Speaking at the Women in Trucking Association’s Annual Conference, LaTonya Mimms, the Transportation Specialist at the FMCSA, talked about the upcoming ELD mandate and its implementation. The conference took place in Kansas City where Mimms also encouraged drivers to use electronic logging devices before December 18, 2017.
Using ELDs Before December 18, 2017
LaTonya Mimms explained that drivers should make the most of the flexibility that the ELD mandate has granted. She said, “Drivers bracing for the upcoming electronic logging device rule should practice driving with the new units and old-fashioned paper logs.”
She told that the mandate is segmented into three phases. Phase 1 (until December 18, 2017) is the voluntary phase in which drivers can still use paper logs to record their hours-of-service.
“I encourage people to take advantage of this during Phase 1 because it gives the driver the opportunity to get used to their device … Start now. Find an ELD on the list.” she suggested.
According to Mimms, apart from getting familiar with ELDs, drivers would also be able to notice how much time they spend recording their hours on paper logs.
“They can see how much time they’re saving with their device as opposed to how much time they’re spending recording their hours on a paper log,” said Mimms.
According to an estimate by the FMCSA, drivers spend 20 hours per year filing paper logs. With the help of ELDs, drivers can save all this time and focus on driving.
Talking about ‘nominal violations’, LaTonya Mimms said, “We understand that the ELD is going to record hours of service by the nanosecond and, therefore, the driver can exceed the hours of service by a minute. It’s a violation. It’s not a serious violation; that’s why we have the nominal hours-of-service violation to keep a record of that driver going over the hours of service.”
However, if a driver continues to make small HOS violations repeatedly, the ELD would show cumulative results at the end.
“If that driver continues to go over their hours of service for 10 minutes every day, that can add up to a significant hours-of-service violation by the end of the week,” she added.
LaTonya Mimms also discussed different ELD connectivity mediums and cautioned against devices that do not use local mediums to relay information.
As you know, ELD data can be transferred via e-mail and web or local connectivity mediums, such as USB and Bluetooth connections. LaTonya Mimms suggested that drivers should consider using local devices because ELDs that solely rely on cellular networks to relay information will not work in remote areas with spotty or no cellular coverage.
The KeepTruckin ELD uses a secure Bluetooth connection to ensure 100% compliance all the time. For further reading, read Cellular vs. Bluetooth — How KeepTruckin Ensures 100% Compliance.
As LaTonya Mimms suggested, there is no time to waste.
Drivers should start using electronic logging devices as soon as possible. After December 18, 2017, the ELD mandate will become mandatory. It is best to get used to how ELDs work before the compliance deadline.
Request a free demo of the KeepTruckin ELD today. If you have any questions, call 844-325-9230 for more information.