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Archive for category: EOBR

FMCSA – ELD’s to be Required Across Commercial Truck and Bus Industries

Electronic Logging Devices to be Required Across Commercial Truck and Bus Industries

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced the adoption of a Final Rule that will improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.

“Since 1938, complex, on-duty/off-duty logs for truck and bus drivers were made with pencil and paper, virtually impossible to verify,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk.”

The Final Rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD) will result in an annual net benefit of more than $1 billion – largely by reducing the amount of required industry paperwork.  It will also increase the efficiency of roadside law enforcement personnel in reviewing driver records.  Strict protections are included that will protect commercial drivers from harassment.

On an annual average basis, the ELD Final Rule is estimated to save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles.

“This is a win for all motorists on our nation’s roadways,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling.  “Employing technology to ensure that commercial drivers comply with federal hours-of-service rules will prevent crashes and save lives.”

An ELD automatically records driving time.  It monitors engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information.

Federal safety regulations limit the number of hours commercial drivers can be on-duty and still drive, as well as the number of hours spent driving.  These limitations are designed to prevent truck and bus drivers from becoming fatigued while driving, and require that drivers take a work break and have a sufficient off-duty rest period before returning to on-duty status.

 The four main elements of the ELD Final Rule include:
1. Requiring commercial truck and bus drivers who currently use paper log books to maintain hours-of-service records to adopt ELDs within two years.  It is anticipated that approximately three million drivers will be impacted.

2. Strictly prohibiting commercial driver harassment.  The Final Rule provides both procedural and technical provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs.  [A separate FMCSA rulemaking further safeguards commercial drivers from being coerced to violate federal safety regulations and provides the agency with the authority to take enforcement actions not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.]

3. Setting technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs so that manufacturers are able to produce compliant devices and systems – and purchasers are enabled to make informed decisions.

4. Establishing new hours-of-service supporting document (shipping documents, fuel purchase receipts, etc.) requirements that will result in additional paperwork reductions.  In most cases, a motor carrier would not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time.

In developing the ELD Final Rule, FMCSA relied on input from its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, feedback from two public listening sessions, comments filed during an extended comment period following the 2011 proposed rule, and comments to the 2014 supplementary proposed rule.  The Final Rule also incorporates the mandates included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and other statutes.

The ELD Final Rule permits the use of smart phones and other wireless devices as ELDs, so long as they satisfy technical specifications, are certified, and are listed on an FMCSA website.  Canadian- and Mexican-domiciled drivers will also be required to use ELDs when operating on U.S. roadways.

Motor carriers who have previously installed compliant Automatic On-Board Recording Devices may continue to use the devices for an additional two years beyond the compliance date.
A copy of the ELD Final Rule announced today is available at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices-and-hours-service-supporting-documents.

Further information, including a comprehensive, searchable list of frequently asked questions, and a calendar of upcoming free training webinars, is available at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/elds.

ELD Survival Guide

ELD Survival Guide

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Survival Guide

The problem.

We all know that the federal government has mandated ELD’s and will eventually stop pushing back the decision.  Many companies that manage truck fleets have held out on adopting ELD’s until absolutely necessary.  When the mandate does hit, companies will be forced to flock to ELD companies or face fines and greater scrutiny from law enforcement.  Many will likely have challenges becoming compliant, as the need for education and implementation will overwhelm technology providers.

On the other end is signing an expensive long-term agreement with an ELD provider in advance to ensure your fleet is compliant. So how do you decide between these less than optimal choices?  Do you try to perfectly time implementation of an ELD system with Capitol Hill, or bite the bullet and implement one today?  What if you could choose neither and have an option that puts you in control?

In the early 2000’s, when this solution emerged, there were a handful of very expensive providers that owned the market, requiring you to lease their equipment and sign long-term contracts. Now, the market is flooded with ELD providers, which can make it very challenging to decide which direction to take your organization.

These were the problems that Position Intel recognized and sought to eliminate when working with their partners.  Instead, Position Intel focused on providing better technology, no contracts, no leased devices, and allowing you to set up a smaller number of vehicles for half the investment.

 

The solution.

For the first time, you can start with just a few devices, no contract and at a minimal cost.  Going through the initial setup and becoming educated on ELD’s gives you a significant advantage when the mandate goes into effect.  Transition becomes simple because the final piece is ordering devices for the remainder of your fleet.  Position Intel’s solution allows your company to focus on immediate needs without having to implement a system wide ELD solution.

Say you start by monitoring driving behaviors, your maintenance and/or route optimization. You can easily “add-on” ELD capabilities at a later date.  Position Intel has had great success with this A la Carte model, and customers are more comfortable as they do not require long-term contracts. Position Intel’s philosophy is that if they aren’t doing a great job, you should have the choice to move to another provider.

Another opportunity is to pick high-risk drivers to improve CSA scores and eliminate fines, or just a limited number of vehicles to start implementation.  Become familiar with the technology and see first hand how it works.  A study by the Aberdeen Group found that ELD’s could help your company tremendously, including the following benefits:

  • Cut operating costs by 10%
  • Reduce vehicle downtime by 15%
  • Improve vehicle utilization by 13%
  • Increase driver compliance by 28%

Many other companies have also published research showing significant improvement in driver behaviors, preventable accidents, superior fuel economy, reduced insurance premiums, and overall enhancement of profitability.

The initial set-up and education is the longest part of the process.  Instead of waiting last minute, you now have the ability to invest in a few devices to become familiar with the technology.  When the mandate does come, you can simply flip the switch by just picking up the remaining devices.  Your company is also not tied to a contract, allowing you to be flexible and make the best decisions based upon your needs.

