Aug 17, 2023

Expert Advice on Mitigating ELD Failures for Truckers

The electronic logging device (ELD) mandate introduced in December 2017 has become a crucial aspect of compliance and safety for truck drivers and fleet managers.

While the technology has been widely accepted by the trucking industry, issues with ELD devices have surfaced since their implementation, leading to challenges and frustrations for commercial drivers.

ELD malfunctions and non-compliance penalties have become a significant problem for trucking companies in the trucking industry, and the resulting downtime can cause delays and lost revenue.

As a truck driver, ensuring that your ELD is working correctly at all times is essential.

However, ELD failures are not always within your control, as they can stem from various issues such as software glitches, hardware failure, or human error. With the complexity of the ELD systems, it can be challenging to troubleshoot and fix issues on your own. To mitigate the risk of ELD failures, you need expert advice and guidance on the best practices to address these issues.

In this blog post, we will provide you with expert advice on how drivers and carriers can stay compliant when tech issues occur on the road.

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The Exceptions and the Electronic Logging Device Mandate Effect

It is a widely known fact that ELDs have become an indispensable tool for tracking drivers' hours of service, and can be found in almost all semi-trucks on the roads today.

It is an all-in-one duty status tool for continuous and more convenient logging hours for better monitoring of the records of duty status making sure that compliance with hours is implemented and necessary corrective actions could be implemented as well by fleet operators and fleet owners if ever driver behavior while on duty is noted complimentary.

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However, during his tenure at the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau, Daniel Vega, the director of safety at a reliable insurance and risk management company, encountered several problems with ELDs, including user error, when the mandate was first implemented.

During the early stages of transitioning from paper logs to Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), there were challenges related to properly connecting the devices affecting real-time alerts, and real-time visibility of records.

According to Vega, who has experience in the field, many people were initially unsure of how to connect the ELDs.

Although the situation improved over time, malfunctions and improper connections were still observed.

However, with the passage of time and increased familiarity with ELDs, issues arising from human error have decreased.

Nevertheless, technological glitches can still occur, including device malfunctions and challenges when accessing e-logs through mobile devices.

Technical errors can lead to inaccuracies in recording drive time, highlighting the importance of proper implementation and training in the use of ELDs. Additional features could not complement the cons.

In the event of an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) malfunction, what are the recommended actions for a driver to take?

In the event of electronic logging device (ELD) malfunctions, it is crucial for drivers and carriers to understand the necessary steps to ensure adherence to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Being aware of the appropriate protocols and procedures can help prevent any potential compliance issues or legal ramifications.

According to the law, drivers are required to maintain detailed records of their hours of service. So basically, driving hours, driver activity, bills of lading, electronic record, real-time GPS tracking, and even every daily duty status change should be monitored.

This includes a total of eight days, consisting of the previous 24 hours and the seven days prior to that. In the event of an electronic logging device (ELD) malfunction, drivers must create accurate paper logs for the duration of the malfunction to ensure compliance with federal regulations. Hours of service rules and hours of service information is critical to me monitored by commercial truck drivers.

Failure to maintain these records, either electronically or on paper, is considered a violation of the law.

However, it is rare for drivers to be caught without proper documentation as most are aware of the importance of carrying accurate logs. In these instances, drivers may be subject to penalties and fines for noncompliance. The vast majority are having a hard time with these technical requirements day by day at a 24-hour period service.

It is crucial to keep in mind that in the event of a malfunction, a driver can only rely on paper logs for a maximum of eight days unless authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for an extension.

To prevent such situations, commercial motor vehicle drivers and truck drivers are advised to inform their carriers promptly of any issues they encounter and to be vigilant in ensuring their Electronic Logging Device is functioning correctly. The FMCSA recommends that drivers report any anomalies within 24 hours to ensure the safety and efficiency of their operations.

During the inspection process (or even on roadside inspection processes), an inspector engages in a conversation with the driver and inquires about the functionality of the log.

The inspector then verifies the log's functionality by examining it.

In some instances, the log may be operational, but the driver may be unaware of its correct usage.

Consequently, the inspector will ascertain the driver's familiarity with the equipment during the inspection process.

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Certain measures must be taken by carriers to ensure compliance with transportation regulations

In the event of a malfunction, carriers are required to rectify the situation within eight days from the date of discovery. This can be accomplished by either resolving the issue or providing the driver with a new ELD. It is vital to note that carriers can be granted an extension for addressing the matter, but they must notify the FMCSA division administrator for their state within five days.

The FMCSA will then evaluate the situation based on the circumstances surrounding the ELD malfunction. It is imperative for carriers to adhere to these guidelines to ensure compliance with regulations and maintain safety standards.

In order to ensure the successful implementation of electronic logging devices (ELDs), carriers hold a critical responsibility of providing their drivers with essential in-vehicle information. This includes detailed instructions regarding ELD malfunction reporting requirements and proper recordkeeping procedures to be followed in the event of a malfunction. Additionally, carriers must provide their drivers with an adequate supply of blank logs to accurately record their duty statuses for a minimum of eight days. These measures are of utmost importance in maintaining compliance with ELD regulations and promoting safety on the roads.

When it comes to maintaining compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations section 395.22, it's important to keep all necessary information organized and easily accessible. One effective method is to keep everything in one centralized location, such as a binder.

This should include key documents such as registration and insurance information, as well as in-vehicle data like user manuals and ELD data transfer instructions. Additionally, it's essential to have a clear understanding of malfunction reporting requirements and to keep correct grid logbook pages on hand in case of any issues. Staying organized and informed can help ensure that you are operating safely and in accordance with all relevant regulations.

According to Vega, it is a simple and efficient practice to place the malfunction instruction sheet in the designated binder for the driver's easy access. Failure to locate the instruction sheet may result in disciplinary action, as many drivers are unaware of its whereabouts.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, ELD failures are a major concern for truckers.

However, with the expert advice provided in this post, truckers can mitigate the risk of ELD failures and ensure compliance with regulations.

It's important to stay up to date with technology and regulations and to perform regular checks and maintenance on your ELD device.

By following these tips and taking a proactive approach, truckers can avoid costly fines and delays while keeping themselves and others safe on the road. Driver safety is still of top priority regardless of any fleet size.

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