Not only did this month mark the one-year anniversary of the final ELD mandate, but it also signified the one-year deadline for fleets to be compliant with the first round of regulations.
A study reported by Fleet Owner revealed a wide disparity between large and small carrier fleets regarding the ELD mandate: While 81 percent of larger fleets have already accomplished full e-log implementation, in advance of the December 2017 deadline, smaller carriers, however, have been reluctant adopters and slower to integrate.
But, the FMCSA has made its position on compliance clear — and, with less than 365 days to go until paper logs are obsolete, fleets that are lagging behind must put the wheels in motion (no pun intended).
ELD Early Adopter Benefits
The first general deadline is Dec. 18, 2017, and over the next two years, carriers have the option of installing an ELD or an AOBRD to record their hours of service (HOS). On Dec. 16, 2019, carriers must transition to ELDs, as AOBRDs are no longer considered an acceptable form of capturing HOS or RODS data.
An ELD will be required* for a driver or vehicle in any of these categories:
- Interstate drivers currently required to keep RODS
- Vehicles that weigh more than 10,001 pounds (alone or with a combination trailer)
- Vehicles which require placarded hazmat loads
- Vehicles carrying more than 8 or 15 passengers, depending on vehicle class
Early adopters that installed an AOBRD/EOBR prior to Dec. 18, 2017, have the benefit of using this technology for two more years, until Dec. 16, 2019. Those that do not install an ELD or AOBRD before this date are subject to full requirements on the first deadline.
To ensure compliance and avoid late penalties, organizations should allow ample time for factors such as selection and purchase of equipment; installation and testing; employee training for drivers and office staff; and practice sessions for contingency plans, repair and maintenance.
It seems like a daunting project, but there are also considerable benefits afforded by ELDs for managers and drivers. The faster the solution is operational, the sooner a fleet and its workforce can begin to reap a myriad of advantages that only early adopters and AOBRD users are privy to.
Electronic logbooks help fleets to:
- Eliminate inefficient processes, such as faxing driver logs at fuel stops and manually entering hours, and prevent fines associated with human errors;
- Enhance communication between managers and drivers, as well as improve customer service;
- Provide instant insight into available and remaining HOS for each driver, including notification of violations in real time;
- Access to HOS driver log summaries and reports at any time, improving decision-making;
- Achieve faster, more compliant roadside inspection access for officers and scale houses; and
- Collect driver work hours and time on the road automatically for simplified planning and scheduling.
In the end, there’s no better advantage than improving safety, productivity and compliance — day in and day out. It’s a win-win for all.
If you would like to learn more about ELDs and the steps required to get your fleet ELD-ready, please visit http://www.teletracnavman.com/eld/what-will-i-need-to-do.
*There are some exceptions.