Since the FMCSA’s ELD mandate went into effect, the ELD has become central to a carrier’s daily operations. So, what should you do if your ELD malfunctions or if your provider goes out of business? 

In this article, we’ll explain the FMCSA’s ELD malfunction guidance and how you can maintain compliance when your ELD goes down.

What the FMCSA regulations say about ELD malfunctions

The FMCSA states a specific set of actions that drivers and carriers must take during an ELD malfunction in CFR §395.34

In the event of an ELD malfunction, a driver must:

  • Note the malfunction and provide written notice to the motor carrier within 24 hours.
  • Reconstruct the record of duty status (RODS) for the current 24-hour period and the previous seven consecutive days. Then record the RODS on graph-grid paper logs that comply with §395.8. That is, unless the driver already possesses the records or the records are retrievable from the ELD.
  • Continue to manually prepare RODS in accordance with 49 CFR 395.8 until the ELD is serviced and back in compliance. The recording of the driver’s Hours of Service on a paper log can’t continue for more than eight days after the malfunction. A driver who continues to record their Hours of Service on a paper log beyond eight days risks being placed out of service.

In short, drivers must reconstruct the previous seven consecutive days logs in compliance with CFR 395.8 until the ELD is back in compliance. For a maximum of eight days. 

For a period exceeding eight days, carriers must file an extension request with the FMCSA within five days of being aware of the malfunction.

What are your options to stay compliant? 

If your ELD malfunctions, you have two options to maintain compliance:

  1. Prepare graph-grid paper logs that comply with eCFR §395.8.
  2. Use an electronic logging app to create and store logs.

The FMCSA clarifies the requirements for using an electronic logging app as a paper log replacement in question 28 of their 395.8 guidance. Such as the Motive App.

So, which option should you choose? The choice may vary by fleet. But using an electronic logging app comes with a number of advantages, including:

  • Accurate compliance clocks and alerts for drivers
  • Real-time log auditing to catch errors and prevent violations
  • Visibility into remaining compliance hours for dispatchers. With some apps, you can even view the driver’s current location (using phone GPS and cellular data)

How fleets can use Motive to maintain compliance

Motive offers a free, §395.8-compliant electronic logging app. It takes seconds to download to your driver’s Android or Apple smartphone or tablet. Motive also offers a free dashboard account. This empowers fleet managers to view and audit their driver’s logs in real time. 

Why do we do this?

  1. We care about your business and want you to experience minimal disruption.
  2. When fleets using other ELDs try Motive, they stay.

Here’s what fleet managers need to do to get started:

  1. Create your free Motive account.
  2. Invite your drivers to download the Motive App. This article walks through the process in detail

Once your drivers accept your invitation, their logs will be added to your dashboard in real time. The Motive App is easy to use and includes a step-by-step training flow when a driver logs in. So you can send them a link to our driver log documentation through Motive Messaging.

If you or your drivers need help getting started with Motive, our team is available 24/7 at 855-434-3564. We’ll walk you through every step. 

How drivers and owner-operators can use Motive to maintain compliance

If you’re a driver or owner-operator, you can use the Motive App to stay compliant. Even if your company isn’t using the Motive dashboard. 

Download the Motive App on your Android or Apple device. Begin updating your record of duty status today.

At the end of each day, you can email your logs to your fleet manager. Just follow these steps