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Webinar Recap: The Top ELD Myths Uncovered

ELD Facts or Fiction

We’re less than 18 months away from the effective date of the ELD mandate. Commercial drivers in the United States will soon be required to use an electronic logging device (ELD) to create their driver logs. 

With the mandate so close, we’ve decided that we need to address some of the myths making their rounds. In our recent webinar we separate fact from fiction when it comes to the ELD mandate. Watch the recording below and see answers to all of the questions we received during the webinar. 

Questions From the Webinar

Q. Do you have to have ELDs for short haul operations?  
A. No – Short haul operations are exempt from the ELD Mandate. If you are operating following the rules of a short haul exemption (395.1 (e)) then you are exempt from using ELDs. A complete breakdown of exemptions can be found here.

Q. Do non-CDL trucks require an ELD?
A. If they are being driven in a way that would require the driver to maintain a record of duty status (RODS) log then yes they will require an ELD provided they do not fit another exemption.

Q. What is the difference between ELD and AOBRD?
Both ELDs and AOBRDs are standards of engine connected logs. The ELD Mandate which was released in December 2015 set ELDs as the standard which will be mandatory after December 2017.

Q. Is a fuel stop to be 15 minutes or actual fuel time? Example: 10 min to fuel. 
A. Keeping logs in 15 minute intervals is a process that has come out of using paper logs where it can be difficult to draw accurate lines or note the exact time one changed duty status. With electronic logs, these status changes are made in real time so they will have a greater accuracy than paper logs.

Q. Will this track IFTA as well?
A. BigRoad allows you to create mileage reports based on your jurisdictions that can be used for IFTA filing.

Q. Is it a maximum of 11 hours of driving with another 3 hours of duty time? Or may a driver drive 14 hours straight before stopping for the day?
A. When referring to U.S. interstate property carriers, drivers have 11 hours of available drive time to fit into a 14 hour shift. So they cannot continue driving once 11 hours of drive time has accumulated. They must also take a 30 minute break after 8 hours of on-duty time.

Q. Will the ELD record a truck as “driving” if it is sitting idle with the engine running?
A. The truck will not be placed into driving status until movement is recorded from the device.

Q. What if during most 30-day periods a driver does not drive outside the air-radius but does in other 30-day period –  can the driver go back and forth between ELDs and no ELDs?A. Yes – Drivers can use ELDs when required and not use ELDs when not required. This may cause some confusion though and it may be preferable for a driver to continue using ELDs at all times.

Q. We have crews that work outside the 100 air-mile radius of home base for extended period of time (up to years). Do they have to ELD every day if they are within 100 air miles of their job site?
A. Rule 395.1 (e)(i) states: “The driver operates within a 100 air-mile radius of the normal work reporting location;”.  So there is some room for interpretation here. If they are working out of the same location for over a year, this would seem to qualify as a normal work location.

Q. Does the BigRoad system include a map of all drivers in a fleet?
A. Yes – Fleet admins can access a real-time map with GPS locations of active drivers. 

Q. Is it a 11 hours of drive time or 10 hours?
This depends on whether or not you are a property or passenger carrier. Also note that different jurisdictions have different hours of service regulations as well. Always confirm you are following the proper rule set for your jurisdiction and operation.

Q. With ELD do you have to have instructions on board on how to use it and do you have to have a secondary backup log?
You will be required to have an informational piece that will explain to the officer how to use that particular ELD. It is recommended that drivers keep spare paper logs in case of a device malfunction, drivers will be able to keep paper logs for a reasonable time until their ELD is fixed. 

Q. May you please repeat what BigRoad costs are for a per driver and per vehicle subscription for ELDs?
BigRoad has a $15/month license fee and a $10/month DashLink rental. In most situations this works out to about $25/month for each driver. These prices are in USD.

