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Your Guide To Creating A Proper Collision Procedures Plan

If you examine Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) numbers, you’ll see that the average commercial motor vehicle (CMV) accident resulting in property damaged came in around $18,000.

If there was an injury involved? Expect that number to jump to $331,000.

Also bear in mind that neither of these numbers take into account potential loss to reputation, damage to materials, insurance costs and other costs associated with the crash.

The fact is, accident costs are on the rise, and your fleet needs to have a plan in place to handle the situation should an accident occur.

Consider that a serious collision could completely sink a small business and it isn’t hard to understand why having adequate procedures in place could be the life or death of a business.

While you may be using technology, such as video-based solutions, that’s great, but you’re going to need more than just a video feed, you’ll need a plan.

Contact and Information Exchange
Your plan should include a place where your truck driver immediately pull over and assess the situation. If there are injuries, major damage, or a liquid spill, the first thing in the procedure should be for the truck driver contact the authorities.

Next, the trucker should contact dispatch and alert them of the situation. Everything must be properly documented, from the location to the time, date and circumstances of the collision. It is important that crucial aspects of what happened be recorded while they are still fresh in the mind.

It’s also important that your truck driver not discuss the incident with anyone at the scene outside law enforcement or emergency personnel, and people directly involved with the crash.

Insurance Notification
In this case it’s likely going to be someone in the back office who handles the insurance claim, but this is an important part of the process as they will want to begin their investigation immediately.

The insurance company themselves will decide whether to send an investigator or adjustor out to the scene. Don’t be surprised that – if called – the investigator may want to speak to other people within the organization, such as the truck driver’s manager or perhaps the dispatcher who was on duty when the accident occurred.

Ensuring your insurance company is quickly notified and that accurate data is sent to them will be vital in making sure your claim comes through clean and without error.

Handling Personnel
Depending on the situation, you may need to send additional personnel to the scene. Is there a load currently out there that will need to be picked up?

Furthermore, do you want to send a supervisor to the scene? Of course, you will be instructing the truck driver, but perhaps you want someone to help gather witnesses or corroborate accounts, or maybe survey the scene for other evidence or bits of information.

An important tip, whether for the truck driver or the person you send to the scene, is to create a “Witness Checklist” where they can document everything from direction on skid marks to traffic signs and road conditions.

Managing Disruption
The key to figuring your way through situations like these is to learn how to properly manage disruptions that may come as a result of the accident.

These include disruptions on the financial side due to increased costs, disruption in the shop due to a potentially very large repair coming in, disruption to the internal supply chain and the list goes on and on.

If you can manage it all with little to no disruption, you’ve developed a great network and are likely to get yourself through an accident crisis with little to no problem.

As long as you keep all of these tips in place, you’ll be ready for anything!

Why In-Cab Cameras Are So Beneficial For Truck Drivers

We are going to tell you a story. This isn’t a real story, but the story itself will help us get a crucial point across about today’s topic. So, let’s get started:

Something wasn’t quite right about the vehicle as it pulled up and into the turn lane next to Johnson’s tractor-trailer. As an owner-operator, Johnson is always on the lookout. His truck is his income, so he’s always got to keep his eyes open.

Either way, as Johnson watched, he had a feeling that the driver of the vehicle next to him was just a tad closer than normal. But as the light turned green, the other vehicle slowly entered the truck’s lane and as Johnson turned, the vehicle continued towards the truck until – almost gently – it brushed up against the left fender of the truck.

Of course, both vehicles immediately pulled over and before Johnson’s feet had even hit the ground, the driver of the passenger vehicle was already out in the street, rubbing her neck, and very loudly complaining that the tractor had run into her.

Before Johnson could even reply, the woman made a quick phone call, just out of earshot, then continued telling onlookers that the truck had run into her and she feared she might have suffered a terrible neck accident. As soon as she finished, she turned to Johnson and asked, “Do you have nothing to say for all this trouble you’ve caused? You injured me! This is going to cost you big time,” she stated dramatically.

Finally, and with all the calm of someone who has seen this a time or two before, Johnson jerked his thumb back towards the cab and pointed to a small device just on the other side of the windshield planted firmly in the center of the dashboard.

“Do you see that?” He asked.

“Yeah, of course I do, what is it?” The driver of the passenger car replied, suddenly sounding unsure.

“Well,” Johnson replied, “that’s a forward-facing camera that recorded everything that just happened.”

