ELD Compliance Guide 101
ELD compliance software is essential for any trucking company that wants to continue to operate smoothly in the upcoming year. Investing in the best electronic logbook software can help truckers and office staff to keep track of their hours of service, fuel costs, engine hours, and so much more.
Take your entire operation into consideration when determining what works best for the company. Avoid new solutions that trap you into long-term contracts, expensive hardware, or hidden fees. All trucking companies should consider going with an established company like HOS247.
HOS247 is an industry leader when it comes to providing ELD compliance software solutions. Our electronic logbook software comes with outstanding support so that you never have to wonder where you stand in regards to the mandate issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). We have been around and have established that our system is proven to be successful for trucking companies across the nation.
When companies sign up with us, we assign a dedicated account manager to answer all of your questions. Our multilingual customer service team can converse with you in English, Spanish, Russian, or Polish. We use a comprehensive all-in-one platform that includes your ELD, GPS tracking, IFTA, and dispatch.
Perhaps the most important feature is the low commitment. HOS247 offers solutions with no contract required. Compared to some of our competitors, we aren’t interested in locking you into a contract with us for years. We are so confident in the product we have that we even offer a hassle-free two-week return. If we don’t live up to your expectations in those two weeks, you can return it with no questions asked.
Now, we’ve prepared a comprehensive checklist to help carriers and owner-operators better understand the FMCSA compliance requirements and help you to avoid DOT violations.
What is ELD Compliance?
More than three million vehicles and drivers will need to pay attention to the rules that accompany ELD compliance. Commercial drivers have had a heads-up that changes are coming, but some are still confused about who must adhere to the mandate. Most drivers who are required to file Records of Duty Status are also required to comply with this mandate.
All truckers or owner-operators who keep Hours of Service or Records of Duty Status must comply with the ELD mandate. You must keep up with the Hours or Service (HOS) regulations if you are involved in interstate commerce and are driving a commercial vehicle in any of the following scenarios:
- Your vehicle weighs 10,001 pounds or more.
- Your vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more.
- Your vehicle is designed to transport sixteen or more passengers including the driver for free.
- Your vehicle is designed to transport nine or more passengers including the driver for a fee.
- Your vehicle is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. You may not be required to keep a Records of Duty Status (RODS) if you are using an exemption to operate as a:
- Driver-salesperson whose driving time does not exceed forty hours in a seven-day period
- Oil field carrier transporting oilfield equipment
- Short-haul CDL drivers that operate within a 100 air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location
- Non-CDL drivers operating within a 150 air-mile radius of their normal work reporting location
Checklist of FMCSA Compliance Requirements
Knowing exactly what you need to do to verify compliance is important. Using the wrong ELD compliance software or disregarding this information altogether can spell trouble for any trucking company. Understanding the items on this FMCSA compliance checklist can help companies to fall in line with the federal mandate. Use this checklist as a guideline when selecting the perfect ELD software for your company.
Is the ELD compliant?
The first and most important thing to do is check to ensure that the ELD is actually listed on the FMCSA’s list of approved devices. Trucking companies should only invest in software that is self-certified by the manufacturer, as well as listed and registered on the FMCSA website.
If the ELD is portable, is it visible to the driver?
Some ELD solutions are designed to be compatible with the smartphones that truckers already know and love. Companies should ensure that these devices are mounted in a fixed position so that the driver can see them when seated in a normal driving position.
Do you have all of the information?
One of the most important things a trucking company needs to do is set up their drivers for success. Each truck should be outfitted with a user’s manual for the ELD, a brief instruction manual for how to use it, an instruction sheet for technical malfunctions, and a supply of blank driver’s records (paper logs).
Are account types set up?
Your ELD account should be set up to identify whether the user logged in is a driver or a support person. Drivers must be identified by their first and last names, a unique username, a driver’s license number, and the state that issued that license. Support personnel must be identified by their first and last name and a unique username. The ELD restricts availability of the motor carrier’s entries only to authenticated support personnel in this way.
Does the ELD power on?
Perhaps the most important thing to check after setting up the account types is whether the unit turns on within one minute of the engine receiving power. It should also remain on until the engine powers down. If a driver does not sign in before putting the wheels in motion, there should be a visual or audible warning reminding the driver to sign in.
Does it record the date and time automatically?
The ELD should track the date and time according to the time zone in which a company is operating. The 24-hour time period beginning time is dictated by the driver’s home terminal.
Does the ELD determine the geo-location of the driver?
The ELD compliance software should register the relative position of the driver based on the latitude and longitude coordinates. It should note the location at the beginning and end of changes in duty status with an accuracy of about one mile, give or take. A GPS alone is not sufficient to be compliant according to the FMCSA mandate. The ELD must be able to monitor engine operation and a simple GPS system is not set up to acquire this type of data.
Does it allow for exemptions?
Your ELD software does need to allow for exemptions when they arise. A particular driver’s profile will need to be set up to allow them to claim exemption from using the ELD for a period of time.
ELD Compliance Date
Every trucking company wants to know how long they have left to find the perfect solution for their company. Time is quickly running out for those who are waiting until the last possible minute to make the switch to ELD logbook. The enactment and official notice of the pending law was issued almost four years ago on February 16, 2016.
General compliance followed with a due date of December 18, 2017. At this time, all commercial trucking companies were required to use an automatic or electronic on-board recording device or a registered ELD.
Full compliance must be in place by December 16, 2019. This means that all companies currently using automatic or electronic on-board devices (AOBRD or EOBRD) must be replaced by ELDs.
Avoid Costly Mistakes
Unfortunately, many trucking companies may not need heed the warning to switch to a reliable ELD compliance software solution in time. Keeping paper records the old-fashioned way can result in hefty fines. Violations in the Hours of Service (HOS) or RODS can take a big bite out of a company’s bottom line.
By signing up with a premier ELD solution, trucking companies can rest assured that their drivers are compliant with the law. It reduces the amount of time that drivers must spend documenting their hours and reduces the headache for back office staff. The data collected through HOS247’s proprietary software can be used to calculate fuel expense reporting, time management, and more.
Not only does it help you to avoid those costly violations from not staying in line with the law, it can actually save you money at the end of the day. Our solution is simple and easy to use, making it the ideal option for busy trucking companies. At an affordable rate, you would be hard-pressed to find another solution that offers a more comprehensive program than ours.
Be sure to give HOS247 a call today to sign up for your hassle-free two-week trial! Our dedicated customer representatives are ready and waiting to help you take your business to the next level.
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