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.

Thank you for reading this.

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John Taratuta, Risk Engineer, 989-474-9599

Top Hours of Service Survival Tips

Roadside InspectionTroubles, Troubles, Troubles

Troubles, Troubles, Troubles, was once a popular blues song sung by B.B. King, and could be the theme song of many organizations when it comes to Part 395 – Hours of Service of Drivers.

While the rule section is not that many pages, for many drivers and their motor carriers it can be an almost perpetual source of trouble. Out-of-Service rates for drivers average about 40 percent per year for logbook violations and 28.7 percent for Hours of Service violations. Fines for both drivers and the employer can quickly run up, drivers may be placed out-of-service – even arrested, and the employer/company may end up with bad safety rating or be subjected to the “intervention” process.

The troubles don’t stop there. In the event of a serious collision, any Hours of Service records come under close scrutiny by not only the DOT but by the litigators.

Any error or discrepancy in a log, no matter how small, is breaking the law. Trial Lawyer

 

It Doesn’t Have to Be That Way

Here are a few top tips to avoid Hours of Service troubles . . .

Tip #1.

Avoid unnecessary roadside inspections.

About 35.4 percent of roadside inspections are triggered by speeding. Don’t speed. Don’t employ drivers who make a habit of speeding. Take any speeding tickets seriously.

Tip #2.

Do good pretrip inspections.

Roadside inspections brought about by vehicle defects:

  • Lighting 16.6%
  • Load Securement 15.7%
  • Tires 9.4%
1of10

This wheel was held on by one lug nut. If you were the DOT inspector, wouldn’t you want to see what shape this driver’s logbook was in?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tip #3.

Keep all paperwork in order.

Establish a filing system where timesheets, logbooks and their supporting documents can be easily found and matched for the last six months.

Even with the new mandatory Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), up to eight supporting documents are required for every 24 hour period. Now is the time to get better organized.

Tip #4.

Audit your drivers’ logbooks or timesheets.

Some drivers have never been properly trained in Hours of Service rules. They may be too embarrassed to admit they are not sure on how to log.

Omissions in the Log – Indicating Possible False Logs
• Frequently omitted daily mileage.

• No on-duty time.
• Failing to show the name of the place the driver reported for duty.
• Failing to show the driver’s location at each change of duty status to conceal work performed.

• Failing to show the name of the place where the driver went off duty for the rest of the day to conceal actual driving times.

All omissions are very serious and need to be corrected.(Log Audit Manual)

Tip #5.

Train and retrain on Hours of Service rules.

One of the biggest and most common mistake I see is trying to teach all of the hours of service rules in one session. On first glance, it seems straightforward: show a short video, review a few of the rules, ask if anyone has any questions, and then send the drivers on their way. This is one area that calls for the best training you can provide. Break it down into a series of short sessions with frequent review and assessment of learning. The key is not only in gaining knowledge, but obtaining understanding.

Thank you for reading this.

 

 

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), What Carriers and Drivers Should Know

 e-logsPresenting Annette M. Sandberg, Esq.

Yesterday, FleetOwner magazine with the sponsorship of Telogis, a logistics software provider, provided a webinar on Electronic Logging Devices, What Carriers and Drivers Should Know, by Annette M. Sandberg, Esq., former head of the FMCSA and principal at TransSafe Consulting, LLC. Before running the FMCSA she was with the  Washington State Patrol for 17 years.

The final ELD rule was published December 16, 2015 and gives motor carriers two years to comply with it — for an effective date of December 18, 2017.

Who needs to comply with the ELD Rule?

Remember the letter “L” in ELD. L means Log.

If a driver needs to run a Log Book, then they will have to upgrade to an ELD by the above date, with few, few exceptions.

Who does NOT need to comply with the ELD Rule?

Again, as the rule is now written, there are only a few exceptions.

  1. Drivers who do not run logbooks.

Logical, right? If a driver does not run a log book, then they would not need an ELD. Generally this means drivers who use “time cards,” “exemption” sheets, or short haul drivers:

CDL drivers who always return to their same starting location, never work or drive a total of 12 hours in a day and stay within 100 air-miles of their starting location (or non-CDL drivers who do the same but stay within 150 air-miles of their starting location).

