In 2017, a great array of truck fleets was busy making the transition from traditional paper logs to e-logs. The Phased-In Compliance started last December and it is pertinent that you stay compliant and have started the move. This will allow you to have electronic logs implemented in time for the new rule. Another reason not to overlook this matter is because drivers and motor carriers subject to that rule must utilize e-logs or Automatic On Board Recording Devices by the end of last year. So, for many fleet carriers, switching to e-logs should be in the works by now. Here’s what you need to know:
Understanding the Implementation Timeline for E-logs
The first phase involved awareness and transition. It happened over a two-year period after the ELD rule was published on February 16, 2016. During this phase, drivers and carriers were expected to prepare for compliance and voluntarily use electronic logs. Some of the records of duty status (RODS) that could be used include FMCSA-registered and self-certified e-logs, AOBRDs, logging software, and paper logs.
The second phase is the phased-in compliance phase. It started from December 18, 2017 to December 16, 2019 — a two-year period from the initial compliance date to the full compliance phase. Drivers and fleet carriers subject to the rule can use FMCSA-registered and self-certified e-logs and any AOBRDs that were installed prior to December 18, 2017.
The final phase is the full compliance phase. All fleet carriers and driver — after December 16, 2019 — subject to the rule are required to utilize self-certified electronic logs that are registered with FMCSA.
Which Type of Fleet Might Be Affected by Delays?
Recent research shows that small fleets — fleets containing less than 250 trucks — have been delaying their move to e-logging. Only less than 35% of small fleets decided to roll out electronic logging as of September 2016. If you compared this figure with the e-log implementation rate for large fleets, you can definitely see the difference. Do note that the research was conducted over a survey of over 400 carriers.
Lawsuits pertaining to electronic logging and drivers’ acceptance have been cited as some of the reasons given for the delay. If you were not aware, the OOIDA (Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association) took the e-log mandate to the Supreme Court. However, the latest development is that the rule did not violate drivers’ rights to privacy under the Fourth Amendment.
Why You Shouldn’t Delay Switching to E-logs
Some fleet owners have the impression that making the switch to e-logs will entail a costly process. However, that is not always the case. There are solutions out there that can ensure an affordable move — Btracking offers Hours of service (HOS) plans that enable your drivers to produce Electronic Driver Logs or eLogs.
These solutions also help you boost fleet efficiency and productivity, as well as provide a wide variety of benefits including invoice scanning, fuel usage monitoring, Geofencing, and more. As the number of trucking fleets making the switch continues to increase, the pros of telematics and e-logs will soon be common knowledge.