The final deadline for the ELD mandate is just around the corner. Are your drivers compliant?

If your fleet is still operating on an AOBRD, you have until Dec. 16. 2019 to switch to FMCSA-registered ELDs and stay compliant.

Assess your fleet’s situation

Although this fast-approaching date is an extension of the hard enforcement deadline that occurred on April 1, 2018, many in the industry still need to make the transition. According to a recent FreightWaves survey, 80 percent of all automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) users plan to wait until the final months to switch over to ELDs, setting the stage for a last-minute time crunch during which scores of drivers may find themselves:

  • Purchasing ELDs at the last minute, risking a shortage of compliant devices
  • Squeezing installations in before the deadline
  • Dealing with busy customer support lines and unexpected delays
  • Putting their compliance at risk while getting trained on the nuances of ELDs

While it’s safe to say that transitioning from AOBRDs to ELDs will be an adjustment for drivers, the switch will also affect safety and risk teams. These stakeholders are responsible for keeping drivers safe and CSA scores low, and failure to comply with the ELD mandate may result in operational, financial, and safety scoring penalties.

Bottom line: Waiting too long to make the switch will not only increase your risk of being out of compliance but will also force drivers and fleet managers to adjust to new rules and technology in a very short period of time.

5 challenges that you can easily overcome by switching early

There are significant advantages to switching from AOBRD to ELD as early as possible since the following challenges that waiting could bring about might be avoided:

1. Determine which device you have and inform drivers 

Some drivers think they are using an ELD when in reality they are using an AOBRD. To be compliant with the rule, drivers need to know which device is installed in their vehicle. They can determine this by checking with their provider.

2. Make sure the ELD you choose meets the FMCSA’s requirements

The mandate requires that electronic logging devices meet the technical standards of the rule. The FMCSA maintains a list of self-certified devices and choosing one that isn’t compliant with the technical standards set by the FMCSA may put your compliance status at risk.

3. Technology issues

Those who are late to make the switch might have a limited choice regarding their ELD provider and could be setting themselves up for a potentially painful transition, according to a recent FreightWaves report.

4. Start thinking about how you’ll train your drivers

Training could take on several forms and might be conducted at a single time, in several group sessions, in person or online, onsite or via webinars.

Switching from an AOBRD to an ELD will require that drivers and fleet managers change the way they manage their operations, and transitioning could take days, weeks, or even months to complete.

Understand the main differences between Motive’s AOBRD and ELD modes

1. ELD rules and requirements

Reading the ELD rule requirements is important since it will explain how to record data, certify the record of duty status, and transfer the ELD output files to an officer or auditor.

2. Reassignment protocol

In AOBRD, the fleet manager can reassign driving time to any driver, but an ELD requires that driving time can only be assigned to a co-driver.

3. Annotations are required in ELD mode

Under AOBRD, fleet managers can make an edit to a driver’s log without including a note, but in the ELD mode, an annotation is required on all edits made on a driver’s log.

4. In-office audit

Paper logs required auditors to spend a lot of time looking at logs to verify their accuracy, Hours of Service compliance, and authenticity. But with the switch to ELD, the records or data will accurately show how much time was spent driving, reducing the number of supporting document checks that the investigator will need to perform.

How Motive can help you make the switch

If all this sounds pretty overwhelming, Motive can help. The Motive ELD solution is in the FMCSA’s list of self-certified ELDs and is fully compliant.

If your fleet is using a different AOBRD, you’ll need to swap all of them out for a Motive ELD. We call this a Rip and Replace, which we help fleets do seamlessly.

We’ll guide you through the following steps to make your transition as smooth as possible:

  1. Understand what compliance mode you are currently running and settings that are enabled.
  2. Facilitate communication regarding the new processes that will need to be created in order to be successful. This includes: who is going to make the changes, how to make them, and when they need to be enforced.
  3. Update your ELD driver and vehicle profiles to include all the required information.
  4. Change your compliance settings gradually from AOBRD mode to ELD mode.

The ELD mandate has the potential to transform the trucking industry, improve driver safety, increase productivity, and positively impact supply chains, and will make for a very different daily driving experience for your drivers and staff.

To learn more about our compliance products, click here. If you have any questions, call us at 844-325-9230.