The 2-year soft enforcement period of the ELD mandate is passed. Hopefully, you were able to beat the deadline and get your fleet compliant on time.
Now that you have probably spent thousands on your fleet to get the ELDs installed and running, it’s not yet time to relax. As with every significant change, problems are bound to occur, especially with law enforcement.
That being said, here are a few things you can do to make sure that you remain on the right side of the law.
#1 Make Sure The ELD Is FMCSA-Compliant
Not every ELD out there is compliant with FMCSA regulations. As truckers were scrambling to get ahead of the deadline, a lot of questionable enterprises mushroomed up to fulfil this need.
If you have a non-compliant ELD, you may as well be running paper logs for the fine you will get. So, make sure to check here to make sure that your particular system is listed as certified.
Even then, remember that these devices are self-certified by the manufacturer. They may not work as advertised. Make sure to do a thorough checking before roadside officers find out your flaws.
#2 The Drivers Must Know The System In And Out
Some ELDs are simple, but many are more complicated than your standard paper log or AOBRD system. Make sure that your drivers receive adequate training on how to use them.
Some advanced ELD’s require more advanced knowledge of software navigation. Many of these even use Android-powered operating systems. Either way, the drivers can have a hard time while miles away from home.
At the minimum, make sure they can log in, enter information such as bills of lading and chassis numbers, select duty status, and certify records every 24 hours. Many also come with DVIR functionality.
#3 Data Transfer To Law Enforcement Needs To Be Seamless
Roadside law enforcement officers will need records from the ELD now and then. Make sure that the device has seamless transmission protocols and test it yourself. Most use forms of Bluetooth.
Unlike AOBRDs which generate PDF reports, ELDs send out data for the officer’s ERODS software to decode in a standard format. If you are unable to transfer the data for any reason, you can land a fine for the same.
#4 Always Carry The Right ELD Documentation In The Cab
There are many types and models of ELDs. For this reason, the mandate requires you to carry a copy of the ELD’s manual in the cab wherever you go.
The manual must have clear instructions on how to operate the device. What to do in case of a malfunction. Step-by-step instructions on how to transfer data to law enforcement.
You can have these instructions on the ELD itself, but then the driver will need to know how to access them. If the ELD malfunctions such that they are inaccessible, tough luck. Lack of these will cause 3 points to get docked off your CSA record.
You must also carry at least 8 day’s worth of paper log documentation in case of a catastrophic malfunction.
#5 You And The Drivers Must Be Aware Of ELD Rules
ELDs have different rules from the AOBRDs which most drivers are used to. Make sure that everyone is updated on these new rules to avoid trouble.
- Special driving categories – any movement above 5mph is always recorded. Therefore, special driving such as yard moves, mechanic tests and similar drives much as to be marked as such.
- Personal conveyance – Have a company policy on this and educate drivers on it.
- Unidentified drive time – a common problem is drivers forgetting to log out of their device on their off-time hours. The device will ask them or the next driver to accept or reject that trip during the next login. The drivers need to know how to do this, and back-office teams must annotate them as well.
- Edits – Edits can be made by agreement between the driver and the back office. However, they need to be annotated, and originals retained. The driver has to agree to edits.
#6 Know What To Do In Case Of A Malfunction
The driver needs to know what to do if anything happens to the ELD. Such a problem must be reported within 24 hours of occurrence.
The driver must also have at least 8 days of paper log for manual recording until the problem is fixed.
The ELD mandate has changed a lot of things in the trucking world over the last few years. However, it is still easy to get in trouble in the law. Make sure to follow these tips to remain safe and maintain maximum productivity. Happy trucking!