As was noted in reporting last week, compliance consultants Jeff Davis (Fleet Safety Services) and Adam Wingfield (Innovative Logistics Group) each pointed out that, despite the hopes of some, electronic logging devices have emphatically not delivered carriers from hours-related enforcement, particularly at the investigatory level when federal and state auditors come calling. A small fleet's own audits of drivers’ e-logs for unassigned miles and much, much more are still necessary tasks for the back office, even for one-truck independents with more direct on-highway control of their own e-logging destiny.
If you missed it last week, after you get through today’s edition of Overdrive Radio featuring a talk from Davis on this very subject, take a run through our report about carrier audit activity. With stats pulled early this month, it’s clear the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has not done what then-enforcement chief Joe DeLorenzo hoped for late in 2020 when he predicted a footing for enforcement getting back to some sense of normalcy after the pandemic emergency that year.
[Related: FMCSA's safety ratings trend negative: A majority issued in 2021 were 'Conditional']
In plenty ways, an emergency continues, and the relative fall-off in audit activity obscures what plenty of carriers hope will not be some kind of new normal. That’s the reality that more than half of all safety ratings issued in 2021 were the adverse Conditional rating. While not exactly death sentence for a carrier, such a rating can impact shipper customers' and brokers’ willingness to do business with you.
In today's podcast, hear Davis break down some of what he's seeing in remote audits, particularly as it relates to the man v. machine dynamics of ELD-enabled hours enforcement, and what you can do to head off the auditors and inspectors. Take a listen: