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FMCSA Announces Electronic Logs Mandate

December 10, 2015

Photo courtesy J.J. Keller
Photo courtesy J.J. Keller

By early December 2017, an estimated 3 million commercial drivers will have thrown out their paper logbooks. A long-anticipated rule requiring electronic logging devices for truck and bus driver hours of service was announced Thursday morning.

“Since 1938, complex, on-duty/off-duty logs for truck and bus drivers were made with pencil and paper, virtually impossible to verify,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk.”

An electronic logging device, or ELD, automatically records driving time. It monitors engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information. Although many fleets already are using some version of electronic logbooks, the agency estimates making them mandatory will save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries each year.

Truck and bus drivers who currently use paper log books must adopt ELDs within two years. The agency estimates about 3 million drivers will be affected. However, drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000 will not have to use ELDs.

Motor carriers that are already using electronic log systems compliant with current federal rules (defined as Automatic On-Board Recording Devices, or AOBRDs) have an extra two years to switch over to the new ELD requirements.

The rule includes technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs so manufacturers are able to produce compliant devices and systems.

It also establishes new hours-of-service supporting document (shipping documents, fuel purchase receipts, etc.) requirements that the agency said will result in additional paperwork reductions. In most cases, a motor carrier would not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time.

The rule strictly prohibits using ELDs to harass drivers. (A separate FMCSA rulemaking further safeguards commercial drivers from being coerced to violate federal safety regulations and provides the agency with the authority to take enforcement actions not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.)

The rule permits the use of smartphones and other wireless devices as ELDs, so long as they satisfy technical specifications, are certified, and are listed on an FMCSA website.
Canadian- and Mexican-domiciled drivers will also be required to use ELDs when operating on U.S. roadways.

In developing the ELD Final Rule, FMCSA said it relied on input from its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, feedback from two public listening sessions, comments filed during an extended comment period following the 2011 proposed rule, and comments to the 2014 supplementary proposed rule. The final rule also incorporates mandates included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and other statutes.

Published reports indicate the rule is scheduled for official publication Dec. 16. The requirements kick in two years from publication date. A copy of the ELD Final Rule is available at:

Further information, including a searchable list of frequently asked questions and a calendar of free training webinars, is available at

Corrected 11 a.m. EST 12/11: Final rule is not published on Dec. 11 as initially reported. Published reports indicate it is scheduled to be published Dec. 16.


  1. 1. Bobby [ December 10, 2015 @ 06:20AM ]

    we are screwed

  2. 2. Tom [ December 10, 2015 @ 06:31AM ]

    The days of juggling hours are over. It should put ALL carriers on the same playing field when it comes to hours of service. Because regardless of the current rules some carriers push their drivers to violate that rule. The new regulation will hold carriers and shippers liable as well.

  3. 3. ken [ December 10, 2015 @ 06:32AM ]

    We're going to lose some good people.

  4. 4. David [ December 10, 2015 @ 07:16AM ]

    The link to the final rule is broken.

  5. 5. Steve [ December 10, 2015 @ 07:23AM ]

    That should kill off the already down commercial vehicle sales.

  6. 6. chip [ December 10, 2015 @ 07:35AM ]

    this is what we get for these 6 week wonder course steering wheel holders I agree every life is worth saving so if this will save 26 lives lets do cars just think how many lives it would save

  7. 7. Dre [ December 10, 2015 @ 07:44AM ]

    Just another way for the politician buddy to get rich and he or she get that major kickback. Someone has to make and then monitor these ELDs

  8. 8. Larry [ December 10, 2015 @ 07:45AM ]

    How much will it call and and who will pay

  9. 9. Stan [ December 10, 2015 @ 07:52AM ]

    To me a good driver will appreciate not having to do logs

    To me a good driver is not one that does not appreciate not having to do logs
    (if he/she is Falsifying them)

    Remember - "Log as You Do" "Do as You Log")

    No problem

  10. 10. Corbin [ December 10, 2015 @ 08:35AM ]

    I enjoy the naïveté of those that think an electronic log can't be falsified or a driver is fit to drive because "they have the hours".

  11. 11. Don_Linda [ December 10, 2015 @ 08:36AM ]

    Kudos to the FMCSA for their decision to uphold the Constitution and not try to unconstitutionally force us ole-timers, who prefer the old fashioned mechanical engines over the newly built & badly operating electronic engines, to either go out of business or spend a huge chunk of our retirement on a lower quality piece of equipment.

