Electronic logging devices | Blog

Records of Duty Status (RODS)

The driver’s duty on the road is hard to predict and will vary daily. A driver must always follow three maximum duty limits: the 14-hour “driving window” limit, 11-hour driving limit, and 60-hour/7-day and 70-hour/8-day duty limits.

  • Drivers can work seven days in a row but must have a break of at least 34 consecutive hours before starting a new seven-day period. 
  • Mandatory 30-minute rest brakes after 8 consecutive hours of driving.
  • After 14-hours of duty a driver needs at least 10 hours of break before next drive.
  • 16-hour Short haul exception: If your haul ends in the same place where it began – or your regular workplace – you can use the 16-hour exception, instead of 14-hour duty period.

Legislative Authority

To protect Drivers from Fatigue and safeguard public interest, FMCSA mandate the Record of Duty Status (RODS), use of ELD under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) on December 18, 2017. The ELD mandate is applicable to all long-haul trucking companies. FMCSA specified the requirements for system specification on ELD, and FMCSA should approve the device providers.

ELD Exceptions:

  • Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions may continue using timecards; they are not required to keep Record of Dusty Status (RODS) and will not be required to use ELDs.
  • Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
  • Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.

ELD Malfunctions:

Carriers need to confirm that drivers are sufficiently equipped with tools on how to operate ELD. Since Electronic devices are subject to malfunction, carriers must also provide alternatives to record of duty status if there are failures with the ELD. At a bare minimum, the following supporting documentation must be onboarded:
  • A user’s manual for the driver describing how to operate the ELD.
  • An instruction sheet describing the data transfer mechanisms supported by the ELD and step-by-step instructions to produce and transfer the driver’s record of service hours to an authorized safety official.
  • An instruction sheet for the driver describing ELD malfunction reporting requirements and recordkeeping procedures during ELD malfunctions.
  • A supply of blank driver’s records of duty status (RODS) graph-grids sufficient to record the driver’s duty status and other related information for a minimum of 8 days.

Record Maintenance:

One frequently asked question is how long the records of ELD needs to be stored. Per FMCSA, a motor carrier must retain ELD record of duty status (RODS) data and back-up data for at least six months. Due to its operational significance, we recommend saving this critical information longer. The back-up copy of ELD records must be maintained on a device separate from that where original data are stored. Additionally, a motor carrier must retain a driver’s ELD records in a manner that protects the driver privacy.

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