Instantly, the passenger car driver stopped rubbing her neck, merely staring wide-eyed at Johnson for a couple of seconds before she turned, ran back to her vehicle and fled the scene.

Johnson merely smiled, knowing that his forward-facing camera had saved him before. Once, as he rolled through a traffic light, Johnson’s truck was side-swiped. While the passenger car driver and several witnesses told arriving officers it was the truck’s fault. Yet, when the in-dash camera video was reviewed, it showed that Johnson had the green and it was – in fact – the passenger car who ran the red light.

Cameras Don’t Lie

While this story may be fictional, we can pretty much guarantee you that it is a story told by more than a few fleets. In fact, it is the primary reason many motor carriers completely revamp their safety programs to include in-dash forward-facing cameras.

The fact is, cameras don’t lie. Many carriers will begin with the basics and eventually upgrade to a fleetwide program. Good, in-cab video systems not only help with truck driver safety measures, but they also keep accidents from harming your bottom line because you had no evidence to prove, well, it wasn’t you.

Still, it’s important that you do your research to ensure you are investing in a system that is both reliable and will stand the test of time and hard use. Some systems don’t have functionalities you need, like cloud-based video storage or superior video quality. But even if you don’t invest in the most expensive unit, one thing you can count on is that cameras tell the truth.

Beyond Simply Finding Fault

Even better, in-dash camera systems have evolved considerably over the years. Today, newer systems do much more than simply determine who is at fault in an accident. Beyond capturing vital footage, they can also record things like vehicle speed, type of motion and other truck driver specific actions that were taken at the time of incident.

While many fleets do their best to ensure a proper safety culture is put in place, everyone knows that once a vehicle leaves company HQ, the age-old rule ‘out of sight, out of mind’ comes into play. Yet with in-cab systems recording everything it isn’t hard for a fleet manager to know exactly what’s going on with the truck at all times.

That’s why in-cab video technology systems have gone from nice-to-haves to must-haves. As a matter of fact, signs point to the possibility that the FMCSA could one day mandate that these devices be installed in cab in all big rigs on the road.

Still, fleets find that installing these systems are about more than just a mandate. Many fleets who install in-cab video systems also see their collision and litigation costs plummet. Not only do in-cab video systems invalidate fraudulent claims, but they also dramatically improve the driving skills of fleet vehicle operators.

Video systems can also add solutions beyond avoiding fraudulent accident claims and helping improve truck driver skills. They can also assist fleets address things like cargo security and workers’ comp claims outside the cab. Fleets can better understand the video being produced and integrate video systems with other technological solutions that help them better understand the data.

Distinguishing Between Raw Data and Video Integration

There’s a big difference between gathering video and then being able to offer clarity on the information it provides. In-cab video solutions should be used to integrate data with vehicle sensors, analyze truck driver behaviors and offer feedback and coaching sessions based on said behaviors.

Let’s face it, it’s impossible to optimize your operational costs and measurably lower claims with just video alone. Video clips of operating events that mean something are quite different than unmanaged video streams that don’t include data from telematics sensors and other, equipment control modules and other systems – such as safety control systems like roll control.

Utilizing the proper video system allows you to do a thorough review of the video clips and fully analyze what went wrong – or what went right in coaching situations. Algorithms built into advanced in-cab video recorders can tune in on millions of miles driven and – in tandem with other systems – help fleets predict risk and offer up actionable solutions. Video systems become an active part of a fleet’s risk management and mitigation program.

This is why it is so important for a fleet to understand what they are purchasing. In-camera systems can run anywhere from $650 – $1,500 per unit. When you multiply that across an entire flee, that’s no small amount of money. If the system is working through an existing telematics provider or delivering information through a cellular or satellite link, you may be also looking at a monthly subscription charge.

But what exactly are you getting for all these extra capabilities? And furthermore, how much can you expect from the future tech built into your in-cab video system?

Advanced In-Cab Video Solutions

There are mainly two types of video systems in development today.

  1. Works in conjunction with the driver, where the data is used to generate positive driving habits and help create coaching sessions. These systems offer truck driver assist technologies, whether it be by removing blind spots or providing things like lane-changing warnings to the trucker.
  2. Legacy video systems that trigger only when certain events occur, whether it be sudden breaking or a swerving event. These cameras generally record for about 15 – 30 seconds of video, which is analyzed by the operations center hours later. They are often only one- or two-camera setups.

Yet, as technology continues the long march, even the legacy systems are coming online with far more capabilities built in.