  12. 12. Pete [ December 10, 2015 @ 08:49AM ]

    All sounds good until you get to that point where you are 20 minutes from home and run out of hours.

  13. 13. Tom [ December 10, 2015 @ 09:07AM ]

    Some software Wizard will come up with a fix.

  14. 14. larry [ December 10, 2015 @ 09:58AM ]

    well in the business im in eld we haul propane so when you run out of heat in your home thank your government. and if you think people hauling livestock can sit for 10 hours price of meat will skyrocket

  15. 15. Chuck [ December 10, 2015 @ 10:11AM ]

    So, after the millions of my taxpayer dollars being spent to study and implement this its going to save 26 lives. Really. Thank you government.

  16. 16. robert [ December 10, 2015 @ 10:12AM ]

    I spent over 2hrs reading the 500 pages of the published rule, first off ALL CMV manufactured before year 2000 are EXEMPT from having to use ELD and can continue to use paper logs! I will be getting a 99, so FMCSA go screw your self

  17. 17. Richard [ December 10, 2015 @ 10:14AM ]

    The end of the true trucker is here.
    I would to just once be hauling critical goods such as oxygen to a hospital that was low and run out of hours.
    The fun would be immesurable!

  18. 18. JR [ December 10, 2015 @ 12:01PM ]

    This in a sense is another way for government to control how much $ you earn. Granted who wants to work more hours than we already do, but it will cut into driver earnings. The fix is in and has been for quite a while.
    10/10 Listening In.

  19. 19. Sheron Yarrell [ December 10, 2015 @ 01:05PM ]

    That is a bunch of crap. You think that there is a shortage of drivers now,wait until the electronic logs is mandated in 2017. In my opinion there has been trucking accidents now then before. I'm just saying, until FMSCA come out here and drive a truck and deal with shippers and consignee, they can take the electronic logs and stuff it

  20. 20. Bo [ December 10, 2015 @ 02:02PM ]

    Seems to me the companies that already have ELD's are the ones having the most accidents. How is this safer?
    Oh, by the way. I will be going to work for someone with an older truck. I for one like to work unlike some of the steering wheel holders. I will continue to tell little white meaningless lies on my paper logs. Just like I have for the last 30 years with NO accidents ever.

  21. 21. Mike [ December 10, 2015 @ 02:12PM ]

    Save 26 lives.
    Could have saved thousands by putting the same effort into DUI enforcement in 4 wheelers.

  22. 22. Shelv [ December 10, 2015 @ 02:19PM ]

    First line is false.
    You will always have to carry a paper log in case the ELD quits That's how much the media knows about things.

  23. 23. Nort [ December 10, 2015 @ 03:39PM ]

    TRUCKING is the only job I know where you can get fined for working hard trying to make a living it's just one more step for big government not for the little guy

  24. 24. Demo Hater [ December 10, 2015 @ 03:40PM ]

    More of the Democrats cramming crap down our throats. Big government socialist values of the reigning party trying to make a name for itself before losing office. After all products and services prices go up due to trans costs we will then see the American people gripe because then it affects them. In the end we will see if it even does get implemented when a level headed Republican gets back in office. The currant MORONS in the FMCSA don't have a clue about logistics!!!!!!!

  25. 25. Dan [ December 10, 2015 @ 04:45PM ]

    kind of going backwards on the emission laws promoting the use of older trucks. bet that kills more than 26 in the long run. oh but that's right the government is letting us build thousands of kit trucks to get around that so they will probably let us use paper logs if we put a new cover page on them in 2017!!!

  26. 26. Joe [ December 10, 2015 @ 05:54PM ]

    this is beacuse there are no more real truckers left. a 3 day strike would cripple the economy! united we stand, divided we fall... bunch of sheep holding steering wheels!! RIP AMERICAN TRUCKER!

  27. 27. Mike D [ December 10, 2015 @ 06:48PM ]

    At least I know when my last day of work will be. I'd rather get a job as the mop-up boy in a Calcutta whorehouse than run with e-logs.

  28. 28. Dude [ December 10, 2015 @ 06:52PM ]

    Useles FMCS people seating behind a desk and have no idea of trucking, they are just a bunch of fools, the bigest proof is going back to the normal 34 hour restart because the idiot invented a rule without reserch.

