Industry experts explain how driver training can simplify roadside inspections
Industry experts explain how driver training can simplify roadside inspections

Although the ELD mandate became effective at the end of last year, there are still some drivers who don’t know exactly how they should proceed during roadside inspections.

Industry experts, however, believe that driver training can easily resolve this problem that some drivers face during inspections. If drivers know what they have to do during ELD inspections and which documents they must keep with them, they would be more comfortable and confident during roadside inspections.

Speaking at a seminar, Kerri Wirachowsky, the CVSA’s Director of the Roadside Inspection Program, advised that fleet carriers should work on training their drivers. The training should help drivers understand the logging device they’re using, how to operate it, and what documents must be kept in the cab.

Kerri acknowledged that presently ELD enforcement could be confusing at times. She said, “There is still confusion about the ELD rule, even among the law enforcement.”

One of the biggest reasons for that is the fact that drivers are currently using ELDs as well as AOBRDs, but not everybody fully understands the differences.

As you know, the ELD mandate has a clause that allows drivers to use AOBRDs — instead of ELDs — until December 16, 2019, provided they had installed AOBRDs before December 18, 2017.

Sometimes, there are absolutely zero differences in the appearance (hardware) of the two types of devices. Depending on the ELD vendor, the ELD or AOBRD could be exactly the same; the only difference is the software and the way it records information.

This makes it difficult for safety inspectors to identify the device.

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

Drivers should be able to identify the devices and their differences. Roadside inspections can be significantly simplified if drivers know which device they are using.

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

Kerri also raised another important matter of driver instruction cards. She advised that the driver must only carry an ELD card if he/she is operating an ELD. On the other hand, in the case of using an AOBRD, the driver should only have an AOBRD card.

Roadside inspections can be simplified if only the necessary documents are kept.

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

Drivers must also stop keeping AOBRD documentation when they migrate to using electronic logging devices.

Furthermore, drivers should always have the following documents with them to evade difficulties during inspections.

  •   A user manual describing how to use an ELD.
  •   An instruction sheet for producing and transferring data.
  •   An instruction sheet for reporting malfunctions.
  •   A sheet for record-keeping procedures during malfunctions.
  •   A supply of blank records of duty status graph-grids for producing at least 8 days of data.
  •   A copy of the exemption when necessary, e.g., if drivers are operating a vehicle with a pre-2000 engine that doesn’t qualify for the ELD mandate.

If these actions are taken, roadside inspections will become simpler and more straightforward for drivers as well as enforcement officers.

As the April 1, 2018 deadline approaches, we expect stiff enforcement of the mandate. Drivers may not face the same leniency as before, which only magnifies the importance of proper driver training as well as a reliable and FMCSA-compliant ELD solution.

If you’re looking for such an ELD solution before full enforcement begins, use our free ELD price comparison and ELD features comparison tools.

Panel Discussion on ELD Exemption Leeways and Device Malfunctions
Panel Discussion on ELD Exemption Leeways and Device Malfunctions
Although the ELD mandate became effective at the end of last year, there are still some drivers who don’t know exactly...
+ READ MORE
The FMCSA Clarifies the Pre-2000 Model Year Engine Exemption
The FMCSA Clarifies the Pre-2000 Model Year Exemption
Although the ELD mandate became effective at the end of last year, there are still some drivers who don’t know exactly...
+ READ MORE