Tag Archives: ELD mandate

Trucking’s Regulatory Handbook For 2017 And Beyond – The ELD Mandate

It’s no secret: the trucking industry is experiencing some pretty big changes in regulations. Whether you are talking about electronic logging devices (ELD) or speed limiters, there is plenty to remember when it comes to staying in regulatory compliance.

Yet, when the rules change or are complex or confusing, keeping up can be difficult. So the best way to stay ahead of the game is to always have the right information. You have to know what it all means and how it affects your business.

In this new ongoing series, we are going to take a deeper look at all of the regulations that will impact our industry, from 2017 on. Today, we are going to take a look at the ELD Mandate.

The ELD Mandate

Let’s get right into the details. First, if you are operating vehicles using Automatic Onboard Recording Devices – which are essentially early versions of ELDs – you have an extra two years to upgrade your equipment to meet the new regulatory standards.

You can also be exempted if you are a short haul or time card driver. This includes vehicles operating within a 100 air-mile radius or non-CDL drivers who are operating within a 10 air-mile radius. One exemption to this rule includes any truck driver exceeding service limits on a time card for more than eight days in a rolling 30-day period.

Trucks manufactured before 2000 will also be exempt from ELD requirements for the simple reason that their onboard computers will not be able to interface with today’s advanced electronic logging devices.

Larger fleets welcome the new regulation mainly because of the number of benefits they get from using the devices. In a world of paperless logs, a fleet manager will be better able to discern and verify drivers’ records. If an accident occurs, the information will all be cataloged.

Things like acceleration and breaking data become easily accessible. Time presenting information back to inspectors can be cut in half.

What You Need to Know

When it comes to the type of ELD they use, fleets do have some leeway in meeting government requirements. ELDs can either be a dedicated device or can connect up to a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Motor carriers can also have data wirelessly transmitted to their facilities or downloaded by wire into a company computer every 13 days. There are specific requirements that, though complex, outline how the ELD should be used.

They include:

  • The ELD must automatically records at certain intervals.
  • The ELD must record date, time, location, engine hours, vehicle miles, and driver identification information.
  • The ELD must be available to be read outside the cab by a law enforcement officer or another authorized individual. Whether it is wired or wireless, it must be able to be handed to someone outside the vehicle.
  • When the vehicle is in motion the ELD must be mounted.
  • The ELD must capture locations down to within one mile. There is an exception here: When the truck driver is operating under ‘personal conveyance,’ such as driving an unloaded truck from a terminal or to their place of residence.
  • THE ELD must be tamper resistant and from an approved manufacturer. The data within the ELD must be encrypted to prevent hacking.
  • Anyone who drives the vehicle must have their own unique identification code entered into the ELD. Whether it be a mechanic testing the vehicle or a shop worker moving it from one place to another, they must have an identification number put into the ELD.
  • The ELD must have a mute button.
  • ELD logs must be kept on file for at least six months. Any log changes must be certified by the operator.

While this is just a base summarization of these complex rules, it represents the meat and bones of what you need to know. Join us in our next installment of this series when we take a look at the latest on the Safety Fitness Determination Rule.

Is There An Easy Fix For Trucking Companies Safety Profiles?

Can you believe it has been over five years since the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) safety-monitoring system was rolled out? You would think everyone would be used to it right now, yet it still it bedevils many a fleet manager. Fortunately, we’re here to dissect it for you.

CSA is a complicated structure. It has a methodology that tries to paint an accurate – and actionable – picture out of various disparate elements and seemingly unrelated factors. It’s a lumbering system that tries to put a pinpoint shot onto a moving target.

Where Are We On CSA?

The fact is, CSA scores and Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICS) are meant to distinguish carriers that operate safely from those who do not. On the flipside, some argue that the scores inaccurately portray some carriers as “unsafe” for the simple reason that the scoring method is heavily weighted to violations, no matter how many clean inspections said carrier may have to their credit.

While a provision in the 2015 highway bill did force the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) to remove the CSA scores from public view, is that just a temporary fix? Indeed, some scores may stay down until a Transportation Research Board (TRB) report is commissioned.

Fortunately, the agency has been mandated to create said report within 18 months of the passing of the highway bill. The agency must submit a report to Congress and, 120 days later, be able to supply a so-called “corrective action plan”. The plan should be designed to address any deficiencies found within the study.

Even so, the inspection data that drives CSA remains publicly visible. Percentile ranks and alerts are still available to fleets and law enforcement can prioritize their actions around CSA scores.

Using Technicians

The best way a fleet can ensure its safety profile accurately reflects the nature of the business is to promote measures that bring down the types of violations that drive up CSA scores, and not just in numbers, but in their severity and frequency as well.

First, focus on what is most in your control: Vehicle maintenance. Always make sure you are completing and documenting any and all annual inspections of trucks and trailers. Additionally, make sure you have as many technicians as you need, and in some cases maybe one or two more.

More technicians mean more inspections. Technicians can also help to train the drivers on how to conduct proper pre- and post-trip inspections. Having shop guys on the ready when pre- and post-trip inspection data is relayed is necessary best practice.

Don’t solely focus on hours of service violations to bring your CSAs down. Remember that improving equipment maintenance also goes a long way to lowering your CSA score.

Using Technology

Have you made the technological migration yet? While the vast majority of truck drivers go above and beyond what is necessary to ensure safety, some still get dinged for not properly tracking hours or missing or incomplete inspections.

It’s a lot harder to keep accurate track of your fleet’s safety performance measures if you are using paper logs. Switch to telematics and take the headache out of tracking safety measures and potential performance issues.

Have you considered in-cab video systems? Safety-conscious drivers enjoy the positive reinforcement when their performance measures up, and video systems help propagate the “safety effect”. They move fleets beyond just monitoring drivers, but assist in addressing behavioral aspects as well.

When used properly, technology can be an incredibly useful tool in the effort to keep your safety profiles and CSA scores in tip-top shape. And with the ELD mandate coming in 2017, fleets will have no more reason to stay sitting on the technological fence.