Although electronic logging devices (ELDs) have been federally required for most trucks for over three years, some companies and truck drivers still aren’t using them properly, if at all. This results in problems and even fines during traffic stops and inspections. This guide outlines some of the most common issues drivers encounter with their logging devices.
4 Common ELD Violations & How to Avoid Them
1. Failure to Use an FMCSA-Compliant Device
While you might think that any electronic logging device would be enough, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict requirements for what types of devices qualify. To avoid getting stuck paying fines, verify whether each route requires an ELD, as most of them do. Then, ensure that your device meets all the regulations. Saving money on a cheaper ELD could cost you much more in the long run.
2. Lack of Documentation
All drivers are required to keep documentation for their ELD in the cab at all times. This includes a user’s manual, instructions for data transfer and malfunction reporting, and a paper log to keep records in if the ELD stops working. It’s best to keep these documents secured in the same place so that you always know where everything is when dealing with the authorities.
3. Improper Mounting
If you use a portable ELD for your routes, it’s crucial to always keep it properly mounted. Failure to maintain proper mounting may result in fines. Luckily, this one is easy to comply with. Just make sure that the ELD has a fixed mount that’s always visible to the truck driver while seated. It may be tempting to toss the ELD into the passenger seat or put it in a cupholder, but doing so puts your route at risk.
4. Incomplete or False Logs
If the ELD registers that the truck is in use while no authorized driver is logged into the software, it will save the data to an unidentified account. This measure is in place to ensure that companies aren’t falsifying hours of service and protect truck drivers from unsafe working conditions. However, it can cause problems for a driver who frequently forgets to log in. If unassigned driving hours are uncovered during an audit, you could face fines and charges of falsified logs. Avoid this by making a habit of reviewing logs with your company and verifying your hours on the road.
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