AOBRD to ELD: The Fleet Manager’s Final Checklist for Full Compliance

November 14, 2019


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Is your fleet navigating the FMCSA emergency COVID-19 HOS suspension? Read our FAQ to learn what the new rules are, if they apply to your fleet, and how to adjust your operations to stay compliant.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) final ELD mandate deadline is fast approaching on December 16, 2019. Is your fleet ready? 

To help make sure your fleet is prepared to make the switch from automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) to electronic logging devices (ELDs), we've created a final checklist for training your drivers and back-office staff.

Driver training checklist

To help your drivers make a seamless transition to ELDs, here are a few things to consider ahead of the December compliance deadline:  

1. Driver app fundamentals

Make sure drivers are set up for success with the right login credentials, clear instructions on when and how to sign in and out, and how to correctly log Hours of Service. To avoid log assignment mistakes, drivers should also know how to confirm that they have selected the correct vehicle when signing in at the beginning of the trip.

This series of short videos—in English and Spanish—can help your drivers quickly get up to speed on how to use the Samsara Driver App to meet compliance requirements.

2. Log edits, reviews, certification, and annotations 

Drivers are required to certify and submit their own logs with ELDs—a major departure from AOBRDs, which only allowed admins to edit or submit logs. Because drivers are responsible for the accuracy of their own driver logs, they should know how to make appropriate edits or annotations and review log suggestions from management. To help drivers learn how to manage their logs, show them how to navigate to the HOS screen in the Samsara Driver App where they can edit different segments of duty statuses or add a comment to provide more information about a certain status time.

3. DOT roadside inspection steps 

Communicate to drivers what they should know ahead of a DOT inspection as well as which materials they should have prepared in-cab. The ELD mandate requires that each vehicle has two documents—a user manual and driver instruction sheet—available at all times. The FMCSA also recommends that drivers keep eight days of blank paper logs in their cabs at all times, in case of an ELD malfunction.  With Samsara, you can print your own cab kits or request a kit be mailed to you for free from your sales rep. 

Because inspections can occur at any time during a 12-month period, they can feel a lot less urgent to drivers who have so many other tasks to focus on during their day-to-day. To keep inspections top of mind for drivers, hold quarterly sessions on inspection protocol or things like Hours of Service requirements to make sure drivers are always feel prepared.  

4. Special driving statuses 

If your organization decides to enable special driving statuses, like Personal Conveyance or Yard Moves, drivers should know when to use them and understand that misuse may lead to increased DOT inspection scrutiny or even a compliance violation. 

Back office training checklist

The second phase of the ELD mandate will impact more than just your drivers, so it’s important to make sure your back office staff is equally prepared for the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs. To help them get ready, here are some things to communicate prior to the compliance deadline:

1. Suggesting log edits rather than direct edits 

Because AOBRDs required admins to edit and submit driver logs, managers are likely accustomed to making log edits directly. Help your back office staff transition away from this responsibility by training managers to instead suggest changes for driver review.

2. Reviewing unassigned drive time 

If a driver forgets to log in before driving, the next time they log in, they will be prompted to claim or reject the unidentified drive time. Back office staff should be prepared to monitor unassigned hours and assign them to the appropriate driver.

The time to switch to ELDs is now

With less than a month to go before the deadline, making the switch to ELDs sooner rather than later reduces the risk of compromising your compliance status. If you’re still looking for a new ELD provider, Samsara can help your fleet simplify ELD compliance while providing additional benefits like improved driver safety, decreased admin work, reduced maintenance costs, and more. 

As a complete Hours of Service solution for the ELD rule, Samsara keeps your fleet compliant and simplifies fleet management. Samsara's electronic logging device is an FMCSA-approved ELD that connects directly to a vehicle's engine through the OBD port. Live data is transmitted to the ELD so there is always an accurate log of when the engine is on or off, duty status changes, and what speed the vehicle is traveling.

Samsara’s ELD compliance is part of a complete fleet management platform that provides fleets with real-time GPS tracking for live-to-the-second location data, driver coaching for a safer fleet, asset tracking, and more. To learn how Samsara can help your fleet become more efficient, request a free trial today or read more about Samsara’s ELD solution.  

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