FMCSA Warns Motor Carriers To Upgrade HOS Electronic Recording Devices

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is warning motor carriers, including energy marketers using hours of service (HOS) electronic recording devices (ELD), to upgrade to 5G networks.

The warning comes as mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks to make room for more advanced network services, including 5G. As a result, many older cell phones and HOS ELDs devices will be unable to use data services.

Once a 3G network is no longer supported, it is highly unlikely that any ELDs relying on that network will be able to meet the minimum requirements established by the ELD Technical Specifications, including recording all required data elements and transferring ELD output files.

As a result, any ELD that requires 3G cellular connectivity to perform its functionality will no longer be in compliance with the technical specifications in the ELD rule after the 3G network it relies on sunsets according to the FMCSA.

When in an area that does not support 3G, a 3G device will register a malfunction. In accordance with 49 CFR 395.34, the carrier has 8 days to get the malfunction resolved, in this case by replacement, unless an extension is granted.

The announced sunset dates below are subject to change (contact your mobile carrier for updates)–

— AT&T 3G: February 22, 2022

— Sprint 3G (T-Mobile): March 31, 2022

— Sprint LTE (T-Mobile): June 30, 2022

— T-Mobile 3G: July 1, 2022

— Verizon 3G: December 31, 2022

Many other carriers, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, and several Lifeline mobile service providers, utilize the AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks.

Energy marketers unsure of whether their ELD relies on a 3G network should contact their ELD provider. No further action is necessary for ELDs not reliant on a 3G network.

Energy marketers with 3G ELD devices should ask their ELD providers about their plan for equipment replacement or software upgrade to remain in compliance.

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