Under the recently-introduced electronic logging device mandate, truck drivers are required to use ELDs to log their activity. Trying to adjust to an entirely new type of technology can be difficult, however, so below are four tips to help you make the switch.
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Choosing the Right Device
Choosing the right device will make your life, and the lives of your drivers, considerably easier. A device with a confusing interface, or that can’t easily be mounted in your cab, is bound to cause issues further down the line and make it much harder to meet your ELD compliance requirements. A confusing interface increases the chances of incorrect calibration and driver distraction. You want a device with features that are quick and easy to access, and one whose readings you have complete confidence in.
If you choose the wrong ELD device, and it results in inaccurate readings being given, it will be you that has to shoulder the resultant financial penalties. Some types of ELD are designed to be universal; others will only work with a specific type of vehicle. Needless to say, it is vital that you check this information beforehand.
Carry Out Checks Before You Hit the Road
Before you start driving, you should always check that your ELD is working correctly. Some businesses are opting for portable ELDs; if this is true of yours, you need to make sure the batteries are charged. Try to get in the habit of putting the batteries onto charge after every journey. Remember, if there are any issues with your device and it stops functioning correctly, it is you that will be facing the potential legal consequences.
If you are regularly noticing issues with your devices, or the battery life isn’t as long as it should be, you should replace them as soon as possible. Check out the warranty situation beforehand; you might be able to replace a faulty ELD for free.
Make Sure Your Documents Remain in Easy Reach
When you or your drivers are adapting to a new ELD device, you will want to have easy access to the user manual at all times. The manual won’t just tell you how to use the ELD, it also contains troubleshooting guidelines that will help to diagnose and fix any technical issues you might have.
Under the new regulations that have mandated ELDs in commercial vehicles, your drivers can be required to produce data on the roadside. If they aren’t sure how to retrieve the relevant data from their device, it can lead to problems. Drivers are also required to have a transfer guide, device manual, and a malfunction guide on board at all times.
Keep Paper Backups of Your Records
Even if you follow all of the advice above, you are still dealing with a piece of digital equipment, which means that there is always room for something to go wrong. You should keep enough paper logs to last at least eight days just in case you do suffer device failure.