Three common E-Log misconceptions

It is not surprising that drivers, fleet owners and law enforcement officers are still a little unclear about the new e-log law. Here are a few common misconceptions we hear from fleets.

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Do I have to print out a paper copy of logs from my e-log device for roadside inspection?

If you are using an approved AOBRD or ELD system in your truck, you are not required to print out your logs. However, if you are using a non-AOBRD e-log system, law enforcement officers can request that you produce a printed copy of your RODS.

Under the new ELD mandate, drivers will be required to transfer the logs digitally using local file transfer (not allowed in all jurisdictions) or web service.

Since I downloaded an e-log app I am all set, right?

You have to be very careful that the app is part an approved AOBRD or ELD system. Apps alone cannot meet the requirements in Part 395. A good rule of thumb is that if the app is free and doesn't require any hardware to use, it isn't compliant.

My trucks only operate during daylight hours so I don't need e-logs

Sorry, this is not an allowed exemption by the FMCSA from implementing e-logs.

Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) FAQs

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Here are some answers to common questions we hear about how driver vehicle inspection reports are really supposed to work.

 

Who is responsible for filing DVIRs?

The driver is responsible for filing the DVIRs and the driver or the commercial repair facility is responsible to certify repairs completed on the motor vehicle.

What information is required in the report?

Along with the carrier name and DOT number, the driver must list the vehicle defects found as well as whether the vehicle is satisfactory to drive or not. The driver’s signature is required to certify the report along with any remarks.

Where should DVIRs be stored?

Previous DVIRs may be kept at either the motor carrier’s principal place of business or the location where the vehicle is housed or maintained. The current DVIR should be kept in the motor vehicle.

When should DVIRs be filed?

A DVIR should be filed when a pre-trip or post-trip inspection reveals a defect.

The driver must prepare a DVIR at the completion of each day’s work and shall submit those reports to the motor carrier upon his/her return to the home terminal. Reports should be stored for at least 3 months.

 

Check out the FMCSA's website for more detail with the link below.

ELOG FAQ - Who is exempt from ELD?

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Are you required to upgrade to ELD? The DOT has summarized some of the important exemptions you may not be aware of.

Drivers who use the timecard exception are not required to keep records of duty status (RODS) or use ELDs.

Short-haul drivers who aren't required to keep logs aren't required to upgrade to ELD and can continue to use timecards as they do now. Other drivers who are not required to use ELDs:

Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.

Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.

Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered, or the vehicle being transported is a motor home or a recreation vehicle trailer with one or more sets of wheels on the surface of the roadway.

If you don't see your exemption listed here, no need to worry. Upgrading your logs to a digital driver log solution comes with many benefits, like easier tracking of IFTA miles, highway use taxes and automatic toll verification.

How GPS toll verification works

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Do you review your EZ-Pass bill every month and can you tell which charges are legit and which are suspect? That is the question that electronic tolling verification works to answer. The problem is that the machines that electronic tolling operators are not infallible and don’t tell if the tag used in the booth was in one of your trucks or a personal vehicle.

Using location data from your truck’s GPS transponders can help not only pin point which tolls are verified as correct but also spot personal use of a tag that was moved from a commercial truck. So how does it work?

By deciphering the data in your tolling statement like tag number, time and location of the toll booths, the GPS location data can corroborate which charges match up and single out any outliers that could be suspect. This helps single out any issues on your bill immediately so they can be dealt with quickly and easily.

If you think tolling verification is something your fleet could benefit from, think about joining our Beta test problem by sending an email to: sales@carmasys.com

Simplifying NYS Highway Use Tax

Adopting new technology can be a challenge, but challenges can come with rewards. Fleets in NYS using CarmaLink ELOGs will see new columns on your monthly report that include: 'Total miles in NYS' and 'Taxable miles in NYS'.

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All of your GPS miles are filtered through our geo-location engine to separate out distance driven on the NYS thruway which are exempt from the highway use tax (HUT).

Is my driver required to maintain RODS?

There are some common misconceptions about which drivers qualify for the short-haul exemption and who needs to keep hours of service logs. By answering a few simple questions you can determine if your drivers can use this exemption or if they should be keeping driver logs to stay compliant with the DOT.

Whether or not your drivers are required to maintain RODS (and e-logs) depends on if the driver qualifies under 49 CFR 395.1 Part E, also known as the Short-haul Exemption. Many drivers think that if they stay within 100 miles of home base they aren't required to keep hours of service logs, but this is only one of many conditions that must be met to qualify for the exemption.

 
 

 

Answer the following questions to find out

CDL Drivers

  1. Does the driver stay inside a 100 mile radius of home base?
  2. After starting shift, does the driver return back to home base after no more than 12 hours?
  3. Have at least 10 consecutive hours (8 hours for passenger carrying drivers) off duty before returning back on duty?
  4. Does not drive after 14 hours of being on duty?
  5. Does the carrier maintain accurate time cards and retains them for at least 6 months?

Non-CDL Drivers

  1. Does the driver stay inside a 150 mile radius of home base?
  2. Return to the same home base every day?
  3. Does not drive after 14 hours of being on duty?
  4. Does the carrier maintain accurate time cards and retains them for at least 6 months?

If you answered 'No' to any of the questions, then you are required to maintain RODS.

Don't forget, regardless of the documentation requirements (RODS or not), no drivers are allowed to exceed the maximum drive time and all passenger carrying drivers are required to file a DVIR every shift even if satisfactory. For the full text, please see the FMCSA website.

 

Have more questions?
Speak with an ELD specialist now

Quick ordering transponders

Next time your fleet adds a new vehicle, you can order another transponder right from the settings page.

 


1. Login and go to the 'Settings' page, then click 'Order Form'

2. Choose the quantity and type of transponders you need
          Standard Vehicles - Full AVL monitoring
          E-Log Vehicles - Full AVL monitoring plus HoS
          Assets / Trailers - Basic location tracking

3. Click 'Place Order' and you will be contacted within 24 hours to confirm

4. You will receive an email with tracking information once the order has shipped

 

Partnership with Carbonfund.org

For 2017, Carma is teaming up with Carbonfund to ensure another carbon-neutral year. Offsetting carbon emissions is achieved through reforestation, methane recapture and other programs, directly paid for by Carbonfund partner companies like Carma.

To learn more about how Carbonfund.org can help to offset carbon emissions for your business or home, please visit their website: https://carbonfund.org/

E-Log Solutions: AOBRD vs ELD

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Trying to keep all the new regulations about e-logs straight isn't easy and it seems like they are always changing. Here are a few simple differences between the current e-log solutions (AOBRD) and the new required e-log (ELD) solutions.

AOBRD

  • These systems have been around for a while and are basically a digital version of driver logs
  • Will be required by virtually every truck built after 2000 that currently keeps paper logs
  • Motor carriers have until December 2017 to purchase and implement AOBRD

ELD

  • Similar to AOBRD but requires a link between the transponder and truck ECU
  • More rigorous data requirements than AOBRD including engine status and VIN
  • Fleets with AOBRD have until December 2019 to implement ELD

To get your trucks to the first stage of compliance, you will need to purchase an AOBRD system and get it implemented fleet-wide by December. After then, you have until December 2019 to upgrade the AOBRD to ELD compliance. With our system, this is just a free software update, some other manufacturers may require new hardware.

If your fleet wants to purchase a new e-log system after December 2017, you will have to purchase ELD as AOBRDs won't be sold anymore.

We can help you understand the e-log requirement and how to roll it out to all your trucks to keep your fleet compliant.