Last week, BigRoad attended the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Annual Conference and Exhibition in Boise, Idaho. With over 700 attendees, the event focused on a timely topic: how technology is shaping the future of transportation.
ITS or Intelligent Transportation Systems is the official name and many of the sessions and speakers focused on this theme. Other topics such as industry updates, new legislation and the future of safety and inspections were tabled bringing together multiple stakeholders in an effort to advocate for some level of consistency in the decision-making process.
ELD Mandate: So Many Questions, So Little Time
One of the main topics throughout the event was centered around the future of electronic inspections, where inspection data can be sent electronically from the truck to the inspection station without having to stop or slow down.
Another hot topic was, of course, the ELD mandate and how various jurisdictions handle eLogs differently. There is a need for consistency. For example, we’ve heard that Missouri requires a printed copy of these logs which need to be printed from the cab. They will not accept email or fax, which has been accepted in other states.
Consequences of Inconsistency
Not only is consistency important for drivers so that they can be prepared, but it creates a number of additional problems. First, not meeting the requirements of in-cab printed logs in Missouri can put a driver out of service for 10 hours at a time, even though they’re legal and compliant. Second, drivers will avoid these states because they don’t want the hassle. This will clog up different corridors surrounding that state, increase wear and tear on those interstates, divert taxes and provide a significant disadvantage for trucking companies within that state.
A lot of questions also came out of these discussions. What does the grace period mean? Can drivers still be penalized during this two year period? Also, what are the penalties? Will all states be uniform in accepting eLogs or dealing with ELD?
There is also a lot of hesitation from small and medium sized trucking companies and how the mandate will affect their business. Will the cost of operation be significant? How will it impact their fleets? Drivers and business owners have mixed feelings about the mandate, but in the end, they want to defend drivers and ensure that what is best is being done. All of these questions will slowly start to get answered leading up to the mandate even within a few months as it is in practice.
We’ve had a lot of these questions in the past few months and will be hosting a webinar on getting ready for the ELD mandate. Join us on Thursday, October 1 at 2:00 pm ET. Register now. There will be a question and answer period so submit your questions to email@example.com.
...Now Back to the Show!
Lots of people stopped by BigRoad’s booth to learn about our eLog app and try it out on-site. We also got to hear about the ELD mandate from other’s point-of-view, like single drivers, large fleets and law enforcement.
Many drivers are worried about staying legal but also how to make it easily streamline into their existing business. We also met a few people that were not convinced with eLogs, whether it was time, cost or functionality. These people tried out our app and after a quick walk through, they realized that it wasn’t so bad! One driver stated that just having a walk through makes it a lot less daunting.
One of the misconceptions of eLogs is that they aren’t legal or are a lot of extra work. BigRoad has had a number of great success stories. Just recently, Judy Chosewood of Virden, IL told us about how much easier it is to keep her logs up-to-date now that she uses BigRoad’s eLogs app. Her husband was initially skeptical and a bit overwhelmed, but now he’s onboard and loving it. They’re able to save time, and as a result, money, in using the eLog app.
We had another driver write to us about how his inspection was a breeze with using BigRoad’s eLog app. Doug Hinckley, owner-operator at a small company, had to pull into the Mitchellville Weigh Station. After weighing in, Doug was then subjected to a Level II walk around inspection. The DOT inspector asked for his logs and Doug was able to quickly fax them over. Within five minutes, the inspector was satisfied and reported back these were the cleanest logs he’d ever seen. The entire inspection took about 30 minutes and Doug was happily back on the road.
What Do Others Think of the Mandate?
At the CVSA, there were a lot of large fleet drivers in attendance as well and in speaking with them, they are looking forward to the mandate. They’ve been using some form of ELD for years and looking forward to having some consistency across the states and having enforcement accept their eLogs.
The state troopers’ feedback was that they, too, are worrying about it and how they can easily transition to this mandate and make it work for all parties involved. They want to keep the trucks on the road but also ensure everyone is legal. We’ve even talked with a few departments that are interested in getting some BigRoad training to learn more about eLogs and how they will play a part in the new process of inspections based on the mandate.
Basking in the Basque Culture
The happy hour also included a lot of fun activities that involved the Basque culture. Boise has a large Basque population which is an ethnic group that come from a region near the Bay of Biscay, between France and Spain. So we had an evening of traditional Basque dancing and an 8 foot pan of paella (to share - not just for BigRoad). However, we definitely indulged and I must say, Marcia, the Director of Sales, had some fantastic moves on the dance floor! And of course, the paella was delicious!
We took some great photos at the event and they’re posted throughout this article. We met a lot of people throughout, including some fun photos with state troopers - who tried to test our knowledge on compliance and the upcoming ELD mandate. Not to toot our own horn, but we nailed it!
If you’re interested in seeing more photos or hearing about future events, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
If we missed you at the event and you’re interested in trying out the BigRoad eLog app, check out our free 30-day trial.