What exactly is this 8 Day Rule you have heard about? The following will assist in understanding the rule, how it pertains to you as well as other things you can do to protect yourself and make sure your company remains compliant.
The FMCSA 8 day rule comes into play if your ELD ever breaks or malfunctions. This may be an issue you have already run into or it may be something you have not even thought about. The bad news is, even the best technology or devices may fail. The good news is the FMCSA has some clear guidance that can help you to keep driving and stay compliant.
According to the FMCSA if an ELD malfunctions:
Note the malfunction of the ELD and provide written notice of the malfunction to the motor carrier within 24 hours.
Reconstruct the record of duty status (RODS) for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days, and record the records of duty status on graph-grid paper logs that comply with 49 CFR 395.8, unless the driver already has the records or retrieves them 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 cannot continue for more than 8 days after the malfunction; a driver that continues to record his or her hours of service on a paper log beyond 8 days risk being placed out of service.
Keep in mind you only have 8 days from the time you noticed the malfunction (or were notified of the malfunction) to have the device fixed and back in the truck. If the device won’t be fixed in time, and getting a replacement isn’t an option, you’ll need to apply for an extension. Extension requests are handled by the FMCSA Division Administrator for the state where your principal place of business is located. This request must be made within 5 days from the time you noticed the malfunction. Once your request is submitted, you’ll be considered compliant until a determination is made. Just make sure you continue keeping paper logs and following your other hours of service requirements in the meantime.
New England Mobile always goes above and beyond for our customers. We would love to think of ourselves as being able to get anything they need done as fast as they need it. Reality - We are only human just like you. Yes we will work our hardest to get your ELD fixed or replaced for you within 8 days (or even within your extension period) but sometimes it might not always be possible. That's why we always recommend that our customers have a spare ELD on hand in case of a malfunction or accidental damage.