Some are so advanced that they can be seen as superfast computing systems that analyze video using ‘deep learning’. Essentially, these systems record real-time and offer immediate suggestions, rather than recording now for analysis later.

These systems can even go so far as to analyze the types of vehicles driving in front of the truck, their speed, relative motion and more. It can spot traffic lights up to a half-mile ahead and even identify road signs, weather conditions and more. When put together, the computing power at the center of the system offers immediate situational information to assist both truck drivers and those back at fleet HQ to respond to circumstances before they’ve even happened.

This ability to watch and analyze what is happening on the road provides for immediate calculations that can potentially save lives. The fact is, in-cab camera system technology will continue to improve and provide the ability for truck drivers to operate in a safer environment.

Has your fleet invested in technologies such as these? Consider that your competitors may be already researching and outfitting their fleet with in-cab video systems then ask yourself, “Do you want to be left behind as another fleet steals your business because their technology outstrips yours?”

Consider these questions as you shop for big rigs equipped with in-cab video systems, or set about outfitting your fleet yourself.

The Latest On The ELD Rule From Washington And Beyond

A new day brings a new slew of movements in Washington regarding the ELD mandate. Congress has been toying with the idea of doing away with it in committee for some time, but it still wasn’t clear whether the rule would survive or not.

The fact is, many trucking companies have already been preparing, partnering with ELD providers, and getting their fleets ready for the coming mandate. Still, all that could change depending on what happens in our nation’s capital.

We recently reported on an amendment sponsored by Rep. Brian Babin (R.-TX) which aimed to prevent funding of the electronic logging device (ELD) rule for almost one year. That amendment was voted down on September 6 by a House floor vote of 246-173.

Considering the House is the less deliberative and more unpredictable chamber of Congress, it could have gone either way. With only four months to go, measures are still being introduced to derail the rule.

The first rule under consideration was H.R. 3282, the ELD Extension Act of 2017. This measure was first put to table back in July and was initially designed to delay the full implementation of the ELD mandate for two years. While it attracted 45 co-sponsors, it was still voted down.

The next shot across the bow of the ELD rule came from Representative Babin in early September. This anti-ELD amendment was attached to an unrelated bill, H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act of 2018.

This measure would defund the ELD mandate, thus delaying its rollout through September 30 of 2018. The rider specifically mentions prohibiting funds from implementing or enforcing the rule during the time.

Since the amendment has been cleared by the House Rules Committee, it will be scheduled for consideration in mid-September.

Trucking Groups Weigh In

What is notable about these attempts is that nearly every stakeholder group is in favor of the ELD rule. The only outlier is the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association. What does this mean? There is likely to be a lot of lobbying to keep the effective date where it currently stands, at December 18.

A representative from the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) recently stated that delaying the ELD mandate would “further interrupt the actions of a progressive trucking industry that continually places safety at its forefront and stresses continued compliance with its daily operations. The truckload industry does not support this bill or any delay in ELD implementation.”

The Trucking Alliance also sent a letter to Congress, arguing that the Babin amendment “ignores federal court rulings (all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court) upholding the ELD mandate and ignores thousands of comments in support of this new technology. These ELDs accurately track the number of hours that drivers operate their trucks, replacing the paper logbooks that are easily falsified.”

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) bluntly came out and said that the “ATA strongly opposes efforts to delay this important rule.” The President of the ATA even went so far as to pen an op-ed on the website of the Huffington Post arguing that the rule should be implemented as planned without further delay to the present implementation date in December.

In the op-ed ATA President and CEO Chris Spear stated that the ELD rule has been “debated for nearly a decade. It has been approved by Congress three times, and upheld by federal courts. Any attempt to mislabel this as a ‘bad regulation’ in the final weeks before implementation is intentionally misleading.”

The article goes on to say that delaying or squashing the rule could “create more uncertainty for the trucking industry as we seek to plan and make investments in this important new technology.”

Most trucking advocacy groups expect to see bipartisan opposition to any major changes to the ELD mandate as it currently exists.

More notable is that there has been no companion legislation or attempts to delay or defund the mandate in the Senate. So even if the House does pass a measure, it will have to carry through reconciliation and make it through the Senate, which is not guaranteed.

As it stands, it looks like the ELD mandate will go into effect as planned in December. Now the question is how will the mandate be enforced. Trucking companies need to know that enforcement will be fair across the board. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Looking at the ELD Mandate Enforcement

Whether you already have ELD devices installed, they are on order or you are still considering the different options available on the market, you likely still have plenty of questions regarding what exactly will happen once the mandate drops on December 18.

