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Training Your Team is Critical for a Successful ELD Implementation

Surprisingly, the ELD regulations do not require carriers to formally train drivers on ELDs.  However, it’s a practical reality and a very good idea. The technology is new to many drivers and office personnel, the rules are detailed, and each company will have compliance policies and operational procedures related to ELD use.  Even if a carrier has been using some type of electronic logging system for years, ELDs capture more data, and the rules governing ELD use are new and complex.

Training is Critical

At a minimum, any training should involve drivers, safety and compliance personnel, maintenance staff, and operations and dispatch staff. Drivers will need to become familiar with certain items, including:

  • the look, feel and functions of the selected ELD technology
  • the login and logout processes
  • the methods for changing duty status from the automatically captured driving time to on-duty, not driving (line 4), off-duty (line 1), and, if applicable, sleeper berth status (line 2)
  • how the special driving categories of “personal conveyance” and “yard moves” are activated, if authorized by the carrier


Safety, Compliance, Dispatch, Operations and Maintenance

Safety, Compliance, Dispatch, Operations and Maintenance personnel will need to become familiar with certain items, too:

  • the look, feel and functions of the selected ELD technology
  • the look, feel and functions of the office software associated with ELDs
  • the data captured, and the reports generated by the ELD office software
  • how to edit and annotate the ELD record when driver mistakes are made

It’s hard to overstate the importance of training.  Simply put, it’s critical to successfully implementing ELDs.  And, carriers should consider providing multiple training sessions for all affected drivers and personnel. Keep in mind that many people learn by doing.  Consider having an ELD set up in the training room to facilitate ‘hands-on’ use of the device. PeopleNet has an entire training team with expertise in developing information and materials to help customers with their training needs.  No need to reinvent the training wheel!


Utilizing FMCSA Resources

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a list of Frequently Asked Questions that can be used to supplement the training materials used. 

For example, the following two FAQs could be weaved into a training program:

Q: Who can edit an electronic logging device (ELD) record?

A: Both the driver and authorized carrier staff can make limited edits to an ELD record to correct mistakes or add missing information. All edits must include a note (annotation) to explain the reason for the edit. In addition, the driver must confirm (certify) that any carrier edit is accurate, and resubmit the records. If the driver chooses not to re-certify his or her RODS, this is also reflected in the ELD record. The ELD keeps the original, unedited record, along with the edits. Example: a carrier edits a record to switch a period of time from “off-duty” to “on-duty not driving”, with a note that explains “Driver logged training time incorrectly as off-duty.”  The edit and annotation are sent to the driver to verify. The edit is not accepted until the driver confirms it and resubmits the RODS.

Q: What are the options for ELDs to electronically transfer data?

A: An ELD must be able to either:

  • Transmit data using wireless Web services and email, or
  • Transfer data locally using a thumb or flash drive (USB2.0) and Bluetooth.A driver must also be able to provide either the display or a printout to an authorized safety official on request.

Interested in learning more? Download our latest whitepaper to find out about how to successfully implement ELDs within your fleet. For additional information on all things ELD, visit our ELD Resource page.


About the Author

David J. (Dave) Osiecki is the President of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting LLC (STC) and personally delivers the training and advisory service offerings of STC. He began his 30-year transportation career in 1986 as a motor carrier safety auditor in the field for the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Motor Carriers (OMC). He spent several years building his trucking and regulatory expertise in program, policy and regulatory development positions for OMC in Washington, DC. He left federal service in 1995 and spent the last 20 years at the American Trucking Associations in Washington working on behalf of the trucking industry in policy, regulatory and advocacy-related positions. Mr. Osiecki rose to the Executive Vice President & Chief of National Advocacy for ATA, and has represented the industry before State legislatures, federal agencies, the U.S. Congress and in the national media, including appearances on national network news programs. Over the last 15 years, Mr. Osiecki has also been a regular speaker and commentator before transportation and trucking industry groups.

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