FMCSA to Allow Drivers Using Mobile ELDs to Change Duty Status Remotely

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced it will allow drivers using mobile device-based ELDs (those run on a phone or tablet) to change duty status outside of and away from their vehicle – at least for the next five years.

According to Overdrive magazine, such changes in duty status will need to be annotated, the agency says, but will be permitted under a waiver request granted to UPS by FMCSA.

The agency granted two waivers for all carriers related to the electronic logging device mandate. The other waiver allows carriers, at least for five years, to perform multiple yard moves without having to re-enter “yard move” on the device.

The exemptions were part of a four-part request by UPS. FMCSA did not grant the other two parts of the request, related to the phase-in of ELDs for carriers already using less sophisticated automatic onboard recording devices. The agency also declined an ELD exemption request from another fleet, who asked FMCSA to grant an exemption from the mandate for some of its drivers who operate similarly short-haul drivers but are still required to keep records of duty status.

FMCSA granted the exemption because it says it’s not necessary for portable ELDs to automatically record change in duty status and logins and logouts of the devices when the drivers are not in the trucks with the devices connected to the ECM. Instead, these drivers will be allowed to annotate the ELD record to indicate their appropriate duty status. Any time the driver is in the truck with the engine on, the portable ELD is required to automatically record when a driver changes duty status and when a driver logs in or out of the ELD.

The other part of the UPS exemption that was granted to apply to all carriers allows fleets to configure an ELD with a yard move mode that doesn’t require the driver to re-enter “yard move” status every time they turn off the truck.

To ensure compliance with the exemption, the ELD must be able to switch to “driving” mode when the driver inputs “driving” mode, when the truck exceeds 20 miles per hour, and when the truck exits a geo-fenced yard.

Full article here.

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