In an article published yesterday by Overdrive, Todd Dills reported that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) would be “standing up vetting process for ELD certification” after much public scrutiny over the self-certification process. What exactly does this mean and how is it going to impact drivers and fleets?
ELD Self Certification Process
Let’s start the at beginning. There seems to be little knowledge across the industry on how exactly an ELD becomes a registered ELD with the FMCSA under the mandate. It isn’t as simple as just adding your product to the website – providers are building completely new products from scratch, updating existing product offerings, and scaling their organizations to meet the demand. There’s a lot involved!
On February 16, only 60 days after the final ELD Rule was published, the FMCSA began allowing manufacturers to register and certify that their product meets the extensive technical specifications required to be a compliant ELD.
This certification process puts the onus on the ELD manufacture to self-certify that their product is compliant under “penalty of perjury”. There is no vetting done by the FMCSA outside of the initial registration – the FMCSA doesn’t test these products in detail to certify their compliance. As someone purchasing an ELD, you are taking the word of the ELD manufacturer that they’ve build a product that meets technical specification and has been thoroughly tested.
In order to be considered ELD compliant, the manufacturer must verify that their ELD:
- Meets extensive technical specifications
- Is self-certified as compliant by the provider; and
- Is registered with the FMCSA
What’s Wrong with Self-Certification?
Although many industry associations supported the self-certification process, the Ohio Trucking Association (OTA) opposed it. As outlined in the final ELD Rule (page 249), the OTA stated self-certification “would expose carriers to considerable risk. If a device is later held to be non-compliant, the carrier would have a fleet of vehicles that might need to be taken off the road”. This, along with other comments, has led to the public scrutiny of this process.
The Registered ELD List
Only three providers have self-certified and listed their ELDs on the FMCSA’s Registered ELD page since it went live in February. You’ll note that no market leaders have listed their products yet. In the Overdrive article, they reported that an official speaking on behalf of the FMCSA said
“the agency has began reviewing these product registrations, contacting each company to request further required documentation”.
The official also said that “these devices have begun receiving close scrutiny and that watchers shouldn’t be surprised to see changes to the public display of devices, with one or more of the registrants either voluntarily withdrawing pending the ability to provide further documentation or supplying more information”.
What Does This Mean for You?
According to this official, “no certification of an ELD provider will appear on the registry without the same vetting of the information prior to its public listing”. This is very good news for drivers and fleets as the FMCSA will now be involved in vetting these products before they hit the list. This has the potential to prevent ELDs that do not meet technical specifications (non-compliant) from being misrepresented to you as compliant.
The benefits of this are huge – protecting your safety score, protecting your drivers, and protecting your investment.
How BigRoad Can Help?
When choosing a compliance partner, it’s important to select a company with a strong reputation, commitment to quality, and experience in the industry. We invite you to discover BigRoad! Drivers and fleets love the solutions that BigRoad provides because everything we build was developed with their needs in mind.
You can get on the path to compliance today with DashLink – BigRoad’s ELD-ready solution. DashLink is the most affordable solution available today, with field upgradable hardware and software, to ensure you’ll be fully ELD mandate compliant well before the deadline. Request a no-obligation demo to see DashLink in action!