• Jason Rush

Updated: Dec 4, 2017

On December 18th, 2017, the U.S. DOT / FMCSA has mandated that many of the vehicles often used for Experiential Marketing, such as box trucks, semi tractors and vehicles pulling trailers, are required to implement Electronic Logging Devises (ELD's). Equipment Source is here to help! We have recommended, dedicated devices ready to ship with our comprehensive and flexible program.

Does your existing lease company provide ELD's or even understand them? - We do! All of our lease vehicles come with our comprehensive ELD Package! Connect with us today to learn more!

What is an ELD?

An ELD, according to the FMCSA (US DOT), is “technology that automatically records a driver’s time spent driving. This allows easier, more accurate hours-of-service record keeping. An ELD monitors a vehicle’s engine to capture data on rather the engine is running, rather the vehicle is moving, miles driven, and duration of engine operation (engine hours) as well as location tracking. ELD manufacturers must certify that their products ( meet the technical standards in the ELD rule.”

Who is required to use one?

Anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in Interstate commerce with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) or a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) or Actual Weight over 10,000 lbs is required to have an ELD. (See infographic 1.0) As an example, a Ford F150 with a 7,050 lbs GVWR pulling a trailer with a 3,000 lbs GVWR would equal 10,050 lbs and be required to use an ELD. A sprinter van with a GVWR of 9,990 lbs would not be required if not towing a trailer (some sprinters exceeds 10,000 GVWR).

The paragraph above outlines general applicability. With any rule, there are exceptions. For example, short haul operations, driveaway -towaway, and CMVs with engines 1999 or older may not need to comply with this ELD standard.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating can be found on the VIN tag on a truck or trailer. On vehicles, it is usually listed inside the driver’s door jamb. On trailers, it is typically located towards the front.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – Per FMCSA regulations §390.5 Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is defined as “the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single motor vehicle.”

Interstate vs Intrastate

Interstate – Interstate commerce means trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States.

• Between a place in a state and a place outside of such state (including a place outside of the United States)

• Between two places in a state through another state or a place outside of the United States

• Between two places in a state as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the state or the United States.

Intrastate – Intrastate commerce means any trade, traffic, or transportation in any state which is not described in the term “interstate commerce.”

Are you Interstate? Often the question arises we have trucks in markets that do not leave the state they are in. Most marketing companies are considered Interstate, and therefore need ELD’s. However, if you are intrastate, some states DO adopt the ELD mandate for intrastate operations. Research accordingly.

How do ELD’s work?

ELD’s have three basic components.

1) EMC/T Electronic Mobile Communications / Tracking – EMC/T is used to record and track the vehicle position and generate vehicle position reports. Typically, this is accomplished using GPS. Typically, devices have a method for the driver to communicate back to the office. We will elaborate more on this under device types. Location must be communicated at every change of duty and at a minimum of every 60 minutes. Devices must also record location for on duty time at a distance of 1 mile. ELD’s must also record a location within 10 miles for off duty times.

2) ECM (Engine Control Module) – ECM records anytime the vehicle is running. ELD’s must be integrally synchronized the vehicle to be compliant. Although not required, some ELD’s will communicate safety information (hard braking, over speed limits, etc.) as well as vehicle maintenance such as any warning lights (low oil, low tire pressure), oil change due or average idle hours. ELD’s are also required to record any movement of the vehicle at a low speed of no greater than 5MPH.

3) Driver/Carrier Entries – Drivers and fleet management must be able to communicate or interact with the device. This is accomplished via a driver interface in the truck (i.e. phone, tablet, dedicated device) and computer networks for the carrier.

Roadside Audits

Roadside enforcement must be able to access the data file for the ELD records using a few different options

• Telematics type of ELD, which will communicate data electronically through email or web service

• Local transfer method type of ELD where data is electronically transferred to an authorized safety official on demand via USB2.0 or Bluetooth

An ELD is also required to display the records at roadside in one of two ways

• A print out from the devise

• A display visible from outside the vehicle

You must also keep an instruction manual in each vehicle along with a blank set of log book sheets.

