The ELD mandate didn’t leave a lot of room for exceptions to the rule. In fact, technically, there are no exceptions, there are only exemptions. They’re fairly straight forward but almost any carrier or driver will find themselves needing to make hard choices to decide if they want to continue using their ELD exemption or give it up and get an ELD.
Are you exempt from an ELD? And if you are, should you get one anyway? Here’s what you need to know.
ELD Exemption Rules
The FMCSA offers very few exemptions to the ELD mandate, but they do exist. It’s important to understand exactly what is exempted so you’re not caught without an ELD when you need one.
If any of these apply to you or your drivers, you qualify for an ELD exemption:
- Drivers in the fleet use a timecard exception.
- Records of Duty (RODs) are used no more than eight days out of every 30-day period.
- Your drivers are only required to keep RODs up to eight days in a 30-day period.
- The vehicles being driven were manufactured before 2000 or before the 2000 model year (according to the vehicle registration).
- Your trucks have engines with plates or documentation prior to 2000, even if the vehicle itself is newer.
- Drivers conduct driveaway-towaway hauls. The vehicle driven is the delivery, and the vehicle being transported is a motorhome or RV trailer with one or more sets of wheels on the surface of the road.
The driver isn’t required to carry any documentation to prove the exemption but carriers need to maintain and store documentation in its record-keeping system.
Should You Get an ELD Anyway?
If you know you or one of your drivers are exempt, should you get an ELD anyway — just to be safe? The answer is…maybe. It all depends on what the exemption keeps you from doing and what kind of stress or hassles you face to maintain that exemption. Here are a few scenarios:
- Halting work because a driver would need to keep RODs for more than eight days in a 30-day period.
- Needing to upgrade equipment with little warning or planning; for example, due to major damage after an accident, a truck whose time has finally come, etc.
- Wanting to take on new or bigger jobs to expand the fleet and grow your business.
If you spend more time worrying about how to stay within an exemption or saying no to business to keep your ELD exemption, it might be time to make the switch. The key is to make sure you find an ELD that doesn’t cost too much or offer bells and whistles you don’t really need.
Clutch ELD is a simple, easy-to-use, and affordable ELD that removes the stress and hassle of keeping up with exemptions. There are no contracts or big deposits to pay. You’re not paying for features you don’t need, and you get the peace of mind of not worrying about ELD compliance. Sign up today and never get caught out of compliance.