Since the ELD Mandate came into effect on December 18th of last year, other than a few exceptions, heavy-duty vehicle drivers traveling in the United States must use Electronic Logging Devices, or ELDs. The law aims to ensure truck driver compliance with federal regulations on hours of service. To facilitate the transition from paper logs to this technology, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had announced that authorities would be lenient until March 31, 2018.

Furthermore, during the transition period, authorities in US states were directed to use a specific violation code, 395.22(a), for ELD-related violations, one of the goals being to collect data on ELD usage for analysis.

ELD/AOBRD confusion

With the end of the transition period just around the corner, there is a pressing need to shed light on the confusion between ELD and AOBRD systems. According to FMCSA Division Chief Bill Mahorney and Transport Specialist La Tonya Mimms, gray areas still persist three months after the law came into effect.

Carriers with grandfathered AOBRD systems may continue to use this technology until December 16, 2019. Officers who are unfamiliar with the finer points of the regulation may not understand why AOBRDs do not need to transfer data electronically like ELDs do.

Mahorney states that FMCSA is currently training personnel to ensure proper understanding. He also suggests training drivers to assist in the situation. To limit confusion, drivers are asked to mention they use an AOBRD system from the get-go. Also, keeping documentation relating to the system at hand makes it easier to show authorities how it works.

What happens after April 1st?

Kerri Wirachowsky, Director of Roadside Inspection Program for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, has confirmed that authorities will begin strict enforcement of ELD regulations starting on April 1, 2018.

ELD-related violations will affect carrier CSA scores. Carriers with low CSA scores are more likely to be subject to FMCSA roadside inspections and intervention. The negative impact of poor safety records can also be detrimental to business opportunities.

Furthermore, noncompliant drivers may be pulled from service. Here are the reasons listed in the 2017 edition of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s “Out-of-Service Criteria” handbook.

Reasons for which a driver may be rendered out of service:

  • Use of an ELD not registered with the FMCSA

  • Driver under the obligation to use an ELD, but the truck is not equipped with one (unless grandfathered and using an Automatic On-Board Recording Device, or AOBRD)

  • Inability to produce and either electronically transfer ELD data to an officer, display data on screen, or print data

  • Driver indicating use of a special driving category that does not apply (considered falsified information)

How to ensure compliance

Some documents must be accessible to authorities to ensure compliance with the regulation. An electronic version on a tablet is accepted and even recommended to centralize information. It eliminates the risk of losing an important document. The law requires the following documents:

  • An ELD user guide to explain how the system works

  • An instruction sheet that describes how the ELD system’s data transfer works and contains instructions on how to produce and transfer hours-of-service data for authorities

  • An instruction sheet describing ELD malfunction reporting requirements and recordkeeping procedures during ELD malfunctions

The ISAAC solution supports AOBRD systems for customers who owned this technology prior to the ELD Mandate coming into effect. ISAAC also offers a compliant, reliable ELD solution, authorized by the FMCSA. If you want to know how ISAAC can help you keep your truck fleet compliant, contact us or request a meeting.


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