The EL’D-Day’ Is Coming
Whether you have been driving truck for the past 30 years or you have recently started to drive truck 6 months ago, we are all about to enter into a whole new world of trucking. Unless you have been living in a cave, you have seen the non stop flow of news articles, Facebook posts, and YouTube videos all discussing the facts and opinions about the implementation of the ELDs and the coming December 18, 2017 deadline. Since we are so close to this EL’D-day’ what can we expect from traffic authorities and their handling of truck drivers and their respective companies?
What Trucking Companies And Their Drivers Should Know
Do not expect the FMCSA and each state’s department of transportation (DOT) enforcement to start slacking off, as they will be ready to give out fines for any uncompliant drivers starting as early as December 18th, 2017. However, the DOT has stated that while inspectors can use their discretion in their issuing of non-compliance fines in the form of violations, any Out of Service (OTS) orders will be delayed until April 1, 2018. So what exactly does this mean for trucking companies and drivers?
This delay of OTS violations means that if a driver is caught without an ELD or an AOBRD onboard, a violation will be cited, but the truck will not be placed out of service. However, this does not excuse a company from implementing ELDs. If any company continually violates this rule, they risk becoming subject to a federal investigation.
Many parties involved will benefit from this delay in the OTS orders, and the benefit is not simply isolated to truckers and their respective companies. This delay will also help shippers, the FMCSA, and the motor carrier industry as a whole adjust to these new requirements. This does not mean they will be able to get away with continually pushing off the install of an ELD.
According to the Out-of-Service criteria from the FMCSA, all violations due to the absence of an ELD will still be fully documented and be viewed equivalent to not having a logbook, having false logs or will be considered to have no records of duty status. A whole fleet of vehicle and drivers receiving these violations will quickly result in a safety review and possible shutdown order for the commercial carrier acting in an unsafe manner.
Despite the many attempts to delay or cancel the mandate entirely, ELDs look like they are here to stay. While many large US trucking companies are already prepared, what about those trucking companies that also have trucks transporting into and within Canada? Are the ELD violations mentioned earlier just as strict as in the Great White North?
The Canadian ELD mandate will ensure cross-border consistency by adapting most of the US regulations; however, there will be some specific differences.
For one example, the ELD manufacturer has to be sure to measure 75 kilometers within 24 hours. If 75 kilometers of personal conveyance are exceeded within 24 hours, the system should automatically change status from personal conveyance to drive status. While in the US, there is no distance or time restriction regarding personal conveyance.Another difference is concerning the data transfer and enforcement practices.
With the FMCSA mandate, fleets will need to send detailed files of eight-day log data to enforcement. In Canada, fleets still require a display screen with relevant data for enforcement, as well as the option for transferring PDF images of 14-day records of logs. A change like this may not make much of a difference to a carrier, but for an ELD vendor it means building this change into their products in order for data to be sent to enforcement in Canada.
While there are many minor changes, here are the more important changes in the Canadian mandate every driver will want to know:
- Use of Canadian geographic names database for each province with no population limitation
- No item similar to electronic record of duty status for enforcement
- Security requirements for data transfer will differ and there are no specifics yet as to how much
For the most part, many of the differences between USA and Canada ELDs will effect more of the office and dispatch side of trucking, so if you are a truck driver reading this you don’t need to panic about having to remember all of the differences.
Without worrying you too much about all the differences, here are some important similarities everyone should know:
- Either mandate does not change HOS
- Driver still maintains control of HOS
- Information will be transferred electronically to enforcement
What This Means For You
Unlike a literal ‘D-Day’, you definitely will not benefit from running away and hiding from the coming EL’D-Day’.
You should however sense the urgency of this coming deadline and get your act together if you haven’t already. Many ELD companies are currently being overwhelmed from a huge rush from the many trucking business that have left this matter to the last minute. This means that some business are being put on waiting lists and will have to wait for the next shipment of ELD systems for their fleet.
Without an ELD installed in their trucks, drivers will not be able to operate their rigs. You can obviously imagine all of the possible bad scenarios that this could lead to. Therefore, do not put it off any longer, find a suitable ELD for your operation and make those phone calls or send emails to get your company next in line.
Stay tuned to our website for a coming news release regarding which ELD service T&P Trucking has proudly partnered up with!