ELD Switch 101: Roadside Inspections
Welcome to ELD Switch 101, a five-week series where we’ll cover a wide array of important topics concerning the mandatory switch from AOBRD to ELD.
One of the biggest changes that the ELD Mandate will bring about will be how log transfers are completed during roadside inspections. The switch to electronic logging devices will require drivers to be extra aware of how to use their devices in order to avoid issues.
To start, inspectors will now have logbook edits readily available to them during an inspection. Whereas AOBRD systems generally allow drivers to fix mistakes in their hours of service without displaying edits, ELD systems will make everything transparent to the DOT inspector.
Additionally, the process of being inspected by safety officers is substantially different between systems. With an electronic logging device, inspectors provide a code that will be used to transfer all of your data, and while the solution is also capable of creating PDFs with all the information if necessary, the code will ultimately be the only option for data transfers.
Because of this, another aspect to note will be how inspectors adjust to the change, as they’ll have a plethora of devices and solutions to be aware of. Basically, they can’t learn them all, so they’ll expect drivers to be fully trained on how their systems work.
If a driver is not properly trained on how to use their solution, they could be vulnerable to potential violations. Drivers will be expected to know how to transfer their logs via the eRODS system, as it is ultimately the driver's responsibility to be fully prepared.
Some of the most common inspection issues thus far have been drivers being unaware of how to transfer data to officers, which is why training is especially crucial for those waiting until the deadline to officially switch.
With that said, drivers should also have the following items available at all times: user manuals, instructions on transferring logs, and a minimum of eight blank paper logs.
Additionally, drivers will need to be prepared for dealing with system malfunctions, as regulations have changed. With an AOBRD system, there are no defined terms on how to deal with a system malfunction—drivers just simply switch over to paper logs.
With an ELD system, however, devices must be repaired within 8 days and the driver is allowed to use paper logs throughout that span of time. That doesn’t mean that drivers are safe from getting a violation and being placed out of service, though.
In addition, some providers such as GPSTab can go the extra mile for drivers by producing a malfunction letter for them. While malfunction letters are not 100 percent going to stop DOT officers from citing drivers, they do help mitigate that issue in some instances.
Going forward, it’ll be crucial to know these changing aspects between AOBRD and ELD. If a driver is unaware, it can lead to needless citations, which ultimately affects their CSA score and livelihood. Stay in the know by continuing to read our ELD Switch 101 series!
So, do you think ELDs can facilitate roadside inspections or will they be more difficult? Let us know in the comments or on social media for your chance to win a $25 Starbucks gift card. The winner will be chosen next week, at the conclusion of this series.
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