Transition to ELD in 6 steps
With the deadline for the FMCSA’s ELD Mandate Final Rule just around the corner, we’ve set out your journey to compliance in six straightforward steps.
1. Assess your current situation: paper, AOBRD or ELD
The first step to compliance is understanding how the ELD Mandate will affect your fleet. Take note that it applies to all drivers currently required to keep records of duty status (RODS). To do this you need to look at your current system – are your drivers using paper logs or do you have Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) or electronic logging devices (ELDs) installed. If you’re still using paper logs, you’ll need to have either an AOBRD or an ELD installed by December 2017. If you have AOBRDs, you have until December 2019 to make sure they comply with FMCSA’s regulations as set out in the ELD Mandate.
2. Pick a provider
The ELD Mandate Final Rule requires that all device providers first self-certify and register the device with the FMCSA, who will then maintain a list of vendors and make it available for review by motor carriers and drivers. However, self-certified does not equal verified. There could be some vendors that self-certify their devices for various reasons, without meeting all ELD requirements. So how do you find the right provider? Ask yourself whether you’ve heard of the vendor before or if you know of other fleets using its products. If the answer is “no”, it’s probably best to do more research and continue your search. Try to stick to one of the big names in the industry, with a solid reputation. Non-compliant vendors will be removed from the FMCSA’s list.
Did you know? Keep in mind, that MiX's consultants are trained to help take the pain out of moving with the Mandate.
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3. Pick a device
As we move closer to the deadline, there will be more and more ELD solutions to choose from and your options may appear unlimited. However, all devices must meet certain criteria as set out by the FMCSA in its Final Rule. There are various specifications that the device needs to meet, but basic requirements include:
- Being integrally synchronized. The ELD must be directly connected to the vehicle’s engine (if it is a model year 2000 or later).
- Self-certification. The vendor must be able to provide proof that the device meets the FMCSA’s strict ELD requirements.
- Ability to electronically send HOS at roadside. The device must be able to send Hours of Service data to law enforcement officers using one of two options:
- A telematics-type ELD: Electronically transfer data to an authorized safety official on demand via wireless web services and email.
- Local transfer method-type ELD: Electronically transfer data to an authorized safety official on demand via USB2.0 and Bluetooth.
Now that you’ve evaluated your needs and chosen a provider and device, you can set about installing the system across your fleet.
5. Train staff
Even before picking a vendor and specific make and model of electronic logging devices, you can begin educating staff on the general benefits they offer everyone from drivers and dispatchers to maintenance teams and managers. That way, any resistance to compliance can be tackled head-on as early as possible. Once the specifics of the system are known, you can plan a schedule to train all relevant staff on how to use it. Moving from a manual system to ELD means more than simply changing the hardware and software – it will affect most aspects of the company, including the culture. The key is to be transparent about the whole process from the start.
Now that you’ve installed the devices and trained your staff, you’re ready to begin using your new ELD. Give yourself and your fleet enough time to test the new processes so you can work out any bugs or conduct additional training well before the relevant deadline.