What To Look for in an ELD
82% — that’s the percentage of owner-operators that have yet to use any form of an electronic logbook for their operation, according to Overdrive’s 2016 survey. We get it — there’s a lot to consider as everyone makes this transition. That’s why we want to help you find the best ELD on the market, and ideally, one that’s going to perform well for you over time and through the long haul. Support and compliance are two main factors when deciding what to look for in an ELD.
So, if you’re still looking for the best ELD on the market or looking for a replacement from a bad purchasing decision during the original ELD transition, we are here to help you think about two long-term considerations that every high-quality ELD should either have in place or on their ELD development roadmap as they grow.
In the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) final rule for using ELDs, they specified that there’s an eight-day timeframe for repairing or replacing a malfunctioning ELD. What does that mean for drivers and motor carriers? That means that you should find out if your preferred ELD provider can meet this quick turnaround time. Ask if they stock the necessary hardware, as well as how replacements and repairs are handled. If more than eight days are needed for carriers to replace an ELD, the final rule’s process involves contacting your state’s FMCSA division office.
More importantly, when evaluating ELD support, does your ELD provider answer the phone when you call? Where is the support located? Are they in your same time zone, better yet, are they located in the same country or continent as you? It is important to trust the people you are working with to know that they have the your best interest in mind.
2. FMCSA Registry and Compliance
Compliant ELDs are technically supposed to be on the FMCSA’s registry of devices. But, the current process for testing for compliance is basically based on manufacturers self-certifying that their ELD meets the technical specifications of the ELD rule and is compliant. If this sounds a little too simple or worrisome to you, you’re not alone, as many motor carriers fear that, if not already registry-compliant, their preferred ELD will later be found to be non-compliant — and therefore, a waste of time and resources. Furthermore, ELD vendors are not required to notify motor carriers if their device is later found to be non-compliant and is, thereby, removed from the FMCSA’s ELD registration list.
Your safest bet is to partner with a registry-listed ELD from the beginning, or at least ask the ELD vendor about eventual plans to meet ELD compliance — and then continue to check the FMCSA’s revoked ELDs list. Creating, maintaining, or at least making plans for eventual compliance is a safer way to find a product that aims to support its products well into and beyond the 2019 enforcement date. (Note that motor carriers subject to the ELD rule must use ELDs by December 18, 2017, whereas those using grandfathered Automatic On-board Recording Devices (AOBRD) must switch to ELDs no later than December 18, 2019.)
Current ELD compliance is obviously ideal. However, if your chosen ELD is found to be non-compliant or doesn’t really have plans to become compliant, the FMCSA does plan to work with you to create a reasonable timeframe to replace the non-compliant ELD with an ELD that meets requirements. Also, keep in mind that “devices that are not certified and registered with the FMCSA must [at least] meet the definition of an Automatic Onboard Recording Device or the requirement in §395.8 in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.”
The My20 ELD app from Konexial (available in Android and iOS) is designed to help you make the most of your ELD by harnessing edge computing technology, and GPS data — and that includes supporting you, the driver or fleet, and maintaining ELD compliance. We are already on the FMCSA registry (see page 22), and we are dedicated to creating products and services that align with our core values. We are passionate about innovating a better future for the transportation industry, and everything we do is for the purpose of improving your earning potential, reducing empty miles, creating a community, and encouraging drivers.
Contact us to learn more about our ELD support system and our future plans for powering America’s drivers.