ELD preparedness checklist for drivers
For carriers in their ongoing efforts to achieve and remain in full compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, it’s the drivers that are on the front lines of battle. Commercial vehicle operators are usually the first point of contact between fleet carriers and federal enforcement agencies.
It is important that drivers are aware of the safety standards and regulations, and they must be compliant with when on the road. As the December 18 deadline nears for implementing electronic devices to monitor hours of service, drivers should be knowledgeable of a few things both before and after the ELD mandate cutoff date.
The FMCSA has provided a checklist for drivers to help them prepare for the upcoming change in logging standards.
Things to do before deadline
“Drivers should know how to use all ELD functions and systems.”
1. Know if they qualify for an exemption. Many drivers could be exempt from complying with the ELD rule in certain situations and not know it, and the unnecessary logging could adversely affect their hours of service. Many drivers could also think they are exempt from compliance when they are not, which puts them and the fleet carrier at risk for official enforcement.
Exemptions can be based on a variety of things. Drivers should know all of the exemptions they qualify for and under what specific circumstances they do and do not need to log hours.
2. Understand their harassment protections. A set of harassment protections takes effect once drivers begin use of ELDs. The safeguards noted in the mandate are important for drivers to know to prevent them from feeling intimated or coerced.
3. Learn to use and test ELD and all relevant systems. Drivers should know how to use all ELD functions and the systems that accompany them before the deadline. Sending and receiving data, editing records and reporting malfunctions are tasks, among numerous others, drivers should be trained on ahead of the implantation date.
Once trained, it’s advised that operators test the devices as thoroughly as necessary to familiarize themselves with the technology.
Drivers should also accustom themselves with the ELD’s instruction manual and any other accompanying documents.
Things to do continuously after deadline
1. Keep all necessary documents in truck cab. Those drivers that qualify for exemptions need to keep the relevant documentation in their vehicles at all times. In the event of an inspection, an officer may ask to see the documents which verify safe noncompliance.
Other documents that drivers are advised to have at all times are the ELD instruction manual, directions for transferring HOS to law enforcement officials, documents regarding protocol during an ELD malfunction and a supply of paper tracking forms to record hours during ELD failure.
2. Submit supporting documents. The FMCSA has a list of supporting documents that drivers will need to continuously submit to their carriers during certain periods of operation.
Lee Trans has decades of experience in helping drivers achieve and maintain compliance through our training programs. Let us help your operators stay in line with regulation through our expert services.