Speed Bump Emerges for ELD

A Speed Bump Emerges for ELD

Elog Systems Not Working as Expected

By now, most organizations know how important it is to work with their transportation provider to ensure which carriers are compliant with new federal reporting requirements for truck drivers and which ones are not. For businesses that rely on moving their cargo, choosing the right freight supplier is more important than ever to ensure that quality of product is upheld effectively.

ELDs replace paper logs and will instantly record driving time and monitor engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven and location information. ELDs may impact shipping costs by reducing the effective number of miles a driver can log, further tightening trucking capacity at a time of ongoing limited truck driver supply, rising pay and higher overall fleet costs.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was gracious in allowing the transportation industry approximately three months to adjust to the Elog mandate before taking enforcement action. April 1 was the hard date for the mandate to be in full force yet reporting issues remain. On this date, drivers without properly working Elog systems in their trucks would be put out of service for 10 hours, then allowed to finish their runs. Further action would be taken if carriers were found to be habitually running without Elog systems.

“After April 1, you will be put out of service if you’re supposed to have an ELD and you do not. If you are currently required to prepare a paper record, you have to have an ELD. It’s as simple as that.” stated Bill Mahorney, Chief of Compliance and Enforcement Division at FMCSA, speaking during a recent webinar.

Although many new ELD users report no significant issues, others have had a different experience.  Some of the issues over the last several weeks include:

  • Various software glitches
  • Collecting GPS data points effectively
  • Faulty Bluetooth connections
  • Efficient ways on the device to view the location history of a vehicle
  • Unresponsive customer service
  • Brief outages and issues logging data on some user portals

This presents obvious challenges along with carrier confusion. One problem with this plan is the concept of “properly working Elog systems.” Many carriers have found that their systems do not transfer data accurately or track time and location properly. Adding to that frustration is the fact that Elog providers must be certified with the FMCSA however the companies that provide Elogs are self-certified which may cause ambiguities around compliance for the foreseeable future.

Trucks.com recently reported the FMSCA “discovered that some of the 330 ELD devices on the market do not meet the technical specifications for data transfer used to show driving hours to law enforcement. The agency declined to say how many ELD models are not working properly.”  Industry trade media have reported truckers being granted a series of waivers while the agency continues to push them to push ELD manufacturers for fixes to the ongoing performance and data transfer issues.

Also creating issues, is the late adoption of ELDs conducted by many carriers.  Using new electronic equipment requires training, guidance and time to adjust – especially when moving from years of paper logs to technology as the primary method required to meet ELD rules and regulations. An influx in adoption paired with many people learning a new device at the same time, is cause for concern. Helping customer questions becomes a challenge and therefore, some providers are increasing its number of customer service representatives to assist truckers experiencing ELD issues.

Agforce professionals are available by phone or email to help any step of the way. “We are working closely with our carriers to be as supportive and understanding as possible while continuing to meet our customers shipping demands,” said Karla O’Malley of Agforce Transport Services.  “These issues won’t resolve themselves easily, but we’re committed to minimizing any potential impact to our clients since we have a broad, strong network of carriers we can draw upon.”

Time will tell if this a minor rough spot that will soon correct itself, or if the FMCSA will take note and respond with a reasonable solution.
ELD Phases

More Resources

If you have questions about what to expect from the FMCSA on Elog enforcement, the links below will prove useful.

ELD timeline: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/implementation-timeline

ELD FAQs: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/faqs

Agforce Transport Services specializes in customized transportation solutions for our customers’ specific business needs and requirements. To learn more about how we can help simplify your path to market, contact us today for a free consultation. Give us a call at 844-713-6723 or email us at inquiry@agforcets.com.