As with any change, recently enacted regulations regarding e-log systems will require a period of adjustment. Understanding the technology itself, in addition to the legal stipulations and the penalties for violating the rules, may be to a certain extent time consuming and overwhelming. With appropriate knowledge, training, and preparation, however, the transition can be made with relative ease.
The Capabilities of E-Log Technology
The primary purpose of e-log technology is to electronically track all Record of Duty information. This function encompasses a wide range of capabilities. Modern devices can monitor and record extensive information regarding vehicles and drivers. This includes:
- Hours of Service data
- Driving logs
- Inspection reports
- Routing options
- Driver behavior with regard to speeding, braking, and idling.
There are certain performance and technical standards that must be met to maintain compliance with the law. For instance, devices must be synchronized with the corresponding vehicles’ engines. This means they are connected directly to engine control modules and transmit data wirelessly. By doing so, information can be analyzed and used to identify areas that require improved performance. Lower fuel costs, regular vehicle maintenance, appropriate training of employees, and improved customer service are results of these factors.
The Expectations of the E-Log Mandate
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established regulatory requirements pertaining to the use of e-logs. These guidelines stipulate that devices should record drivers’ duty statuses as well as the length of time they are actively operating vehicles. When requested by law enforcement officials, drivers are expected to immediately turn over information for the current day and the week prior. Along with these expectations, e-log devices must record the following details to maintain compliance:
- Name of driver and any coworkers aboard the vehicle, as well as identifying information
- Duty status, such as “driving,” “off duty,” or “on duty but not driving”
- Date and time
- Location of the vehicle when duty status changes
- Distance traveled
- 24-hour period starting time, such as midnight, noon, 9 am, 3 pm
- Name, address, and other identifying information of the carrier company
- Multi-day basis for the accumulation of duty hours and driving time (7 or 8 days)
- Hours in each duty status for a 24-hour period, as well as total hours
- Vehicle identification information
- Information regarding products and materials being transported
Compliant devices must also alert drivers about driving limits, on-duty limits, and weekly work limits as they approach. These warnings must be delivered to drivers 30 minutes before reaching limits to allow an opportunity to park safely. Also, entries should only be made by relevant drivers and hard copies of records should be signed by said drivers.
To efficiently adapt to e-log mandates, truck drivers should acknowledge and understand these expectations. Drivers may prepare for these changes by exploring different log book software programs that have similar capabilities. For instance, they may practice by using platforms that allow them to input trip information, measure miles traveled per hour, identify best routes along with plausible alternatives, and they should have the ability to compile information such as fueling and maintenance expenses.
For more information about compliance with e-log mandates and available technology, contact us today.