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Tips to Pass Your Next Inspection Webinar Recap

Having trouble passing roadside inspections? Not sure where you should start to help your fleet (drivers and office staff) improve their results? Check out a recap of our Tips to Help You Pass Your Next Inspection webinar that was held last week! 

Webinar Recap

Click the image below to access a recording of our Tips to Help You Pass Your Next Inspection webinar held on September 22, 2016:


Questions & Answers

Q. When does the inspector have the right to enter my vehicle? Can they do this?
Yes – Inspectors have the right to enter any federally regulated vehicle. Entering a vehicle is at the discretion of the inspector. Most of the time, the inspector doesn’t want to actually enter your vehicle. When they do enter, they likely have probable cause – they see something that causes concern. This can include a suspicious items or a controlled substance out in the open.

Q. I’m moving to a new (smaller) company and manual logs. I’ve never done manual logs for real – what do I need to be aware of?
A.  I’m assuming that you’re talking about paper logs. My first recommendation is if you’re more comfortable with electronic logs – tell your company and see if you’re able to continue doing them. For their end, there really isn’t much of a difference. Electronic logs are actually a lot nicer for them to review and keep track of. Plus if you use the BigRoad Mobile App it’s FREE! 

The two types of logs translate pretty similarly. With electronic logs you get notifications and preloaded rules from the device. With paper, you’re responsible for tracking this yourself which leaves a lot of room for error. Additionally you need to make sure all the markings (lines) and calculations are correct. 

Make sure you’re up-to-date on the rules and regulations (especially the ones we talked about during this webinar). Watch out for state and regional specific rules also. It all comes down to making sure you’re filling out the required fields accurately and legibly. Another option, which a lot of people do, is keep elelectronic logs and then transcribe them onto paper. This way you get the benefits of the notifications and rules. 

Q. How does the FMCSA figure out CSA scores?
A. We did touch on this during the webinar, but as a quick recap. Safety data appears in the FMCSA’s safety management system (SMS). This is updated once a month with the information that is collected from your roadside inspections – both driver and vehicle violations, crash reports from the last two years, and investigation results. The SMS looks at the number of violations and inspections, the severity of violations or crashes, when the violations occurred with recent events being weighted more heavily, the number of vehicles you operate and the number of miles you travel. Violations are then organized into the seven behavior analysis and safety improve categories. The SMS groups carriers by each BASIC with other carriers that have a similar number of safety events so crashes, inspections and violations and then ranks the carries in the group and assigned a percentile from 0 to 100. The higher the percentile, the worse the performance, and your prioritization for intervention increases.

As you can see there are a number of a factors involved in calculating your score. It’s not easy to figure out. I encourage you to visit the CSA website. There are a number of more detailed downloads available to help you understand it. While you’re on the site, look up your results. I find seeing them can make this a lot easier to understand!

Q. Are eLogs going to be mandatory next year?
A couple of things to cover here. There is still confusion about what an eLog (electronic log)is and what an ELD (electronic logging device) is.

An eLog is an electronic version of a paper log – these can be created by using programs like the BigRoad Mobile App. They do not connect to the engine of the vehicle. They require the driver to manually enter information into the app. They have been around for a number of years.

An ELD or electronic logging device is a piece of hardware that connects directly to the engine of the vehicle and automatically records information. Our version of this is the BigRoad DashLink. The information collected is sent via a BlueTooth connection to an application on the phone so that the driver can view it. However, the driver does not enter information into an app – it is all automatic. This is what is being mandated by the government to help prevent tampering and falsification of logs.

Under the ELD mandate, all CMVS must have an AOBRD or ELD installed by December 18, 2017 to be compliant. If you are running an AOBRD you are grandfathered through to December 16, 2019 with that device but would need to upgrade to an ELD after that. After December 18, 2017 only ELDs can be installed. So you can’t go back and get an AOBRD and take advantage of the 2 additional years of grace.

If you are exempt from the mandate, you don’t need to run an ELD, but you do still need to keep logs – be it paper or electronic. As almost everyone will be running and AOBRD or ELD we highly recommend that you get off of paper and onto an electronic log as this is what enforcement agents are going to be comfortable with and trained on.

Q. Who is exempt from the ELD mandate?
A. We covered this on a recent BigRoad Blog post – check it out here for more detailed explainations. 
Here are the groups that are exempt from the ELD mandate:

  • Drivers who are not currently required to keep records of duty status (RODS) including short-haul drivers within the 100-air mile radius
  • Drivers who keep RODS no more than 8-days in a 30-day consecutive period 
  • Driver for driveaway-towaway operations where the vehicle being driven is part of the shipment
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000 (1999 and older)

How BigRoad Can Help

BigRoad offers a wide range of solutions that can help you get your fleet on the path to compliance. Get started by downloading the BigRoad Mobile App and improving your hours-of-service (HOS) management with the #1 electronic logging solutions for Android and iOS devices.