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Webinar on Hours of Service Shows the Importance of Compliance and Safety

This Tuesday and Wednesday, we held two webinars on Hours of Service and the Transition to Electronic Logging Devices. Both sessions were presented by BigRoad co-founder Terry Frey and featured Jeff Davis of Fleet Safety Services.

The Tuesday session featured BigRoad customers, Kevin and Jason from Excel Petroleum. During a brief Q&A they explained how they made the transition to electronic logbooks and how positive the driver reaction was. They also explained how they integrate BigRoad into their safety and compliance program.

1499628_736531739772981_742647809528362306_nThe Wednesday session was a special presentation for NASTC members. NASTC President, David Owen, provided a passionate introduction. He implored everyone to call his or her local congressperson to show support for the Collins Amendment that would see a change to the much-disliked 34-hour restart rule. We also heard from a NASTC member, Sherron of Doyle Sims & Sons and how cost was a major factor of them moving away from paper logs.

The attendance for the webinars was fantastic and we hope that all of you who attended found it to be insightful and informative. During these discussions we covered many issues surrounding changes to Hours of Service, the use of electronic logbooks and the FMCSA proposed ELD mandate.

We received a lot of questions about when ELDs will come into effect. As it stands at the moment the FMCSA final spec is due to be published on September 30th 2015. ELDs will be permitted from then on but will not be mandatory. By September 30th 2017 all fleets using paper logs will require ELDs. However, if you are already using a using a 395.15 compliant AOBRD you will have until September 2019 before you are required to use an ELD. To learn more about the ELD mandate and how it will affect your business we recommend to you down our e-book The ELD Mystery.

As usually happens with these things, time was a fleeting commodity. We love being involved in such a passionate community as the trucking industry and we genuinely get a thrill answering all your questions and concerns. Although we did answer as many of your questions as time permitted it was impossible to get to them all. So to make sure we get everything answered we have compiled all the outstanding questions below. If you still have any questions you would like to ask us in regards to this webinar please leave us a comment.

If you who unable to attend or would like to watch the presentations again. We have compiled a video of the two sessions. To reduce the running time we have removed the open questions periods but all the questions are covered below.

Your Hours of Service and ELD Questions:

Q. By law, do you have to have a paper copy of your last seven days of BigRoad’s logs with you or does the inspection view on big roads app cover this? – Yes, the inspection mode in BigRoad covers the past 7 and even 14 days of logs. As of July 2014, the new FMCSA Guidance states that a driver does not have to have the past 7 days of logs pre printed. They would just have to be provided when asked. So either from the device or printed on request depending on what the officer wants. To help your inspections go smoothly you can download the BigRoad driver card. This will give the officer instructions on how to use the app.

Q. If I’m using BigRoad, will I have to print a copy of the log or have there been changes to the law about providing the app to the officer? – As of the new updated FMCSA Guidance from July 2014, it is legal to provide your logs electronically, either from screen of device, by email or fax. An officer can request for a paper copy of your logs and if so you must provide a paper copy. We recommend that drivers have a printer with them so that they can quickly and easily provide a paper copy to an officer.

Q. If a driver is required to provide a hard copy can they copy the information manually to a paper logbook?  Do they have to give you time to do that? – Yes, the rules do state that an officer must give a driver time to provide a paper copy which would mean allowing a driver to copy the day down from the graph on paper.

Q. I only drive 2-3 times a week but 14-hour days; will BigRoad make the proper annotations for gaps in dates? – Just like on paper, you can fill out one off-duty log for a range of dates. The way to do that with BigRoad is to pick a day (often the day before you go back on duty) and complete that day’s log reflecting that you were off duty all day with zero miles. Fill it in and sign it, but make sure to include this key piece: In the remarks section you’ll write the dates, for example “Off Duty September 10-18”. Then you know you have all those dates completed and you don’t need to fill in any other logs in that time frame. There will still be a page for the other dates (September 10, 11, etc. in this example), but as long as you leave those completely blank, no violation warnings will show. If you start to complete a log, you need to complete it all the way, but if you leave it completely empty from the start, that’s fine. The app will assume you weren’t using BigRoad that day.

