ELD Mandate Update: Don’t get caught dragging your fleet

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7 Nov 2017

The light is green and it is time to move ahead with the Electronic Logging Device mandate. Motor carriers and drivers have until December 18, 2017 to implement these devices. The final ELD rule was published almost two years ago in December of 2015, giving carriers time to either prepare or procrastinate.

While many fleets have already begun the process of implementing their ELDs others are still holding out. Some have held out hope that legislation would change through votes or protests but any relief that those actions may bring is unlikely to take effect before the deadline. Fleets that have maintained a ‘wait and see’ outlook are facing a hard climb to stay compliant. Along with violating the mandate comes the eventual fines and citations. A fleet without ELDs may also be faced with driver turnover, ELD installation and training delays and a potential loss in productivity. Be assured that the government is not waiting for the deadline, they are preparing for enforcement.

Ahead of the mandated deadline commercial vehicle inspectors are receiving ELD training, updating roadside enforcement procedures and reviewing audit requirements. When the time comes everything will be in place for the enforcement of the mandate to begin. Fleets must be prepared and that begins with knowing what is required of them.

The task of staying within compliance is not changing but the process that it will take is being streamlined. Having a compliance expert working with your fleet is a step in the right direction when it comes to managing the amount of data produced by the new devices. Companies like Lee Trans have services in place to facilitate compliance management for fleets of any size.

Be Prepared

The truth is that the Hours of Service rules have not changed. Hours of Service (HOS) regulation governs the working and driving hours of anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle. As a preventative measure to avoid excessive fatigue, drivers must comply with total daily allowance established by FMCSA and record duty status and durations in the ELD. Drivers will have to present their complete duty records to roadside inspectors when requested. With an ELD this either needs to be displayed on a screen for viewing or printed out as a hard copy within the unit. In the event of an ELD malfunction paper logs must be kept. Supporting documentation must also be reconciled with the ELD log. Managing all these varying forms of information can be a significant task. Lee Trans is a trusted resource for compliance management and can review and track your data to help reduce risk.

Industry Impact

Electronic logging devices are going to impact the industry in many areas, not just the driver’s seat. The ELD will collect more information than a paper log and generate more data that can be tracked and leveraged in a growing number of ways. Initially the devices will change things for the driver, the fleet and the law.

  • For the driver the new devices may seem like an additional oversight but this technology is designed, when properly used, to make the driver safer and more efficient. ELDs will more accurately and automatically record HOS, allowing drivers to focus on the road and not the log.
  • The impact to the carrier company is in the data and there will be lots of it. Immediate benefits will be in reducing paperwork while increasing driver communication. The data will provide new analytics to track resources that directly affect the ROI for each unit in their fleet. That being said, audits will become more daunting with officials looking to validate where the driver was against supporting documents.
  • For enforcement officials the ELD will make their inspection process faster, easier and more consistent. With each ELD required to meet specific standards the data provided will be immediate and accurate. Any driver out of compliance will be easily identified and sited as such.

The ELD is only one part of the picture

The mounting task for fleets will be in maintaining compliance with not just the ELD mandate but with the ongoing FMCSA requirements, IFTA and IRP rules. ELDs track the driver while IFTA, IRP and licensing are concerned with the vehicle.  Adding an electronic device to each truck can be a potential roadblock for companies looking to managing the data themselves. Lee Trans is a company that is ready to support fleets of any size as the ELD mandate comes into effect. Our services include specific solutions to help you take full advantage of the data in order to maintain compliance and reduce the risk of audits.

Lee Trans has been a reliable and trustworthy resource for compliance and risk management for decades. Since the firm began, we have always performed our services with a personal hands-on approach and with the utmost integrity. Our job is to keep fleets rolling by providing compliance and risk reduction management. Stay on the road with the confidence that comes from having a compliance expert on your team.