Can truckers get more time to replace an FMCSA-revoked ELD?

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ELD headaches
In the early days of the FMCSA's ELD mandate, device malfunctions were a headache at such indigestion-inspiring frequency for team owner-operators Nick and Kim Holley that they took the opportunity to illustrate the notion in the truck this way.
Courtesy of Nick and Kim Holley

With the recent batch revocation of 10 different electronic logging devices (one of those, the CI ELD Logs device, has since returned to the registered list), I wondered how the agency's procedure for device malfunctions and replacements might apply here. In the event of an ELD malfunction, regulation offers just eight days for the carrier/operator to revert to paper logs before repairing or replacing the ELD. For revoked ELDs, the agency has to date specified a much longer timeline. Drivers/carriers impacted by the recent revocation orders have 60 days to revert to paper logs and decide on a replacement. 

Nonetheless, the agency does recognize the likely need for more time beyond the eight days with a malfunction event significant enough to require replacement in particular. To get more time, carriers need only communicate directly with their FMCSA field office with the following information: 

  • Legal name, principal place of business address, and DOT number of the carrier.
  • Name, address, and phone number of rep filing the request.
  • Make, model, serial number of each ELD.
  • Date and location of each ELD malfunction.
  • A concise statement describing actions taken by the carrier to make a good-faith effort to repair, replace, or service the ELD units, including why the carrier needs additional time beyond the 8 days provided by regulation.

For replacing a unit whose certification has been revoked, though, no such process exists, FMCSA Office of Communications Director Cicely Waters relayed to me yesterday. Even ten ELDs revoked at once is, after all, a veritable drop in the bucket of more than 800 devices currently listed as provider-certified on FMCSA's ELD registry, as the agency noted: 

There are currently over 800 ELD devices registered with FMCSA; so, a carrier should have no problem obtaining a new device within the 60-day timeframe. Extensions are for currently certified ELDs that are malfunctioning, not for replacing devices that have been removed from the registered list. During this 60-day period, carriers may use paper logs or other logging software that contains all necessary information required by Part 395.

A question for you, though, if you've recently added trucks to a small fleet or put in an order for an ELD replacement with your provider: How long did it take for the provider to deliver the required equipment? Production (and transport) delays we saw in this arena during the COVID-19 pandemic are certainly well-improved today, but what's been your experience? 

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Also: In reaching out to Waters, I took some time to update old information around the ELD-malfunction eight-day-period extensions. Waters noted FMCSA no longer monitors an old central email address set up at headquarters to monitor those early-days malfunctions, numerous in number as they were -- [email protected]. You can find updated information on malfunction extensions via this recently updated story. Bottom line on the change: Your best contact is your local FMCSA field office, depending on where you/the carrier is domiciled

[Related: How to request more time to replace a malfunctioning ELD]

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