NASHVILLE — The electronic logging device mandate became effective in December, but law enforcement agencies have been observing a “soft enforcement” stance since then, with ELD violations written up as 395.22(a) violations with no CSA points or vehicles being placed out of service.
But that’s about going to in a little over a month, explained Kerri Wirachowsky, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s director of roadside inspection program during a session on ELD enforcement at Omnitracs’ Outlook 2018 user conference here on Feb. 26. She said that come April 1, the full enforcement of the ELD rule will kick in – including the assigning of CSA points and the issuing of out-of-service citations
There is still confusion about the ELD rule, even among law enforcement, Wirachowsky said. Therefore, fleets should do all they can to help inspectors determine which type of device drivers are using. That’s especially critical as certified AOBRDs are allowed to be used through Dec. 17, 2019, thanks to a grandfather clause.
“Make sure your drivers have the device cab card in the cab,” she advised. In fact, the regulation requires the following information to be available in the cab: a user manual describing how to use the ELD; an instruction sheet for producing and transferring data; an instruction sheet for reporting malfunctions and record-keeping procedures during malfunctions; and a supply of blank records of duty status for recording hours of service for at least 8 days. Any of this information can be in electronic form.
As of April 1, a driver can be placed out-of-service if:
- Using an unauthorized logging device not registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
- Unable to produce and transfer data electronically from an ELD to an authorized law enforcement officer, or to produce the data via the display or print it out. A driver with an AOBRD can be placed out-of-service if unable to display or produce records of duty status
- Driver indicates a special driving category when not involved in that category (considered a false log)
- Driver is required to have an ELD and the vehicle is not equipped with one (or an AOBRD until Dec. 17, 2019).
There might be some jurisdictions where the “soft enforcement” is not being followed. In such cases, if a driver is cited, the carrier will need to file a DataQ along with all supporting documents, including copies of valid HOS records.
While AOBRDs are allowed until late next year, there are some key differences, Wirachowsky said. “It’s not the hardware, it’s the software.” Among these differences, a roadside inspector should be able to check a driver’s HOSs record on the screen of the device. With some AOBRDs, that might require a file upload. That’s another thing some inspector may not understand. Again, as much help as the driver can provide is key.
Some of the key differences between an ELD and AOBRD are shown in the comparison chart below:
|Automatic recording of HOS||Yes||Yes|
|Registered with FMCSA||No||Yes|
|Printing requirements||None||If no display screen|
|Data Transfer requirements||None||Telematics or local|
|Permitted Use||Dec. 18, 2017 – Dec. 19, 2019||Dec. 18, 2017|
Wirachowsky noted that there are some exemptions for ELDs. Fleets are advised to make sure a copy of any exemption they have is kept in the truck at all times.