This year we were proud to be an exhibitor at the CVSA Conference and Exhibition. During the event’s lunch break on Tuesday the 16th, BigRoad and Gobbell Transportation held a webinar addressing issues around safety regulations and common practices for inspecting electronic logbooks.
We had a fantastic turnout and covered a lot of ground during the session. There were a number of great questions asked during the webinar, but unfortunately we couldn’t get them all answered in the time we had. At the end of this blog post we answer a few of the questions asked by our awesome customers and attendees. We'll answer the rest in subsequent blog posts, so rest assured they will all get answered. It’s always great to be involved with such a passionate community and we’re so appreciative of the care and attention you all put into your trucking businesses.
In case you were unable to attend or would like to watch the panel again, here is a recording of the webinar:
In addition to the questions answered below, we also have a few points to clarify in case they were fuzzy during the live presentation.
1) In the webinar Terry talked about signing logs for a bunch of off duty days in a row. He said that you simply put zero miles and sign the log and that it's nice and quick and easy. This is true and a good way to do it. Another option we forgot to mention is that you only need to fill out one log for a period of off duty days.
Just like on paper, you can fill out one off duty log for a range of dates. The way to do that with BigRoad is to pick a day (often the day before you go back on duty) and complete that day's log reflecting that you were off duty all day with zero miles. Fill it in and sign it, but make sure to include this key piece: In the remarks section you'll write the dates, for example "Off Duty September 10-18". Then you know you have all those dates completed and you don't need to fill in any other logs in that time frame.
There will still be a page for the other dates (September 10, 11, etc. in this example), but as long as you leave those completely blank, no violation warnings will show. If you start to complete a log, you need to complete it all the way, but if you leave it completely empty from the start, that's fine. The app will assume you weren't using BigRoad that day.
2) We’ve had some users ask about GPS records and how they can be used. Some drivers and dispatchers are concerned that by keeping GPS “breadcrumbs” (the list of different GPS locations registered during the work day) in BigRoad, they are opening themselves up to the possibility of having that information required by enforcement officials when the company is audited. You are of course not required to record any GPS breadcrumbs as a part of your records or logbook. But if you have them, can they be counted as a part of your logbook? It’s very unclear. There is no regulation that says whether they are or are not fair game for enforcement officials in the United States.
GPS data is collected voluntarily by the driver or fleet for business use and is not included in required information, so it seems unlikely that an enforcement official would have any real claim to the information. Could it be subpoenaed in conjunction with an investigation? I’m sure it could be because anything can be. Whether or not you choose to keep GPS data is completely up to you. So far we have never heard of a single case where that data was used by anyone outside the company.
In Canada it seems as though the GPS trail can be used as part of an audit but we’re still not hearing stories of this happening. Do you have a story? Please share in the comments - we’d love to hear about it.
BigRoad customers have the option to turn their GPS on or off of course, but what you may not know is that with your fleet account you can also set your GPS breadcrumbs to expire after thirty days.
Thanks for submitting so many good questions during the webinar! Here are a few answers for you:
Q: With the 34-hour restart provisions, the 168 hours start at the beginning of the 34 hour restart. The driver must indicate the restart. How do you indicate this or make the device know when to start the 168-hour period?
A: The app will calculate all of this for you and mark it on your log for you. It goes by what’s legally available and gets you your reset as soon as your time off meets all the criteria. It also lets you know how long you need to wait until a rest break is completed. Our customers find that the app calculates their hours more accurately than they can do by themselves. More info here:
Q: Is there automatic mileage entered if you drive past midnight?
A: Mileage is not entered automatically by the app. It is entered by the driver.
If you drive a night shift, just make a mental note of your approximate odometer reading at midnight and then record it as the end odometer of one day and start of the next when you stop. Use the “Add Truck” button to start a second shift in the same calendar day with a new starting odometer reading. Also make sure to sign out of BigRoad when you’re not on shift if you’re using state mileage reporting.
Q: Have you made any more progress on the ELD add on for Android?
A: Yes, we are making progress on the engine-connected version of BigRoad. We’ll have something to announce in December and it will be for Android and Apple.
More questions will follow in another post next week. Stay tuned!