Government requirements mandating electronic logging devices, or ELDs, for commercial long haul vehicles have resulted in better record-keeping and rested drivers. By automating a significant part of the task in keeping accurate HOS logs, ELDs have become standard operating procedure. This move is the government's way of ensuring driver safety, as the old ways of logging hours enable bad habits and overworked drivers.
However, even short haul fleets have invested in ELD software and devices. This may come as a surprise, as short haul vehicles are exempt from the ELD mandate HOS login. But there are many reasons why short haul fleets are using these devices. If you are wondering what ELD sign-in benefits are for short haul vehicles, we've summarized it for you clearly.
Who Does the ELD Mandate Cover?
Based on the FMCSA's regulations, a short haul driver is any driver who meets the following criteria:
- Starts and returns to the same location within 12 hours of their duty hours
- Maintains time-clock functions
- Does not drive for more than 11 hours
- Receives ten consecutive hours off in between shifts
- Does not exceed a 100 air-mile radius from the starting position
This means those who take more than 12 hours to go back to the starting location or drive beyond 100-air mile radii are considered long haul drivers and will have to log their RODS, or Record of Duty Status.
Exceptions to the ELD Mandate
The ELD Mandate covers the majority of CMV fleets and drivers, thus affecting some 3.5 million commercial drivers in the United States. But there are some exemptions as well:
- Those using service units with pre-2000 vehicle engines
- Drivers of tow vehicles
- Those not required to have their records of duty, like short-haul drivers
- Drivers who log their RODS for no longer than eight days over 30 days
Complications for Short Haul Fleets
Short haul fleets are exempt from the ELD mandate unless their drivers go beyond the 100-air mile radius requirement or take more than 12 hours to go back to their starting point. When either of these two conditions is met, drivers are required to maintain the RODS. Plus, fleet drivers who are using RODS for more than eight days within a 30-day period must comply with the ELD rule.
It could be tricky for short haul fleets to meet all the criteria for the exemption to the ELD mandate. This factor is the main reason why short haul drivers and firms have reached out to ELD companies to have the device installed in their vehicles. There are also other reasons why short-haul vehicles install ELDs, including:
Calculate air miles
Computing the air miles is a tedious task for drivers, but ELDs can record distances covered and aid drivers in calculating the number of air miles they have covered. This, in turn, helps drivers stay in the know about where they are in relation to the limit.
Monitor driver performance
Some ELDs aid fleet managers in monitoring a driver's behavior, such as hard braking, fast cornering, and acceleration. Knowing how drivers perform their jobs on the road will help managers correct the behavior, maintain driver safety, and promote the best operators.
Track idling time
Some ELDs also help identify which drivers are idling frequently or for too long. Knowing the idling behavior of drivers can save companies from unnecessary fuel wastage.
In the end, short haul fleets may be exempt from the ELD mandate. But several of them choose to install ELDs in their vehicles because of the many benefits, such as deeper insights, reduced expenses, streamlined operations, and improved driver safety. More importantly, ELDs also help fleets successfully deal with the tricky 8-day exception rule.