What You Need to Know about ELDs and Load Visibility; Truckstop.com’s Facebook Live Event

On Thursday, June 15, Truckstop.com hosted a first ever Facebook Live event, and it was a huge success. Covering everything you need to know about freight visibility and its connection to the ELD mandate, featured on the panel was Thayne Boren, general manager of Mobile Business Applications, and Jeremy Fuecht, regulatory analyst. The event was hosted by Nate Rowlan, Truckstop.com training manager.

Here were the top three takeaways from the event:

  1. Adopt an ELD/AOBRD (automatic On-Board Recording Device) solution now. These devices take some time getting used to, so waiting until the last minute could leave you stranded and with a bunch of points on your record.
  2. More shippers than ever are requiring their transportation partners to electronically track their freight. As many as 77 percent of shippers are looking for their loads to be tracked at near real-time rates. If you do not want to deal with check-calls or the hassle of playing phone tag, a load visibility platform such as Truckstop.com’s Load Tracking is a great solution.
  3. Use coming technology to improve your situation. From a broker standpoint, this means fighting for your carriers and using the information they are getting to you to reduce detention times. From a carrier standpoint, negotiate detention pay and for better rates if you are using both an ELD and or other load visibility platform. Also, learn how the ELD effects your day-to-day operations and adjust your business accordingly.

To view entire video, check out YouTube here or find it on our Facebook page here.

Because of time limitations, the panel wasn’t able to answer every question by the audience. Below are answers to those questions we weren’t able to tackle:

Q:  As an owner operator, do we need to only worry about it showing the hours on and off duty? If I understood correctly, it does not have to show the exact location, right?

A: The hours on duty, on duty driving, off duty, and sleeper berth will all need to be detailed just as in your paper RODS (Record of Duty Status). The ELD will track the location of the truck for you. Notes may be added for the benefit of a CVSA official to make log checks quicker, but, ultimately, locations will be transferred to the official and will be accurate up to mile intervals when on duty.

Q: Can the drivers take their half hour breaks whenever they feel the need, or will they have to take them when that “clock” on the app runs down and tells them it’s time for a 30 min break?

A: Drivers can take their breaks at their leisure. The ELD will track if a break is needed or not. So, for example, if a driver has been on duty for an hour and takes a break of at least a half hour, the clock will reset and a driver will need to ensure they take another break at least eight hours later. If they take a break at the six hour mark, they will not have to worry about taking another break before their 10 hour reset.

Q: Tracking can be used as a selling point for agents, since it’s a value added product… can we (brokers) ask the carriers to share the tracking info to add more value to our sales?

A: Yes you can, but this does not mean that a carrier will or has to share this information with you. It is opt-in and the choice of the carrier.

Q: Is it true for hot shot trucks that you do not have to have an ELD if below a certain weight?

A: If the weight of the truck at any point in time exceeds 10,000 pounds, they will need an ELD unless they are driving within the short haul exemption of the ELD mandate. If you require a CDL to drive your vehicle, you must ensure your distance is at (or less than) 100 air miles. If the vehicle does not require a CDL you can drive up to 150 air miles.

Q: There are several ELD platforms that are promoted as an “app” you can use on your smart phone to log your hours and apparently approved by the FMCSA.

A: ELD companies are able to self-certify to the FMCSA that they are compliant. The ELD mandate strictly states that the information must be gathered from the ECM (Engine Control Module) port, including odometer readings, idle times, and engine hours. This eliminates an ‘app only’ option for carriers. The apps are made to be used in conjunction with a unit that is tied directly into the ECM. So the app on the phone could work when tied with the black box, but it is not going to work as a stand-alone device without proper connectivity to the ECM.

Thanks so much for participating with us! More than 890 people tuned in, and we want to thank the audience for their participation. Be on the lookout for additional training events coming up in the near future!

Again, to view the entire Facebook Live event, check out our YouTube page here or find it on our Facebook page here.