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It's hard to believe that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's electronic logging device (ELD) mandate was published one year ago tomorrow! Now you've got one year to make sure you're running in compliance with the new rules and regulations!

Webinar Recap

On December 13 we hosted our ELDs: 1 Year Down, 1 Year to Go! webinar to help you prepare for your transition to electronic logging devices. Check out a recap of the webinar below. 

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Questions & Answers

Q. Do I need to be AOBRD (automatic on-board recording device) compliant and ELD (electronic logging device) compliant?
A. 
If you’re using paper logs or an electronic logbook (like the BigRoad Mobile App), you’ll need to go right to an ELD by December 18, 2017. If you’re using an AOBRD - you get a two-year grace period. This allows you to use a compliant AOBRD until December 16, 2019. You would really never be compliant with both at the same time under the timeline that was set by the FMCSA. You would transition from one to the other.

Q. Is an engine-connection required as part of the December 2017 deadline or just ELD?
A. An engine-connection is essentially an ELD. An electronic logging device is a piece of hardware that plugs into the ECM of the truck and it automatically records information. If you’re using paper logs or an electronic logbook, you need to be running an ELD by December 2017. However, an AOBRD also plugs into the engine of the truck but it doesn’t have all of the capabilities as outlined by the FMCSA in the Final ELD rule.

Q. Do trucks older than 2000 need an ELD?
A. No - commerical motor vehicles (CMVs) older than model year 2000 (1999 and older) do not need to run an electronic logging device. We go into more detail on the different ELD mandate exemptions on a recent blog post. However, if you're driving one of these older trucks you still need to comply with logging requirements. You do not get to stop logging all together (unfortunately).

Q. Does an ELD have to be connected to the truck or can drivers use an Android tablet or smartphone application to be compliant?
A. In order to be compliant you need to run ELD hardware that’s connected to the ECU of your truck. So in our case, the ELD box plugged into the ECU. Information is automatically recorded and sent via Bluetooth to a cell phone or tablet that’s running the BigRoad Mobile App. You can’t just use use the BigRoad Mobile App and be considered ELD compliant. The BigRoad Mobile app on it’s own is only an electronic logbook. The BigRoad Mobile App can be used on a cell phone or tablet.

Q. How can I track a driver to know if they have arrived to delivery and pick-up locations?
A. Easy! As a fleet administrator, you’ll be using the BigRoad Web App. From the main dashboard within the web app, you’re able to see the location of all of your drivers on a map allowing you to know where they are in real-time. You can also have your drivers send you a Check In notification within the messaging center. From their device (phone or tablet) they can send you a message with their location to confirm where they're at - with date and timestamp too!

Q. Can you explain the grandfather clause in more detail?
A. If you start using an AOBRD before December 18, 2017, you can continue using your AOBRD until December 16, 2019. After December 16, 2019 you need to get an ELD. Going with an AOBRD first gives you more time to become comfortable with the new technology and processes before diving right into using ELDs. 

Q. I am a Volunteer Coordinator of a charity food bank with limited funding. We own two trucks in Canada having mostly short local trips with an occasional long distant trip for pickups of donations. What do you feel would be our best low cost solution.
A. As of right now, there is no Canadian ELD mandate. Unless you are driving down to the United States, you don't need to worry about an electronic logging device just yet! Give the BigRoad Mobile App a try! It's completely FREE for drivers to use which is great for cost-concerned fleets! Depending on your needs, you might also want the BigRoad Web App to help you manage your drivers. You can start a free 30-day trial to see if it's the right fit for you! 

Q. Does DashLink have a real-time GPS? How do roaming charges work within the app when in the U.S.?
A. Yes - our DashLink ELD has a real-time GPS with persistent monitoring. It updates similarily to the GPS in your phone, in most cases every 5-10 seconds. When your drivers are logged in, this allows you to point point exactly where they are from the BigRoad Web App. If you're driving across borders, we recommend that you have a data plan for that country to avoid any suprises charges as you'll be roaming.

Q. How does BigRoad stand out from the competition?
A. BigRoad's been providing hours-of-service management solutions to drivers and fleets for over 6 years. We initally wanted to create a product that made the lives of drivers easier not hard. This has continued to be our focus as our products have evolved and is shown by the thousands of drivers and fleets that rely on our every day! We're a reputable and trusted provider that's got the history and experience to back us up! We didn't just enter the market to make money off of you. This is the core of what we've been doing for years! 

Q. At a roadside inspection, how does the Driver display HOS to the DOT Officer?
A. Easy! The BigRoad Mobile App has an inspection mode made for DOT Officers. The driver simply clicks Inspect Logs, hands the phone to the officer, and they can inspect the logs right from the device! The inspection mode is in black and white - we don't make errors obvious to the inspector. More information on inspections can be found here.

Q. I manage the buses at a private school in Colorado. 98% of what we run falls under the short-haul exemption, so we will use paper logs. However, we do have a couple of trips a year that run out-of-state...what do we need to do for these trips to stay compliant?
A. If you're running outside of the short-haul exemption, you'd typically need to run an ELD for those longer trips or for all trips (if you'd like). However, it sounds like you might qualify for the 8 day/30 day exemption depending on how much your log within the 30 day period. 

How Can BigRoad Help?

Get on the path to ELD compliance with BigRoad! Let us help you make sure your transition to electronic logging devices is a smooth one! Request a live demonstartion to see our solutions in action!

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About the Author: Alicia Bedard

Alicia Bedard

Alicia is the Director of Marketing at BigRoad. She is an avid racing fan, thrill seeker, and craft beer aficionado. She likes to spend her free time with her bulldogs.