  29. 29. Joe [ December 10, 2015 @ 08:56PM ]

    The unintended consequences of this rule is that drivers will become more aggressive and pressured and an increase of accidents and deaths will be the result.

  30. 30. M.Beck aka The Dude [ December 10, 2015 @ 09:05PM ]

    So a Driver jumps in his truck after driving his 4 wheeler hundreds of miles to get to work tired and now on the "clock" and plows into a Comedians Limo...
    Sound familiar ? I suppose ELB's will fix this ? Ya Right !
    I 'm just a Newbie only a Million Plus Miles since 7/7/97 and still learning. But without the flexibility to sleep when tired and run when not ELB's won't fix a thing. I have loaded for 4 hours and hit the bunk for 8 and been 10 miles from the house and slept for 8 with my Buddies calling my wife and asking why my truck was parked so close to home. Bottom line... the only common about Common Sence is how UNCOMMON IT IS !

  31. 31. M.Beck aka The Dude [ December 10, 2015 @ 09:11PM ]

    Bye the way... I run 98' Detroit F/L's

  32. 32. John [ December 11, 2015 @ 02:44AM ]

    I wonder how many people die because intern doctors work 24 straight. No regulation on that. I am glad I did a complete rebuild on my 97 Pete, I should be able to retire it and myself at the same time.

  33. 33. Jack Miller [ December 11, 2015 @ 06:04AM ]

    Glad mine is a completely rebuilt 99 pete. That keeps me exempt from elogs if I'm reading that correctly

  34. 34. Steve Libe [ December 11, 2015 @ 09:47AM ]

    I can't wait for the first load of livestock to be shut during summer months. You think you have a problem now. Wait til PETA is standing out front of FMSCA office.

  35. 35. Erick [ December 12, 2015 @ 04:59AM ]

    I'm sorry to say but trumip for president

  36. 36. ron [ December 12, 2015 @ 07:04AM ]

    now with this new rule we need hos change 16 on duty and 8 hours sleeper and you split the 16 into 12 driving max 4 on duty keep the half hour break because there is no driver i no ever sleeps more than 7 hours in that bunk then they are sitting around in truck stop wasting 3 hours then start a 14 hour day so now been awake 17 hours were is safety in that.

  37. 37. Pete [ December 12, 2015 @ 12:49PM ]

    Well here we go all the folks at the Ata and teamsters got their way now we need to be able to go back to 8 house sleeper and split it like the old days wow 26 lives saved how many real drivers are going to quit

  38. 38. Justi [ December 12, 2015 @ 03:43PM ]

    WOW!! Great comments! While I can agree with most of them,and have already had experiences with some of the mentioned senarios,all I can say is ;f.u.fmcsa.
    Any law or rule can be misconstrued and broken.
    I will be running my pre year 2000 equipment for the rest of my being.I have enough parts and pieces to keep running safely,economicaly,reliably for the rest of my career.I have 27 years in now and am getting tired of the crap being puked out of Washington.
    There will be a rule to require ELDs in pre 2000 equipment soon.You'll see.

  39. 39. Robert Blanton [ December 13, 2015 @ 12:07PM ]

    I've been a truck driver for over 11 years I will be getting out . Will quit this makes no sense at all.

  40. 40. Bill Hammond [ December 13, 2015 @ 12:26PM ]

    there is still the issue of the 14 hour work day,which forces drivers to work tired..hence the old way where you could afford to stop and take an hour nap and continue..Don't mind the electronic logs at all..There will also be a parking problem..Shippers/receivers will have to step up to the plate and provide space.."the law is the law"

  41. 41. Pamela Mayberry [ December 13, 2015 @ 02:58PM ]

    Sometimes I'm not able to drive that many hours, if I get sleepy I will stop and nap then carry on. I refuse to drive tired, and other times I can drive straight through depending upon the kind of day I've had. Been driving since 1979 and e-logs may be the end of my road driving, no matter how much I love it

  42. 42. Ronald Kay [ December 13, 2015 @ 05:15PM ]

    I run on the 100 air miles log do I have to use e logs

    Where can I find the answer to my question sure gone to put a big cut in my pay check if I do have to use them grocie warehouses should except there product the way it come of the truck and not make drives make it the way they want it or to hire someone to do it for them also stop holding us up for hours on end then excepting us to make our next stops on time

  43. 43. Shawn [ December 13, 2015 @ 06:59PM ]

