What NOT To Do In A Full ELD Compliance World
In 2017, we highlighted what the common ELD manipulations would be in an ELD world and earlier this year we dove into the violations from five of the most common ELD missteps.
Now, as we approach full ELD compliance with the AOBRD to ELD transition coming December 16, we wanted to highlight some of these common issues and what auditors are seeing and how they are catching ELD violations.
Using an AOBRD instead of an ELD
Be careful in this transition. Many of the 300+ “self-certified” ELD devices on the FMCSA website might not meet the federal regulation requirements and not much is done to vet these bad-acting companies. There are also companies who claim they have a system that meets the ELD regulations but are not even on the “self-certified” ELD list. This is why we highly recommend using a trusted ELD like Geotab (which will also meet the stricter Canadian ELD certification process that is coming soon).
Still not sure if you are required to have an ELD? FMCSA has created an interactive ELD training course to provide a refresher to help ensure that motor carriers and drivers subject to the ELD rule, and ELD providers, are prepared for the December 16, 2019 deadline for full conversion from AOBRDs to ELDs. Topics include data transfer methods, the difference between ELDs and AOBRDs, and how to address technical issues or maintain device compliance.
Unplugging The ELD Device
Many ELD manufacturers will advertise their systems as “plug and play”, meaning installation is as simple as just plugging the ELD in. If the ELD is simple to plug in, it will be equally simple just to unplug the device. When unplugged, nothing is recorded and some Drivers are thinking this may buy them some extra drive time. Most don’t realize that reports are generated showing date, time, and location of the last recording. Error logs are created and malfunction data is transmitted and displayed in an eRod inspection report. An unplugged device is almost always an automatic Out of Service.
Switching Between Multiple ELD Systems for “New Hours”
Some companies or drivers are installing multiple ELD systems in their trucks. When the driver runs out of hours with their first device (say KeepTruckin), they unplug and plug-in their second device (say GeoTab) and continue driving with a “new log”.
There are a lot of issues that arise with this switching. The ELDs will notice that the odometer has changed and will create unassigned logs (when trucks physically move but there is no one logged into the ELD to assign the driving time to). The drivers ELD log grid looks correct but when the data is transmitted to the FMCSA, the unassigned time is also reported. It only takes a few questions by the officer to determine if the time really belongs to the driver or not (each occurrence a false log violation and the carrier fined up to $2,500 fine per false log).
Logging Off And Logging Back In With A Different Driver Account
We have seen drivers having 3 different logins to their ELDs. Once their hours are up on once account, they log-off and log back in with a different account. These drivers are not caught at roadside, because their logs look right in the device.
We are seeing this come up in audits. The auditors are asking for all logs in the last 6 months for all drivers. When they look through these logs, they are catching drivers who have frequently “logged out” and then “logged in” with a new account in order to give the driver a new clock to continue driving.
These drivers or companies are gambling on not having a compliance audit review or are willing to pay for any violation fines (each occurrence a false log violation and the carrier fined up to $2,500 fine per false log) or willing to deal with a “conditional” rating once they are caught in an audit.
Using Personal Conveyance Mode Incorrectly
ELD functionality must include a method for a company to allow their drivers to use personal conveyance if the company chooses to allow the drivers to do so. When in the personal conveyance mode, the ELD will not record the time driving as driving time. Drivers pushing the edge of their drive time window will be tempted to use personal conveyance as a method to stay within their allotted hours and finish their day.
What most drivers do not realize is, although not recorded as drive time for the driver, the ELD still records and reports the time. The time shows up on the audit report and it will only take the officer a few questions to determine if the recorded Personal Conveyance was legitimate or not.
Need back-office ELD management help? Look no further, let the experts at Glostone manage your ELD reports and help keep your drivers in compliance, no matter what ELD you use.