According to Joe DeLorenzo, director of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Office of Enforcement and Compliance, the government is ready to start enforcing the rule once it goes into effect.

There is a misconception out there that the government may not be ready to fully enforce the amendment. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVFA) and the FMCSA have been working together on announcing how they will approach truck drivers who are running without an ELD.

Each jurisdiction will have a say on how strictly they will enforce the rule and how they will enforce it, whether they are put out of service or simply fined or cited. The FMCSA recognizes that this is a big change and has allowed time for organizations to get up to speed before doing any major enforcement operations.

Of course, the FMCSA will be looking to see if motor carriers are showing persistent violations, in which case it is up to them on whether they will leverage penalties or open an investigation. This doesn’t mean motor carriers should be taking advantage of the FMCSA’s initial easygoing approach.

Looking at State Rules and eRODS

When the OOIDA filed a petition asking the FMCSA to delay implementing the rule, they specifically stated that “26 states have not yet incorporated an electronic logging regulation into state law and are not authorized to enforce the rule until they do so.”

According to the FMCSA, in response to that petition, states have rules by which they must operate under the program. With every new rulemaking, states must work closely with the government on enforcement.

Still, that isn’t the only concern. Some have openly wondered if roadside inspection officials will have the electronic records of duty status (eRODS) in place to interpret the data from the ELDs. While ELD providers have been testing to make sure their data files can communicate with roadside inspection systems, it looks as though full integration is cutting it close.

According to the FMCSA, they are working on the final issues of deployment. States are currently working on training plans that the FMCSA expects to be in place by November and fully ready for the December 18 deadline.

The FMCSA has stated that they recognized the use of data transfer may not work every time, so the ELD specification should always contain a backup, whether it can be printed out or displayed on the ELD itself. Either way, if data transfer fails, there should always be a secondary way of delivering the necessary information.

Since the ELD rule is primarily meant to address hours of service compliance, the electronic data transfer will make it easy to enforce, but will not be necessary should there be a complication.

What’s more important to consider is that there are exemptions to the ELD rule. In some circumstances, your fleet may not be required to adhere to them. Let’s look at when those circumstances are.

When You’re Exempt

There are many different exemptions to the ELD rule, all you need to do is know them. Generally, the ELD exemptions fall under two categories:

  • Existing rule exemptions: The 100-air-mile radius and agricultural exemptions.
  • New rule exemptions: The eight-in-30 rule and older engine exemption.

The new rule exemption category is unique to the ELD rule. The agency placed a pre-2000 exemption into the mandate because there are a number of older engines and vehicle types that may not have the onboard technology necessary to support ELD installation.

The exemption refers to the engine model year, as opposed to the vehicle model year. So if you are running an older engine on a newer chassis, you still may qualify for the exemption, depending on the age of the engine.

The 8-in-30 rule refers to the fact that some operators are only required to prepare paper logs fewer than 8 days out of every 30. In this case, due to the limited nature of reporting, the operator will not be required to have an ELD. It is important that operators pay very close attention to this exemption. It is easy to think you may qualify for it, but perhaps you don’t. It requires preparation to be sure.

In the end, the ELD mandate looks to be landing on December 18, regardless of what representatives in the House try to do. Fleets must be prepared and aware of exemptions they may or may not be qualified for.

An August Regulatory And Enforcement Update From Washington For Trucking

The trucking landscape has been changing, both from within and through regulatory action taken on the outside. As enforcement actions change, part of our job is to keep you informed on anything that could impact the industry we all know and love.

This month’s regulatory update from Washington is no less full of intriguing information as past updates. Each month, new moves from Congress, the Trump Administration, states and/or other major players keep the industry on its toes. Motor carriers have learned to become quick on their feet in adjusting to a new normal.

Let’s first look at the ELD mandate and the new adjustment period announced by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

The New Adjustment Period

While commercial motor vehicle inspectors can still issue a citation to a truck driver who is not operating with an electronic logging device (ELD) beginning on December 18, they cannot place a vehicle out of service until at least April 1, according to the new guidance.

Of course, even if the vehicle is not taken out of service, the mark would still be notated under the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program and recorded in said carrier’s safety measurement system (SMS) profile.

