AOBRD to ELD: The Final Countdown
The ELD mandate enters its final phase in under 90 days. This means time is rapidly running out for carriers still using AOBRDs. New technology takes time to install, implement and validate, especially across a large fleet. Here are issues to address ahead of the December 16 deadline for fleetwide ELD use.
ELD implementation plans should include breathing room
Tech implementation is about more than what the end user sees. Carriers must choose an ELD provider, order their preferred and FMCSA registered devices, set up hardware and software, then troubleshoot any issues with the devices themselves or with user error.
Small fleets might be able to order all ELDs needed and hire a technician to install them within a week or two. Although onboarding and training may take additional time. Large fleets require successful ELD implementation for hundreds or thousands of CMVs, meaning more than a few weeks will likely be required. With a rollout of that scale, be sure to allow for extra time in case of any hiccups along the way.
Resolving any technical glitches in a timely manner is essential. Violations due to a faulty device or improper installation will not be accepted as a reason for enforcement to give drivers a break on warnings or citations.
ELD implementation should also include at least a week or two of live operation. Drivers will benefit from actually using their new devices ahead of the mandate, rather than hoping they are graded on a curve once the mandate is in full effect.
Driver and staff training is the key to smooth ELD implementation
The devices themselves are just one variable in the ELD mandate equation. Drivers should be well-trained on how to operate their device. Plan classes, ride-alongs and other training to offer drivers a practical overview of safe ELD use, transferring eRODS during inspection, and editing and annotating their logs as necessary. You’ll want to understand how drivers should be using the devices including identifying policies for Yard Moves and Unidentified Trips.
Dispatch, fleet managers and support staff should also be a focus for your ELD rollout. Massive amounts of data are being collected to help optimize safety best practices, which in turn improves CSA scores and makes audits easier to manage. Be sure your back office staff are taking advantage of this data, and understand how to use the system to identify potential violations and coach drivers up before it’s too late.
Practice makes perfect
Getting your staff interested in the new technology is key to your ELD success. Try making ELD education interactive by having staff practice using the new hardware and software prior to the mandate, rather than having their first run in December. This will cut down on accidental errors — remember, enforcement of the rules doesn’t change, whether a violation is committed intentionally or in error.
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Brittany is a content marketing professional with a passion for sharing innovative technologies with the world. Her goal is to empower both individuals and companies by harnessing the power of data. With over seven years’ experience in telematics and the transportation industry, Brittany continues to find compelling ways to connect with customers.