From The Editor | October 25, 2017

Are You Guilty Of Ignoring The ELD Mandate?

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
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Sarah Nicastro

By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
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ELD Mandate

There’s less than two months to go until compliance is required for the ELD final rule, which was enacted at the end of 2015 by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The ELD mandate requires commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS) to do so using electronic logging devices (ELDs). The goal of this mandate is to ensure accuracy of record keeping and increase safety.

Chances are, if your drivers keep these logs and are doing so manually right now, you need to have an ELD in place by December 18th of this year to be compliant with the mandate. However, recent reports from trucks.com indicate that nearly 1 million truck drivers have yet to purchase an ELD. Why are many companies waiting until the last minute? Some may not be taking the mandate seriously, or may be awaiting extensions. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced that officers will begin enforcing the mandate as soon as it goes into effect Dec ember 18th, but will not place trucks out of service for operating without an ELD until April 1st, 2018.

Other companies may think there’s still time to find an ELD solution to ensure compliance before December. But the fact of the matter is, accomplishing a successful paper-to-electronic logging transition in less than two months would be nearly impossible. And rushing through that transformation simply to become compliant will cause a multitude of problems, including:

  • A greater likelihood of selecting the wrong solution for your business because you’re in a rush
  • Less than idea training for your employees because you’re completing the project at too rapid of a pace
  • More pushback from employees on use of the solution because you didn’t take the time to properly communicate the reasoning for it and train on its proper use

If you’re one of the companies that has been ignoring the fact that you need to get this project underway, it’s time to face the facts and get to work. The reality is that leveraging ELD is likely to have multiple positive benefits to your organization, beyond compliance. Those include a reduction in errors associated with paperwork, an increase in efficiency by eliminating paper logs, improved safety, and even greater driver job satisfaction (if ELD is introduced appropriately).

To help your decision-making process, the FMCSA has developed a checklist of the key features and functionality required by every ELD solution:

  • Provides separate driver and manager accounts
  • Synchronizes with the engine control module
  • Automatically records driving time
  • Retains data for the current 24-hour period
  • Retains data for the previous seven days
  • Prevents device tampering
  • Requires driver to review unidentified driver records
  • Allows driver to obtain ELD records on demand
  • Supports electronic data transfer
  • Displays required data for authorized safety officials on demand
  • Requires driver annotations for edited records
  • Provides ELD user manual

The clock is ticking! Use this checklist to begin your search today for the best ELD solution for your company.