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Webinar Recap: A Fleet Manager’s Guide to Electronic Logging Devices

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In charge of choosing an electronic logging device (ELD) for your fleet and you’re not sure where to start? Watch the recording of our webinar, A Fleet Manager’s Guide to ELDs, to learn more about ELDs, the mandate, and get answers to common questions fleet managers have about ELDs.

Webinar Recap

Find out what you need to know about ELDs by clicking the image below to watch a recording of the webinar we held on February 27, 2017.

Questions & Answers

Q. When we have a BIT inspection at our terminal, how will the officer be able to pull 6 months of records that they will need to review?
A. During a BIT inspection, the Motor Carrier Specialist will inspect a sample of regulated vehicles, maintenance records, and driver records to determine if the motor carrier is in compliance with applicable statutes and regulations.

If you’re using the BigRoad Mobile App or DashLink ELD, it’s very easy for you to pull the required information. We archive your logs and supporting documents in a central location online and you can access them by logging into the BigRoad Web App. When requested by an inspector, you can go into the Web App and pull up the necessary logs and documents. They easily export into a PDF which can be sent via email, shown on a device, or printed in hard copy.

 Q. Is BigRoad going to be fully compliant with the ELD mandate, by the mandatory compliance dates? What kind of options do you have for pickup truck and big trucks?A. BigRoad’s DashLink ELD will be fully compliant well before the ELD mandate deadline date. We are in the final stages of ensuring that our device is 100% compliant and you can expect us on the list in the coming months.

Our device currently functions as an AOBRD. If you start using DashLink now, you can continue running it as an AOBRD until December 2019 (an extra 2 years)! This gives you more time to adjust to automatic logging. You can then make the decision to switch to our ELD at anytime – it’s just a simple software download, no hardware swap out, no additional cost. 

Dashlink ELD is compatible with heavy duty trucks, motorcoaches, and other vehicles – we just need to know your pin configuration.

Q. Our drivers are within the 100 air mile radius but on occasion will be over the 11 hours driving time on a 14 hour day, but the biggest violation is because of “on duty” waiting to get loaded and unloaded.  What is a solution for this to more accurately document what is actually happening? 
A. In situations like this, accurately showing and proving your driver time can be difficult. We recommend that you continue using the BigRoad Mobile App to track your time to keep information in a central location.

If you’re over your time on a specific day, have your drivers make a note in the notes section located on their Daily Log. They can also add a picture of a loading receipt to prove how long it took. However, that ‘on-duty’ time will continue to work against you, if you are over your hours. Unfortunately, the FMCSA and DOT inspectors don’t sympathize with time overages based on waiting for loads. Encourage your drivers to try their best to manage their time and ensure that these overages don’t happen. 

Q. Can we pay for the hardware and avoid a monthly fee?
A. We do not sell our DashLink ELD hardware outright and we do not charge you for the hardware unit. With BigRoad, you get the device for free and pay a monthly subscription fee. Many vendors will charge hundreds of dollars for the unit upfront and then charge a high monthly fee. We have one of, if not the lowest, monthly subscription fee for ELDs today!

Q. How does Big Road tie into the ECM of the vehicle. I assume the driver will have an app on the phone. What is the cost for this app? Is it possible that the motor carrier can purchase the app for the drivers and only be good for the motor carrier and not interchangeable with another motor carrier if they leave and take their phone with them.
A. BigRoad’s DashLink ELD is a plug-and-play device plugs into your vehicle’s diagnostic port via a cord. It can be installed by your drivers within minutes with no permanent changes required.

The driver then pairs the DashLink ELD to their cellphone or tablet. Running the BigRoad Mobile App, the driver’s device connects to DashLink via a BlueTooth connection. For a fleet, you pay $15 per BigRoad Web App license and then $10 for every DashLink device/driver. For a single asset/single driver we charge $25 per month.

DashLink is a popular option with fleets concerned about driver retention. The BigRoad Mobile App is a download to the driver’s phone or tablet. They login to your fleet when signing into the app. If they leave your fleet, you can shutdown access and remove them from your fleet.

Q. What is the best platform for drivers operating multiple trucks?  What are the options for a company that has trucks that are not used weekly, but must remain available to be used as back-ups?  How will this affect trucks dedicated to 100 air mile routes?  
A. BigRoad’s DashLink ELD is an excellent option for drivers using multiple trucks. Your drivers can keep their logs on the BigRoad Mobile App and connect to the trucks that need to use an ELD within the App.

For trucks that do not need to be ELD compliant, they can connect to that vehicle and only track their hours for simple HOS tracking. For trucks being used as a back-up, your drivers can unplug DashLink and install it on the truck they’ll be using. This shouldn’t affect your trucks that are dedicated to 100-air mile routes.

Q. Does BigRoad have a personal conveyance allowance?
A. Yes, the BigRoad has a personal conveyance option. Your Fleet Administrator will have to turn this option on for you from the BigRoad Web App to be able to use it. This allows drivers to make small moves, such as moving their truck around the yard, without it kicking into on-duty driving and counting against your drive time.

