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Driver training and documentation can simplify ELD inspections

Driver training and documentation can simplify ELD inspections

Roadside inspections can sometimes be a hassle — especially if your drivers don’t exactly know what to do. Untrained drivers are finding it slightly more difficult to deal with ELD inspections.

Enforcement and industry experts, however, believe that these problems can be easily resolved if drivers understand the ELDs installed in their vehicles and keep proper documentation in the cab.

The AOBRD “grandfathered” clause has especially caused a few problems for drivers and inspectors during roadside inspections.

According to the ELD mandate, non-exempt drivers need FMCSA-compliant electronic logging devices (or ELDs). However, the final ELD rule has a clause that allowed early adopters to use compliant AOBRDs (instead of ELDs) until December 16, 2019.

A driver using an AOBRD, instead of an ELD, should be able to tell the safety inspector about the grandfather clause and whether a driver is using an ELD or an AOBRD.

Furthermore, sometimes, there are no differences in the appearance of the devices. In many cases, the hardware is the same for ELDs as well as AOBRDs, and the only difference is the software.

Kerri Wirachowsky, CVSA’s Director of the roadside inspection program, recently said during a conference:

“The device looks the same to me as the inspector.”

She also advised that drivers should be able to know the difference between the two types of devices, whether they are using an ELD or an AOBRD, and how to navigate the device they’re operating.

“If your driver doesn’t know how to do it, things can go sideways pretty quick,” said Kerri Wirachowsky.

Kerri also raised an important point related to driver instruction cards. She emphasized the importance of keeping the correct driver instruction cards for their devices in the cab. It means that AOBRD users should only have AOBRD cards. Similarly, carriers with ELDs should only carry ELD cards.

Furthermore, fleets should get rid of the AOBRD documentation when they migrate from AOBRDs to ELDs. Keeping it simple and clutter-free is important.

“Drivers are producing all kinds of stuff roadside. Keep it simple. Keep it clean,” Kerri said.

Here are a few tips that would help drivers with roadside inspections.

  • Know your device. First, drivers should understand whether they have an ELD or an AOBRD. Second, they must be able to use the device perfectly.
  • Make sure to have enough log sheets to reproduce a week.
  • If a driver is running under an exemption (e.g., driving a vehicle with a pre-2000 engine), it’s important to keep a copy of the exemption in the truck.
  • In case of ELD malfunctions, remember that you have eight days to resolve that issue. In such a scenario, reliable technical support and fast response time by your ELD vendor become crucial.
  • The CVSA recently outlined driver and officer responsibilities during roadside inspections when drivers are using ELDs. Make sure you have read and understood the requirements.
  • Reproducing the entire week can be an issue for drivers. Using the KeepTruckin Electronic Logbook App can simplify that process.

Further reading: How KeepTruckin helps short-haul drivers with the driver workload report.

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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.