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FMCSA Boss Stresses ELD Preparedness

Carriers should already be prepared and focused for the US’s electronic logging device (ELD) mandate set to come into effect this December, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) director Joe DeLorenzo who addressed the Omnitracs Outlook 2017 conference this week.

AS reported by Truck News, DeLorenzo said the number one issue he would like to relay to those in attendance to ensure the transition to ELDs goes smoothly was to plan accordingly and avoid the human tendency to procrastinate.

“If you’re a driver who fills out a log book, then you need an ELD,” DeLorenzo said, adding that one of the biggest mistakes people make is to take a new rule like the ELD mandate for granted until it sneaks up and bites you.

In addition to the mandatory use of an ELD, the major components of the rule include minimum performance and design standards of the device, measures to prevent harassment and requirements for HOS supporting documents.

DeLorenzo said ensuring driver are compliant with their HOS would be the key focus moving forward.

“Make sure your driver knows what they have and knows how to use it,” DeLorenzo said of the use of ELDs and what will make the process easier when a driver is inspected by an enforcement officer. “The more a driver knows, the easier it is for the law enforcement officer.”

Data transfer was another issue DeLorenzo discussed.

In addition to electronic transfer via email and web services, when a driver must produce their RODS to an enforcement officer roadside, the driver can do so in one of two ways: a printout or by direct screen display.

Electronic data transfer can also be done via USB or Bluetooth. The data transferred to the officer is filtered through eRODS to be analyzed, which is intended to shorten the inspection process, and violations identified are manually confirmed by the safety official.

If no violations are detected, the data transferred to the officer is then deleted. Only when a violation is confirmed is the data retained for supporting documents.

Some technical aspects of the ELD mandate are that dates and times must be automatically obtained without external input, the speed threshold must not exceed 5 mph, vehicle location must be no less than one mile accuracy when on duty and 10 miles when operating under personal conveyance and upon powering up the truck, the ELD must monito engine hours and vehicle miles.

“The key to this whole thing is going to be ‘how are we all communicating,’” DeLorenzo said.

Transport Canada is also expected to announce details of its ELD rule this spring. That rule is expected to take effect in late 2018 or early 2019.

Click here for the full Truck News story.

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