Texas Law and News Blog

Fed’s ELD Mandate for Interstate Truckers Deadline Approaching

An Electronic Logging Device (ELD) is a piece of equipment used to track driving hours in an 18-wheeler or other commercial motor vehicle to ensure compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours-of-service requirements.  The ELD attaches to the motor of the commercial motor vehicle and to a screen that shows the driver the recorded data.  The information can also be downloaded and printed out for regulators to evaluate.

Applicability to Interstate Trucking Not Intrastate Trucking

In 2015, the Federal Government passed a rule requiring all motor carriers engaged in Intrastate trucking to implement ELD’s for compliance tracking.  The law goes into full effect on December 18, 2017. The regulation requires that the ELD’s automatically record the date, time, location data, engine hours, vehicle miles and identification of the driver.  It does not require the equipment be implemented by trucks older than 2000.

A lawsuit filed by the Owner-Operator’s Independent Driving Association (OOIDA) attempting to block implementation of the regulation was resolved against the OOIDA when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal back on June 12th of 2017. This law applies to all trucks engaged in interstate commerce.

Texas Passes Its Own Intrastate Trucking ELD Requirement

The State of Texas was first to act implementing a requirement for intrastate truckers to use ELDs. Under the Texas regulation, all drivers engaged in intrastate commerce in Texas must implement ELDs by 2019. They Texas rule references the Federal regulation for purposes of the ELD requirements.

The Benefit of Electronic Logging Devices

One of the problems of not having ELDs is that it leaves it entirely up to the truck driver to keep written logs of when they are on and off duty.  These written logs are not subject to verification and can be kept incorrectly or even intentionally altered.  Some trucking companies pay their drivers by the load thereby encouraging the drivers to drive longer hours in order to earn more. As a result, some drivers may fudge the books to hide the violations. Requiring all trucks intrastate and interstate commerce to use an ELD ensures better record-keeping and easier compliance enforcement of the hours-of-service rules.