With the April 1, 2018 compliance deadline looming just 2 weeks away there is definitely a mad scramble of carriers trying to get ‘legal’. On April 1, drivers and trucks will be put out-of-service if they fail to have a functioning, compliant ELD or AOBRD.
We’ve been tracking the growth and diversity of ELD systems for 2 years. In March of 2017, we had 34 ELD Providers in our catalogue. Currently there are now 330 self certified systems on the FMCSA system. That explosion of Providers has made the problem of finding one that fits your needs even harder.
The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association) has made it clear that not only do you need a compliant device, you have to know how to use it properly. Many drivers are still asking questions about their ELD system. Foremost is the connectivity issue between the device and the ECM module.
In speaking with several ELD Providers, this is their major concern. Most systems work via bluetooth technology. That’s great if you have a current smartphone or tablet. Unfortunately many drivers who have to use their own phones, are using older models where the bluetooth module is several generations behind. That causes significant problems for the continuity of the duty log. When the signal from the device can’t ‘talk to it’, and vice versa, the ELD record can be corrupted, causing gaps in the records.
Another area of concern is the inspectors’ knowledge of what defines an AOBRD. They’ve been grandfathered till 2019, but there is no certification process to verify their functionality. Drivers running an AOBRD would be well advised to be prepared to explain the details of their unit and how it functions.
Good Luck out there.