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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:

Further information, including a comprehensive, searchable list of frequently asked questions, and a calendar of upcoming free training webinars, is available at:


Do You Trust Your Logistics Provider with Your Cold Chain?

Can You Trust Your Logistics Provider with Your Cold Chain Shipments?

You should have a reasonable expectation that your 3PL will handle your products correctly, but the ultimate responsibility is yours as the shipper. A good logistics provider will anticipate your evaluation and will be prepared for it. Here are a few tips for effectively evaluating and holding your 3PL accountable with your cold chain shipments.

Risk Assessment:

  1. What is their past experience?
  2. Human intervention
  3. Product hand-off points
  4. New routes
  5. High value packages
  6. Country to country transfers
  7. Outsourced data storage
  8. What’s happening inside of the box?
  9. Can they provide real-time updates on temp & location?

Holding Them Accountable:

  1. If they will not provide real-time visibility to you of shipment location, temp, etc.; you are responsible for doing so. Data-loggers provide you data after it is too late, the key is to be proactive.
  2. Package tracking devices such as the PT300 from Sendum Wireless eliminate the dysfunction that occurs when your cold chain shipment is expired or adulterated along the way.
  3. Regular update and alignment meetings, monthly or quarterly with your 3PL provider(s). This allows for a regroup and review together to improve processes.
  4. Human intervention causes errors, keep human errors to a minimum

2 Most Common Issues in Cold Chain Logistics:

  1. Human error (90% 0f the time according to Georgia Tech)
  2. No recording device present (80% of the time according to Georgia Tech)

What have we missed here? How else can we improve our cold chain logistics visibility, accountability and effectiveness? We would love to hear your thoughts.


We can help provide real-time visibility into your shipments, schedule a demo today to see how.


If I Stole Your Truck or Trailer

If I Stole Your Truck or Trailer

If I stole your truck and trailer, here’s how I would do it.

by Michael VonWald

I loved the first Fast and Furious movie. I have to admit though; these guys went through a lot of ridiculous work to steal a semi truck full of goods. Being in this industry, I could have given them a lesson or two that didn’t include jumping out of moving cars and using grappling hooks. I know that drivers and companies leave these trucks and trailers out for the taking with little security. I guess my movie on stealing rigs would be pretty boring.

I am not trying to convince you to start stealing cargo. However, the average bank robbery nets about $4,330 (US News & World Report) compared to the average cargo theft which nets $232,924 as reported by Freight Watch International (FWI). That’s a difference of $228,594 without a nasty shootout at the end. FWI also recorded an average of 66 cargo thefts occur per month or 2.2 per day. Those are just the thefts that were reported. Cargo theft is a $30 billion dollar industry annually in the US and is growing (Inbound Logistics).

DISCLAIMER: You may be wondering how I came up with the following method to rob your stuff. I have always been and will always be a law-abiding citizen; I just make a living from protecting assets so I need to think about these things to help our clients.

Lets get started. While contacting organizations to help with asset tracking, I have found that many companies avoid investing in asset security. My first order of business would be to call you representing an asset security company and hope that you would tell me you have never had an asset stolen and have no need for such a device or service (I am pretty sure this idea is original). If you did use a security service, I would likely put you at the bottom of my hit list, but at least I have a heads up.

Then I would start watching your vehicles, where you park them, and what kind of products you haul. One guy last year stole a semi-truck of 200,000 eggs, talk about a disappointing robbery. If they don’t visually locate the truck, the smell of rotten eggs should give your location away.

Next, if I want the truck, the locks are not that difficult to break through on most semi’s (so I hear), so I get in the cab and drive off while you or your driver is at a rest stop and not paying attention or the truck/trailer is parked over night. Your yard camera’s or local truck stop caught me on a video feed, but I was wearing all black, so good luck identifying me. Or, maybe I will wear all white because I was feeling extra confident that evening. If I were just taking a trailer, I would just back up my own tractor and take off.

