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2/4/2016 9:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Driver Training Crucial for ELD Transition, FMCSA Official Says

Seth Clevenger/Transport Topics

DALLAS — Driver training on electronic logging devices will play an important role in the trucking industry’s transition to the federally mandated technology, an official with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration told an audience of carriers and technology providers.

The more drivers know about the ELDs in their trucks, the faster and easier roadside inspections will go, said Joe DeLorenzo, director of FMCSA’s office of enforcement and compliance.

“As you transition to whatever options you choose, I don’t think I can emphasize enough how important that training is,” he said Feb. 2 at Omnitracs’ annual user conference here.

FMCSA’s final rule on ELDs, published Dec. 16, gives carriers two years to comply with the regulation, which will require nearly all interstate truckers to use the devices to record hours of service.

DeLorenzo said device manufacturers can begin registering and certifying their products as compliant ELDs on Feb. 16. FMCSA will maintain a website with a list of certified devices, he said.

He also reminded carriers that the ELD mandate doesn’t change the rules related to hours of service; it changes how those hours are recorded.

As carriers prepare to switch from paper logbooks or the various devices in use today to a consistent standard with ELDs, law enforcement also is transitioning to the new technology, DeLorenzo said.

Under the rule’s technical specifications, ELDs must be capable of transferring data electronically using either e-mail and Web services or a local option using Bluetooth or USB. It also requires either a graphical display or printout option as a backup.

DeLorenzo predicted that the display or printout option will be the default way for law enforcement officers to check hours of service via ELDs during the next two years as the industry moves toward the Dec. 18, 2017, compliance date.

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By Seth Clevenger
Technology Editor

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