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.
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.