The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has finally published the long-anticipated ELD mandate in the Federal Register in December 2015. It affects the majority of fleets, and probably affects yours. Here, we discuss your company’s needs in order to ensure compliance with the new federal mandate.
The new rule requires drivers to use compliant Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to maintain Records of Duty Status changes (RODS). FMSCA will maintain a registry of compliant ELD manufacturers and device models on their website. Unfortunately, the link is not yet available. Keep checking our site – we will post the link once FMCSA makes it public.
If you did not have on-board recorders in vehicles prior to December 2015, then you must install a compliant ELD system in your vehicles within two years, by the end of December 2017.
What if my fleet is already running on-board computers?
Your current on-board system may not be compliant with the new list of functional requirements, but this buys you extra time. You have an additional two years, or until the end of December 2019, to implement a compliant ELD solution. Each manufacturer must certify and register their devices with FMCSA. The agency will publish the list of compliant ELDs, in time. If your current on-board system is not on that list in two years, you will have to upgrade.
What about LoadTrek ELDs and compliance?
Good news! LoadTrek will be compliant. Current Fleetilla-LDT systems, LoadTrek Connected Android tablets, and LoadTrek ProDriver platform meet the hardware requirements of the mandate. We are in the process of certifying devices and registering the devices with FMCSA. We expect to complete the formal process by June of this year.
If you are an existing LoadTrek customer, then you need not worry or take any action at this time. The existing systems will receive an automatic over-the-air update. We estimate that we will complete this process by July of 2016. However, since you are not required to comply with the new rules until the end of 2019, you may choose when to activate the features. LoadTrek profiles will include an ELD mandate switch that you can enable when you see fit.
What are the technical requirements for a compliant ELD?
The list of requirements is very extensive. You can read the complete section 4, Functional Requirements, on the pages 101 through 116 at the following link:
Federal Register Document
We are including a quick distillation of relevant points:
- ELD must be connected to the engine ECM
- ELD must notify driver of its own malfunction
- ELD should have a mute function for drivers in sleeper
- Drivers may edit non-driving HOS periods
- ELD must retain the original log
- Drivers can validate daily logs
- Drivers must validate log changes performed by the company
- ELD must transfer data in a predefined format via USB, WiFi or an internet download to inspectors during the roadside inspection
How long does it take to rollout a system?
The length of implementation depends on three factors: the size of your company, the ease of hardware installation, and the degree of changes to internal processes.
The first and second factors represent the physical limitations on the speed of rollout. More trucks to install means more time required. The complexity of installation affects the time to install each vehicle. Many ELD manufacturers, including LoadTrek, provide quick install kits that may decrease the total installation time to fifteen minutes per truck.
The third factor is the most commonly underestimated. Companies must develop internal controls and establish audit processes. They need to train drivers, and allow drivers time to become familiar with the system. It may take 30-60 days before the execution of all processes is adequately error-free.
A ninety-day implementation is a realistic yet ambitious goal for companies that are new to on-boards. The timeline is shorter for companies that already use electronic logging systems. They have to contend with the new audit and log validation requirements, and integrate them into operational processes.
The path to compliance will require effort from most companies. A few will need only a minor process adjustment and a set of new policies. For others, researching and selecting vendors, acquiring and installing equipment, training personnel will become a large project. We encourage you to start today.
Check out LoadTrek webinar calendar. We will hold a series of webinars specifically about compliance with the ELD mandate.