This transportation regulatory update courtesy of our valued partner Ryan Byers, President of Front Range Compliance Services, L.L.C.
By December 16, 2019, carriers that are using grandfathered automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) will need to switch to electronic logging devices (ELDs). While these devices (and the associated back-office systems) are similar, there are differences that need to be considered when making the switch.
Drivers will notice the difference as soon as they log into an ELD, as one key difference is the login procedure. When the driver logs into an ELD, if the device has any recent driving records that were not assigned to a specific driver due to the vehicle moving without someone being logged into the ELD (unassigned driving time), it must be offered to the driver. If the driver accepts it, the time is integrated into his or her records. If he or she denies the time, it will appear in the back office in the unidentified driver account as well as being visible as unassigned driving time on the driver’s device.
Also unlike AOBRDs, an ELD must switch to the driving status when the vehicle reaches no more than five miles per hour. Other changes drivers need to be aware of include:
These changes will require extensive training. Errors made by drivers in daily operation will lead to violations on the road, extra work in the back office, and an increased exposure to violations during audits. One possible source for such training should be the carrier’s ELD vendor.
As well as impacting the drivers, the change will also impact the back-office (support) personnel. With ELDs, back office personnel will need to get used to:
As you can see, the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs is not going to be as easy as some believe. Simply installing the devices or allowing the existing devices to update at the last minute will cause chaos. As the chaos will be in the area of hours of service, it will lead to a lot of pain. A prime example of this is what carriers that procrastinated went through when they transitioned from paper logs to electronic logs.
As with any hours-of-service change, carriers should adopt a change-management approach, such as plan, prepare, execute, evaluate to ease the impact.
To determine the timeline when using this process, work backwards from the deadline and allow adequate time for each step. As the deadline for the change is December 16, 2019, and there is little chance of a delay, carriers should start the process as soon as possible, especially if part of the planning process will be looking at other vendors’ ELDs.
While the changeover will not be easy, using a change-management approach and beginning the process early so adjustments can be made along the way will allow for an orderly — and maybe even pain-free — change.
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact a member of our Transportation or Risk Control Team.