According to the CVSA, the new phase-in timeframe is designed to encourage compliance, but not in an unreasonable way. While enforcement is still a tool, the agency wants to allow fleets to adjust without creating unnecessary traffic problems or supply chain disruptions.

It is also important to consider that certain aspects of the phase-in plan differ from state to state. When local law enforcement gets involved, it adds to the question of who has final jurisdiction.

Yet, when you’re at the receiving end of a violation, jurisdiction matters little. That this will be noted in the record and followed up on in future inspections matters far more. The last thing a motor carrier wants is a stain of a violation, no matter what that violation is for.

The issue of jurisdiction came up when the CVSA sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration raising the question. Specifically, they advocated for a phased-in approach to addressing jurisdiction.

In their letter, the CVSA used the 2004 cargo securement rule as an example of a phased-in approach to enforcement in this case, an approach that likely saved many lives.

Meanwhile, as is often the case in so many of these debates, other industry participants seek an altogether different outcome. In this debate, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has come out openly petitioning the FMCSA to delay it even longer than April.

The group points out that many states – a full 26, to be precise – have not yet codified or incorporated the E-log enforcement language into state law. Until then, the OOIDA asserts that there is no enforcement mechanism in place.

According to OOIDA’s Todd Spencer, “We are concerned about numerous states issuing citations for the violation of non-existent state laws. State law enforcement should not be implementing the ELD mandate until they actually adopt the mandate into state law and train and equip their enforcement personnel to enforce it properly.”

It’s no secret that OOIDA has made many attempts in court to block the ELD mandate. Not only has it failed in federal courts, but the Supreme Court has also declined to review it. For these reasons alone, the FMCSA has confidently moved forward with ELDs and coming enforcement and fleets should be too, whether through a phased-in approach or not.

The CVSA asserts that the enforcement community is ready to begin enforcement of the rule on December 18, 2017. Still, will the ELD mandate even take effect?

If so, FMCSA will require that all interstate motor carriers use ELDs instead of paper logbooks. Fleets who are using older ELDs that don’t conform to the new standard – such as AOBRDs or automatic recording devices – will be forced to upgrade, but will have a two-year window in which to do so.

Since the ELD mandate is built upon a congressional component, any major changes to the mandate will have to be passed through Congress. The question now is: How likely is that?

Republicans Breathe New Life into An ELD Delay

Who would have thought, this close to the deadline, even as fleets prepare for it, the ELD mandate might be back on the chopping block? Yet here we are.

When we last reported on it, an ELD mandate was slowly making its way through committee. Now, it appears there is some taste in the House for such a stall after all.

Republican Reps. Brian Babin of Texas, Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania and Doug LaMalfa of California recently offered an amendment to the must-pass 2018 fiscal funding bill that would prohibit the Department of Transportation (DOT) from funding any regulation relating to or mandating ELD usage.

Congressman Babin has also recently proposed legislation that would delay the ELD mandate by two years and claims 43 co-sponsors on that bill. How likely is it that the Congressman’s efforts will bear fruit?

When he first introduced the amendment, Babin stated that, “If trucking companies want to continue implementing and using ELDs, they should go right ahead. But for those who don’t want the burden, expense and uncertainty of putting one of these devices into every truck they own by the end of the year, we can and should offer relief.”

Well, to see this amendment go anywhere, the House must first vote to adopt it and then advance the funding bill to the Senate. The Senate would then have to sign off on the House version of the bill and get it to President Trump’s desk for a signature.

If the Senate were to amend the legislation and leave the ELD mandate in place, the House would then have to clear the Senate’s version of the bill and send it on for a presidential signature.

Will It Happen?

While the legislative calendar looks bloated, Congress has until September 30 to get a government funding bill on President Trump’s desk and avoid a costly government shutdown. With House Speaker Paul Ryan recently admitting his conference would “need more time,” it increasingly looks like a stopgap measure will be adopted until something more permanent can be put into place.

President Trump himself has signaled that he would not be particularly opposed to a shut down if there is no funding in the bill to build a border wall with Mexico.

The only thing that is currently known are the number of unknowns. With the ELD mandate looming a scant 3 months away, the regulatory outlook needs to come into focus rather quickly.

A Look at Post-ELD Spot Rates

When the ELD mandate does go into effect in December, there is one thing that many analysts pretty much agree on and that’s a tightening spot market. What’s the result? A likely rise in rates, at least in the short-term.

Further analysis shows that the ELD mandate could result in up to a 7% loss of capacity in the for-hire carrier segment. Overall industry capacity loss is said to total almost 4%. The main driver of this change is the inability of motor carriers to fudge the numbers and spend less time on the road.

