One of the shortcomings of the new electronic logging device mandate that goes into effect in December is that it causes problems for drivers who are working for a driver service or a temporary driver pool.

These drivers are unable to transfer their hours of service information from one carrier to another. Even though this probably applies to a relatively small group of drivers, it will cause them considerable inconvenience.

This is known in the ELD world as inter-operability, and in drafting its rule, FMCSA choose not to address it.

"Continental and others submitted comments requesting the agency address the issue of inter-operability, but that is as far as we got," says Alexis Cappelle, ELD program manager for Continental Corp. "The standard addresses the electronic formatting of the data for export, for inspection, but it doesn't require ELD providers to accept incoming data, so nobody has made provisions to accept data from one ELD brand to another."

A driver working for Carrier A this week and Carrier B next week would have to print out the previous 7 or 14 days worth of logs from Carrier A and manually enter them into Carrier B's ELD so the hours would all be accounted for. Paper copies of the last week's logs might pass muster at a roadside inspection, but would be insufficient in an audit, because the Carrier B's system would not show the hours worked by the driver in the previous week.

"The driver will have to get his or her RODS [records of duty status] from each fleet he or she is working for," says Capelle. "To date there is no standard to exchange RODS information from one ELD system to another one, so the data import will have to be manual."

Tracy Clayson, managing partner for business development at In Transit Personnel Inc., an agency that supplies drivers to many different types of trucking operations, is aware of the potential difficulties for temporary drivers, but says she is not aware of any easy solution to the problem.

"About 10% of our workforce fits into that category, and I know it's going to be a problem for them, but we don't have a solution yet. We're looking at all our options, but any solution really has to come from the ELD vendors doing something about inter-operability."

About the author
Jim Park

Jim Park

Equipment Editor

A truck driver and owner-operator for 20 years before becoming a trucking journalist, Jim Park maintains his commercial driver’s license and brings a real-world perspective to Test Drives, as well as to features about equipment spec’ing and trends, maintenance and drivers. His On the Spot videos bring a new dimension to his trucking reporting. And he's the primary host of the HDT Talks Trucking videocast/podcast.

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