Electronic Logging Devices and Older Trucks

We’ve been asked MANY times if there are any loopholes in the upcoming ELD Mandate. The only true exemption to the new legislation is for trucks manufactured before 2000. The tractor manufacture date is based on the Vehicle Identification Number, not the engine year. This exemption was put in place to excuse trucks with mechanical engines, that were common pre-2000. ELD’s require electronically controlled engines to work, (specifically an Engine Control Module).

Over the years, I’ve had many owner operators driving older trucks, some even in the vintage range. While the older trucks usually have some limitations, particularly in GVW rating and engine size, there are a lot of these vehicles being used in commercial operations requiring drivers’ log books.

Since the Final Rule on ELD’s was released, pre-2000 trucks have been in hot demand, with prices climbing well above the normal asking range. If you have a pre-2000 unit, it will be well worth hanging on to it for a while.

This exemption has caused some truckers a lot of grief. There are early 2000’s trucks that had an engine replacement – but with a mechanical engine. There is no way they can have a functional ELD. The only option to comply is to re-power with a newer engine. Yikes! This conundrum is on the radar of the FMCSA, but there’s no resolution in sight.

On the other side of the coin, there are a lot of pre-2000 trucks with newer, electronic engines. While they can use ELD’s, they remain exempt from having to.