    Here we are again people stating that the 14 hour rule don't work.... However since they've changed the H.O.S. We've been showing them it has... Now that big brother will be watching us it no longer is plausible.... Good luck with getting these things changed when we've showed no problems before with the aforementioned

  44. 44. Ken Hall [ December 13, 2015 @ 08:52PM ]

    I've been driving military and civilian since 1979. Looks like I'll hang it up. This will not make it safer. The companies using elogs have a higher crash rate than those who are not. Buoy can kiss your fresh produce goodbye unless all the shippers have their product ready when the truck arrives. Receivers the same way. I've had to sit for 24 hours because the receiver "didn't have room". This is just another ploy by the mega carriers and their lobbyists to put us independents out of business. Time for a general strike. I hear all the talk about a living wage for McDonalds employees. How about for truck drivers? Elogs will cut into a drivers earning potential. It's just more government regulation in a supposed deregulated industry.

  45. 45. Jean [ December 14, 2015 @ 08:20AM ]

    It's a pity that the trucking industry doesn't take advantage of this situation. And by industry I mean "driver/owners". You could name your price and cripple them all, but choose not to do so. I wonder when the realization of working 70 hrs/wk for the same money as Joe in the warehouse will kick in as ridiculous. Really people the cowboy days are over. I say seize the moment. The government always comes to the trucking industry to get money and believe me they are not by any means done with you. Don't blame them for doing it either, if your not willing to unite and fight for what is right. Now is the perfect time.

  46. 46. Jean [ December 14, 2015 @ 08:42AM ]

    Just thought I would comment on a few of the comments – No offense to anyone: Tom, if you participate, you are not screwed. Ken, only those who have had enough and wish not to fight will go. Chip, no doubt but everybody has to start somewhere, and someone has to lead. I agree 26 lives is quite the joke. I think they should start with school buses and then cars. Dre, I think you understand completely. Larry, if you own the truck-you will pay. Stan, you still are going to do logs electronic or otherwise the data still has to be put in. It’s really not about if you’re a good driver or not. You don’t think that a bad driver with an electronic log will ever hurt/kill anyone… hello? Chuck, you are on the right track. Robert, a 99 only helps you if you have a private contract. And that’s if the company doesn’t force you because of the liability. Joe, it would take a little longer than 3 days. John, there are regulations for doctors, but a police officers can work as many hours as he pleases, drive a car, and carry a loaded gun. Hmmm. Something not right about that. Jack, I can see a new business venture in that. Bill, you are on the right track as is Pamela.

  47. 47. tim [ December 14, 2015 @ 01:44PM ]

    where are you going to park them

  48. 48. Dave [ December 14, 2015 @ 02:38PM ]

    guess I'll have to restore my old 1999 modle

  49. 49. Rob [ December 15, 2015 @ 06:45AM ]

    Curious as to what steps we would take if the "Owner" of the electronic logs shuts down - power outage or whatever... How are we to prove our hours if the house has an electronic failure?

  50. 50. nt [ December 15, 2015 @ 08:39AM ]

    log book is nothing about is sleep overnight/single and tim driver,dont take hot loads,make enough parking for driver rest.i sad driving can be no more 12 hours a day doesnt mater how many times stop for rest.elog is again in fever of big co hook /drop trailers.carrier who take brokers load will be in huge problems because waist time for pu and delivery.trucking industry cant focusing only for log book it is many problems like double brokerage ,drivers detention time....

  51. 51. Dick Burns [ December 17, 2015 @ 04:36AM ]

    Hey Jean, fyi, there are no regulations as to how many hours a doctor can work without rest!! How can they pass regulations based on research numbers that the FMCSA themselves has admitted is flawed??

  52. 52. Mike Brinson [ January 07, 2016 @ 11:49AM ]

    Every driver here that is against this needs to unite and come together with one common goal.Eliminate this bullshit!

  53. 53. Dyrek [ January 08, 2016 @ 05:30PM ]

    Drivers need to park the trucks to let them know we not having it this of us who are owner operators this will hurt our money badly this is pure control.

  54. 54. Ralph Harris [ February 17, 2016 @ 10:15AM ]

    To DEMO HATER: You Blame DEMOCRATS makes you sound stupid. All these MAJOR changes started being discussed and enforced since the year 2000. Which was under the REPUBLICANS. Stop listening to right wing talk radio and think for yourself. Do you own home work.


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