This essential “re-benchmarking” of the industry could result in a total of 5 to 15% increase in overall spot rates. Whatever the number is, almost everyone agrees that capacity and spot rates will tighten.

One online survey points to a 2 to 4% rate increase, with some over-the-top “doomsday” scenarios saying we could see a 20 to 25% year-over-year increase during peak season.

In fact, the ELD mandate is already having an impact on the spot market before the implementation deadline happens. As shippers and brokers do their best to procure more capacity, they find it in scarce supply.

The global supply chain has become so fragmented that disruptive events can have lasting impacts. While the ELD mandate – should it pass – could be one of those disruptors, it is likely the spot market would follow more long-term trends.

Motor carriers will become far more precise in how they operate. While some truck drivers and small companies may be priced out of the market, for the most part, large players and companies who have been in the game for a long time will be well-positioned to make the adjustment.

Fortunately, if you look at history as a guide, fluctuations in spot market pricing aren’t entirely new. As an example, tightened HOS rules in 2013 resulted in a 4% capacity squeeze. The polar vortex weather event earlier in 2014 created another capacity problem in the spot market.

Point is, the market has survived volatility before, so there’s no reason to think we won’t come out on the other side of this one in good shape. No matter how you look at it, from the ELD mandate to spot rates and more, it’s been a busy August. Thanks for taking this journey with us and we’ll see you next time with our next update from Washington.

What To Do If Your ELD Is Not Compliant

As the mandated December deadline approaches, it is more important than ever to ensure your ELD devices are compliant with FMCSA regulations. And yet, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to ensure.

The fact is, if your fleet invests in an ELD and it is found to not be in compliance, the carrier will be stuck dealing with a difficult option. While truckers on the fleet payroll will be able to temporarily use paper logs, motor carriers will have a scant eight days from the moment they receive the non-compliance notification to replace the non-compliant devices.

In a situation where a large fleet has outfitted a lot of vehicles with non-compliant devices, the FMCSA will work with the carrier to develop a reasonable timeframe to get the devices replaced. Still, this provides minor comfort for a carrier doing their best to stay within the bounds of the law.

Also, consider the business relationship at stake. If a motor carrier has invested large sums in equipment that is found to not be in compliance, they need to evaluate who they are working with, lest they get caught in a rip-and-replace situation that doesn’t actually resolve the problem.

Looking For Verified Vendors

Consider this: There are no more than 36 ELDs currently on the FMCSA-approved list. Even more interesting – and perhaps puzzling to some – is that some of the largest names in trucking telematics are still absent from the list.

Whether you are referring to Omnitracs or PeopleNet, these big vendors are notably absent. The primary reason for their absence lies in the fact that they are still going through a rigorous self-certification process.

The FMCSA ELD-certification guidelines comprise a whopping 500+ page document. There’s a slew of technical details to consider and major players want to make sure they get it right before arbitrarily placing their equipment on the list.

Whether you are referring to HOS rulesets, California ag rules or Texas oil field rules, there are a lot of different aspects to consider. Vendors must weigh all of this together and ensure their devices are compliant.

What is ERODS?

One of the primary issues vendors are reporting is with the law enforcement data reporting aspect. The majority of enforcement officers will be using a software called Electronic Record of Duty Status, or ERODS. This software will be designed to translate data from a file in the ELD to the enforcement officer’s own system.

The officer can make the transfer one of a few different ways:

  • Telematics
  • Uploaded via a web service
  • Sent as an attachment in an email
  • Peer-to-peer short distance transfer
  • Bluetooth transfer
  • USB File transfer

Still not every state will do a file transfer to ERODS. In those cases, a truck driver can either print a copy of the log and hand it to the officer or the actual ELD device itself can be given to the officer. The device display would then mimic how a traditional paper log grid looks.

The Fleet Recourse

With these disparate forces at play, what is a fleet to do to ensure the equipment they are using meets federal requirements? The simplest option is to initiate a dialog with the ELD vendor to ensure they have done their due diligence in ensuring the device is compliant.

They can also request that a provision be written into their supply agreement that requires compensation for damages should the device being used be delisted. This is especially important if fleet truck drivers have experienced lost time.

Consider that an ELD provider who does not meet the requirements likely won’t agree to that provision within the contract. In the end, it is vitally important that you go with a vendor who solidly stands behind their product without question.

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