The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s announcement of the availability of this year’s updated edition of its out-of-service criteria handbook noted the addition of criteria related to electronic logging devices. Unlike for other updates, however, the alliance didn’t spell out what those additions were.
None are new out-of-service conditions, perhaps the reason they weren’t directly shared. Rather, they’re footnotes related to current out-of-service conditions having to do with the hours of service themselves, namely having no logbook, having no previous seven days of logs, and presenting a false log, all of which call for an out-of-service declaration for the driver in force for eight consecutive hours.
Here’s how they’re written (italics), with my notes following each (and for clarity’s sake, none of these apply if you’re otherwise exempted from using and ELD, whether you’ve got a pre-2000 model year truck or are running under short-haul exceptions to the hours of service or another exemption):
Footnotes related to ELDs; all go in force on December 18, 2017, if nothing changes:
**If a driver/carrier is using an electronic logging device that is not authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration per 395.22(a), the driver/carrier is considered to have no record of duty status.
**If a driver is unable to produce or transfer the data from an automatic on-board recording device or electronic logging device to an authorized safety official as required by 395.15(b) or 395.24(d), the driver is considered to have no record of duty status.
Again, no log book, eight consecutive hours out of service. Though the FMCSA hasn’t rolled out the data-transfer software to states yet, the process is under way. We’ll be updating you on what you can expect in this department in the July issue. Preliminary conversations with state enforcement officials lead me to the conclusion that the ELD’s display and/or ability to print will be key in a lot of log checks, unless violations are found, at least initially. So during roadside stops you’ll likely be handing your device to officers in many states — or if you’re utilizing the Continental VDO RoadLog, printing your logs for them. A lot of states are already accepting log data via officers’ email, so that backstop process for most devices, too, may stand in for FMCSA’s central emailing system if it’s not in place everywhere before the end of the year.
**If a driver indicates use of a special driving category as defined by 395.28(a) when not involved in that activity, the driver’s log is considered to be false.
False log also comes with eight hours out of service. And the most interesting wrinkle here is in the special driving categories themselves, yard moves and personal conveyance, both of which are required to be an option in ELDs (for more on how they’ll work, follow this link).
I was not in attendance for the entirety of the Driver and Traffic Committee discussion, but will update you later on the final verdict, if there was one, coming out of it on personal conveyance.
**If a driver with a malfunctioning automatic on-board recording device or electronic logging device fails to reconstruct logs for the current twenty-four (24)-hour period and the previous seven (7) days as required by 395.15(f) or 395.34(a)(2), the driver is considered to not have the previous seven (7) days of logs.
Fortunately, in cases like this, if you’re a true independent with authority and you have access to the web at roadside, with most ELD platforms you’ll be able to access your logs to either email to an officer or print to carry with you down the road in case of an inspection. Keep a paper log in the truck for on-the-spot malfunction backups for that current period, too. If you’re leased or a company driver and the ELD malfunctions, I’ve come across situations where drivers have had their previous seven days’ logs emailed to them by dispatch or a company safety official after moving to a paper log, or emailed directly to an officer during an inspection.
**If a carrier does not repair a malfunctioning electronic logging device within eight (8) days, or obtain an extension from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Division Administrator as required by 395.34(d), the driver is considered to have no record of duty status.
I covered these requirements of drivers and carriers in the intro to the recent ELD guide, offering questions for any ELD provider: “The final rule specifies an eight-day timeframe for repairing/replacing a malfunctioning ELD. Does the provider stock the kind of hardware inventory to meet such a quick turnaround? How are replacements/repairs handled? For carriers needing more than eight days to replace any ELD, the rule also spelled out a process for requesting more time. It involves contacting your state’s FMCSA division office and making your case.”
**If a driver is required to have an electronic logging device and the vehicle is not equipped with an electronic logging device (or an automatic on-board recording device until December 17, 2019), the driver is considered to have no record of duty status.
That’s the kicker, of course, coming into play at the end of the year – it will be an out of service violation (eight hours, again) to run without an ELD if the rules require you to, if nothing changes, of course, between now and then. In terms of your company safety record, your own if you’ve got authority, having no log comes with a 5 (out of 10) severity weight in the CSA Safety Measurement System – not publicly available at the moment, but still impactful in some business relationships. OOS violations in the CSA SMS’ scoring methodology receive extra weight, too, 2 more points.