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December 16, 2019 ELD Deadline: How to Prepare Your Fleet

Posted by ELD Expert on May 1, 2018

FMCSA Compliance Rule

Unless you live under a rock, you are well aware that paper logs have been replaced by electronic logging devices. The FMCSA has implemented a transition process that started December 2015 and is currently in “Phase 2”, in which electronic logs, namely ELDs, are the mandatory method of logging HOS. However, AOBRDs purchased before December 18, 2017 are grandfathered in as an acceptable solution until the next phase, “Phase 3”, which requires full compliance and the use of a registered ELD only.

 As with any change, the good is sometimes accompanied by some bad, especially in the beginning when everyone is adjusting. However, technology offers fleet owners and drivers more information, more time saved, more accurate data, more efficiency, and more productivity. ELDs will ultimately allow you to grow your business faster and run your fleet operations more smoothly.

As we approach the December 16, 2019 deadline, there are some preparations and considerations that need to be made in order to take advantage of the opportunity to increase your productivity with electronic logs.


Assess Your Current Logging Device

The first thing to think about in preparation for Phase 3 of the ELD mandate implementation is your current method of HOS logging. Do you have an AOBRD? An ELD? Still running Paper? (Yikes!) Does your device actually work? And does your device work consistently even in cellular dead zones?

Obviously, if you are still using paper logs or a faulty device, you’re operating outside of the law and you can face some serious violations in the event of a roadside inspection. However, if you have an AOBRD, your device should be grandfathered into the current ruling, meaning that you should not receive violations for using your AOBRD. Just make sure you tell the DOT officer that you have an AOBRD, as there are different requirements.

Our software can operate in AOBRD mode and allow you to transition from AOBRD to ELD seamlessly. If you have an AOBRD from another manufacturer, you may want to start asking your provider what their requirements are for you to transition to ELD before December 2019.

If you have an ELD, you are already operating as required for Phase 3. Therefore, you will not need to make any changes before the Phase 3 deadline. You can simply focus on training your drivers to use their device and prepare them for what to expect during a roadside inspection.


Transitioning From AOBRD to ELD

If you have an AOBRD device, you’ll want to ask your provider the following questions before Phase 3 implementation:

  1. Will I need to buy additional hardware to transition to an ELD? If so, what is the cost per vehicle?
  2. Will I need to update my software to transition to an ELD? If so, what is the cost?
  3. Is your ELD registered with the FMCSA?
  4. Will your support team be able to provide help for my drivers as they transition to ELD?
  5. What is the turnaround time for shipping new equipment (if necessary) and updating to an ELD?
  6. Will my data from the AOBRD system seamlessly transfer over to the new ELD system?


How to Avoid Violations and Losses

    • Make sure your ELD provider is registered with FMCSA. You can check the list here.
    • Ensure proper installation of the device.
    • Make sure your drivers know how to use the device. If you have an ELD Solutions product, you can visit our YouTube channel for tutorials and walkthroughs.
      • Keep the following in your trucks at all times:
      • Instruction manual that came with your ELD
      • The Quick Reference Guide or Instruction Sheet that came with your ELD
      • 8-day supply of blank paper logs (driver to use in the event of a malfunction)
    • Report any malfunctions. Carriers are required by the FMCSA to have written notice of a malfunction, along with paper logs during the downtime (not exceeding 8 days).
    • Invest in a high-quality solution to save money in the long run. Don’t waste your money on an ELD that continues to break and wastes your time trying to chase down their non-existent support team.

Looking Forward: The Future of ELDs

So what’s next? What will change when the ELD mandate is fully implemented on December 16, 2019? At first, you may have some angry drivers who are frustrated with the new process, but ultimately, ELD providers like us will work harder to improve our products and carriers like you will reap the benefits. As the demand has increased for this mandatory device, the stakes have been set higher for providers to make sure that their devices meet the compliance requirements, provide value to the carriers, and perform well for the drivers.

Transition to ELD seamlessly with ELD Solutions today. Call 855-696-ELDS (3537) or click here to purchase online.

Topics: ELD, AOBRD, ELD Mandate