Paper or Plastic? ...Digital
We all know that Electronic
Logging Devices (ELDs)
are in the transportation
industry’s future. It is my hope
that this article equips you to determine
your position, and in what direction are
you headed. If you feel alone, you are not.
An estimated 3.4 million truck drivers use
ELogs, according to www.eldfacts.com.
The electronic logging device must be
integrally synchronized with specific operations
of the commercial motor vehicle in
which it is installed. At a minimum, the
device must record engine use, road speed,
miles driven, date and time of day.
Here, we’ll answer some important
questions: Who needs to ELog? When am
I required to ELog? What other benefits are
there to ELDs? What is the best practice
to implement this change?
WHO NEEDS TO ELOG?
It might be easier to ask who is exempt.
Drivers who keep records of duty service
(RODS) in eight or fewer days of out of every
30 working days; drivers in drive-away and
tow-away operations and drivers of vehicles
manufactured before the year 2000 are
exempt. You also are exempt if you fall into
the short haul 150-air mile radiuses. This
means that if you park your truck at the
same place every night, stay within a 150
radius of your facility and your drivers work
less than 12 hours per day and less than
70 hours per week, it may not be mandatory
for the use of Electronic Logs. Sometimes
it’s harder when you do have a choice in a
matter, instead of being required to do it.
WHEN AM I REQUIRED TO ELOG?
Before Dec. 18, 2017, operators can use
ELDs voluntarily or continue using paper
logs, or use devices installed with logging
software and applications or AOBRDs.
From Dec. 18, 2017 through Dec. 16, 2019,
carriers must use ELDs unless they use
Automatic On-board Recording Device
(AOBRDs) installed before Dec. 18, 2017.
After Dec. 16, 2019, all carriers must use
ELDs. If you use ELDs before Dec. 18, 2017,
keep documentation in the vehicle; this
documentation is mandatory beginning
Dec. 18, 2017. Retaining ELD data and
backup data on separate systems is mandatory
beginning Dec. 18, 2017. The data
must be retained for at least six months.
Secure storage of all data and backups to
protect driver privacy. Harassment protection
takes effect as soon as you begin
using ELDs. Do not pressure a driver to take
action that results in an Hours of Service
(HOS) violation or to drive when ill or
fatigued. Carriers are subject to a penalty
for harassment as well as the penalty for
the HOS violation.
There are many companies that will be
happy to provide you with this service at
a small, convenient fee. Some of these
include JJ Keller, Big Road and Nextraq.
The two I have dealt personally are Big
Road and Nextraq. Big Road has an app
that will allow you to digitally track your
driving and produce a database for your
logs. In fact, if you are an independent
driver you can use their app with no fees.
Using this free option could be a good way
for your drivers to keep their own personal
logs. If, however, you are in the group with
employed drivers, there is a free trial period
so that you can test out the software prior
to contracting with them. Nextraq has
informative YouTube video demonstrations
for your research and training.
Now, for the nickels and dimes of your
costs and savings. If you have put in the
time, and know how long it takes to review
a log, correct a log, track driver hours of
service, denote needed repairs and verify
document changes and you multiplied that
number times your loaded labor rate, then
you know your costs. I tip my hat to you.
For those who have not, most providers will
give you ballpark estimates. Big Road possible
savings can be more than $30,000 per
year. This includes reduced HOS log audit
fees and fines, elimination of expensive
road-side faxing, faster, compliant vehicle
inspections, better truck route planning,
elimination of expensive GPS hardware
and prevention of form and manner errors.
Nextraq’s online calculator for 10 vehicles
is estimated at $5,677.50 per month. That
would be $68,130 per year. These savings
include extra billing, wages saved and fuel
savings. These refer more to other fleet
needs, but you get the idea.
Retaining ELD data and backup data on separate systems is
mandatory beginning Dec. 18, 2017. The data must be retained for at least 6 months