Ok, but what if you have GPS on your trailers? Most likely your device is run on the vehicle’s power and is secured to the outside of the chassis. Cut the power line and cut the devices ability to send tracking information. Or, I can buy a GPS jamming case on ebay and cover your device. If I am not sure where the device is located, I can buy a frequency based jammer for around $50 on All orders shipped via DHL are free, I told you this was easy (and quite cost effective).

So how do you defend against cargo theft?

Using a GPS device is an obvious way to start. But you have to think about how your device is powered and how to protect against the smarter criminals who are jamming the devices. This is the reason our devices give alerts the moment someone tries to use jamming methods. When someone uses jamming methods our devices have the ability to connect via cell, satellite, or wireless Internet.

The devices also report on the moment someone opens a trailer door to remove goods from a trailer or locate a device. They are powered by a battery that lasts 6 – 12 months without an outside power source, allowing them to be hidden in goods or anywhere on a trailer. And did I say they are smaller than an iPhone? Good luck finding one of these things hidden in a trailer full of goods.

At Position Intel, we provide this security for $99.95 a year with no monthly fees and no contract. Call us before someone calls you pretending to be us at (651)-337-9033 and we would be happy to talk about the security you are looking for.

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

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.


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
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.


Is Employee Monitoring Good or Bad?

Is Employee Monitoring Good or Bad?

Employee monitoring has emerged as a necessity but controversial issue in recent years, mostly due to technology. While many employers are using some sort of monitoring device to track their assets, their employees are likely tied to those and opposed to “big brother” watching over them. An example of this can be a courier service or trucking company who are monitoring their vehicles but the employee may feel as if it’s an invasion of their privacy.

As businesses move forward and as technology continues to evolve in the workplace, many of our professional and even personal tasks are becoming much easier to perform on a daily basis. As an employee, you may not agree with being tracked by your employer. At the same time, you are less likely to be upset about it if there are benefits that improve productivity and reduce frustrations. You also may be less concerned about being monitored as an employee if your employer involves you in the process.

In order to deploy a successful monitoring solution, I recommend complete transparency by the employer as well as involvement from the team members. Employee monitoring is all about improving efficiency and productivity while eliminating unnecessary processes that employers would like to resolve for their team. This reduces stress, provides more time for employees to do other more fulfilling tasks and can eliminate a lot of manual paperwork that is done.

Though it’s controversial, it’s here and will only continue to become a larger part of our professional lives. I believe the term “employee monitoring” in itself sounds invasive and rude. But if we look at the productivity, the opportunities to improve and the efficiency this technology can create outweighs the fact that it may be abused. As long as these technologies are only functioning during company hours, employees (that have nothing to hide) should not resist this in my opinion.

What do you think about employee and asset monitoring? Comment and let us know!

employee monitoring

How to Become a STAR with Decision Making

How to Become a STAR with Decision Making

S.T.A.RStop. Think. Act. Review.
Are you quick to react? Do you often respond to an email and after hitting that send button regret it? Do you catch yourself changing your mind or opinion after you start speaking?

The STAR method will help you better plan your decisions, discussions and actions that will save you time, energy and possibly regret in the future.

STAR is a great way to create a culture amongst leadership and your team to drive quality, safety, improved communication and better decision making skills within an organization. Also, it is a great methodology to adapt for us as individuals. Whether it is at the workplace, with your children or in your marriage; the STAR method is a great way to make effective decisions.

It only takes a few minutes and even less after it has become habit for you, this is a simple and easy way to remember and a process that will assist you with any challenge or task.

Stop. Pause, take a deep breath, remove distractions and focus on the task or challenge at hand.
Think. What are you about to do? What would you like the result to be? How should you go about it? Whom does it affect?
Act. Complete the task, have the conversation or take the action as you planned.
Review. Did you get the expected result? What could you have done differently?

Life is all about an action and then a reaction, this method allows us to think about the reaction before taking action. It also allows for a quick review afterwards for you to analyze how it really went.

Next time you are feeling stressed, pressured or are faced with a challenging situation I challenge you to try the STAR method and I’m certain you will find it as useful as I do. It will also save you time and energy on the “reaction” you receive as you put the time and energy into thinking about it before you acted.