By Dec. 16, 2019, all drivers are required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs), even if they were previously using automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRD).
This mandate by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is meant to track the Hours of Service (HOS) each driver has logged, which limits how many hours a driver can be behind the wheel before resting. During roadside inspections, law enforcement officers can check a driver’s HOS through the ELD.
When going through a roadside inspection, drivers will need to be prepared to show their logs to officers. Some things drivers should know to get ready for those inspections can include:
Know How to Use the ELD
According to the FMCSA, drivers should be able to:
- Log into the device
- Edit records
- Respond to unassigned driving hours the device records
- Record duty status changes
- Add notes to explain any deletions or edits of records
- Acknowledge that records are complete and accurate
- Access records of duty service from the device
- Understand the ELD printout and display information
- Transfer ELD data to law enforcement officers via email or Blue Tooth
- Identify and correct ELD report issues or errors
- Report ELD problems
Keep Required Materials in their Vehicle
The FMCSA states that drivers are required to keep the following items in their vehicles:
- ELD user manual
- Instruction sheet for how to transfer HOS records to officials
- Instruction sheet for how to report ELD issues
- Instructions for how to keep records when an ELD malfunctions
- At least an eight-day supply of paper tracking forms in case an ELD malfunctions
Understand the Benefits of ELDs
While learning how to use an ELD and showing records at roadside inspections might seem daunting to drivers, these devices also come with benefits.
Some of the advantages of ELDs can include:
- Easy to view Hours of Service logs to help drivers keep track of their time on the road
- Safeguards to help prevent the loss of data
- Data that’s easily accessible and transmittable to share with officers during roadside inspections
- Ability to access information about the vehicle and driving habits (include speed) in case of an accident or incident
Following these tips and understanding the benefits of ELDs can help prepare drivers for the December ELD deadline.
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