The ELD mandate’s implementation date is less than a week away from now, and regulators are seeing a sudden increase in false driver log violations.

According to the latest Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) roadside inspection data, while roadside driver inspections and violations went up less than one percent, the number of violations that led to the issuance of an out-of-service (OOS) order rose by 4.5 percent in the fiscal year 2017.

It is the highest recorded figure since 2014.

A breakdown of driver log violations

The FMCSA data showed that 4.4 percent violations in the fiscal year 2017 were related to logbook falsifications. Of the 186,596 OOS orders issued to truck drivers during that period, 16.2 percent were because of false driver log violations.

Numerically, false driver logs topped OOS violations at 30,274. The growing number of false log violations should be considered as a red flag, especially since the ELD implementation date is just around the corner.

Trucking and logistics executives urged shippers to reevaluate their shipping and transit plans so that they can stay within the hours available to drivers. False or erroneous entries in a driver’s logbook is one of the many reasons why ELD use is required by the government from December 18 onwards. ELDs can help eradicate logbook errors and false logs violations.

Streamline your electronic logbooks — learn how.

The false logs epidemic

The FMCSA’s latest data also revealed that the number of false driver log violations has gone up by nearly 20 percent over the last five years, prompting a former FMCSA official to call the situation “an epidemic.”

Speaking at the JOC Inland Distribution Conference on November 8, the former FMCSA investigator John Seidl said, “I think false logs have been an epidemic, from the 1930s until right now.”

Seidl, who now works as a transportation consultant with Integrated Risk Solutions, emphasized that the ELD mandate will cut daily driving time for drivers who habitually stretch their Hours of Service (HOS) by falsifying their logs.

He also added that truck drivers and carriers who have not installed ELDs yet, “are most likely the biggest offenders in terms of false logs.”

The MCMIS data

Meanwhile, the FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) data, which was last updated on October 27, showed that false log violations rose by 4,420 to 41,058 in the 2017 fiscal year.

Also, the number of citations issued for failing to keep driver logs up to date increased by 16.8 percent, to 51,258. However, despite this increase, the number is still a huge drop compared to the fiscal year 2014 when the FMCSA reported 90,604 violations. The number of violations related to logs and hours of service also went down, while citations for falsifying logs increased. The number of drivers cited for failure to keep a log increased by 10.1 percent in the fiscal year 2017, after remaining unchanged for three years.

On the other hand, the overall number of log and HOS violations that resulted in over 10,000 citations across the U.S. dropped 3.5 percent during the last fiscal year — from 441,262 to 426,026. The FMCSA inspection data showed that the number had decreased in each of the previous four fiscal years.

What’s next?

As mentioned by former FMCSA investigator Seidl, the majority of false driver log violators are fleets that have not yet installed ELDs.

Installing compliant electronic logging devices will help carriers eliminate these violations. Moreover, the ELD mandate compliance deadline is also just around the corner, which means trucking companies only have less than a week to implement electronic logging devices.

If you are looking for a reliable and compliant electronic logging solution, try the Motive ELD solution.

Request a free demo today.