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How truckers can avoid violations from an ELD malfunction

10.29.2019 - 11:33 AM Comments: 0

As the ELD mandate inches closer, drivers will need to learn how to adjust to the incoming changes. Electronic logging devices, by virtue of being technology, are susceptible to malfunctioning. 

If your ELD happens to malfunction, you’ll need to know what to do to avoid being potentially placed out of service by a DOT. officer. That’s where a malfunction letter can help drivers out. 

When an ELD system malfunctions, it must be repaired within 8 days. Drivers must notify their dispatcher of the issue, and the dispatcher will then contact their provider and try to get the issue resolved as soon as possible. 

This process can leave the driver in the dark, and in danger of receiving a violation if they’re stopped by a DOT officer. Without documentation of the issue, the officer can just assume that the driver is not following FMCSA regulations.

Nonetheless, this issue can be mitigated by a malfunction letter. While they’re not mandatory to produce for carriers, some such as GPSTab do go the extra mile for their customers by providing them.

A malfunction letter provides officers with information on the issue, which can stop them from reprimanding the driver. The document may not always be sufficient, though, as not all officers may accept them as a proper excuse for not having logs readily available. 

Because of this, drivers should also continue to track their hours of service with paper logs, as they would before the ELD mandate. 

As technology continues to change in the trucking industry, it’ll be important for drivers to find ways to adapt. By asking your carrier for a malfunction letter, you can take extra precautionary steps to make sure you’re still compliant. 

In the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, if your carrier allows you to receive malfunction letters, such as GPSTab, you can save yourself from an unnecessary violation that could ruin your CSA score

So what do you think about the topic? Have you received a malfunction letter before, and was it helpful? Let us know in the comments or on social media!

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