OOIDA Foundation ELDs
Despite the best efforts of various industry groups and organizations, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate went into effect December 18, 2017. Make no mistake, OOIDA and the OOIDA Foundation (OOFI) remain adamantly opposed to the ELD rule and will continue to fight for its delay and ultimately, its repeal. It is imperative for truck drivers to contact their local and congressional representatives if we are to succeed. Please visit FightingForTruckers.com today to contact your representative.
Nevertheless, it is critical that small business owners and professional truck drivers are informed on the variety of ELDs currently available on the market. For this reason, OOFI has researched the assortment of ELD products, termed “solutions,” located on FMCSA’s website and has formulated a list of questions to consider if an individual is seeking to purchase an ELD from a provider. OOFI has also created a table ELD Solutions (below) detailing general information such as cost, type of device, and features about the various products, as well as a table ELD Issues (below) listing the problems that OOIDA members’ have experienced with their ELD solutions. OOFI encourages individuals to utilize these tools in order to make the best decision for their business.
|Category||Questions and Concerns|
|BYOD||If you are using a “bring your own device” (BYOD), solution without a printer, it is important to be aware that an authorized safety official can request your ELD. Thus they have access to your smartphone or tablet and all the information contained therein. For privacy, it may be best to purchase a separate smartphone or tablet to be exclusively used as the ELD.|
|A BYOD solution allows you to purchase and/or utilize your own hardware for the driver interface, such as a smartphone or tablet. The ELD provider will then ship a “dongle” to be plugged into the onboard diagnostics port which pairs to the smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth connection or USB. While this provides for a simple installation, it is important to understand the pros and cons of BYOD. Be sure to ask the provider for this information. Additionally, it is imperative that you ask if the BYOD is compatible with Android or iOS.|
|In regards to BYOD solutions, some providers offer support for data plans in regards to ruggedized tablets, meaning a tablet that is locked to only run the ELD software. This should be a consideration when selecting an ELD as well as an important question for the ELD provider. For example, if you decide to use your own smartphone or tablet, will you need a bigger and more expensive data plan or will this be included in the cost of the ELD.|
|BYOD solutions can be more prone to connectivity issues because they rely upon cellular and Bluetooth connections. Some providers offer a USB-connection option that allows for direct plugin versus Bluetooth pairing for speedier data transfer. Additionally, this option allows for continuous battery charging. It is important to understand that any ELD which pairs software on an individual’s phone with an engine-connected device could be problematic in areas with spotty to nonexistent cell coverage. This is an important consideration when purchasing an ELD.|
|Compliance||If you operate across the border, it is important to ask if the provider allows for both U.S. and Canadian HOS compliance. Moreover, some solutions automatically switch HOS rules when you cross the border while others require manual input, it is important to know what each solution does.|
|WiFi and GPS are simply unavailable in certain parts of the country. It is important to ask if the system will still be able to record data offline, such as engine power status, vehicle’s motion status, miles driven value, and engine hours value when the CMV’s engine is powered, and upload it later once connection is reestablished. If the ELD does not, then it does not satisfy the mandate.|
|Does the ELD solution record unidentified driver time? An ELD must associate all non-authenticated operation of a CMV with a single ELD account, which is labeled “unidentified driver.” If a driver does not log onto the ELD, as soon as the vehicle is in motion, the ELD must: (1) provide a visual or visual and audible warning reminding the driver to stop and log in to the ELD; (2) record accumulated driving and on-duty, not-driving time under the unidentified driver profile; and (3) not allow entry of any information into the ELD other than a response to the login prompt. If an ELD solution does not adhere to this, it is not in compliance with the mandate. Thus it is imperative to understand how the provider will account for unidentified driver time.|
|Regardless of what a provider might claim, data transfer has yet to be tested at the roadside and FMCSA’s Web Services portal is not yet operational. Thus an ELD must either meet the display or printing requirement in order to satisfy the mandate. When considering the display requirement, an ELD must be designed so that its display may be viewed by an authorized safety official without entering the CMV. However, the ELD may be passed outside of the vehicle if untethered from its mount. This is important to consider when deciding between a smartphone or a tablet.|
|Cost||Most products offer additional features beside electronic logging, such as IFTA reporting, diagnostic data, etc. It is important to ask what features are offered and if they are included in the price.|
|Please be aware that some ELD providers require multi-year commitments, which occasionally come with a price reduction, while others are strictly month to month. It is imperative that you find the option that works best with your business model. Are there potential discounts that come with commitments? What are the drawbacks to a long-term commitment? It is also important to understand that there are vendors that offer ELDs with no reoccuring costs such as VDO Roadlog.|
|Some venders will allow you to participate in a free trial, this might be a good option to consider and ask for.|
|Some vendors such as BigRoad and KeepTruckin, offer BYOD logs with engine connections to function as AOBRDs at a cheaper price. If an AOBRD is purchased before the December 18, 2017 deadline, it may be utilized until December 2019. This could be a cheaper option to consider.|
