ELD Switch 101: Breaking down start-up speeds
Start-up speeds, which is when your AOBRD or ELD device begins to automatically track your driving time, will be one of the most crucial aspects for drivers to understand before the ELD mandate deadline in December 2019.
The difference between these system types is immense, as an ELD will start your drive time as soon as you hit 5 mph, which is in accordance with the FMCSA’s ELD mandate. This will greatly affect hours of service for drivers, as they’ll have to use their time more strategically.
Here is a scenario for context: if a driver is stuck in traffic 1 minute passed their allotted driving time, the ELD will automatically record the violation and report it. Because the driver can’t just stop on the side of the road for their 10-hour break, they’ll have to drive to the nearest designated truck stop when they’re supposed to be resting, which makes them susceptible to a citation.
On the other hand, AOBRD is a lot more flexible with how its start-up speeds work. AOBRD start-up times are generally set between 5 and 25 mph, but carriers can ultimately choose what they want their limit to be. Thus, if drivers are moving under 25 mph, the AOBRD system will not automatically record the movement, unlike an ELD.
Another scenario drivers could relate to is being stuck in detention for hours waiting to be loaded or unloaded. Let’s say a driver is stuck waiting for a receiver to unload them for 8 hours overnight. They now only have 3 hours of driving time left, so they might prefer to wait out at the yard until their clock renews.
But if the receiver decides to kick them out, then they'll be forced to drive to the nearest truck stop, which their ELD will automatically record as driving time. This situation could create a pickle for the driver, as it could potentially cause issues with their hours of service.
Consequently, the switch to ELD will force drivers and dispatchers to be more mindful and plan their trips strategically. They’ll have to plan breaks ahead of time, as they’ll need ample time to find a safe place to stop and reserve parking.
Without proper preparation for the switch to ELD, companies accustomed to AOBRD may see an uptick in violations. Nevertheless, drivers and fleet owners should also be aware of the flexibility that ELD systems allow, such as personal conveyance, yard move, recap hours, and split break.
Additionally, while personal conveyance was originally useable only when a driver was completely relieved of work responsibilities, the rule was reinterpreted to include driver safety. If a driver records that they used personal conveyance for a valid safety reason, they may be protected from a violation.
Personal conveyance, along with the aforementioned ELD flexibilities, have all been around for years, but are now of extra importance as drivers adjust to using ELDs.
So what do you think about the switch from AOBRD to ELD? Do you think you have enough time to implement the change? Let us know in the comments or on social media for a chance to win a $25 Starbucks gift card!
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