Q. Please elaborate on the 2 years extension of the engine connection mandate for those existing ELD users.
For those who begin using an AOBRD (not ELD) system prior to the ELD effectiveness date, they may continue using the AOBRD system for an additional 2 years (December 2019). Since AOBRDs are also an engine-connected log, this means they will still be using an engine connected system. 

Q. For passeneger carriers, does the 15 hour duty rule run continuously even if you log off duty?
Passenger carriers on-duty time operates differently from property carrier in that off-duty time during a shift does not count towards the 15 hours.

Q. Will the administrator be able to see documented record of vehicle speed?
BigRoad shows the current heading and speed of vehicles in the admin portal.

Q. How long are logs to be kept in the home office and can they be kept in data format or should they be converted to paper.
Carriers must maintain an archive of logs ready for an audit for 6 months plus the current month. BigRoad relieves the headache in this by creating a digital archive. The auditor may prefer documents printed which can be done by printing from PDF log files.

Q. What data does the ELD use to judge driving activity?
The system uses a combination of information to determine drive time including vehicle speed, transmission state, and GPS data among other information.

Q. Are you currently approved on the FMCSA website?  If not, when do you expect to be approved?
A. The FMCSA does not actually approve any ELDs. The current system is a self certification in which the company declares themselves compliant with no oversight. Because BigRoad wants to be certain of full compliance before we claim so on the FMCSA website, we are waiting until the FMCSA has provided all of the tools necessary to do so. For more information on this subject please read our recent blog post. 

Q. Our fleet and driver pool is a blend of people and equipment who do/do not qualify for the 100 mile rule.  What are the benefits of using an ELD for all of our drivers?
One of the main benefits you’ll find is being able to see all of your fleet in one spot. BigRoad supports local area exemptions and having your driver’s shift start and end times is still a requirement for carriers. With BigRoad you can keep these records where you keep all of your logs.

Q. Can administrators track the vehicle (like a GPS system) and see current and past HOS usage and available hours?
A. Yes – All of that information, and a whole lot more, is available to you with BigRoad. You can see it all by starting a free trial.

Q. Can drivers send documents through the system?
Yes – Drivers can send documents to their dispatch using the messaging feature. This will also allow documents to be time stamped and act as a supporting document for logs.

Q. Is there a line 5 AKA personal conveyance line duty status available in BigRoad?
Yes – BigRoad does allow for the use of personal conveyance with the ELD.

Q. Will phone applications be acceptable ELDs?
A. Not on their own. An important part of the ELD Mandate is that the logs are connected to the engine. This is why BigRoad has DashLink (our engine-connection system).

Q. Since we are home every night (day-cab driver) and only on a 60/hr work week,  are we going to still be required to have the eLog device?
This depends on how you drive. If you are staying within the local area exemption then you won’t be required to have one. Please note that just because your vehicle is not equipped with a sleeper it does not mean that you are exempt from ELDs.

Q. Our drivers are field mechanics that drive to job sites to work on heavy machinery (ex. Wheel Loaders, Excavators, etc.). Could you touch on the specific regulations for them or are they just thrown into the same group as full time over the road drivers? It seems to me that since the biggest majority of their jobs is out of the truck then there should be different rules.
A. Unfortunately, the same rules will apply to them as well. If the worksites fall within the local area exemption they won’t have to use ELDs.

Q. Who needs to run an ELD and who is exempt?
A. The general rule of thumb is, if you currently have to maintain logs for your record of duty status, you will need an ELD. There are some exemptions to this rule including occasional drivers, driveaway/towaway operations and pre-2000 vehicles.

Q. I’ve been told by drivers that have used ELDs at other companies, that once you tap in you are on the clock  (14-hrs) whether you tap out for off duty or not. I have had four drivers tell me this. Is it true?
Yes – This is true and it is not exclusive to ELDs. For most property carrier drivers, it is best to think of the 14-hour rule as a window of time in which to complete your shift. Off-duty time does not extend this window unless you are using the split sleeper method. If you have been extending your days by taking off duty time throughout the day you may be in violation of hours of service regulations.

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