4 Tips on How to Train Your Drivers to Use ELDs

After finding an ELD provider, it’s important to work with the ELD provider and your drivers to establish a training routine.

Implementing a proper training program for your drivers will determine how well they take to using ELDs in their daily operations.

This responsibility lies on both the ELD provider’s and manager’s shoulders.

Below are some tips to help both you and your drivers learn more about the rules surrounding ELDs and some pointers on specific ELD functions your drivers should know.

  1. Help your drivers understand their legal protections against harassment, and how to report it.

According to the FMCSA, harassment is defined as when “a carrier uses ELD data to pressure a driver to do something that the carrier knew, or should have known, would result in an HOS violation or to drive when ill or fatigued”.

It’s the fleet manager’s duty to inform drivers of this definition, and then show them how to report cases of harassment as well.

Currently, the only way drivers can report harassment is through a written complaint within 90 days of the incident by using the National Consumer Complaint Database: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot/gov or with the FMCSA Division Administrator for the state that the driver is employed in (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/mission/field-offices).

Notifying drivers of their rights before a case of harassment arises is important in establishing trust between the fleet manager and driver, so we heavily suggest you take this step before things potentially get messy between you and your drivers.

  1. Your drivers are legally required to have some specific printed items in their CMV.

Every driver is required by the FMCSA ELD mandate to have the following supporting documents in their CMV:

  • ELD user guide/instructions/manual
  • Instruction sheet that shows the driver how to transfer HOS records to DOT inspection officers
  • Instruction sheet that shows drivers how to report ELD malfunctions and how to keep records in the event that their ELD malfunctions
  • 8 days’ worth of paper log graphs in the event that the driver’s ELD malfunctions

Make sure your drivers are prepared for anything they encounter on the road; whether it be their ELD malfunctioning, a roadside DOT inspection, or just simply forgetting how to operate a certain feature of their ELD.

Taking this simple step will minimize the downtime of your fleet operations, and maximize their efficiency.

  1. Supporting documents are required to be submitted to a driver’s carrier within 13 days of the document(s) being generated.

There are 5 types of supporting documents that drivers must submit to their carrier within 13 days of the document(s) being generated:

  • Bills of lading, itineraries, schedules, or equivalent documents that show the start and end location of each trip
  • Dispatch records, trip records, or equivalent documents
  • Expense receipts (i.e. meals, lodging, fuel, etc.)
  • Fleet management system communication records
  • Payroll records, settlement sheets, or equivalent documents that show payment to a driver

Each of these supporting documents must also include the following information:

  • Driver name, carrier-assigned identification number, or vehicle unit number (if it can be traced back to the driver)
  • Date
  • Location (including the name of nearest city)
  • Time

It’s also important to note that the carrier also has the responsibility of keeping no more than 8 supporting documents at a time for each 24-hour period that a driver is on duty.

  1. Brief your drivers on how to operate their ELD.

According to the FMCSA, drivers must be trained on how to use the following functions of ELDs:

  • Log in
  • Respond to unassigned driving hours in their ELD records
  • Record duty status changes
  • Edit their records
  • Add notes to their records to explain any edits or additions
  • Certify their records to indicate that they are complete and accurate
  • Access RODS data from their ELD
  • Review and understand their ELD’s printout/display information
  • Transfer their ELD data by email or Bluetooth to DOT inspectors or law enforcement
  • Identify and correct or report data diagnostic issues

This is where a proper training program comes in – created either by you or your ELD provider.

The key to a successful driver ELD training program is mutual understanding between drivers and fleet managers of the FMCSA ELD mandate requirements and how their chosen ELD operates.

We suggest that fleet managers also read the user instructions/guide/manual of their fleet’s ELD in order to better understand them and better communicate what is required of their drivers in terms of the ELD mandate.

We suggest looking for ELD providers that include a guided user tutorial as part of their service package (either as a printed/electronic user manual, video tutorials, guided in-app tutorial, or even in-person training).

Regardless of whether it involves an additional cost, choosing an ELD provider with training programs will give your fleet a competitive advantage in the form of an easier and more efficient driver onboarding process.



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