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How to avoid ELD violations that affect CSA scores

How to avoid ELD violations that affect CSA scores

Although the FMCSA’s ELD mandate became effective on December 18, 2017, ELD violations didn’t affect CSA scores until April 1, 2018. The “soft enforcement” period was to ensure a smooth transition to electronic logging devices.

However, now that “full enforcement” has begun on April 1, 2018, ELD violations are affecting carriers’ CSA scores.

Following is a list of all 22 ELD-related violations that count against SMS scores.

22 ELD related violations - SMS scores - infographic

Note: ELD violations that were recorded during the soft enforcement period (before April 1, 2018) will not be included in the CSA SMS, the FMCSA has confirmed. However, ELD violations recorded after full enforcement began (April 1, 2018) will be counted against SMS scores. Carriers can see those violations in the updated monthly SMS results for May 2018.

How can carriers avoid ELD violations?

Now that ELD violations are affecting CSA scores, carriers and drivers should be vigilant and fully prepared.

Following are a few tips that will help you avoid ELD violations.

1. Knowing the important violations

Some violations carry more weight than others. Knowing these violations will help you prepare accordingly.

For instance, not having an ELD, using an ELD that is not FMCSA-compliant, or falsifying logs could lead to drivers being placed out-of-service.

Additionally, you should be aware of the violations that carry the most points. For instance, a failure to provide supporting documents upon request carries a violation severity weight of 7 (out of 10).

2. Driver training

Driver training has become even more crucial since full enforcement began. It is important that drivers understand ELD violations, their impact on the CSA scores, and what they have to do to avoid these violations.

There are plenty of violations that can be easily avoided with essential driver training and simple instructions. Although a few of these violations carry a severity weight of just 1 (out of 10), they can quickly accumulate and have a massive impact on the CSA scores.

Following are some violations that can be easily avoided with driver training:

  • 395.11G – Failing to provide supporting documents in the driver’s possession upon request (7 out of 10)
  • 395.22H1 – Driver failing to maintain ELD user’s manual (1 out of 10)
  • 395.22H2 – Driver failing to maintain ELD instruction sheet (1 out of 10)
  • 395.24C1I – Driver failed to make annotations when applicable (1 out of 10)
  • 395.34A1 – Failing to note malfunction that requires the use of paper logs (5 out of 10)
  • 395.32B – Failing to assume or decline unassigned driving time (5 out of 10)

3. Exemption notices

Although the ELD mandate applies to most commercial drivers, there are some exceptions.

If you are not required to use an FMCSA-compliant ELD, it is important to keep a copy of the exemption in the truck at all times. You may have to present the exemption copy to the safety official upon request. Failing to provide the copy of the exemption notice may result in a violation.

4. Choosing the right ELD

There are more than 200 electronic logging devices in the FMCSA’s list of self-certified ELDs. However, not all of them are FMCSA-compliant.

Annette Sandberg, Ex-FMCSA Head, says:

“As a former regulator, the biggest concern I have is the number of ELD vendors that are currently on the FMCSA list [of approved vendors] that probably should not be. Vendors on this list are supposed to have ELD systems that can be self-certified, which means it meets the criteria and can be added to the approved list.”

In short, self-certified does not mean compliant.

The onus of choosing the right ELD solution that meets the standards set by the FMCSA is on you. If you have an ELD solution which is not FMCSA-compliant, you may experience ELD violations that not only affect CSA scores but also place drivers out-of-service for at least 10 hours.

Try KeepTruckin

KeepTruckin is the #1-rated ELD solution by drivers. Over 40,000 fleets and 500,000 drivers trust KeepTruckin for their regulatory, compliance, and fleet management needs.

We recently conducted a survey in which we found that only 21% of drivers are happy with their current ELD solution. In comparison, 80% of KeepTruckin users are completely satisfied with the KeepTruckin ELD and are 6x likely to recommend KeepTruckin to a friend.

To help such unhappy fleets and owner-operators, we recently launched the KeepTruckin Shifting Gears Program.

Through this program, we are going to help fleets and owner-operators offset the cost of switching to KeepTruckin. In other words, if you are unhappy with your current ELD provider and would like to switch to KeepTruckin, we will provide you with a buyout offer that will help cover the costs of switching contracts.

Having the right, FMCSA-compliant ELD solution is crucial if you want to avoid violations and poor CSA scores. If you are unhappy with your current ELD provider, this is the perfect opportunity for you.

Get your buyout offer now.

If you have any questions about the KeepTruckin ELD or the KeepTruckin Shifting Gears Program, give us a call at 855-434-ELOG or send us an email at Our expert customer support team is available 24/7/365 to help you.


Hunbbel Meer

Hunbbel covers industry trends as a writer and researcher for KeepTruckin. His goal is to help fleets understand how to use KeepTruckin's products and features so they can improve safety, efficiency, and compliance.