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ELDs: Tips for Transitioning with Employees

*Note: The deadline to meet the requirements of the US Electronic Logging Devices and Hours of Service Supporting Documents final rule is December 2017.

Changes will affect not only for operations new to electronic logs, but also for those who currently already use them. Those already using ELDs will need to adjust to changes required by the new rule. Motor carriers that still currently use paper logs will have the most amount of work to do to meet the new requirements.

Dispatchers will need to manage loads and drivers more precisely, but depending on the ELD system (and whether it’s integrated with the back end), will also have better, real-time data to work with.

Here are some tips for a smooth transition:

  • Start the transition with hands-on training for a small group of your best drivers, who will act as advocates for the new technology, followed by the middle of the pack, then the drivers who are most resistant to the change. Some carriers offer an ELD bonus.
  • Have drivers use the new technology alongside paper logs for the first month to ease the transition
  • Keeping details on any positive impacts to driver and productivity may also help convince drivers to accept the change more willingly
  • Training for drivers should include how to produce the ELD for inspection; transferring data to officers via email, USB, Bluetooth transfer, or handing the device over
  • Educate all drivers, dispatchers, sales people, and their customers
  • Training back office staff requires having some driver data for them to review, so starting with a small group of drivers can help provide a manageable amount of data to start. Staff will need to be trained on how to deal with alerts when a driver goes over his or her hours, annotations to account for unassigned miles and time, and so on.
  • Appoint a compliance officer for ELD data, someone who is detail oriented, has a sound knowledge of HOS rules, some technical knowledge, and can be trusted to take ownership of monitoring, annotating, and maintain the data generated by the system, trouble-shooting non-compliance issues, and taking the necessary follow-up action.
  • ELDs will require a contingency plan if the system is down, and training should include putting this plan into practice (drivers need to keep a paper log in their vehicles for backup)

Some practical considerations ELD changes

  • There are two new, non-mandatory duty statuses: “Yard Moves” and “Personal Conveyance.” Since ELDs will be integrated with the vehicle engine, carriers will need to consider having separate accounts for the device for anyone other than the driver (e.g. mechanic) who needs to move the vehicle, to avoid adding to the driver’s HOS. The personal conveyance status allows drivers to operate the vehicle for authorized personal use while still tracking HOS compliance (but with position accuracy limited to a 10-mile radius for privacy).
  • According to the rule, driving time starts as soon as the vehicle goes faster than 5mph.
  • Motor carriers need to consider how to deal with extra driving time (e.g. border lineups or other through events). The ELD does not in any way change current HOS rules, which still provide some provisions for extra driving time.
  • Drivers will need to enter data about the duty status when the vehicle is stopped or parked; ELDs will provide the same duty status options as paper logs.

These tips are provided by BCTA and serve as a starting point for planning. For more information and resources, visit the BCTA Website – ELDs Tips for Transitioning with Employees

Tia Chisholm, HUB International TRANSPORTATION

HUB International TRANSPORTATION specialists are based in Vancouver. Our longstanding relationships with the best providers in the business allow us to deliver the solution that serve you best. With HUB, you can run your business knowing that you are headed in the right direction.

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