If you’re a supply chain manager, you should have Dec. 18, 2017 circled on your calendar. That’s the day on which commercial drivers must be in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s mandate for using electronic logging devices (ELD). After that date, drivers are subject to penalties and fines if they are not found to be in compliance with the mandate. The ELD mandate is intended to convert drivers’ hours of service and other information from pencil-and-paper logs to electronic data. Through the use of ELDs, drivers will be able to log vital information directly from the engine of their trucks as well as information they log themselves such as shipping documents and trailer numbers. This allows such information to be logged automatically and more accurately than on paper.
Being in compliance with the ELD mandate means supply chain managers need to be aware of which devices count under the new rules, how to ensure those devices remain in compliance, and how to ensure the devices are being used in accordance with the law. For example, carriers must be aware that any action they take that they know will lead to drivers violating their hours of service rules constitutes harassment — they can face stiff penalties for such infractions. These actions considered harassment of drivers include interacting with the driver while the driver is supposed to be sleeping and falsely editing records on the ELD. Carriers also need to be sure their drivers carry all of the required materials related to their ELDs, including user’s manuals, instruction sheets and paper logs in the event of a malfunction.
The future is now for the trucking industry, and carriers and supply chain managers can’t afford to wait any longer to bring their drivers and trucks into compliance with the ELD mandate. The consequences for missing the deadline for compliance may be annoying at best and devastating at worst for carriers. It’s in a supply chain manager’s best interest to make sure everything is taken care of before the deadline. The following slideshow from Track Your Truck details what supply chain managers need to be aware of regarding the upcoming ELD mandate deadline, so make sure you’re ready for Dec. 18.