How to avoid frequent ELD violations

Published on April 29, 2021

Did you know, there are almost 4 million commercial motor vehicle inspections performed annually throughout North America? While trucking companies take safety very seriously, it’s easy to overlook the small things which result in violations. Not only can you be fined, but these violations affect your organization’s CSA score making your fleet a target for further inspections. There’s a long list of items to check before hitting the road. With the Canadian ELD mandate beginning January 2023, we wanted to highlight some of the top ELD-related violations and how to avoid them.

1. Failing to maintain ELD user’s manual and instruction sheet

It is mandatory for drivers to always carry the ELD information packet onboard. The ELD user’s manual and instruction sheet includes:

  • ELD instructions manual
  • ELD malfunction instructions describing steps to be taken when the ELD malfunctions
  • Reporting requirements and record-keeping procedures
  • A paper logbook to cover at least eight days (in the event the ELD malfunctions)
  • Step by step instructions on how to transfer driver’s hour of service records

Solution: Since an e-log is digital, the information packet can be stored within the ELD’s driver app. In digital format, the driver can easily access the material needed without having to keep track of hardcopy documents (aside from the backup paper logs). The Geotab Drive App stores these items and can be easily accessed with the touch of a button.

 2. Not providing the last 14/7 day logs

In Canada and the U.S., drivers must be prepared to provide previous day logs. In Canada, drivers must be able to show their driving logs for the past 14 days, while in the U.S. they must show seven days’ worth. These records of duty status (RODS) can be supplied digitally or on paper (if using paper logs). Below are the available formats drivers can show their RODS.

  • Paper logs
  • Printout from an ELD
  • Transfer of records from an ELD to an authorized safety official
  • Display from a device with logging software and electronic signature capabilities

    Solution: Always be sure that previous logs are available in at least one of the forms above. Plan ahead if you need to cross the U.S. and Canadian border – your logs need to reflect the regulations in the country you’re driving in. With the Geotab Drive App, drivers can easily display or transfer their last 14/7 day logs.

    3. Form and manner violations

    Many HOS violations are related to form and manner issues. These violations can happen often because they’re easy to spot by an inspector. But what are a form and manner? Essentially, form and manner are a set of admin tasks needed to complete a driver’s log. Most of the information stays the same each day. Along with the record of duty status (RODS), drivers also need to make sure they have the following information recorded on their logs: 

    • Date 
    • Name of carrier 
    • Main office address 
    • Total miles driving today 
    • Vehicle number 
    • Driver’s signature/certification (digital) 
    • Name of co-driver (if applicable) 
    • Annotations 
    • Shipping document (if applicable) 

    It’s a long list to keep on top of – especially with all the other documents drivers need to keep on hand. And even if drivers have the necessary form and manner information, sloppy paperwork, poor handwriting, and little mistakes can lead to violations and longer inspections. 

    Solution: Say goodbye to messy paperwork and unreadable handwriting. The Geotab Drive App automatically fills out any fields that stay the same each day while the ELD tracks the mileage driven. With the Geotab ELD solution, drivers don’t need to worry about missing form and manner information. 

    4. Duty status log violations

    Most drivers are familiar with completing their logs using paper at the end of each day. But oftentimes, this doesn’t cut it. An inspector can stop a driver at any time during the day and if their logs haven’t been filled out to that point, they’re automatically in violation. Forgetting to update duty status is the second most frequent HOS violation found at roadside inspections.  

    Solution: With an ELD, so long as the driver logs in and out using the App, it eliminates the need to recall their daily driving activities. Electronic logs, like the Geotab GO device, detect when a vehicle is in motion and automatically change the driver’s duty status.  

    These are just some of the ELD-related violations drivers experience daily. With so many things to keep track of, an ELD can give drivers peace of mindContact Northern BI to learn how the Geotab ELD solution can help prevent violations for your fleet! 

    More resources:

    HOS rules in Canada and the U.S.

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      Rebecca Cail

      Client Solutions Specialist


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