While some truck carriers or companies still like to use paper logbooks to monitor their drivers’ time and efficiency, many have embraced the switch to electronic logging devices (ELDs) or eLogs. Going electronic offers new opportunities to become more efficient and improve your service for customers, even though the new technology also brings additional responsibilities for compliance. It’s important to know how to use these devices and what sort of regulations govern their use.
US Compliance Services works with NexTraq® to offer services and solutions to ensure you get the most out of your ELDs or eLogs. It can be confusing and difficult to transition to this new way of logging Hours Of Service (HOS). We can help make the transition a smooth one and improve your operations going forward by providing valuable services such as:
- Registering new units
- Making sure you have the proper permits
- Combining data from paper and electronic logs
- Verifying the accuracy of your records
- Cross-checking records for inconsistencies
ELD and eLog Compliance Assistance for Truckers
In the past, paper logbooks jeopardized the operating efficiencies of many trucking companies and commercial transportation businesses. Completing the paperwork took away valuable driving time on the road. Errors were commonplace, especially for drivers coming off of long shifts.
An ELD eliminates these concerns. This simple, accurate system performs all the following tasks:
- Tracking a driver’s HOS
- Tracking mileage and vehicle performance
- Creating a permanent record for legal protection
An ELD typically plugs into a port under a vehicle’s dashboard. It syncs with the vehicle’s engine to monitor all driving activities throughout a shift. This data collection system allows drivers to forgo the paper logs that were once commonplace in the trucking industry.
ELDs can also track the total number of miles driven in each jurisdiction or state, making it easier for trucking companies to calculate IFTA fuel tax reports. An ELD can also track other operational factors, including:
- Engine power status.
- Vehicle motion status.
- Engine hours.
- Identification of authorized users.
- Duty status.
Understanding the ELD Rule
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established the ELD mandate in February 2016, and the compliance date for commercial vehicles was December 2017. The FMSCA gave commercial transportation companies using conventional Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) until December 2019 to comply with the mandate’s standards. The law primarily enforces when and how long a driver can operate a vehicle.
A driver cannot legally operate a commercial vehicle for more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period. The mandate aims to help drivers track their hours quickly and accurately, preventing driver fatigue and making the roadways safer. The federal government expects this mandate to reduce the risk of trucking and commercial vehicle accidents caused by driver fatigue.
The ELD Rule:
- Indicates which type of operations are subject to the rule and the exceptions.
- Explains the FMSCA’s registration and self-certification process.
- Shows all technical specifications of a compliant device.
- Outlines the implementation timeline for compliance.
- Includes sections about data tampering and driver harassment.
Get Hours of Service Reviews to Ensure You Remain in Compliance
One reason for using ELDs and eLogs? Ensuring each of your drivers is staying within hours of service regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You don’t want an inaccurate log getting you in trouble with FMCSA. You also want to ensure your records are correct so you don’t cost your company or your clients unnecessary time from violations or uncertainty over how many more hours a driver can go.
ELDs and eLogs make it easy to track this information if you know how to go about it.
US Compliance Services can also use eLogs and ELDs for DQ, or driver qualification files. Keeping these files current and maintaining the most up-to-date information ensures you get the best possible representation on the road and have information readily available if requested.
Additional ELD Benefits for Trucking Companies
In addition to all the safety benefits that stem from the mandate, ELDs can provide significant advantages to a commercial transportation company’s operating efficiency and bottom line. Paper logs take time to generate reports and analyze months’ worth of data, while eLogs provide instant, accurate summary reports on mileage, stops, driving time and more.
Other operational advantages ELDs offer include:
- Increasing efficiency: Besides eliminating all of the time associated with manual logging, ELDs also streamline roadside inspections and weigh-ins, as the device contains most of the required information.
- Lowering operating costs: GPS technology allows managers to improve vehicle routing and save on fuel costs. By reducing mileage, companies also lessen the wear and tear on their vehicles and promote long service lives.
- Helping drivers become tech-savvy: The more drivers know about how an ELD works, the more knowledgeable they become about the industry. Understanding an ELD’s capabilities allows a driver to troubleshoot when potential issues arise.
While an ELD’s hardware, installation and overall cost can be somewhat substantial, the benefits these devices deliver over time often significantly outweigh the initial investment.
Be Prepared With ELD and ELOG Audit Services and Assistance from US Compliance Services & NexTraq®
Have you ever wondered what would happen in the case of an audit? Or have you received notice that you are being audited? Presenting organized ELD and eLog compliance evidence will help you through any potential audit, with files that are up-to-date and contain all the relevant records of driver logs and time sheets.
Letting US Compliance Services & NexTraq® take care of this for you can help your business thrive and continue operating efficiently. It frees you to perform the managerial tasks that keep your company running. With you handling the higher-level jobs and US Compliance Services overseeing the paperwork, you can feel confident you have covered all your bases.
Contact us today to discuss these and other ways we can help your business succeed.