|Other||While most ELD systems attempt to be as simple as possible, it is good to ask questions concerning training and 24/7 support. Additionally, if the provider does offer such assistance, does it have an extra cost?|
|It is important to understand if the ELD solution you are considering offers satellite or cellular GPS, as satellite GPS will provide better coverage for when you are driving in areas without cellular coverage.|
|Security||What is the level of cybersecurity offered? An ELD is an Internet of Things (IoT) device, which has seen increased attacks over the past few years. With an ELD plugged directly to the electronic control module (ECM), attackers could possibly gain access to certain functions of a truck or obtain data and information.|
|Taxes||Many providers offer IFTA and IRP reporting features, however there are differing standards between what ELDs capture and what data IFTA and IRP reporting need. For more information on the differences read NATSA’s white paper. It is important to understand if the ELD solution can truly record the necessary data.|
|While many providers offer IFTA and IRP reporting features, these features are not always comparable. For example, does the provider allow you to submit IFTA and IRP reports through their software or does it simply capture the necessary data for you to fill out the report manually?|
While the following ELD products are listed on FMCSA’s certified list, it is important to note that the Agency does not certify any ELD. Most of the companies who have self-certified are re-sellers, thus they are not retailing their own unique ELD product. Though 55 re-sellers are actually marketing VisTracks’ product, not all products and vendors are created equal. The following table is to help provide the owner-operator with as much general information concerning the various ELD solutions as possible. – View Table
Since the implementation date, OOIDA has received a number of correspondences from members who have encountered various problems with their ELD solutions. It is important to note however that the volume of these complaints are directly related to the number of devices being sold within the trucking industry. While these issues have not been independently verified by the OOIDA Foundation, we have provided the following table for informational purposes and not as an endorsement or disincentive toward any particular device.
In addition to the various technical issues associated with ELDs, OOIDA is continuing to monitor state enforcement activities. In order to gather data and information, OOIDA has established a dedicated email for members to send in copies of tickets that they receive via roadside inspections related to ELD violations. When sending in copies of your tickets, OOIDA asks you include your contact information including email address and telephone number. Tickets can be emailed to ELD@OOIDA.com.
|BigRoad Inc||BigRoad DashLink ELD | Fleet Complete ELD||
|Gorilla Fleet Safety, LLC||Various Devices||
|Help Inc||PrePass ELD||
|J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.||Various Devices||
|KeepTruckin, Inc.||KeepTruckin ELD||
|Rand McNally||ELD 50||
|Stoneridge Inc.||Stoneridge EZ-ELD||
|Transflo-Pegasus Transtech||Transflo ELD||
|Zed Connect Inc||ZED ELD powered by Cummins||
- Reconstruct the record of duty of status for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 days in accordance with §395.8 unless the driver already has them or they are retrievable from the ELD.
- Continue to use paper logs until the ELD is fixed.
- Make every possible concise effort to correct the malfunction, document each malfunction and every effort made to correct it.
- If the unit will not be repaired or functional within eight days by the fifth day you need to file an extension request with the FMCSA Division Administrator in the state where your principal place of business is located. To create your extension request click here.
- When filing an extension request make sure to include the following in the letter you send to your FMCSA Division Administrator:
- The name of the motor carrier, address, phone number and DOT #.
- Make, model and serial number of the ELD.
- Attach the documentation with each malfunction and everything you did to try to correct the malfunction
- The date when the carrier feels the ELD will be fully functional again.
- A representative of the motor carrier must sign the request.
- You can find a list of the Divisional Administrators on FMCSA’s website https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/mission/field-offices
- OOIDA recommends faxing the request to the appropriate field office as well as mailing a copy. Be sure to provide documentation of each malfunction and your steps to correct it. If you would like to file an ELD malfunction extension request by email, please submit your extension request to ELD-Extension@dot.gov
- Make sure to keep a copy of your extension request and documentation in the truck until you receive the determination from FMCSA.
- Prior to granting the extension FMCSA may ask for more information, like date of purchase or proof of purchase.
- FMCSA may also contact the ELD manufacture to confirm ELD malfunctions
- Once a decision is made, FMCSA will provide written notice to the motor carrier of its determination.
- If FMCSA grants the extension, you must keep a copy of the letter in the truck in which the ELD is malfunctioning as well as a copy in the office.
- OOIDA had to file an extension and it took three days to receive a determination back
Things to know during a malfunction:
§395.34(b) Inspections during malfunctions. When a driver is inspected for hours of service compliance during an ELD malfunction, the driver must provide the authorized safety official the driver’s records of duty status manually kept as specified under paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) of this section.
§395.34(c) Driver requirements during ELD data diagnostic events. If an ELD indicates that there is a data inconsistency that generates a data diagnostic event, the driver must follow the motor carriers and ELD provider’s recommendations in resolving the data inconsistency.