A frequently talked about topic in any trucking company is the use and maintaining of Electronic Logs. The Electronic Logging Device Rules (or ELD) were introduced in 2015 by the DOT with a compliance deadline of December 18th 2017 to “help create a safer work environment for drivers, and make it easier, faster to accurately track, manage, and share records of duty status (RODS) data.” That being said we understand that while some drivers have always used E-logs some had to transition from paper logs which may have not been an easy move. We at Epes would like to go over some helpful tips and reminders to help drivers maintain the most accurate logs possible to ensure your safety and the safety of those traveling around you.
- Educate yourself on how E-logs devices work and the DOT rules involved. Make sure that you fully understand the functionality of the device in your tractor, what it does, and how to operate it correctly.
- Read through the ELD Rules and study DOT green book, (FMCSA DOT Guide Book). Go back to the basics and truly understand what is required of you as a driver when operating a tractor both on and off the road when logging your actions.
- Understand that ANY type of work is ON DUTY time. Drivers should reflect all hooks, drops, unloads, etc. correctly as on duty regardless of whether you are driving the tractor. Adhering to the DOT standard is mandatory. “Saving hours” for driving by switching to off duty status to do these things is incorrect, illegal, and a falsification of a log.
- Be current to the last change of duty status or simply “Log it like you do it”. Whether in the sleeper taking a nap or of off duty at a truck stop getting a hot meal, make sure your updating your logs each time you transition. This will help you to maintain your logs accurately and keep yourself from getting a violation.
- Use the 2nd description line to your advantage by making remarks in the appropriate places.
- If your E-logs go down call and report the outage to safety immediately. Remember that even if your e-logs are down your QUALCOMM 90% of the time is still working to transmit any needed info to keep you up to date so be smart and use it to your advantage.
- Communicate! If you need assistance ask for it. If you’re confused about a practice or policy as questions and get help. Your safety department is always more than willing to help you learn or understand anything dealing with safety practices and requirements. You are the only person who can maintain logs while on the road, so give yourself the advantage to do so accurately.
Understand that DOT officers, highway patrol, Police officers, etc. are all trained to know and understand the laws and requirements set forth by the DOT including logs standards as should you. Remember that any falsification of a log is illegal and against the company and FMCSA standards. They can result in fine, license suspensions, license revocations, and possibly jail time. Keep yourself safe, compliant, and informed.
…And as always safe travels everyone!