On Tuesday morning, it was announced that the ELD mandate has cleared the White House and is set for publication with the Federal Register. It has been speculated that the ruling will be published for the end of November.
So how does this affect you?
Well it depends. Are you a driver? Do you manage a fleet? Do you manage safety and compliance for your company - tracking down drivers on a daily basis to correct form and manner errors on their paper logs?
Well, The ELD mandate will require truck drivers to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track their hours of service (HOS). It will ensure drivers and fleet owners are following the regulations, increase safety and help improve CSA scores. It will save a lot of time for both the driver and fleet managers as well.
According to the Department of Transportation, it will also provide more specific information of what is required for truck drivers on the road, specifically:
- the minimum requirements for an ELD
- requirements for ELD use and who needs to be using it for HOS
- what supporting documents will be required
- the measures that will be put in place to deal with privacy concerns and any issues with harassment through the use of ELDs
Let’s take a look at how this ELD mandate will affect the different groups within trucking.
Once the ELD mandate clears, any driver who currently maintains a logbook to track their HOS will need to use an ELD. We’ve hosted a few webinars (this one too) on this topic with questions of ‘I’m a single driver’ or ‘I have a small fleet that transports x kind of freight, do I need an ELD?’ The rule of thumb is: If you currently track your HOS, you will need an ELD.
But don’t despair! An ELD will simplify your HOS tracking. It’s engine-connected and will automatically track drive time and your odometer. You don’t have to lift a finger! There is no fudging the numbers with an ELD, which is definitely a concern for some drivers, but it’s to ensure safety and compliance.
No one likes getting pulled over for an inspection and having their logs scrutinized. However, an ELD will eliminate form and manner errors and get rid of the need for in-cab printers. HOS tracking will only take a few minutes and with clean logs, it will help improve safety scores. By having logs in tip top shape, there won’t be any issues with violations or even form and manner errors, and drivers will pass inspections with flying colours, improving their and their companies score.
We’ve heard lots of drivers saying that they won’t be able to make enough money or go over hours with an ELD. There will be millions of people using ELDs. If shippers/receivers are constantly being late or drivers in general cannot maintain the same level of output as before, something will have to give. Detention times will begin to be more enforced and other provisions will have to be made to transport shipments. People will always need stuff and that will never change.
Your fleet will now be required by law to use ELDs. Some drivers will be indifferent and some will feel passionately for or against their use. This mandate is now in its final stages to ensure compliance and safety. It is a huge benefit for fleet managers and owners.
How you ask?
- Paperwork - the paperwork from logbooks are the second largest paper filing next to taxes. Having a streamlined, electronic process will free up tons of time (and desk space) and it'll eliminate the need for more people to manage the logs, track down errant drivers, find storage for paper, etc.
- Real-Time Logs - fleet managers/owners can quickly review driver logs in real-time and ensure they are compliant rather than finding out weeks later and scrambling with the driver to figure out how to correct it.
- Better Inspections - with having correct logs, the elimination of errors and everything the driver will need for successful inspections at their fingertips, there will be less violations, not being put out of service and a better safety score. Law enforcement can now focus on those who really are breaking the law/have dangerous infractions.
It’s important for fleet managers/owners to provide an ELD system that is easy for the drivers to use and to let them know the benefits it provides to them and the fleet (time, cost, ease).
It’s also important to empower your fleet with what they need to know when it comes down to inspection time. Yes, ELDs will be the law, but we’ve all heard those stories where law enforcement isn’t too keen on accepting electronic logs. Empowering drivers will ensure inspections and a transition to ELD is as smooth as possible.
So What Now?
The ELD mandate hasn’t been published yet so electronic and paper logs are still legal, but why leave it to the last minute? Do you do Christmas shopping on December 24? Do you encourage your children to do their projects the night before it’s due? Of course not. It’s just poor planning!
By preparing for the transition to ELD, fleets can get a leg up on those stragglers who are waiting till their time is nearly up. Transitioning now will provide ample time for training drivers and fleet managers on the new system. By the time the grace period is over, they will all be pros!
Speaking of the grace period, once the mandate has been published, there will be a two-year window for companies to become ELD compliant. If the mandate is published November 2015, companies will have until November 2017 to be running ELDs. The one exception to this is for companies who have moved to an AOBRD system before the two year window is up. In this situation, companies will be able to continue running AOBRD compliant devices until November 2019.
It will also give you the advantage over your competition. It can help improve your safety score. If you wait till the end, guess what? You have no advantage. Everyone’s safety score will begin to improve and you’re just progressing the same as everyone else. And if the transition is a bit more difficult for you/your fleet, it can create additional problems, stress and perhaps a lower safety score.
Why Should I Use BigRoad?
Because it’s easy!
BigRoad has a 4.5/5 star rating for Android and Apple, with over 300,000 downloads and 8 million logs submitted.
With the new mandate, drivers are able to use BigRoad's DashLink which is an AOBRD (automatic on-board recording device) which is engine-connected. It satisfies the mandate and ensures drivers are ELD-ready. With just a couple of clicks, drivers can easily manage their HOS and fleet managers can feel confident that their drivers are driving safely.