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SPONSORED ELD Planning: Managing Risks through Better Training

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What we know about the Canadian ELD Mandate so far is that it closely resembles the U.S. version which will go into effect this December. There are a number of operational considerations that carriers must address through their technology as well as through fleet-wide training.

In order to prepare for a transition that is as seamless as possible, proper training should be considered mandatory. Both the back office and drivers will be affected by the transition — from changes in administrative responsibilities to changes in core driver responsibilities on the ELD.

There are a few common operational changes that could be problematic for fleets implementing ELDs. But many fleets have found that with proper training, most of these obstacles can be easily overcome. Learn about these potential ELD pitfalls and how training can be used to prevent them from occurring.

Unassigned Vehicle Activity

One item that carriers worry about the most is unassigned vehicle moves and how that could affect companies operationally. Unassigned vehicle moves happen when drivers forget to log in or out of the ELD. If a driver forgets, the resulting unassigned drive time still must be rectified.

This is why proper driver training is a critical part of transitioning to ELDs. Drivers need to understand how to log in and operate the devices and the ramifications of not following the proper procedure. Operations should be reviewed to see who else can move a truck without a login and the best way to handle it operationally. Drivers will need to understand how to log off when they finish their routes for the day.

New Fleet Administration Parameters

The back office will need to prepare for how to get files structured effectively. The U.S. version of the ELD Mandate requires several new pieces of information about the fleet, vehicles, and drivers to be captured and maintained.

  • Carriers need to be sure that they have CDL numbers and issuing states for each driver. Check driver names in the system to ensure reporting accuracy.
  • For the vehicles, the license plates, issuing states, and VINs will need to be populated on the host. The VINs should be captured by the ELD through the ECM but it is recommended that fleets keep this information as well in case it needs to be manually entered in the system.
  • At the fleet level, the only new requirement is that the fleet DOT number will need to be included in the host so that it is included in the information transferred to law enforcement during roadside inspections.

Having this information in the system is critical to complying with the new regulation and can affect many different processes and roles. Since the Canadian ELD Mandate is expected to be very similar, fleets should plan on understanding new parameters and procedures. Proper training will help ensure information is available and accurate at all times.

Log Editing and Certification

A big operational change in the U.S. ELD Mandate is that it is now required for drivers and fleets to edit logs. Additionally, drivers are now expected to review their logs on a regular basis and certify their accuracy. These changes are designed to increase driver ownership of their logs and activity but have wide-reaching implications for the office as well.

  • Driver Log Certification – Every 24 hours, a driver is expected to certify his or her log after the final log entry is made. Drivers should carefully review their logs before certifying they are correct to prevent any reporting or violation issues.
  • Driver Log Edits – Drivers can edit a log at any time, but a comment is required each time an edit is performed and the edit is reported in the record of duty status. Edits from beyond the current eight- day period need will need to be re-certified.

Duty Statuses

For the most part, drive statuses themselves do not change much with the mandate. But there are a few key changes that fleets will need to know about in advance.

  • On-Duty – When a driver first logs in, he or she will start in “on-duty” mode. The system will also ask to revert to this to this status after five minutes of not moving.
  • There is only one auto duty status from the system. Driver will be asked to maintain drive or go to on-duty if at 0 MPH for five minutes. Driver will be asked to remain in drive and if no response, will place the driver to on-duty after one minute.
  • Drive – When the vehicle begins to move and hits a certain threshold (no more than 5 MPH), the system will automatically switch to “drive” status. This automatic change can occur when starting from any duty status (off-duty and sleeper berth included).
  • The optional “Yard Move” event can be enabled be able to move the vehicle without counting against Drive time, but it will count against on-duty.
  • Off-Duty – When a driver is done for the day, he or she should change the status to “off-duty.” “Personal Conveyance” can be enabled when drivers use their trucks for personal reasons to ensure that the time does not count against them.

Using a tool like Omnitracs’ Hours of Service (HOS) Manager will help drivers and the back office access a variety of features to ensure full compliance and operational transparency at all times. In such a tool, drivers can view, save and print historical log information. The back office can monitor all driver HOS to inform load assignments, view violations, manage unassigned vehicle activity, manager driver log edits, and analyze driver and vehicle data.

Don’t assume that the transition won’t come with a learning curve. A company like Omnitracs can help. We will provide our customers with training videos, materials, and help screens built right into the ELD — ensuring as smooth a transition as possible. For more information on the mandate, visit www.eldfacts.ca

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