Top 6 ELD Exemptions

What Is ELD?

Before we jump into eld exemptions, we need to know what eld trucking actually is in the trucking business. Hopefully you have heard something about the ELD mandate from the FMCSA by now if you are currently in the trucking industry, as it is no longer a “new rule”. This can affect the HOS or hours of service of all drivers, from owner-operators to large trucking companies. However, If you are new to the business, you may have questions. Whether you are a short-haul or long-haul driver, this mandate will affect you moving forward. Here we will take a look at what is the eld mandate for truckers within the United States.

The ELD rule is a federal mandate imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation (DOT) that applies to motor carriers and truck drivers who are required to keep duty service records. It makes it mandatory to have an ELD or electronic logging device installed and operational in your truck at all times during your hours of service. The ELD devices, which monitor and log all types of data, are a digital equivalent of the old paper logbooks. ELD systems, like AOBRDs (automatic onboard recording devices), go a step further in their capabilities and set an industry standard for commercial vehicles to follow.


Most motor carriers and drivers who are now required to keep Records of Duty Status (RODS) under Part 395, 49 CFR 395.8, are subject to the ELD rule (a). The regulation applies to commercial buses and vehicles, as well as drivers from Canada and Mexico. The ELD mandate’s last deadline for compliance was December 16, 2019. There are, however, some exceptions.

Who is exempt from the ELD requirement?

The top six exemptions are shown below:

Vehicles built before to the year 2000

An engine control module required by an electronic logging device (ELD) unit (ECM). Most engines built before 2000, however, do not have an ECM. As a result, if the engine of a commercial motor vehicle was built in 2000 or earlier, the vehicle will not need to utilize an ELD.


The vehicle’s cutoff year was formerly specified in this exemption. The engine, on the other hand, is what matters, and engines can switch. This exemption now applies regardless of the vehicle’s registration date to the engine’s model year. Even if the vehicle was built before 2000, vehicles with engine models from 2000 or later are required to have ELDs.

Towaway-driveaway drivers

Drivers who deliver a commercial motor vehicle as part of a cargo do not own the vehicle and are therefore not obligated to install an ELD.

Drivers who keep their RODS for less than 8 days

ELDs are not required for drivers who maintain a Record of Duty Status (RODS) for 8 days or less in a 30-day rolling period. They are obligated to keep paper logs, but the ELD is not required by law.

This includes short-haul truckers who take larger trips on occasion. Drivers who violate the short-haul exception more than 8 times in a 30-day period, on the other hand, will require to use an ELD for the remainder of the cycle.

Exception for short-haul travel

The short-haul exemption applies to some commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. When these drivers arrive at work, they either convey their loads to a designated place or make a daily delivery. They then return home after returning their truck. The FMCSA announced a new Final Rule that extends the radius to 150 miles, which previously known as the 100 Air-mile Radius exemption. “Allowing this adjustment increases the number of drivers who are able to take advantage of the exception and moves work and driving time from long-haul to short-haul,” the FMCSA says.

To be eligible, drivers must meet the following requirements:

  • Operate within a 150-mile radius of their usual job site.
  • Start and end your day in the same place.
  • Within 12 hours, you will discharge from work.
  • Have fun with it.

Radius of 150 miles 

The short-haul exemption also applies to some non-CDL drivers.

They must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • They must operate within a 150-mile radius of the site.
  • At the end of each duty tour, return to your usual reporting station.

Furthermore, they must not:

  • Drive any vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license.
  • On 5 days of any 7-day period, drive after 14 hours of arriving at duty.
  • After 16 hours on duty on two days in a row for any period of seven days, drive.

Farm Vehicles

Certain farm vehicles, and the carriers who operate them, are exempt from having to have an eld one. This is not a blanket exemption for all agricultural vehicles and equipment. It applies to the private transport of commodities such as livestock, machinery or supplies transported by the farm’s owner or operator, or a family member or employee.

Updates to the FMCSA’s HoS Final Rule

The FMCSA has published updated its HoS rule based on public feedback, and includes four key revisions to existing regulations from commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.

Specifically, the rule:

  • Expands the short-haul exception to 150 air-miles and allows a 14-hour work shift to take place as part of the exception
  • Expands the driving window during adverse driving conditions by up to an additional 2 hours
  • Requires a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time)
  • Allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break
  • Modifies the sleeper berth exception to allow a driver to meet the 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement by spending at least 7, rather than at least 8 hours of that period in the berth and a minimum off-duty period of at least 2 hours spent inside or outside the berth, provided the two periods total at least 10 hours, and that neither qualifying period counts against the 14-hour driving window.

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