proposed removal. Should FMCSA consider decreasing the 60-day period to 30 days, in order to more timely remove an ELD listing found with non-compliance issues that could adversely impact highway safety?
- Should FMCSA consider any other factors related to a carrier’s continued use of a device that has been removed from the FMCSA list due to a provider’s status (out of business or failure to file an annual registration update)?
ELD Technical Specifications
FMCSA is requesting information on the impact of including the following data elements in every message.
- Actual odometer
- Actual engine hours
- Location description
- Power unit
- Shipping document number
- Trailer number
- Co-driver if there was one
- Which driver was driving at the time if there was a co-driver
There is also the question about the frequency of intermediate recordings whether they should be more frequent like the quarter hour, half-hour, three-quarter hour, and hour to more efficiently monitor a vehicle over the course of a driver’s cycle.
This question could ease the industry’s administrative struggle. It says that FMCSA should consider allowing a driver to change his or her ELD configuration to exempt status to help reduce the administrative burden noted by the industry.
Currently, drivers are required to document their RODS to switch to paper logs when an ELD malfunctions. The drivers are also required to follow the motor carrier and ELD provider recommendations when a data diagnostic event is logged. Whenever an ELD fails to record a driver’s hours, enforcement personnel must be able to review the driver’s paper logs. In contrast, when an ELD device malfunctions, but continues to record the driver’s hours accurately, the driver should not switch to paper logs. FMCSA is asking for more clarification surrounding this topic as it can be very confusing.
ELDs and Pre-2000 Engines
Many vehicles with pre-2000 engines and most vehicles with rebuilt pre-2000 engines have engine control modules (ECMs) installed that could accommodate an ELD. FMCA is asking if FMCSA should re-evaluate or modify the applicability of the current ELD regulation for re-built or re-manufactured pre-2000 engines.
See the full proposed rule from the FMCSA here.