A broken ELD is not a valid excuse to avoid a violation

Inspectors across the country began enforcing the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate requirements on Dec. 18, 2017. However, enforcement of the out-of-service criteria (OOSC) associated with the ELD mandate was kicked into high gear on April 1, 2018. So, it’s extremely important to know what to do in the event your ELD malfunctions.

An ELD must monitor its compliance with the ELD technical requirements and detect malfunctions and data inconsistencies. Typically, a driver can follow the ELD provider’s and the motor carrier’s recommendations to resolve the data inconsistencies that generate a diagnostic event. The motor carrier still must correct the malfunction. However, if you’re unable to correct the malfunction on the spot, you are still mandated to keep logs.
If/when an ELD malfunctions, a driver must:

  1. Note the malfunction of the ELD and provide written notice of the malfunction to the motor carrier within 24 hours;
  2. Reconstruct the record of duty status (RODS) for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days;
  3. record RODS on graph-grid paper logs that comply with 49 CFR 395.8, unless the driver already has the records or retrieves them from the ELD; and
  4. Continue to manually prepare RODS in accordance with 49 CFR 395.8 until the ELD is serviced and back in compliance. The recording of the driver’s hours of service on a paper log cannot continue for more than 8 days after the malfunction; doing so would put the driver at risk of being placed out of service.

Mandatory Items to keep in your truck are: ELD User’s Manual; Instruction sheet for transferring HOS records to safety officials; Instruction sheet on reporting ELD malfunctions & recordkeeping procedures during ELD malfunctions; A supply of paper tracking forms (grid graphs) for at least 8 days, in case of ELD malfunction

Roadside inspectors ask that you know your device. There are hundreds of devices being used, so don’t expect every inspector to be familiar with yours. Inspectors also warn that if you find yourself in the catch 22 area of a few minutes this way or that way on your HOS, not to switch into personal conveyance mode in an effort to elude detection of an HOS violation. If caught, there is a more severe penalty. Drivers who indicate a special driving category on their ELD when not involved in that activity will be cited for having false driving logs.

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