Avoid the FMCSA ELD Mandate

Avoid an ELD at all cost! Straight from the FMCSA.

Like most everyone else who owns a truck, I have no desire to use an FMCSA mandated ELD. I was surprised to discover that not everyone will be required to use an ELD. There are a few exceptions to the ELD mandate. For over the road truck owners, there is only 1 possible exemption to avoid the FMCSA ELD mandate.

I began my research by reading the FMCSA’s 4910-EX-P. More commonly known as the FMCSA’s “Final Rule” for ELD’s. As a truck owner, what caught my attention more than any other was the following paragraph.

FMCSA also includes an exception for to those drivers operating CMVs older than model year 2000, as identified by the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the CMV. Comments have indicated and FMCSA’s research has confirmed that pre-2000 model year trucks may not allow the ELD to connect easily to the engine. While the Agency has confirmed that there are ways of equipping older vehicles to use an ELD consistent with today’s rule technical specifications, these are not always cost beneficial or practical. Further, the Agency lacks confidence that the technology will be available to address this entire segment of the market (pre-2000 model years) at a reasonable cost.

“CMV” is an abbreviation for “Commercial Motor Vehicle.” The FMCSA realized the challenges for pre-2000 model year trucks to meet the ELD mandate. While that in itself didn’t surprise me, what did is that the FMCSA is not requiring the costly retrofitting of ELD’s to pre-2000 model year trucks.

For all of us who already operate a pre-2000 model year truck, it will be in our best interests to keep our trucks on the road for as long as we possibly can. When the time comes, I plan to have my 1999 9900i International completely reconditioned. Everything including removing, stripping and painting the frame rails, replacing all wiring, gutting, customizing and detailing the interior, rebuild the entire drive line, a fresh paint job and anything else that needs done. While that all sounds expensive, it is far more affordable than a new truck that sells for around $150,000.00. Plus you can still depreciate rebuilding your truck over a 3 year period just as if you would by purchasing a truck.

I plan to keep my truck on the road for many years to come. In doing so, I will avoid the FMCSA ELD mandate until the FMCSA changes the rules again or until I buy a newer truck. Read more on how I keep my pre-2000 truck on the road in my other posts After Market Truck Parts and Junk Yard Truck Parts.

6 thoughts on “Avoid the FMCSA ELD Mandate”

  1. I own a 2007 Volvo VN series/ Cummis isx
    Since I HAVE to get an ELD… which one would you suggest

    1. Hello Lorraine,

      When the ELD mandate final rule was published I began to develop an ELD. I quickly discovered that it would be very costly to meet the hardware specifications the FMCSA had established (operating temperature, hardware tamper proof, software tamper proof, etc.). After a significant investment on my part I abandoned the development of an ELD. In my opinion, I would not trust any ELD since the FMCSA does not actually certify the compliance of any ELD device. I’m especially weary of the “bring your own device” providers. Those so called ELD’s can not possibly certify the compliance of the hardware since they have no way to regulate which hardware devices are being used with their software/app. I know this is not the answer you want to hear, but the best solution is to take advantage of the older than model year 2000 exemption. I see these trucks everyday and they can be bought and put on the road or restored and put on the road for far less than the cost of a new truck. In the end you’ll be miles ahead with lower insurance costs, lower maintenance costs and most importantly your increase in profits! Check out http://www.learntotruck.com/trucking-never-been-better/

  2. This is not a realistic solution running 1999 and older equipment. Next.

    1. Hello Charles,

      I respect your opinion which is why I approved your comment. While it may not be a realistic solution for you in your situation, it is without any doubt a great solution for anyone who is able and willing to purchase an ELD exempt truck. For those who are able and willing – you will enjoy lower insurance costs, lower maintenance costs and most importantly an increase in profits! Check out http://www.learntotruck.com/trucking-never-been-better/

  3. You are totally right on your ideas of refurbishing what you got and continue using it. It’ll be a long time before it wears out and you don’t have the headache have anything new. You’re doing it the right way!

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