Starting Tuesday, Dec 17, only Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) registered with the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can be used for records of driver duty status. Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRD) no longer will be allowed.
“Unlike paper and electronic logs, the differences between compliant ELDs and other onboard recorders aren’t necessarily apparent,” said Doug Schrier, vice president of product and innovation at Transflo, a provider of ELDs and mobile business-management technology to the transportation industry. “As the deadline for full ELD compliance nears, it’s important to make sure you’re using a device that meets all the requirements.”
Transflo offers the following tips to help fleets and drivers comply with ELD-related inspections at the roadside:
1. Check the FMCSA’s list of registered ELDs
The FMCSA does not endorse specific ELDs. However, the agency maintains a list of self-certified and registered devices at csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/ELD/List. Search and make sure the selected ELD is on it, including device name, model number and important details like data transfer methods, where to download the user manual and the ELD supplier’s certifying statement. Transflo’s ELD is a fully integrated and connected telematics solution that is self-certified and on FMCSA’s list of registered ELDs.
2. Don’t expect soft enforcement
CVSA confirmed that there will be no period of “soft enforcement” after Dec 16, when the two-year grace period to transition from AOBRDs to ELDs ends. Expect officers to look closely at whether or not each logging device complies with federal requirements for ELDs.
3. Last-minute ELD shoppers should look for more than hardware
For the thousands of truckers who have not yet upgraded to ELDs from AOBRDs, technical support and training are more important than ever. “Choose an ELD vendor that will make sure your installation and telematics connections are working properly, and has resources to help you train drivers and other personnel,” Schrier said. “There are dozens of ELDs on the FMCSA’s list of registered devices and they all have to produce the same basic set of data. The difference among vendors is in service, support and your ability to use that data to run your business.”
4. Make sure drivers are ready at the roadside
Prepare company drivers for added scrutiny at the roadside. Remind them that by rule, an ELD must be designed so that a safety official can read the display without having to enter the vehicle. If the ELD uses a mobile device, the driver doesn’t have to hand it to the inspector; he can handle it on the inspector’s behalf as long as the display is visible.
Drivers also should have access to paper logs as a backup to their ELD, and know where to find clear instructions about how to enter, retrieve and transfer data. With the Transflo ELD, these documents are available in electronic format within the Transflo Mobile+ app (under “Required Documents”).
These tips can help drivers and carriers successfully make it through the ELD portion of any roadside inspection. Visit the Transflo ELD Support Center for more information (transflo.com/transflo-eld-support-center).