Responsibility of Agencies - Record Keeping

Fleets / Agencies will be required to retain any supporting documentation which includes information with dates, vehicle identification, location and time. Examples of supporting documentation include tolls, fuel receipts, receipts submitted for reimbursement, schedules, trip records, bills of lading, scale weight tickets and communication through fleet management system. Up to 8 records per 24-hour period must be retained in a manner which allows them to be easily compared to driver logs. Records must be kept for 6 months (same as logs). Supporting documents must be submitted to the company by the driver within 13 days.

Anti-Harassment Policy

Part of the ELD mandate includes rules that address using the ELD to harass drivers. This may include mandating that a driver violates Hours of Service rules or falsify logs. Part of this includes limited edits of the record of duty statuses in the ELD. ELD’s must retain a record of the edited status. Drivers will also have to certify the logs as part of this ruling.

“an action by a motor carrier toward a driver employed by the motor carrier (including an independent contractor while in the course of operating a commercial motor vehicle on behalf of the motor carrier) involving the use of information available to the motor carrier through an ELD…or through other technology used in combination with and not separable from an ELD, that the motor carrier knew or should have known would result in the driver violating” this hour’s regulation.

Put simply an agency, client or subcontractor cannot use the information contained in an ELD to push a driver when they are out of hours, tired, sick, fatigued or not able to safely operate the vehicle due to weather or road conditions.

Personal Conveyance

If a vehicle is completely unladen, a driver may use a vehicle for personal conveyance. Once a driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work, time spent traveling from his place of work short distances to their hotel / lodging or restaurant is considered personal conveyance. However, the trip from the hotel to the work location (i.e. event site) is considered on duty time. The movement of the truck must be recorded as personal conveyance.

How to choose a device that's right for you?

There are quite a few types of devices and even more manufacturers providing devices. Wading through which device is right for you can be a tedious process. We will take you through the basics to help guide you. All manufacturers offering a compliant device must self-certify. Find a list of those providers here:

FMCSA website –

BYOD vs Dedicated Device

BYOD - Bring your own device (BYOD) relies on a tablet or phone you provide. They provide a device that plugs into the vehicles ECM through a port in the cab. The device then is synced via Bluetooth to the device you provide. You then download an app to your phone or tablet. Data is transmitted back to the fleet /agency via your tablet or phone’s own cellular data plan. There are a variety of pricing structures, but typically you purchase the device (around $500) and pay a lower monthly plan for the back-office system. This pricing can vary substantially. The advantage of these systems is they are typically easy to install. Your driver simply downloads an app and syncs via Bluetooth once the device is installed. The disadvantage of your driver using his phone is that it will use data from the data plan which might not be reimbursed. If you choose this option, Equipment Source recommends using company owned and dedicated devices.  Driver / employee-owned devices may have other issues besides what we discuss here.

Dedicated Device - Dedicated devices supply a touch screen in addition to the device that hooks into the ECM. These devises have their own telematics. Plans also vary with this type but typically you pay for the devise plus a monthly plan. These systems are usually a little more intensive to install as there are wires between the module and the touch screen as well as some sort of power wire for the touch screen. The advantage is that you don’t need to worry about data plans and reimbursing drivers.

Other Types - There is a third type and as the market expands there may be even more options down the road. One company offers a system with a thermal printer. Similar to a dedicated system in that it has a small screen for the driver to input HOS as well as a module that plugs into the ECM. The small screen has a thermal printer for roadside inspections – simply print your logs off. Drivers have a special “key” that plugs into the dash mounted devise that logs them in and stores the data. Drivers can either send you the key back which you then upload data or the driver can upload the data via a laptop when they have Wi-Fi. The disadvantage is that these systems do not provide real time data, but are another alternative.

