Skip to content

Staying Ahead of the DOT Webinar Recap


The only effective way to stay ahead of the DOT is to make sure you have the confidence to pass roadside inspections. There are no shortcuts in safety and compliance – but there are things you can do to make running a compliant operation easier for you and your fleet! 

Webinar Recap
On June 30 we ran our Staying Ahead of the DOT webinar. During this webinar, BigRoad’s Matt Tonkin walked attendees through tips and best practices for making safety a part of your daily operations. Topics covered include how to eliminate log errors, vehicle maintenance, how to have a smooth inspections, and much more. Check out the recording below. 


Questions and Answers
As with all of our webinars, we open it up at the end to answer questions from attendees. We covered a number of questions during the webinar but weren’t able to get to all of them. Here are the detailed answers to the questions asked:

Q. Is BigRoad compatible with other systems?
A. BigRoad’s DashLink is designed to work with the BigRoad Mobile App. You cannot use another ELD with the BigRoad Mobile App. DashLink is a portable plug-and-play solution that is interchangeable between multiple vehicles and drivers within a fleet. If you’re an owner-operator, check with your fleet to see what they recommend you use. Some fleets want all of their drivers using the same technology, other fleets are allowing drivers to bring their own solution. 

Q. Are ELD manufactures proprietary or are logs compatible between ELDs?
A. All ELDs are proprietary meaning that you have to use a single system for your hardware and application. You cannot use one manufacturer for your mobile app and a different manufacturer for your engine connection. 

Q. How are buses impacted by the ELD mandate?
The majority of buses fall under the passenger-carrying rules requiring them to track their hours of service. As a rule of thumb, if you’re currently required to track your hours of service, chances are you’ll have to run an ELD.

However, there are a couple of exemptions that you (as a bus driver) may qualify for. If you meet any of the exemptions below, you do not need to run an ELD:

  • CDL drivers operating within a 100 air mile radius (short haul)
  • Non-CDL drivers operating within a 150 mile radius
  • Drivers who keep RODS no more than 8-days during a 30-day consecutive period
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000

Q. What are the things that most affect CSA scores for carriers?
A. Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative designed to help improve safety on our roads. CSA impacts motor carriers, including owner-operators, by identifying those with safety problem and flagging them for intervention including warnings and investigations.

Your company’s safety data is displayed online in the FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) and is updated monthly with information from roadside inspections and investigation results. SMS data is organized into 7 Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICS):

  • Unsafe Driving: Speeding, reckless driving, improper lane change, inattention, no seatbelts, etc.
  • Crash Indicator: Histories of crash involvement (not public)
  • Hours-of-Service Compliance: Non-compliance with HOS regulations including logbooks
  • Vehicle Maintenance: Brakes, lights, defects, failure to make required repairs, etc.
  • Controlled Substances/Alcohol: Use/possession of controlled substances/alcohol
  • Hazardous Materials Compliance: Leaking containers, improper packaging and/or placarding (not public)
  • Driver Fitness: Invalid license, medically unfit to operate a CMV

Carriers that have a similar number of safety events are grouped, ranked, and assigned a percentile from 0-100. The higher the percentile, the worse the performance and priority for intervention.

Q. When are eLogs going to be mandatory for all trucks?
A. We really want to stress the difference between terminology being used here as we’ve noticed quite a bit of confusion in the industry. There are HUGE differences between an eLog and an ELD:

  1. eLogs
    Electronic logs (eLogs) are just that – an electronic copy of your driver logs, replacing paper logs. eLogs are created by using an application (app) on a smartphone or tablet such as the BigRoad Mobile App. Drivers are required to manually enter information into the application. eLogs are non-engine connected.

  2. ELDs
    An electronic logging devices (ELD) is a piece of hardware that connects to the engine of the vehicle. Information is recorded and transferred via Bluetooth to an application. DashLink is an example of an ELD and is used with the BigRoad Mobile App.

If you are required to run an ELD, you have until December 18, 2017 to do so – just under a year and a half from now!

Q. Can you use a tablet with electronic logs and be compliant?
A. Yes – You can use the BigRoad Mobile App on Android and iOS (Apple) cell phones AND tablets! Just make sure your device has a wireless internet connection. 

Q. If a driver is mostly in on-duty status for the day, with minimal on-duty driving, and is asked to take a 30-minute break at the 8-hour mark – do they have to? 
A. Yes – The 8-hour break is based on on-duty time. After 8-hours of on-duty time, you need to take a 30-minute break before you can drive again. This is regardless of how much you’ve driven during the previous period. 

Q. Are ELDs mandated in Canada yet?
A. Another area of confusion here – Canada has not mandated the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs)…yet. The exact regulations, changes, and timelines have not been finalized or released. It is estimated that Canadian will need to comply by early 2018.

However, if you are a Canadian driver that is driving in the United States, you need to follow their laws. This means, unless you qualify for an exemption, you’ll need to run an ELD when driving in the U.S. as per their ELD mandate. More information can be found here.

Q. What is ELD self-certification?
A. Once an ELD manufacturer feels that their devices meets all of the requirements outlined in the ELD Final Rule, they need to self-certify it in order for it to appear on the list of registered ELDs. Outside of the self-certification – the products are not really tested or vetted to ensure compliance. However, after concerns have risen about this legitimacy of the process, the FMCSA has stepped in and has become move involved in looking at the products.

Q. Do I need data to use the BigRoad Mobile App?
A. As mentioned above, you need to have data in order to get the full functionality out of the BigRoad Mobile App. 

Getting on the path to compliance is easy with BigRoad! We have solutions that meet the needs of small and large fleets. Download the BigRoad Mobile App to your phone today for FREE and see why it’s the #1 choice for professional drivers!