On April 1, 2018 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will start enforcing the electronic logging device mandate that rent into effect late least year. Drivers who do not meet the compliance standards run the risk of being placed out of service. ELD enforcement may pose a number of risks to truckers, but there are a few easy things everyone can do to reduce headaches for everyone.
ELD Enforcement Process
Starting on Sunday, the first of April, truckers will be open to roadside inspections to see whether or not they are in compliance with the ELD mandate. The enforcement process will go something like this:
- Truckers who do not have an ELD, or an ELD that does not fall within the FMCSA guidelines will be placed out of service
- Truckers taken off the road will remain out of service for 10 hours
- Truckers will be able to drive to their next scheduled destination, but will not be eligible for dispatch without an approved ELD
- If truckers are dispatched again without ELDs, both drivers and fleets will be open to more severe ELD enforcement.
Last Minute Preparations
If you have been holding off during this grace period, time is running out. Drivers cannot hold out hope for new legislation to walk back ELD enforcement. While the mandate may be amended or thrown out completely, neither outcome is going to happen before April. These next few days are going to be crucial for drivers and fleet owners alike.
Make Sure Your Truck Has An Approved ELD
There are upwards of 300 electronic logging devices which are approved by the FMCSA, ranging from very inexpensive to top of the line models. Purchase a compliant ELD and have it installed before you go out on the road next week. Take time to at least glance at the manual to understand how your ELD works and what needs to be done in case it malfunctions.
Edits And Unassigned Miles
Approved ELDs also allow drivers to accept or refuse unassigned miles, in the case of a truck being hauled in for maintenance. Additionally, if for some reason hours or miles need to be edited, the ELD will record a note from the driver, which will show up when the data is transferred.
In Case Of Emergency, Use Paper Logs
If your ELD goes down for any reason, you will have an eight hour period in which you must use paper logs. During that time, you are required to get your electronic logging device serviced, otherwise you may be found in violation of compliance and placed out of service.
Work With Inspection Officers
During a roadside inspection, part of the process will involve transferring data from the ELD to the officer. Familiarize yourself with this process. While inspection officers are trained in this process, few have actually transferred data in a “live” setting. Remember, this is going to be a new experience for everyone, so help wherever you can to make it fast and painless.
ELD Enforcement Is Not An April Fool’s Joke
Truckers can expect roadside inspections to be out in full force over the next few weeks. The goal will be to get an idea of how many drivers are compliant with the ELD mandate, how smoothly the process goes, and what corrective actions – if any – need to be taken. If you’ve not already done so, make sure everything is in order before you hit the road in April.