Q. What is the average cost per truck per month for service? If truck #1 breaks down, can the driver simply unplug device and move to truck #2? 
A. For a single driver/single asset, BigRoad’s DashLink ELD costs $25 a month. DashLink is a portable device that can be moved from truck to truck. If one of your trucks breaks down, you can unplug DashLink from the broken truck and install it into another truck within minutes.

Q. We have multiple vehicles a person can drive in one day and multiple people can drive the same vehicle in same day. How do they complete their logs? Also, how do they track ‘on duty, not driving’? And what if they drive a vehicle older than 2000, thus not compatible with an ELD and then drive another vehicle later in the day that does have an ELD. How is that to be recorded?
A. The BigRoad ELD solution is very flexible. It allows drivers to move from truck to truck with ease. All they have to do is log into the BigRoad Mobile App and choose the truck/ELD they will be using.

The BigRoad Mobile App will be able to keep track of your driver’s hours and logs as they move from vehicle to vehicle. If your drivers are ‘on-duty, not driving’, they will be able to select that option within the BigRoad Mobile App.

If your driver is driving a vehicle made before 2000, they’ll be able to track their hours on the BigRoad Mobile App. When they switch to a truck with an ELD, they’ll be able to connect to it using the BigRoad Mobile App, which will carry over their logs from the previous vehicle.

Q. Has the final rule been established as of yet for electronic logs?  
A. The Final Rule was published on December 16, 2015. Drivers subject to the mandate must be ELD compliant by December 18, 2017, unless they have been grandfathered under the AOBRD rule, which point they can use those devices until December 17, 2019 .

Q. When will your ELDs be registered with FMCSA?
A. Our DashLink ELD will be registered with the FMCSA shortly.

Q. With your ELD, what is the cost per CMV per year and what is the upgrade availability?A. With BigRoad the cost per CMV is 15$ per month per user and $10 per month per ELD for a single asset/single driver. That works out to $25 a month or about $300 a year. DashLinks are easily upgraded in the field. No need to swap out hardware! They’re upgraded with a simple software download. 

Q. We have owner-operators running under our US DOT number. Are we responsible for their compliance with ELD’s?
A. If the drivers are running under your DOT number, you’re responsible for their compliance as their non-compliance will have a huge impact on your operation, affecting your safety score and insurance premiums. We’d recommend that you tell your drivers which ELD solution they should be using in order for your office staff to properly manage your drivers and their compliance.

DashLink is one of the most affordable options on the market, making it a great fit with fleets comprised of owner-operators. Some of the companies we are working with are passing the cost onto drivers while other are covering it themselves. What you do is up to you!

Q. What happens when a fleet needs to rent a vehicle?
A. If you’re using DashLink, simply plug it into the rented vehicle. It’s that easy!

Q. We have a committee of 5 exploring all the options on ELD compliance systems. Our trucks run on airport grounds and by different drivers. How does this work with your ELD? 
A. DashLink is a flexible electronic logging device that accommodates different compliance rules. Just select the rules you need to follow and BigRoad will do the rest. Drivers can move in and out of vehicles without missing a mile, by logging into the BigRoad Mobile App and connecting to the appropriate truck/vehicle.

Q. I have heard that drivers will be allowed some personal conveyance, can you clarify what the limits are as we have some drivers that live more that 2 hours from our terminal and fear that it will cut into a lot of drive time. 
A. There is no established limit for personal conveyance in the United States. According to the FMCSAThe driver who uses a motor carrier’s Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) for transportation home, and is subsequently called by the employing carrier and is then dispatched from home, would be on-duty from the time the driver leaves home.

That means your drivers will be able to drive home under personal conveyance, but driving to work may be considered ‘on-duty, driving’. We recommend including a short note everytime you use personal conveyance. Also, laden vehicles cannot be used for personal conveyance. It’s important to remember that if it looks like a driver is abusing personal conveyance, the inspector may look into it, potentially resulting in a fine. 

Q. Can the app pair with another company’s hardware?  For example, we have lease trucks that have Cyntrx already installed in them.  Can we pair the app with something like that, or would we need to use DashLink to connect to the app?
A.  The BigRoad Mobile App can be used to track your hours-of-service. However, to track ELD compliance within the BigRoad Mobile App, you will need to pair the app with BigRoad’s DashLink ELD. You cannot use the BigRoad Mobile App with another ELD provider.

Q. Can you explain the difference between the AOBRD and the ELD?
Automatic Onboard Recording Devices are similar to Electronic Logging Devices. Both devices connect to the vehicle’s engine to record data, driving time, and RODS duty status changes. 

The main differences between the two devices are that AOBRDs are less restrictive with editing and they record less information than an ELD. It’s for this reason that AOBRDs are a popular option for fleets that would like more time to adjust to the new rules. 

BigRoad’s Got Your Back

Need an ELD solution that fits your fleet? Get mandate ready with BigRoad’s DashLink ELD. Whether you manage company drivers, owner-operators, or ELD-exempt drivers, BigRoad’s DashLink ELD can easily accommodate your fleet without missing a mile. Request a demo today to see how the DashLink ELD can get your fleet on the path to compliance.