eld mandate image via Overdriveonline.com

The ELD mandate can be confusing at times with all its details and requirements. Luckily for you, we’re here to break down the ELD mandate timeline for 2017 and what it means for truck operators across the country.

If you’re involved in the transportation industry you’ve probably already heard about the federal rule that was implemented back in December 2015 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This mandate requires that truck operators start using an electronic logging device to record their driving miles and duty status. The mandate explicitly states that all truck drivers must stop using paper logs and make the transition to ELD’s two years after the mandate’s introduction, December 16, 2017.

What makes the ELD mandate so confusing is that it’s being implemented in several phases over several different dates. Below we explain each date in the implementation phase, what they mean, and what the requirements are that need to be met by each date.

Here are the three important stand out dates that you need to know about the ELD mandate.

  • December 16, 2015 – Publication date. This is the date that the ELD mandate was first introduced and made public, announcing its presence but not yet having any official status.
  • February 16, 2016 – Effective date. This is the date that falls exactly 60 days after the publication date, which means the mandate is officially in the Federal Register.
  • December 18, 2017 – Compliance date. This is the date when all truck operators have to make the full transition complying with all of the mandate’s regulations. It falls two years after the first publication date.

Now that you’ve got a basic understanding of how the ELD mandate has been unfolding from its original publication date in 2015, let’s talk about its three phases.

Phase 1: Awareness and Transition Phase

This first phase in the mandate stretches over a two-year period starting on the effective date February 16, 2017, and ending on the compliance date December 18, 2017. During Phase 1, carriers and truck drivers are given time to prepare and transition to the rules of the mandate. This means that they don’t have to necessarily start using ELD’s right away, but they should start becoming familiar with how they work and comfortable with the idea of transitioning into this new way of doing things.

During Phase 1, drivers and carriers can still use any of the following in order to record their duty status:

  • Paper logs
  • Logging software
  • AOBRDS (Automatic On Board Recording Devices)
  • ELDs registered and listed on the FMCSA website

Phase 2: Phased-In Compliance Phase

The second phase is a two-year period that starts from the compliance date December 18, 2017, and ends two years later December 16, 2019. It’s important to keep this second phase in mind because the start date for it is coming up soon. During this compliance phase, carriers and truck drivers are required to eliminate all paper logs and logging software they have been previously using to record their duty status.

Starting December 18, 2017, all carriers and drivers are required to use on of the following:

  • AOBRDS that were installed before December 18, 2017
  • ELDs that are certified and registered according to the rule publication from December 16, 2015

Phase 3: Full Compliance Phase

The third and final phase of the ELD mandate starts when the second one ends on December 16, 2019. After this date, all drivers and carriers that fall under the mandate rule must be using certified and registered ELDs that comply with all the ELD regulations.

There you have it, all the important dates and phases of the ELD mandate timeline from its implementation to its effective stay. If you’re a truck operator who is going to be affected by the ELD mandate, an important date to watch out for in 2017 is the compliance date on December 18, 2017, which is also the start of Phase 2. Say goodbye to your paper logs and logging software, and hello to the future of duty status recording – the ELD!