Do you know what happens if your ELD malfunctions?  First of all, if you’re an owner/operator, it’s up to you to repair or replace the device, so now you have an unexpected cost that your budget may not appreciate.  Of course, there may be other issues involved that you aren’t prepared for, as shown below.  

Motor carrier business owners and drivers are required to take steps to remedy the malfunction right away.  To help you understand what to expect or what to do in the case of an ELD malfunction, this information may be useful.

What Are ELD Malfunctions?

According to FMCSA, several malfunctions can occur with an electronic logging device.  For example:

  • Power data diagnostic events – Occurs when the ELD is not powered or fully functioning within one minute of starting the engine.
  • Power compliance malfunctions – Occurs when the device is not powered for 30 minutes or more in 24-hours.
  • Engine synchronization data diagnostic events – When the ELD loses connection to required data sources.
  • Engine synchronization compliance malfunctions – When connectivity to required data sources is not active for more than 30 minutes during 24 hours.
  • Timing compliance malfunction – The device cannot record UTC without a deviation of 10 minutes at any time.

These malfunctions are only a few of the many noted on the FMCSA website.  It’s a good idea to become familiar with the various diagnostic events to understand how they can affect your operation.

Motor Carrier and Driver Responsibilities if a Malfunction Occurs

In the event of an ELD malfunction, drivers and owners each have certain responsibilities that include the following:

Driver’s responsibilities:

  1. Make note of the malfunction including date and time, etc.
  2. Send written notice to the motor carrier within 24 hours.
  3. Create a manual record of current RODS, including the previous 7 consecutive days. 
  4. Continue making manual logs of RODS until the ELD is back in compliance.  
  5. Manual logging must not last beyond 8 days to avoid out-of-service status.

Motor carrier’s responsibilities:

  1. Address the issue within 8 days of discovering the malfunction or of receiving a driver’s notice of the event.
  2. Replace, service, correct, or repair the malfunctioning device.
  3. Instruct drivers to maintain paper logs of RODs until the ELD unit is operational.

Now that you know what you need to do about an ELD malfunction, do you know how it can affect your business?

Can ELD Malfunctions Harm Your Business?

Not only does your ELD record HOS required by the ELD mandate, but it also helps streamline roadside inspections.  By reducing paperwork, and saving time, an electronic logging device also helps you save money. But if the device fails for any reason, you’re back to paper logs and a potential out-of-service penalty.  

ELDs also help dispatchers plan routes and assign loads.  Knowing a vehicle’s location can help in letting customers know when to expect delivery.  If customers are unhappy, you could lose their account.  There goes a big chunk of your profits.  So if the ELD is out of order, it has a far-reaching and costly effect on your entire operation, but we have a solution to this dilemma.

When You Buy an ELD, Get More Than Just the Device

As with any product, there are good ELDs and bad ones.  But, the device is only part of the system.  You also need a reliable provider who is available if you have issues with the device.  At TruckingOffice, we believe our ELD is only as good as our support.  You can contact us anytime if you have questions about our products.  If you want the best, FMCSA compliant ELD available today, order your ELD now

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