- Joe DeLorenzo, director of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Office of Compliance and Enforcement, is urging fleet operators to start planning for the switch to electronic logging devices (ELDs) as early as possible. "This, in my opinion, is the most difficult phase of the whole implementation," said DeLorenzo at the recent Omnitracs Outlook conference, as reported by Fleet Owner.
- For companies who may be on the edge of the mandate's requirements, DeLorenzo encourages drivers to make the switch to an ELD sooner than later. He noted that this would help eliminate any confusion on the provision that drivers won't have to keep logs for more than eight days during a rolling 30-day period.
- DeLorenzo also noted that if companies plan to continue using paper as a back-up log, they should decide which log will be the primary source to show law enforcement officials during stops. Qualifying ELD devices must have the ability to print out information or be detached for officers to review.
Any new fleet rule that requires this type of technology shift will require a transition period. This rule has been further complicated by the fact that some ELDs still haven't been federally certified. Though if fleet operators are currently using or choose to install automatic on-board recording devices as of December, they will get an additional two years to become compliant with the ELD rule.
As noted by the FMCSA, the goal is to make it easier for drivers to track their hours of services and show documentation to officers as smoothly as possible during any stops. The American Trucking Associations is supportive of the rule and has reported that ELDs are a notable part of the safety technology investments being made by fleet operators.
For long-distance drivers in the waste industry that may see their schedules shift due to changes in volume and weather, this FMCSA rule is particularly relevant. Leading up to December, it will be important for companies to begin planning ahead if they haven't already and start consulting with industry experts to ensure compliance.