Top ELD Violations to Avoid

Top ELD Violations

Top ELD Violations (Used with permission from CTSE, link below)

The Little Things Make a Big Difference

When it comes to keeping electronic logs, the little things make a big difference. Or as at least one professional driver once told me, there are no small mistakes in trucking.

Since  April 1, 2018, the ELD “enforcement deadline,” all ELD violations are reflected in a motor carrier’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score. The violations fall off after two years, improving the score. This means it’s important NOT to incur these violations as your company can be stuck with them for a while.

Every violation is assigned a ‘violation severity weight’ by the DOT. For example, operating with a device that is not registered with FMCSA (49 CFR, Part 395.22A) has a violation severity weight of 5, on a scale of 1 to 10.

Severity weights help differentiate varying degrees of crash risk associated with specific violations.

All logging violations are considered fairly serious.The good news is that they are all controllable, and hence preventable.

What does your Insurance Company Expect?

All violations and crashes are funneled by the DOT into one of seven Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs). A higher BASIC score reflects negatively and several BASICs with higher scores can trigger DOT safety compliance reviews, which in turn can result in a negative safety rating (like “Conditional” or “Unsatisfactory”).

The BASICs are not only used by the DOT for enforcement purposes, but also by private industry as an indicator of safety. Shippers and brokers use these scores to vet motor carriers. Trial attorneys like to pound the table with a carrier’s high BASIC scores, if a company is involved in a crash, even a minor fender bender.

And insurance companies use BASICs as a risk indicator.

Each BASICs can range between 0 to 100%. For insurance purposes, every individual BASIC should not be much over 20%. Any BASICs in an “alert” status are not acceptable to the insurance industry. This cannot be emphasized enough. Again, a high BASIC and a fender bender can result in a policy cancellation or jump in premium.

For a small company or a new company, staying under a 20% threshold for any BASIC is very difficult. If a carrier has one out-of-service violation from two roadside inspections, on paper it looks bad. The only way they can improve their situation is by having several more “clean” roadside inspections.

What’s the Solution?

The best cure when it comes to navigating the DOT’s regulatory system, is prevention. Drivers need to know how to use their ELDs, keep essential and supporting documents on the truck, keep paper logs to back up the ELD in case it fails, and know what they are doing when they use their ELDs.

Top Tip: Stop at rest-stops before any open inspection stations and do a quick walkaround, checking tires, lights, logbook status, etc. Fix anything before going through the roadside inspection station. You will likely need to fix it anyway, and don’t need a possible fine and citation, DOT scores in alert status, and higher insurance rates. ■

Thank you for reading this.

Thanks to The Center for Transportation Safety Excellence for use of their graphic.

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John Taratuta, Insurance Safety & Risk Engineer admin@part380.com

ELD Tips

Roadside Inspection

Quick Tip

Last week in his Fleetup.com webinar, Samuel Mayfield passed on an excellent tip that applies to the carriers who might be late-adopters of the ELD mandate and perhaps experiencing technical or other issues.

Have a DOT roadside inspection done before April 1st to see if unit passes muster and any ancillary requirements (spare logsheets, instruction card, data exchange, etc) are met. On April 1st, full enforcement of the ELD mandate will go into effect, and it might be good to know if the system is functional and operates legally. Some drivers have reported ELD problems.

Mystery Mileage . . .

“For those companies who are subject to the ELD Mandate, make sure your drivers are not “killing” the app on their cell phone or tablet while On Duty (if your ELD solution uses such). Doing so creates UDRs that will need to be addressed later and sometimes will result in lost data.” Samuel Mayfield

UDRs are Unidentified Driving Reports, also called Unidentified Driving Events (UDEs), or Unidentified Driving (UD) by some device makers. All miles driven must be assigned to a driver.

If no driver is assigned to a vehicle’s ELD while that vehicle is in motion, the ELD will likely flag that as unidentified driving. Unidentified driving could happen if a driver fails to log on or if an unassigned driver (for example, a shop mechanic doing a road check) would operate the vehicle.

Unidentified driving that is assigned to a driver needs to be acknowledged and approved by the driver.

Document how you track and allocate all unassigned unidentified driving.

(1 minute 21 second video)

Any products or services mentioned above are for informational purposes only.

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John Taratuta, Risk Engineer, 989-474-9599

FMCSA Answers Your Top ELD Industry Questions

paperless logging is here

The FMCSA Speaks

On Monday, March 12, 2018, Teletrac Navman and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted an hour-long webinar and Question and Answer session on Phase II of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate.

Bill Mahorney, Division Chief at the FMCSA, and LaTonya Minns, Transportation Specialist at the FMCSA updated listeners on what is happening regarding the deployment of ELDs by motor carriers.

  1. If you needed to do paper logs (also know as a record of duty status—RODS), then you need to have an ELD in your truck.
  2. There is an Agriculture Exemption under 49 CFR 395.1(k). Agricultural operations. The provisions of this part shall not apply during planting and harvesting periods, as determined by each State, to drivers transporting (1) Agricultural commodities from the source of the agricultural commodities to a location within a 150 air-mile radius from the source;(2) Farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale or retail distribution point of the farm supplies to a farm or other location where the farm supplies are intended to be used within a 150 air-mile radius from the distribution point; or(3) Farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale distribution point of the farm supplies to a retail distribution point of the farm supplies within a 150 air-mile radius from the wholesale distribution point.
  3. If an Ag exempt driver stays within the 150 air-mile radius (about 172 miles), then that time is hours-of-service exempt and does not need to be recorded or counted, unless one goes outside the radius.
  4. The term ‘Nominal Hours of Service’ refers to minor infractions that an enforcement officer can, at their discretion, cite as such. In general they refer to an hours of service violation that is 15 minutes or less in duration.
  5. If an ELD (or AOBRD) malfunctions, the driver must notify his carrier within 24 hours and then recast their previous 7-days of logs, and continue to manually record their logs on paper until the unit is repaired. If it will take longer than 8 days, they need to contact and notify their area FMCSA office to report the issue and continue to use paper logs.
  6. Driver must record their End of Day activities, if not driving. It was recommended to change your duty status and then off off the unit, complete your work, then log back in and fill in the missing details.
  7. Edits. Upload the information before requesting an edit.The driver has the option of declining the edit or assigned miles.
  8. An exempt driver can be a driver who is driving an ELD-equipped vehicle, but not required to log their miles. He would have an ‘exempt driver account’ with the carrier.
  9. An unidentified driver is someone who drove a CMV but did not login on the ELD. All unidentified driver mileage needs to be assigned to a driver by the carrier.
  10. Edits. There can be no shrinking of the driving time. The only exception might be a team-driver who had not properly logged off and other driver drove for him.
  11. Drivers will be placed out-of-service on or after April 1, 2018 if they do not have an ELD and it is required.
  12. In the case of independent contractors (ICs) or Owner-operators, if you are running under the carrier’s authority (their DOT number), then it’s the carrier’s responsibility to keep the ELD logs. If it is your authority, then you are responsible.
  13. Personal conveyance guidelines or regulations are in the works, but have not been finalized.

The key thing is to make sure you have the proper documentation for the unit, know what to do if the unit fails, and know your exemptions (ag, drive-away/tow-away, etc) if you are exempt.

Stay tuned for more EDL updates.

Thank you for reading this.

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John Taratuta, Risk Engineer, 989-474-9599