With nearly 8 months remaining until the end of the electronic logging device (ELD) grandfather clause, many fleets are still running ELD-compatible devices in Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) mode. While this is fine for now, these carriers have until December 16, 2019, to upgrade to ELD platforms to remain compliant.
Since it will require the installation of new tech and retraining of staff, the conversion for large fleets could take months to complete. So, carriers should allow plenty of time to develop and execute their plans to comply with the new regulation in time. As analyst Clem Driscoll said at the 2018 TU-Automotive Connected Fleets USA Conference, it “will probably not be painless.”
Here are a few things you can do to help make the shift seamless:
Educate drivers: Drivers are on the front lines of the ELD process, so you’ll need to devote plenty of time to make sure they understand all the new fields, alerts, reports, and changes to log editing. We recommend you train all drivers at the same time. Then, follow up with a refresher training to remind them of their responsibilities and procedures after your ELD implementation. Thoroughly educating drivers will help them enter information quickly and correctly, saving time and cutting down on driver calls to the back-office.
Train others: Everybody’s affected by the ELD mandate, including your back-office and maintenance staff. Your back-office staff uses Hours of Service (HOS) daily, so prepare to go through all the facets of the process with them. Their primary job may be to manage paperwork and keep systems running, but they also support driver needs. Be sure to present any new or updated policies and procedures they may have as a result of the ELD mandate. It’s also essential to train maintenance teams on the new rules governing out-of-service vehicles and the filing of extension requests.
Update company, driver, and vehicle records: The ELD mandate requires additional information about your assets, over and above what’s needed under current AOBRD rules. You can manually update each driver and vehicle or use a bulk importer to update them all at once.
Enable the ELD: This is it – the moment of truth. If you want to trial ELD with a portion of your fleet, you can enable ELD for a depot or a few vehicles. Or, if your teams are prepared, you can enable your entire fleet in one session.
The clock is ticking. Carriers that don’t meet the deadline will be unable to transport goods. So, if you haven’t started planning on how your fleet will maintain compliance with federal regulations on December 16, get started now. Waiting until the last minute may find you scrambling to get processes in place at a time when business is picking up, and you don’t have the resources in place to migrate.
For more tips and ideas on how you can ensure your fleet stays compliant, watch this webinar from Tom Cuthbertson, the ELD compliance expert from Omnitracs.