A good place to start is by allowing us to do an in-person assessment to calculate your savings; it takes less than thirty minutes and is well worth your time.

 

Call us directly at (612) 599-1781

or schedule some time to talk with us

http://positionintel.com/demo/

Position Intel is locally owned and operated in St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

Monitoring Employees Result in Improvement

Monitoring Employees Result in Improvement

Whether you are tracking your assets via asset tracking or using fleet tracking services, we know it is a proven fact that what gets measured will get improved in our organizations. If you have a fleet of trucks or just a team of field service staff, using GPS asset tracking technology is critical in providing transparency, efficiency and productivity.

Many trucking organizations, construction companies and government entities will track just their vehicles and leave their trailers as well as other assets out of their strategy. GPS trailer tracking, construction GPS tracking and government vehicle GPS tracking solutions offered by Position Intel make it very economical for you to track these assets with our real time fleet tracking solutions.

EOBR mandates can only be pushed back awhile longer before we all know they will go into effect. That said, it is important we work together to get ahead of these requirements and slowly implement our way there.

Monitoring your employees through GPS asset tracking does not have to be a negative transition, we find many team members find the increase in productivity and optimization of their days or routes to be a benefit as well. Often times, they appreciate the improvement of their logistics and operations because technology can eliminate a lot of unnecessary phone calls and disorganization.

Is Your Fleet Ready for EOBR Mandates?

Is Your Fleet Ready for EOBR Mandates?

If you have a fleet of vehicles than surely you are aware of the ongoing ELD and EOBR mandates requiring you to monitor your drivers’ hours of service along with other safety components.

In my opinion, this sets up organizations with fleets to embrace technology, improve their quality metrics and promote a safe driving environment for all drivers on the road today. Though I understand their are drawbacks and many opponents of this bill, I believe this will improve efficiency for logistics.

EOBR

Why Asset Tracking Is Important

Why Asset Tracking Is Important

As companies grow and more assets are added, it is an easy way to quickly lose track of what you have and where they are. I’ve worked with clients in the past who attempted to keep track of these assets via a chalkboard, a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and filing systems. Unfortunately, these methods do not provide an accurate and real-time depiction of what actually happens in the real world. In fact, without true visibility you are not able to make sound business decisions. As a company continues to add more assets, unfortunately the amount those assets which are at risk also follow.

I heard a story from a friend of mine about how one of their drivers was upset (not sure why) and decided to just pull over to the side of the road somewhere and drop their load. So there it sat, on the side of the freeway somewhere in the middle of nowhere and they had no idea where it was. It was only when the Highway Patrol contacted the company indicating they had located the trailer that they found out where their assets were. This causes critical delays and concerns for the company and it’s customers as you can probably imagine. If a customer was expecting a goods to be delivered, how on earth do you explain to them this issue when their expected delivery doesn’t arrive when you committed it would? Imagine that trailer along with it’s contents just disappearing, thousands of dollars lost. You’d be surprised how often this actually happens, it’s not unheard of. Luckily, most companies insure for this type of incident and are able to make a claim. At the same time, insurance companies continuously reevaluate rates. Guess who’s policy changes with a higher expense?

When a company has hundreds or thousands of assets, it’s important to know their operating condition and where they are located, especially with expensive vehicles. Tracking assets and collecting data real-time has been proven to be faster, most cost effective and much more accurate than any manual process. It’s also a critical part of addressing employee behaviors that in the past were missed such as driving behaviors, quality standards and other important aspects of a job. Increasing efficiency and reliability for a business is also a crucial component that asset tracking can provide. A tracking software saves time and makes many processes streamlined enabling employees to focus on the customer. Reliability and quality of information for the company and the customer then goes up as they have true insights at their fingertips versus trying to gather that information from multiple sources.

The more I talk to business owners and clients, the more I am realizing the importance of keeping track of assets. Far too many times we find assets just “disappear” or as many like to call it are “misplaced.” And, most of the time we as business owners don’t even realize they are missing until it is too late. There are countless testimonials and case studies I found online that prove tracking your assets as a business is critical, they also make justifying the expense easy with an ROI being accomplished nearly right away after implementation.

asset tracking

How to Find Your Carrier Safety Measurements Score

How to Find Your Carrier Safety Measurements Score

The US Department of Transportation tracks and measures what is known as a CSA score. CSA is an acronym short for Compliance, Safety and Accountability and they use another acronym called SMS to ensure safer roads for everyone. SMS stands for Safety Measurement System and is used to assess compliance by analyzing safety data from roadside inspections and crash reports. This allows them to identify and intervene with motor carriers that pose safety risks.

A carrier’s measurement is based upon 7 basics:
1. Unsafe Driving (speeding, reckless driving, inattention, etc.)
2. HOS Compliance (hours of service and/or operating a CMV while ill or fatigued)
3. Driver Fitness (proper credentials and/or medically unqualified)
4. Controlled Substances (use or possession of controlled substance/alcohol)
5. Vehicle Maintenance ( brakes, lights, mechanical defects, improper load, etc.)
6. HM Compliance (hazardous materials, no shipping papers, etc.)
7. Crash Indicator (history or pattern of high crash involvement)

You would be surprised at how many companies don’t check this until after they receive a warning letter or intervention. You may want to consider checking this not only for yourself but also if you are considering a potential carrier or partner to do business with. How do you easily access your score along with others? I will share with you below.

1. Go to the A&I Online Safety Measurement System portal at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms/Data/Search.aspx.
2. You can do a standard search by the carrier name or using their USDOT#.
3. If you search by carrier name, click on their USDOT# to find their results.
4. You can then drill down to each measurement function by clicking on it.

CSA