As we developed the listing of electronic logging device providers for the special ELD supplement in this issue, I spent a couple of days visiting the website of every single company on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s listing of registered ELD devices. It was rather enlightening.
I found a number of companies that were either no longer in business, or were no longer selling ELDs as part of their product and service offerings. Other companies had new website addresses for their companies or for their ELD products. Some companies had undergone a name change. Others had been acquired by another firm.
Any updated information we found is reflected in our listing.
There still are a number of companies we left on the list, despite being unable to verify whether or not they have an ELD offering, with emails and calls left unreturned at press time. Some had websites available only in Spanish – perhaps aimed at Mexican carriers that cross the border. Others appeared to be viable telematics or fleet software companies, but ELD offerings were not obvious on their websites. Still other companies on the list appear to be motor carriers, which perhaps developed self-certified ELDs for their own use, but it’s unclear whether they offer them for use by other companies.
I had to wonder – what does the FMCSA do to keep this list updated? I asked Joe DeLorenzo, director of the FMCSA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance about that.
He told me, the ELD mandate regulations specify that it’s the responsibility of the vendor to make sure the information on the FMCSA website is accurate.
“In several cases, vendors have come to FMCSA and voluntarily self-revoked their registration,” he said in an email. As we went to press, the “revoked devices list” includes 11 devices, self-revoked by six companies. Some are companies that have gone out of business. Others are companies that do have currently registered ELDs; it’s just certain devices or software that are no longer registered.
“In addition, FMCSA continues to monitor the vendor’s activity and information to ensure that it remains current,” he wrote. “In the event that information is not current, or if inaccuracies are discerned, the agency may initiate revocation proceedings.”
What’s not clear is how they’re monitoring it. You would think someone at DOT could spend a couple days checking it out as I did.
The whole self-certification process was one of the criticisms leveled at the agency when the ELD mandate was announced.
Annette Sandberg, CEO of TransSafe Consulting and a former FMCSA administrator, said during a recent HDT webinar, “There are quite a few bad ELD vendors out there. They probably should have never been certified. But remember, this is a self-certification process, where the vendor just simply says that they’re compliant – but they may not in fact be compliant.”
That shortcoming led some companies (including TransSafe, as well as Pit Group) to offer third-party ELD certification services to help ELD providers gain the confidence of customers.
Canada, which just announced its own ELD rules, is not following the U.S. lead when it comes to self-certification of devices. It is requiring third-party verification that devices are compliant. Although the application process for accreditation of certifying bodies is not fully defined yet, the rules say they must meet certain criteria when applying for the job, including being ISO 17065 compliant. Vendors will have to pay to have their devices certified.
If it’s smart, the Canadian government also will make sure its process includes a way to make sure its list of certified-compliant devices remains updated. In the meantime, I think I’ll send Joe DeLorenzo my notes.