With the new mandates, many companies are entering the marketplace. Some companies are just a year or two old, while others have been providing solutions for years. This is another factor you may want to consider.

What are the Hours of Service rules?

Hours of Service – The below are based on property carrying rules and not on passenger (bus) rules.

70/8 Days vs 60/7 Days – Most event marketing companies operate 7 days a week, so therefor would fall under the 70/8 day rule. The 70/8 day rule states that a driver (person driving a CMV greater than 10,001 GVWR or GCWR) “May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.”

11-Hour Rule – Property carrying drivers may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.

14-Hour Limit – Drivers may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off duty time does not extend the 14-hour limit. An example: Driver has a morning PR event and has to set up at 4AM for the morning news and then has an event in the afternoon, the latest the driver can still drive that day is 6PM (note: he can still work, just can’t drive a CMV).

Rest Break – A driver may drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes.

What are the implications for event marketing?

Compliance – Compliance will no longer be an option without ELD’s. Effective December 18, 2017 companies will receive violations for not installing and using AOBRDs and/or ELDs. Effective April 1, 2018, drivers will be placed Out of Service for several non-compliant scenarios.

Agencies – Many agencies in the past have been able to come up with a rough schedule and let the drivers figure out how to best make the tour dates work. With ELD’s in the cab and reporting actual hours, agencies will need to be sure drivers are managing their time so they can be in compliance. The last thing you want is a tour manager calling stating he can’t make an event because he is out of hours. Agencies must also manage clients’ expectations within the guidelines of the Hours of Service.

Field Managers and Drivers – Drivers and field managers must actively manage their hours so they can complete the task needed and still have time to drive from market to market. Drivers will have to factor in traffic, weather and other delays to be sure they have plenty of hours left. Drivers will also have to manage their schedules at events closer. If your truck was parked at an event all day and you don’t have an Uber receipt or other vehicle, hard to prove you weren’t working at the event all day.

Event marketers should be aware of the impact ELD’s may have on your business, clients and campaigns. Brands will have to be sure their partners have a solid plan for implementing ELD’s so agencies are able to deliver the solutions the brand desires. Agencies will have a larger challenge managing the implementation as well as managing their vehicles and drivers closer than many may be used to. Drivers will need to plan ahead and figure out the best way to drive between markets and events.

About the Authors:

Jason Rush

Owner Equipment Source, LLC

(262) 391-9918

Jason has over 20 years of experience with custom vehicles. He founded Equipment Source to provide expert vehicle and equipment leasing, logistics and tour support, as well as procurement and sourcing services for marketing agencies and brands. Equipment Source also provides ELD compliance solutions as a rental tailored to the experiential marketing industry. Prior to running his own company, Jason managed the fleet department for one of the largest experiential marketing companies for over 10+ years. During his tenure, he managed hundreds of drivers and vehicles as well as DOT compliance in three countries for both that agency and their sister companies. Prior to the agency, Jason assembled and sold specialized vocational trucks nationwide.

Jason brings a unique skill set to the table to help you find the right vehicle (the first time) that is ready to hit the road!

John Seidl

John Seidl – Transportation Consultant

(262) 672-0986

As a nationally known DOT/FMCSA expert and a 20-plus year veteran of the transportation safety community, John has conducted countless safety seminars, driver safety meetings and mock compliance reviews for motor carriers throughout the United States. He has extensive experience in law enforcement with both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and as a Wisconsin State Patrol Motor Carrier Inspector. John also worked for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a Hazardous Material (HM) Specialist; ensuring compliance with applicable HM regulations via all transportation modes of transportation, with a focus on aviation.

John worked closely with the National Drug/Alcohol Technical Advisory Group and the National ELD team, and has been recognized as the FMCSA Safety Investigator of the Year for two consecutive years.

John will leverage his comprehensive knowledge and experience to help your organization reach new heights in terms of safety strategy, safety culture, risk assessment, and compliance.

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