The trucking industry in the US is growing (more than 80% of all cargo is moved by trucks and the total number of people employed in trucking businesses exceed 7mln). At the same time, trucking remains heavily regulated as the Federal Motor Carrier Administration is working to reduce the number of accidents involving commercial vehicles. Each new piece of legislation affects existing businesses as fleet owners and drivers need to make sure their operations comply with most recent regulations.
As of december 18, 2017 a new Electronic logging device (ELD) mandate took effect. All drivers and carriers who are found non-compliant with this mandate will be subject to penalties. In the past certain businesses were logging work hours in paper logbooks, but now they all will have to switch to electronic records.
This change in laws drives a need for software applications that together with special hardware devices can be used as a part of hour-logging system. Before we explain what kind of apps might help trucking businesses comply with updated regulations let's look into who has to comply with this new regulation.
Which trucking businesses are required to comply with new ELD regulations in 2018?
All trucking companies whose drivers have been recording their working hours using paper logbooks will now have to switch to ELD records. ELD is a laptop, smartphone or a tablet that contains special software that automatically records drivers' hours of service. ELD has to be synchronised with the commercial motor vehicle and should meet technical specifications described in the ELD mandate.
Who will be exempt from complying with 2018 ELD mandate?
Drivers operating vehicles that were produced before 2000;
Drivers with commercial licences (CDL drivers) who operate within 100 air miles of their daily starting location;
Drivers (non-CDL) who operate within 150 air miles of their starting location.
E-logging app development: what you need to know about hardware and software that make your businesses compliant with new regulations.
Let's look at the underlying technological requirements before making the decision to develop a trucker logbook app.
Logbooks and HOS Logging Devices
A traditional paper logbook is a notebook, with a time grid on every page dividing the 24-hour day into 15-minute segments.
E-logging software allows drivers to generate a Record of Duty Status and submit the record with an electronic signature. This type of e-logging software doesn’t provide a connection to a truck’s engine, but rather relies on a driver’s manual input of HOS information.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELD), on the other hand (as opposed to “e-logging” software), can record a driver’s compliance with HOS requirements more effectively than paper logbooks because they are linked by hardware. ELD devices also provide drivers and dispatchers with other benefits, reducing paperwork, helping drivers avoid financial penalties under the CSA program (Compliance, Safety, Accountability), and keeping dispatchers up-to-date on a driver’s status. Here is a list of types of ELD hardware devices that are currently available on the market:
Automatic On-board Recording Devices (AOBRD) connect to the engine and record driver HOS information that can be shared with dispatchers. AOBRD devices can also produce a driver’s HOS chart upon demand.
Fleet management systems provide a robust suite of different applications from GPS fleet tracking to messaging and fuel monitoring. Fleet management systems also includes an AOBRD component.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) are the future for long-haul truck drivers. They synchronize with a truck’s engine to capture power status, motion status, miles driven, and engine hours. The ELD dataset includes date, time, location, engine hours, vehicle miles, as well as identification data on driver, vehicle, and motor carrier.
As of 2018-2019, authorities may request access to Records of duty status through by data transfer.
An ELD must be able to either:
Transmit data using wireless Web services and email, or
Transfer data locally using a thumb or flash drive (USB2.0) and Bluetooth.