New CVSA bulletin highlights procedures for checking ELDs at roadside

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has issued a new inspection bulletin enumerating the responsibilities of drivers and safety officers during an hours-of-service inspection when an electronic logging device (ELD) is used.

The CVSA is a nonprofit alliance of state, local, territorial, provincial, and federal commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety officials and industry representatives in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada.

While the bulletin was issued mainly for inspectors, it also lists the responsibilities of truck drivers when moving data from their ELDs to roadside software for analysis, depending on the method used within the device and at the roadside.

To view the bulletin in its entirety, click here.

The new and updated bulletins were a result of the CVSA board of directors meeting held in Alexandria, Virginia on December 7 last year.

In that meeting, the board decided to add the bulletins to resources that guide roadside officers, carriers, and drivers.

Roadside inspection procedures

According to the bulletin, when conducting road inspections, local, state, and federal officials should check these points when an electronic logging device is in use:

  1.   Verify the integral synchronization of the ELD with the vehicle.
  2.   Ensure that the ELD can show the record of duty status (RODS) for the current day and last seven days.
  3.   Each vehicle with an ELD should have onboard an information packet with an instruction sheet showing in detail how data can be retrieved and stored from the recording system.
  4.   The onboard information may be retrieved from any electronic device — including the ELD — or hard copies.
  5.   Each vehicle must carry with it ample blank driver’s RODS graph-grids to record the driver’s duty status and other relevant information for at least eight days.
  6.   The driver can show the inspector how to use the device.
  7.   The ELD can print or display a copy of the driver’s RODS while the inspection is ongoing.

Hours of Service Records

ELDs should be able to produce the driver’s hours of service records through: (1) electronic data transfer (telematics or local option like USB or Bluetooth), (2) the ELD’s display screen, or (3) an ELD printout showing the time and sequence of duty status changes. They should also include the driver’s start time at the beginning of each day.

A driver with an ELD that cannot print a copy of the RODS won’t be slapped with a violation if the device shows an HOS chart — or an electronic display of each duty status change — for the current day and the past seven days.

In the case of an ELD malfunction, the driver must send a written notice about the problem to his carrier within 24 hours.

However, there are advanced telematics systems that automatically notify carriers of a malfunction as soon as the driver receives a notification from the device.

A driver needs to keep graph-grid paper log sheets and reconstruct the record of duty status for the current day and the previous seven days that comply with 395.8 unless the records can be retrieved from the electronic logging device or the truck driver already has the records in another form.

Updated bulletin for inspectors of CMVs using AOBRDs

The CVSA also mentioned that the new bulletin on ELD inspection procedures was released together with an updated bulletin for inspectors of truckers using previous-generation Automatic Onboard Recording Devices (AOBRDs).

49 CFR 395.2 defines an AOBRD as an electric, electronic, electromechanical, or mechanical device capable of recording a driver’s duty status information accurately and automatically as required by 395.15.

The device must be integrally synchronized with the specific operations of the CMV where it is installed. At the very least, the AOBRDs must record engine use, miles driven, road speed, and the time and date.

AOBRDs will be grandfathered for legal use to record drivers’ HOS until December 16, 2019, provided they were already installed prior to the implementation of the ELD mandate.

Drivers who are exempt from the ELD rule

Also, the bulletin pinpoints the truck drivers who are exempt from the ELD rule.

A driver (short haul or a mechanic) who isn’t required to keep RODS is exempt from the federal rule, and the header file is where the exempt status will be specified.

Drivers who fall under the following categories will also be exempt:

  1.   Drivers required to complete RODS for no more than eight days within any 30-day period.
  2.   Drivers in a driveaway-towaway operation where the truck driven is part of the shipment being delivered.
  3.   Drivers in a driveaway-towaway business where the vehicle being transported is a recreational vehicle (RV) trailer or a motorhome.
  4.   Drivers of vehicles with pre-2000 engines.

The bulletin also adds that an exempt driver isn’t required to bring any documentation for the days they operated under the exempt status.

What’s next?

These new and updated bulletins are a new part of the CVSA’s resources — as it was decided in the board of directors meeting. These new guidelines are expected to improve the implementation and enforcement of the FMCSA’s ELD mandate.

If you have not yet purchased an ELD for your trucking business, check our ELD price comparison and ELD features comparison tool to find a compliant ELD solution.

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