Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are making a huge impact on HOS compliance in the US, something that is likely to be mirrored in Canada come June 2021.
During Trimble’s in.sight User Conference, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) director of enforcement and compliance Joe DeLorenzo highlighted the impact ELDs are having on the trucking industry in the US, Truck News reports. DeLorenzo said he estimates 99% of those being inspected are compliant with HOS regulations, something he said the ELD mandate was intended to achieve.
He added, however, that the number of citations being issued for false log violations of duty status have not seen the same decreases, with many still looking to get one past the system.
“There are a lot of drivers who are taking some liberties there,” said DeLorenzo, hoping there will soon be a reduction in this type of activity.
DeLorenzo urged conference attendees who have not yet transitioned to ELDs to wait no longer, emphasizing the need to have drivers properly trained on the device to expedite quick and efficient inspections. He said violations mostly come down to how well the driver knows how to operate the device they are using, specifically when it comes to transferring HOS data to an inspection officer.
Citations for a device that is “unable to transfer” HOS data are one of the most common issued by FMCSA. Some “unable to transfer” violations have been issued when the driver attempts to email the information to the officer, which can take some time, leading to the officer essentially giving up, DeLorenzo said, and issuing a citation.
Drivers can still use the ELD display screen as a backup to show HOS compliance. There are also times when drivers are being inspected in an area with no cellular service. In these cases, DeLorenzo said the officer should use their judgement before issuing any citations, and carriers can fight the citation if they can prove a transfer via email was ultimately successful.
Other common citations being issued by FMCSA include violations for failing to maintain paperwork, such as the ELD instruction manual, data transfer instructions, and blank paper logs.
Less than 1% of violations are issued for failing to use an AOBRD or ELD.
Carriers also have responsibilities when it comes to compliance. A carrier failing to ensure its driver’s ELD record is accurate can lead to a citation.
While the ELD provider records HOS information, FMCSA flags potential violations through its system. Officers are trained to look back for anything that would explain potential violations, such as an annotation for exempt time.