But there is a crucial exception to this exception: in a rolling 30 day period these drivers will need an ELD if they have to use paper logs more than 8 days of any rolling 30 day period (if the driver must attach a logsheet to the time card).

So if a driver goes over their maximum 12 hour work shift, stays overnight somewhere other than their normal start location, or goes over the 100/150 air-miles, more than 8 days in a 30 day period, then they will need to install an ELD device.

2. Driveaway-towaway Operations

“Driveaway-towaway operation” means any operation in which any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer, singly or in combination, new or used, constitutes the commodity being transported when one set or more wheels of any such vehicle are on the roadway during the course of transportation, whether or not any such vehicle furnishes the motive power.

Driveaway-towaway operations get a free pass. No ELDs for you.

3. Pre-2000 model year trucks.

Older trucks cannot be wired for ELDs, in a cost-effective manner. Older trucks are, in a sense, “grandfathered in” into the new millennium. They, too, get a free pass.

That’s it. Everyone else who needs to use a logbook, needs to use an ELD device.

  • Fleetsize does not matter.
  • Truck size does not matter. (Truck age does matter).
  • Commodities hauled do not matter (other than Driveaway-towaway operations).
  • Nothing else matters, if you have to run a paper log, then you need to run an electronic log on an ELD device.

What is an ELD device?

Size, shape and type of device is not defined. It could be a smart phone, tablet, or any electronic device, as long as is mountable and secure when the truck is in motion, and available for law enforcement outside the cab, and displays the required trip data:

  • Driver name and ELD username, if one applies.
  • The motor carrier’s name and address
  • Engine hours and mileage for each driving period.
  • Any fault status if the ELD malfunctions.
  • A grid graph, hours and locations.

Key ELD Points

  • Original entries are permanent.
  • Any annotations and edits must be initialed
  • Data will be encrypted
  • All drivers must have accounts, including shop mechanics who test drive a truck
  • All mileage must be assigned or accounted for
  • Owner/operators cannot have an administrator account.

Automatic Duty Status Changes (Two)

  • If the wheels move (5 MPH), the device will default to on-duty, driving.
  • If the vehicle stops over 5 minutes the device will warn the driver, then default to on-duty (not driving).
  • No other automatic duty status changes are allowed (as the rule is now written).

But Wait . . . There’s More! Supporting Documents, the Crazy 8s

The logging may be electronic, but the paperwork never ends.

Supporting documents requirements take effect on the ELD rule Compliance Date December 18, 2017.

  • Up to 8 supporting documents (SDs) in a 24-hour period MUST be kept. As a rule of thumb, if you have them, then you must use them (but no more than 8).
  • NEW: SDs must be submitted to the carrier within 8 days.
  • Drivers need to produce SDs in their possession at Roadside Inspections.
  • Carriers must be able to match the SDs with the electronic logs.

There are five categories of supporting documents:

  • Bills of lading, itineraries, schedules, or equivalent documents that show the starting and ending location for each trip;
  • Dispatch records, trip records, or equivalent documents;
  • Expense receipts (meals, lodging, fuel, etc.);
  • Fleet management system communication records;
  • Payroll records, settlement sheets, or equivalent documents showing payment to a driver.

New: Drivers using paper RODS must also keep toll receipts – which don’t count toward the eight-document cap.

Required SUPPORTING dOCUMENT Information

Each supporting document must contain the following information:

  • Driver name (or a carrier-assigned identification number) on the document or on another document that allows the carrier to link the first document to the driver.  The vehicle unit number can be used, if that number can be linked to the driver.
  • Date.
  • Location (including the name of the nearest city, town, or village).
  • Time.

If a driver has fewer than eight documents with all four information elements, a document that does not include time can also serve as a supporting document.

Annette M. Sandberg answered many questions in a short amount of time.

Her final recommendations?

  1. Do your homework. Implementation will take longer than you expect. Line up your ducks in a row before the deadline. She gave tips on device selection.
  2. Things will change and the DOT promised to provide more information at their ELD page.

FleetOwner said they will post her webinar next week on their website. Check it out.

DOT’s Drivers ELD webpage and Carrier’s ELD webpage.

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