The clock is ticking for truckers to upgrade or replace their third-generation (3G)-reliant ELDs — or face possible hours-of-service violations — as major cellular providers move to 5G network services in 2022.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a reminder to truck drivers on Friday about mobile carriers sunsetting 3G technology and urged drivers to make the switch as early as February to avoid racking up potential ELD violations.
“Once a 3G network is no longer supported, it is highly unlikely that any ELDs that rely 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,” FMCSA stated in the email.
If a provider no longer supports a 3G device, it will trigger a malfunction code on a driver’s ELD. If this occurs, the driver has eight days to get the malfunction resolved or to find a replacement device, unless an extension is granted, FMCSA said.
The agency’s reminder comes just weeks after FMCSA initially warned truck drivers of potential compliance issues on Nov. 1 as cellular providers phase out 3G-reliant devices and transition to 5G networks.
Is your ELD device affected?
FMCSA listed the following dates when mobile carriers plan to complete their 3G shutdowns, although some plan to retire parts of their networks sooner, the agency said.
- AT&T 3G: Feb. 22, 2022.
- Sprint 3G (T-Mobile): March 31, 2022.
- Sprint LTE (T-Mobile): June 30, 2022.
- T-Mobile 3G: July 1, 2022.
- Verizon 3G: Dec. 31, 2022.
Other cellular carriers, such as Cricket, Boost, Straight Talk, and several Lifeline mobile service providers that utilize the AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile networks will also be affected, FMCSA said.
FMCSA said drivers should contact their ELD providers to find out if their devices rely on a 3G network. If so, the agency urges truckers to talk to their providers about upgrading or replacing their devices to ones that will be supported after the 3G sunset.