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Enforcement: More ELD Driver Training Needed

Officers making roadside stops in the U.S. since the first ELD compliance deadline in December say many drivers still require training on the devices.

 drivers Paul Enos, CEO of the Nevada Trucking Association (NTA) said during an enforcement update at the National Tank Truck Carriers Safety & Security Council 2018 Annual Meeting, that officers routinely encounter drivers who can’t operate their ELD or tell the difference between an AOBRD and an ELD.

Bulk Transportermagazine reports:

 “There are over 360 (ELD) devices out there — with 360 different programs — and for our officers to know more than 10 is tough,” said Lt. Roy Baughman, deputy commander and commercial coordinator for the Nevada Highway Patrol. “So the biggest thing I can say is, when you give someone an ELD, sit them down in a classroom, with an ELD and an instruction manual, and say, ‘This is how you operate it.’ Because the longer it takes us roadside, and the longer it takes the trooper to inspect the truck, the longer you guys are down. So, training’s been our No. 1 issue.”

Baughman said his officers are seeing an “overabundance” of drivers who were assigned a truck with an ELD and told by management to “hit the road,” expecting them to train the drivers during a stop.

So, a lack of classroom training with ELDs clearly is a problem.

Meanwhile, he’s asking officers for a little more patience while everyone figures out these newfangled machines.

“One of the things I have really focused on, in working with our law enforcement partners, is asking them to work with our drivers,” Enos said. “If the driver can’t figure it out, and it’s something easy, where a law enforcement officer can say, ‘OK, I can get you to the right screen here, I can show you how to do this,’ do it. The biggest citations we’ve had on Hours of Service have been what? They haven’t been substantive violations. It’s been form and manner. And to me the beautiful thing about ELDs is we’re hopefully going to see form-and-manner violations go away.”

Trucks with Automatic On-Board Recording Devices installed before December, 2017, are protected from ELD enforcement by the grandfather rule, giving operators until December, 2019 to replace them with ELDs.

But many companies and their drivers still can’t tell them apart.

The critical distinction, Baughman said, is whether or not the device is following FMCSA regulations.

A detailed comparison is available on the administration’s website, but basically, though both devices connect to a vehicle’s engine to record HOS, ELDs display more, less-editable information.

“For roadside enforcement, a lot of the devices look the same,” Baughman said. “Some of them even have the same log-on screens … and until we actually try to transfer (data, we don’t know what it is).”

That’s because AOBRD reporting is more old-fashioned, whereas ELDs connect to the FMCSA’s online database, called RODS (Record of Duty Status), which officers can download to their devices.

Full article here.

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