Q. Sometimes the mileage per state does not match actual miles? – The mileage per state is calculated from your devices GPS, so if you go off duty but remain in the app then your personal mileage will get recorded from the GPS and differ from what the drivers odometer mileage that they recorded.

Q. What happens when the cell towers give incorrect location of a driver? – The cell towers do not locate drivers location. It’s the GPS satellite that sends information to BigRoad regarding the drivers location.

Q. Can a driver use BigRoad now without the ELD? – Yes, BigRoad works as an electronic logbook and can be used to replace your paperlogs.

Q. If your ELD quits working what do I do? – As part of the ELD mandate you will be required to also have a backup, like paper, to record your logs.

Q. When does the electronic logs go into effect? What is difference between EOBR and ELD? Is there a deadline for using the engine-connected device or having an onboard recorder? – You can find out more information on the ELD mandate by reading our e-book The ELD Mystery Explained

Q. Can the engine-connected device be utilized by a driver who drives several trucks a week or do they have to drive the same truck each day? We rent a lot of trucks, how would we implement this technology when using rental trucks? We have a drive-away/tow-away operation that uses contractors. How can this help us? – Yes the engine-connected device can go from truck to truck and the device will recognise when you change vehicle. If you then change to a truck that does not have an engine connection you can then manually change to that truck with the app. However, as not all trucks are created the same and you may need a special adapter or cable in some trucks .

Q: What is the cost per unit? – The AOBRD is $10 per unit per month and a BigRoad subscription is $15 per unit per month. So for BigRoad with engine connection $25 per user per month total. There are no contracts to sign.

Q. Do you supply the tablet and engine connection as part of the subscription? – Yes we supply the engine connection with the BigRoad subscription. You can purchase tablets and smartphones with BigRoad pre-installed from Nexlink.

Q. Any chance determination of fault will be used to determine the results of the crash indicator scores? – This doesn’t appear to be happening. The plug was pulled on this and we don’t know of any movement from the agency to get that change.

Q. We have drivers in Alabama and have to run through Atlanta. We average 10 DOT stops per month per driver. Is there a way around these costly stops? We do not get fined but the time in itself is costly. Any ideas? – You can try out DriveWyze weigh station bypass software.

Q. What view or information does the dispatcher in the office have for the drivers signed on to the units? Is it Web based so can be view anywhere at anytime? – Yes, as long as admin sign in online at to their account, they will have access to all of their drivers and can view their current location on the map. The admin screen is best viewed on a tablet or computer.

Q. How does it eliminate F&M violations regarding pre and post trip inspections? – If the pre/post trip was not filled in correctly or wasn’t signed, then BigRoad will notify the user with a violation symbol in their logs till it if fixed.

Q. We are getting tickets for drivers not being current because they don’t use the repeat method to say again where they are. Is this legit? Does the BigRoad system automatically make it where every time they move- from one duty status to another– it shows again where they are? – Yes BigRoad records the location (city and state) at each change of duty status. With an electronic logging solution with each change in duty status the log is automatically updated so not current violations should not be an issue.

Q. Does the system automatically tell the driver or administrator when they have issues with the HOS? 14, 11, 30 minute break and the 70 hour rule? Or do you have to see it/ count it yourself? – Yes, when using BigRoad it will automatically calculate the drivers availability and both driver and administrator will be notified if a driver goes over the available on duty or drive time.

Q: Do you have a training program/module for fleet/driver training for classroom use? – Our support team provides training for you and your business. Call them at 1-888-305-877 to discuss your needs. We are also working on a new training program for 2015.

Q. Are there any phones this will not work on? Will a version of BigRoad be made for Blackberry? – BigRoad is currently available for Android (2.3.3 and up) and iOS (6 or later) phones and tablets. Demand for a BlackBerry version has been very low but we will never say never. If you have you would like to see BigRoad on other devices please fill out this form.

Q. Where can we get a copy of this presentation? – You can find a copy of BigRoad’s slides from this webinar here.