An ELD file checker tool was recently released by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) on their official website. The ELD manufacturers are encouraged by the agency to use the tool to confirm if their output file conforms with the technical standards of the ELD Mandate.
FMCSA also announced that they would be adding new enhancements and helpful tools soon on their website.
These features are meant to help device developers with their registration and certification process. With how the ELD mandate is bound to take effect December of this year, many truckers are pleased with the newly released tool.
The challenge that the ELD users had was they could not accurately ascertain if they had a compliant data file to transfer. They had no way of knowing whether the files produced by their devices were compatible with the program of safety enforcers.
To remedy this, the FMCSA developed and released to the public an online tool on their website. This online tool checks whether the output file produced by ELDs are truly compatible with their system’s standards.
It’s worth mentioning that using the online validator is not a requirement for device manufacturers to proceed with being self-certified. However, these providers are encouraged by the agency to utilize the tool, so they’ll have a smoother registration process.
The agency will soon also be including other features on their website to further help with the registration process.
Here are some enhancements to look forward to:
The agency’s release of the online tool garnered different comments from authorities and experts throughout the trucking industry.
Some people believe that there’s still not much comfort despite the validator already being utilized by ELD users.
Avery Vise, president of TransComply, told Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine:
“FMCSA is not routinely verifying that these devices are compliant and the agency — by its own admission — is not revoking the registration of any devices until after the December 18 compliance date. Moreover, if a registered ELD ultimately is found to be non-compliant, motor carriers using it will have just eight days to replace it.“
Many industry professionals, on the other hand, see these online tools as potential instruments that can be used to bring relief.
John Seidl, Integrated Risk Solutions’ transportation consultant, told the magazine:
“When selecting a device, motor carriers should request a data file now from their ELD supplier and do their own test to ensure ELD compliance. It’s a great way to verify if a vendor that has already self-certified has a compliant data file to transfer, per the ELD rule. If the data file does not work, do you really have an ELD?”
On December 10, 2015, FMCSA released the final ruling on the use of electronic logging devices.
The ELD Mandate requires most CMVs (commercial motor vehicles) to be equipped with ELDs by December 18, 2017.
The rule requires these devices to be able to transmit information of the driver’s hours of service to portable computers. The transfer method has to be available in several methods to account for the safety enforcer’s possible means of data reception.
ELDs are also required to provide either a printout or an on-screen display of the driver’s RODS.
The ELD file validator tool helps users ascertain that their data files are compliant with the ELD rule’s requirements.