The 2017 deadline for carriers and drivers to be in compliance with the new electronic logging device (ELD) rules is fast-approaching. While it’s important not to wait until the last minute to select a system and have it installed, it’s also important to make sure that the company you choose is compliant with all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines.
Many motor carriers are not aware of the importance of having a solution certified and compliant. In the unlikely event that an ELD is found to be non-compliant, the provider has 60 days to get into compliance. If that does not happen, the fleet will have to use another solution. This is why it’s imperative that you have a compliant solution.
Do not get caught with a non-compliant solution
Due to the time and cost involved of integrating an ELD into your fleet, it’s imperative you select a solution that is already compliant before you buy.
There are providers in the marketplace, even large providers, saying they have a compliant solution before they are certified. Don’t take their word for it, you can’t afford to. Make sure they are willing to attest to the compliance before you trust them. Make sure you only purchase from a vendor on the FMCSA list!
What to Look for in an ELD
The FMCSA allows ELD companies to self-certify that the company’s product is FMCSA compliant. Because of this, the responsibility lies with the carrier or owner/operators to determine if the ELD they’re considering meets all criteria.
Gorilla Safety has created a list of differentiators it uses to help customers understand the differences between the systems.
Take a look at some of the items on that list and use it as a guide:
- Are they certified compliant on the FMCSA website?
- Does the solution track IFTA miles? If so, how often does it capture the GPS points and is it compliant in your jurisdiction?
- Does the solution track repairs in order to keep you compliant?
- How do they make sure the mechanic is kept in the loop?
- Is it portable if you use a different truck (or rent one) or do you have to buy a new device for every vehicle?
- Does the solution work on iOS and Android or is it just one of the platforms?
When you’re talking to a company, make sure they can show how their ELD can handle common events.
- When a truck is moved across the parking lot at night or re-positioned at a driver’s home, how does the ELD handle these movements that aren’t part of the driver’s work? Any ELD should be able to allow the driver to indicate what an unidentified driving event was.
- Data must be available at all times, even when the driver has no cell signal. Information should be stored locally in these instances.
- Specific vehicle information has to be captured by the ELD for necessary reports. Some of that data should be the VIN, odometer, and engine hours. Anything less should be a concern.
FMCSA Guidelines for ELDs
Take a look at the legal guidelines and then learn what else to look for while you’re shopping around.
ELDs should be able to do specific things:
- A driver’s duty status must be logged electronically.
- Companies cannot pressure drivers to exceed their hours of service (HOS) and a mute function must be included to prevent communications coming through during a driver’s rest period.
- Drivers must have the ability to edit portions of their logs if necessary.
- Location tracking must be limited at times to respect driver off time and privacy.
- The ELD must be integrated into the ECM of the engine and be able to track the truck’s location.
- It must be able to record power status, motion status, miles driven, and the engine runtime for the truck.
- While it must be tamper-resistant, the driver and carrier should have the option to annotate records and correct them as needed.
- Certain changes in driver status need to be automatic and recorded at 60 minute intervals. This could be triggered by movement via the GPS or the engine’s on/off status.
- The data must be displayed as a graph on the screen or in a printout from the ELD.
As you talk to the different ELD vendors, make sure they can show you exactly how their product meets ELD requirements. Gorilla Safety meets and exceeds the FMCSA regulations and requirements. We’d be happy to discuss what our product can do for you, your drivers, and your entire fleet.