Guide to Vehicle Log Book Compliance

The FMCSA issued standards for drivers, fleet managers, and owner-operators to consider when they choose a vehicle log book. Electronic logbook providers register their devices following these standards, but that does not guarantee their compliance. In fact, devices are removed from the list due to user complaints or non-compliance issues.

If you are searching for an electronic logbook solution, it is worth taking some time to look around and explore your options. This article will go over some key questions and recommendations to find the best vehicle logbook for you.

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Flexible plans whether you have 1 or 500 vehicles

HOS247 Offers a Fully Featured, Top-Rated Vehicle Log Book 

HOS247 has become a trusted provider of FMCSA-approved and compliant ELD solutions. Users appreciate the fact that HOS247 targets the needs of drivers and carriers with additional benefits, such as:

  • Compliance with FMCSA regulations. The HOS247 vehicle log book supports HOS and ELD rules and exemptions.
  • Reliable connection and hardware. HOS247 has been tried and tested to make sure the connection between the hardware and the Bluetooth is at peak performance at all times. The hardware has a one-year warranty and only takes a couple of minutes to install. If anything malfunctions during the first year, it will be replaced for free.
  • Top-rated customer support. Our technical support staff is knowledgeable and ready for English, Spanish, Russian, and Polish speaking customers. We are available seven days a week to provide assistance; no matter if you are dealing with an issue on the road or just need a little log book vehicle device insider knowledge.
  • No-contract policy. You do not need to commit to a provider for years on end. HOS247 offers customers the option of managing their service on a monthly or yearly basis, as well as a two-week trial period. If you are not satisfied, you may return the device and get a complete refund, full-price, and hassle-free. 
  • Compatibility. HOS247 runs efficiently on both Android and iOS smartphones or tablets to better adapt to the driver’s choice. 
  • Extra features. Optimize your business operations with GPS tracking, IFTA mileage calculations, vehicle diagnostics, and more.

HOS247 fleet manager portal

How Are Paper Logs Different from Elogs?

For many decades now, commercial vehicle drivers have had to keep records of their hours of service. Before the ELD mandate, most drivers used to log their data on paper by filling in a grid with a box assigned to each hour of the day and a section for each duty status. These had to be filled manually, taking up extra time and effort for drivers.

According to current DOT legislation, commercial motor vehicles must use electronic logbooks to keep drivers’ HOS records. Electronic RODS are managed much more quickly since the data is recorded through a device connected to the vehicle’s engine. Still, paper logs may be used for operations under exemption, which include the following:

  • Short-haul exemption. Applies to drivers who operate within a 150 air-mile radius surrounding their work location.
  • 8 day limit on RODS. This exemption applies to drivers keeping HOS records for 8 days or less in any given 30-day period.
  • Drive-away-tow-away operations. When the vehicle being driven is the actual commodity.
  • Older models. Vehicles manufactured before the year 2000.

If the ELD malfunctions, it’s possible the driver cannot access the records. The FMCSA states that they must notify their carrier and keep the RODS for the day on paper logs. Records must be kept on paper until the electronic logbook has been repaired or replaced. It is best for drivers to know how to fill out a vehicle log book manually for these situations.

How Does the HOS247 ELD Work? 

Let’s have a brief overview of the elog system. What does a vehicle log book look like? Broadly speaking, elogs have two main components: hardware and software, device and app. The HOS247 ELD has a small hardware set designed to be installed quickly and easily.

The device then connects to the engine control module to record the data. The logbook app can be downloaded from an online store onto an Android or iOS device. The app is then synchronized via Bluetooth to the engine’s hardware and the system will be operational.   

The vehicle log software will keep updated HOS records at all times, as well as dates, times, locations, and miles driven. The device will not record information outside of what is needed to keep RODS. It will have no control over the vehicle. Drivers will have an account they must access to have the elog record all of this data.

HOS247 ELD connection scheme

Can Vehicle Log Book Records Be Edited? 

The information collected by the elogbook cannot be deleted or overwritten, but some edits can be made by someone with clearance (a driver or the carrier office) when absolutely necessary. Keep in mind that electronic logbooks automatically record all of the time that a vehicle is in motion as driving time. This time recorded as “driving” cannot be edited or changed to “non-driving”. The original records of the driven time remain even when edits and annotations are made.

HOS247 ELD app

The FMCSA has outlined the following conditions and rules for editing and annotating HOS records:

  • The driver or staff who edits must add a note (or annotation) stating why the edit is necessary.
  • Drivers are held responsible for reviewing the change, certifying its accuracy, and resubmitting the elog. Drivers must also sign off on any changes done by other staff members. 
  • The original records must be kept on file since driving time cannot be edited.

What Happens When a Logbook Malfunctions? 

The FMCSA requires electronic truck driver logs to detect malfunctions and data inconsistencies. Procedures have been established for drivers and motor carriers to stay compliant through these events. They might be related to power issues, unidentified driver records, data transfer or synchronization, missing data, timing, or vehicle positioning. In general, drivers can solve data inconsistencies by following the instructions of the ELD providers, while motor carriers must correct malfunctions.

Drivers are responsible for catching malfunctions and notifying the motor carrier within 24 hours. If the HOS records cannot be retrieved for the current shift and the past seven days, they’ll have to rerecord them on a graph-grid paper log in case of an inspection. They may keep their RODS on paper until the ELD is working properly.

Big rig white day cab commercial semi truck

This must not take more than eight days, or they might be put out of service. On the carrier’s part, responsibilities regarding malfunctions are to repair, replace or service the ELD in the eight days after the driver informs them of the malfunction and make sure the driver keeps paper RODS until the truck driver log is fixed. Carriers can request an extension to justify needing more time to fix the issue. They will be considered in compliance until the FMCSA determines whether or not to grant it.

Although staying compliant through an ELD malfunction is possible, it is also time-consuming and inconvenient for your business. To avoid this, make sure your ELD solution is reliable, presents minimum inconsistencies, and has an available customer support service. 

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How to Make Sure a Vehicle Log Book Is in Compliance with FMCSA Regulations?

A list of these self-registered ELD providers is available on the FMCSA website. According to regulations, an elog provider follows a process of self-registration. The provider declares their vehicle log book meets the requirements and then may proceed to register on the list. However, the FMCSA provides no guarantee that any of the registered devices comply with the ELD mandate rules, meaning that providers are responsible for ensuring that their solution meets the technical specifications. To prevent compliance issues, buyers are advised to research the providers they choose.

blue american truck tractor

It is also important to check the registration list from time to time. Note that if a specific electronic logging device is found or reported to be non-compliant, the FMCSA may remove the device from the registered list. Still, it is up to the provider whether to notify their customers if this happens.  

Motor carriers will have a period of 8 days from the time of notification to replace a noncompliant vehicle log book device for one in line with the standard. This is the same time granted for ELDs to be repaired, replaced, or serviced. The FMCSA and the affected carriers will establish a reasonable time frame for replacing noncompliant devices in the event of a widespread issue.

"Awesome. Easy to install and use. Top notch customer service! I recommend it to everyone.”

Abigail Freemantle
Schrader Co
“Great company to deal with. The support team is very responsive and competent. They provided a great deal of education for our company.”
Evgueni Stoupine
GMS Global Group
“Customer service is great. They helped me to set up everything and showed how to edit my logs. Thank you.”

Ilya Kulagin
Manuel Jenez
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