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22 • February 15-28,

22 • February 15-28, 2018 Business thetrucker.com

thetrucker.com Cliff Abbott cliffa@thetrucker.com One strategy some drivers are using for ELD implementation is to hope that Congress passes legislation that reverses the FMCSA mandate, or at least postpones implementation until the year 2147 or so. If OOIDA and other groups have their way, it might just happen. Still, getting compliant might be a better strategy in the short term, just in case. While some states are delaying citations for drivers who aren’t in compliance until April 1, others aren’t waiting to get started. At some point, violations will count against the carrier’s CSA score and could impact insurance rates and even the ability to secure loads. If you’re still using paper logs, or if you aren’t sure whether the ELD you’re using is compliant, read on. According to the FMCSA, the ELD can be permanently mounted or a portable device can be temporarily mounted while the vehicle is in operation. Even a smartphone will work, if the other requirements are met. A list of those requirements is available on the FMCSA website at fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/choosingelectronic-logging-device-checklist. A pdf version is available for download for handy reference. According to the FMCSA, the most important consideration is to make sure the device you are considering is on the agency’s list of registered ELDs. It’s a self-certification list, meaning that the vendor who markets the ELD has certified that their product is compliant with all of the technical specifications. Even with self-certification, however, some TICKETS TICKETS NO MEMBERSHIP FEES NO MEMBERSHIP FEES NO MEMBERSHIP FEES MOVING & NON-MOVING MOVING & NON-MOVING MOVING & NON-MOVING NO MONTHLY DUES NO MONTHLY DUES NO MONTHLY DUES 1-800-333-DRIVE 1-800-333-DRIVE 1-800-333-DRIVE www.interstatetrucker.com INTERSTATE TRUCKER, LTD. INTERSTATE TRUCKER, LTD. www.interstatetrucker.com INTERSTATE www.interstatetrucker.com TRUCKER, LTD. www.interstatetrucker.com Business February 15-28, 2018 • 23 In lieu of waiting until or if feds reverse ELDs, better to buy one from FMCSA’s list Fleet Focus products will be better than others. Checking out some online reviews or even checking with the Better Business Bureau might turn up information that helps in the decisionmaking process. However, you can familiarize yourself with the requirements by visiting csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/ ELD/List on the web. A major requirement is that the device has “integral synchronization” with the engine control module of the vehicle and can automatically record when the engine is running as well as when the vehicle is in motion. If your truck is leased to a carrier that requires installation of a telematics system, the ELD may simply be an additional program incorporated into that system. If the ELD is a stand-alone unit, it will connect to the vehicle’s Onboard Diagnostic (OBD) port to access the data. Some products, such as ELD programs for smartphones, connect with a Bluetooth device that is plugged in to the OBD port. The ELD must also record most of the same data that is required on paper logs. For example, the driver must be able to certify that entries are true and correct. Since the driver can’t “sign” an electronic record, certification is accomplished with a click or two. The device must retain data, including the familiar grid, for the current 24-hour period plus the previous seven days. The ELD must also prevent tampering with the data once recorded. One phrase that has long been familiar to experienced drivers, “Let me see your logbook,” is drastically different. The ELD must be able to display the collected data, both to the driver and to law enforcement officials on demand. This display can be either printed or electronic. There are several ways the record can be accessed electronically. Some ELD systems, especially those used by larger carriers, make duty status records available on the web. Copies of See Focus on p25 m