The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) established a wide range of rules and provisions to help protect commercial drivers, improve on-road safety, and ensure a safer environment for surface goods transport. This act included numerous phased requirements, including the electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which completed its phase-in in 2019.
However, maintaining compliance with the ELD rule long term is easier said than done. Developing a sustainable strategy to ensure ongoing compliance for your fleet is crucial to avoid fines. This guide will discuss three ways to ensure a sustainable approach to ELD compliance for your fleet, helping you minimize the likelihood of compliance lapses that can cost your company money.
1. Schedule Routine Driver Training
ELDs are relatively hands-off devices, but drivers must still interact with them occasionally. Typical ELD systems require the driver to indicate when they go off duty or enter their sleeper berth, allowing the system to track working time accurately. Likewise, drivers must understand how to log in to the system, edit records when necessary, and annotate trips the device cannot properly identify.
MAP-21 specifies technical requirements for ELDs, but the user interface and functionality details can vary between systems. Some fleets may use software-based ELDs on phones or other mobile devices, while others utilize dedicated, hard-mounted devices. Since drivers will interact with their ELD throughout the workday, they must be able to do so efficiently and accurately.
Drivers, maintenance personnel, and fleet administrators should all clearly understand these devices. Routine training can help these employees develop skills and best practices that will minimize the likelihood of mistakes, helping to ensure your company doesn’t face potential compliance issues due to driver or staff errors.
2. Work With Expert ELD Consultants
ELD compliance involves more than placing a device in every truck or ensuring your drivers install logging apps on their phones. The MAP-21 ELD rules also require drivers to carry certain supporting documentation and paper-based backups to use if the ELD malfunctions or otherwise becomes unusable.
Failure to comply with these additional rules can result in non-compliance and fines, even if your fleet’s drivers use their ELDs according to regulations. These seemingly minor violations can result in unexpected fines or create other regulatory headaches for your fleet. If your staff isn’t familiar with ELD rules, they may miss these violations during routine inspections.
Consulting with a company specializing in ELDs and compliance can help ensure that your fleet is fully compliant. Expert consultants can examine your devices or software to confirm they meet the latest ELD requirements while also ensuring your vehicles contain all the necessary supporting documentation. These routine checks can also help prevent your fleet from drifting out of compliance.
3. Fully Utilize Fleet Management Tools
Fully utilizing your back-end fleet management tools can also help ensure your entire fleet complies with ELD rules. These tools typically allow you to track device status along with hours of service (HOS) logs. While your drivers are primarily responsible for logging hours and creating compliant reports, administrators can use fleet tools to monitor for problems and make suggestions when needed.
These platforms can help automate compliance monitoring, allowing your fleet administrators to quickly detect when a driver or vehicle may lack a functional ELD or otherwise be out of compliance. Real-time notifications can allow administrators to track drivers with unverified or unidentified logs and provide alerts if a driver may be approaching their maximum hours of service.
PGT Technologies can help your fleet adopt technologies for sustainable, long-term ELD compliance, including in-vehicle devices and back-office fleet management software. Contact us today to request a demo and see what we can do to help support your fleet assets.