ELD Rule Analysis
There is not a logging device in trucks or on the market today that meet the new ELD requirements. The FMCSA has proposed its long awaited Electronic Logging Device or ELD rule. This new rule is in the “proposed” stage whereby the FMCSA allows the public to give feedback and allows itself the option to make changes based that feedback. At some point, the FMCSA will determine that they have heard all of the comments and will have made any necessary changes (or not). At this point, they will change the status of this rule from “proposed” to “final”. The ELD rule will become mandatory 2 years from the date the rule is made final. The experts who follow FMCSA rulemakings expect the “proposal” stage of this process to take until spring of 2015. Should the ELD rule then become a “final” rule, we can expect the rule to become mandatory in the spring of 2017. The rule itself covers over 250 pages of explanation, everything from what an ELD must and must not do to driver and company penalties for not using an ELD. In the coming weeks, there should be lot’s of analysis and feedback. After reading the 250 pages, one thing is for certain. There is not a logging device in trucks or on the market today that meet the new ELD requirements. ELD makers will be scrambling to meet the new requirements and have their systems added to the FMCSA approved ELD device list. One of the largest hurdles ELD makers will need to overcome is in reporting data to enforcement. The data itself the FMCSA requires to be reported is not difficult for a typical ELD. As a matter of fact, the driver location data must be “dumbed down” to meet the FMCSA reporting requirement. Allow me to explain: Many of today’s GPS location tracking devices are very accurate and can pinpoint a location to within a couple of meters. A major criticism for mandating such location tracking devices (like an ELD) is the loss of driver privacy with government being privy to exact locations. The FMCSA’s attempt to answer that criticism was to dumb down the location coordinate data required for reporting to enforcement. The FMCSA wants the reported location data to be in latitude and longitude coordinates with these coordinates ONLY being carried out to 2 decimal places. When carried out to 2 decimal places, the location tracking accuracy is to within a mile give or take. The FMCSA feels that this 1 mile location proximity is sufficient data for determining the accuracy of a drivers time driving. It also allows the FMCSA to say they don’t have enough data to know exact location which protects the driver’s privacy. The rule goes on to say that when a driver is using his truck for “personal conveyance”, the ELD can only report these location coordinates with 1 decimal allowing location accuracy to within 10 miles. Again, the attempt is to protect the driver’s privacy when using his truck for non-commercial purposes. The problem for ELD makers becomes the dumbed down location data required by the FMCSA for electronic logging will not suffice for carriers who want to know exact location data for other purposes. Dispatching, routing, distance tracking required by the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) or the International Registration Plan (IRP) all require exact locations and distance calculations. For IFTA and IRP, these agreements require, if GPS is used, highly accurate tracking and must account for every single mile the truck travels whether in commercial operation or not. A carrier using the FMCSA dumbed down coordinates for IFTA and IRP record keeping will find they won’t have sufficient records to determine accurate distance when audited by state auditors. The FMCSA has offered some guidance which allows a carrier to collect detailed location and distance data for other purposes if they choose but what is reported to FMCSA enforcement can ONLY be to the accuracy level they have outlined. This leaves the ELD makers, who may also offer truck location, IFTA and IRP data collection, needing to have the ability to collect very accurate location and distance, report dumbed down data to the FMCSA and very accurate data for IFTA and IRP. Carriers will need to be very careful with any ELD systems they may purchase. If meeting the FMCSA ELD mandate is the only concern of the carrier, a system that collects location coordinates once per hour and only reports that location to within 1 mile is perfectly fine. If a carriers’ intent is to also use the data to know exactly where their trucks are at any given time and/or for IFTA and IRP reporting, the system purchased must be able to not only report dumbed down data to the FMCSA but collect and report much more accurate location coordinates for these other uses. Time will tell if changes to the rule will be made. One thing is for certain, change is coming!
April 30 is 1st QTR IFTA Fuel Tax Deadline
Now is the time to make sure that each truck’s distance and fuel purchase records for January, February and March are accumulated, recorded, and computed to generate your 1st Quarter 2014, International Fuel Tax Agreement tax report. Reports and payments are due by April 30. Any reports received after the deadline can be hit with penalties and interest. Failing to turn in a report can place your company out of service. Avoid the headache of tax reporting. The staff at Glostone are experts at both IFTA fuel tax and Oregon mileage tax reporting. Give us a call today!
Driver Physicals Now Available
The DOT requires commercial drivers to be physically qualified to drive a motor vehicle. To be qualified to drive, a physical exam is required and valid medical examination certificate obtained. Our sister company CleanFleet has teamed up with Dr. Julia Wilber D.C. to provide driver physical examinations here at our office in Clackamas
. Other services can be performed as well including fitness agility testing and general chiropractic services. Cost for a standard DOT driver physical is $75.00. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 503-479-6082.
The California Air Resources Board Offering Free Webinar
The How to Comply with the Truck and Bus Regulation webinar focuses on compliance with CARB’s Truck and Bus Regulation, reporting, and proposed changes to the regulation. Also includes brief summaries of other diesel regulations. The webinar is being offered: April 15 – Webinar (9:00-11:00) April 16 – Webinar (5:00PM-7:00PM)
For more information and to register for Course 521, please go to https://ssl.arb.ca.gov/training/courses.php?course=521
Please check the webpages for each course for revisions, cancellations, and additional sessions.