09.06
2019

How to Best Manage Your ELD Woes

If you’re running a fleet business that involves long-haul driving, then you’re well familiar with the rules and regulations that came about with the federal mandate requiring electronic logging devices (ELD) to automate the tracking of hours of service (HoS) in order to prevent drivers from exceeding too many hours logged within any given day. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has indicated that the number of violations is steadily decreasing thanks to the new mandate, a couple of unexpected trends are beginning to pick up.

Increase in drivers speeding.
Because the length of time is what is mandated, but business owners tend to be more concerned with getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible, some drivers can feel pressured to increase their speed, taking them across the threshold into unsafe driving territory. This can be especially true if, say, they find themselves caught amid rush-hour traffic and subsequently feel the pressure to make up for lost time.

With our software, dispatchers can better help drivers plan out their trips to avoid traffic delays, alleviating them from some of that stress. But it’s also on management to be watchful of drivers’ speed. Our solution monitors driver speeds and alerts can be sent whenever a violation occurs. While driving a little over the speed limit may help your driver get to their destination faster, according to the American Trucking Associations, speed is the contributing factor to 18 percent of fatal crashes where a truck driver is found at fault. Lives can’t be replaced and the cost to replace equipment (plus the potential legal fees) far outweigh the cost of drivers showing up later than expected.

Searching for safe parking.
Long-haul drivers can’t just pull over anywhere they want. When it comes time to rest up, they need to find a safe spot where they can set up shop. This can push drivers to the limit as they try to find the ideal location while also attempting to maximize their hours, and could result in a violation of HoS since there is little room for flexibility. It’s important to plan out routes as efficiently as possible to make sure they are able to pull over in a location they’d feel safe camping out for an extended period of time.

While there are those who are proponents of loosening the rigidity of HoS for certain circumstances, the fact of the matter is that right now, there is no room for flexibility. So why not turn to our suite of tools, which includes an ELD solution, to help make sure you aren’t left paying hefty penalties? Together, with some strategic planning, we can maximize your drivers’ routes and keep your business from getting fined. Your bank account will thank you.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

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05.14
2019

Feature Study: ELD on Encore

Encore’s Electronic Logging Device (ELD) solution helps businesses in the transportation industry easily keep track of the information that they need to regularly document and report. Powered by VisTracks, our ELD application is a powerful tool that can automatically log important data regarding drivers’ active time behind the wheel.

Why is documentation important?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) put in place Hours of Service (HoS) regulations that transportation companies must abide by, as a means of enhancing highway safety. HoS mandates set the total amount of time that commercial drivers can spend on the road before they’re required to rest, making documentation of these hours off critical for remaining in compliance.

Manually logging driver data takes time, isn’t always accurate, and doesn’t provide the detailed analytics that our ELD solution does. From Encore’s web portal, you can see reports of your truck drivers’ drive times and hours off, all from an integrated system that automatically captures and displays relevant data.

Benefits of ELD on Encore

ELD on Encore offers multiple benefits to transportation companies that can help them save both time and money. Costly fines can stem from HoS infractions; however, our ELD solution is able to provide your team with all the tools it needs to organize and automatically record its data, lowering your potential to incur regulatory fees like these.

Encore’s ELD solution uses a simple combination of hardware mounted into company vehicles and back end software to automatically document driver logs. This tandem consistently works to provide your drivers with extra time during daily working hours, allowing them to only focus on safe, efficient driving.

Actsoft is constantly developing new solutions to help transportation companies like yours enhance cost efficiency, improve safety, and save resources. Use our ELD solution to take the guesswork out of remaining in compliance with HoS mandates today.

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01.09
2019

Commercial Motor Vehicle Medical Certificates

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have long had to comply with various safety precautions to ensure they’re alert on the road during long drives and amid poor driving conditions. One of these mandates is a clean bill of health.

The National Registry of Medical Examiners was created to reduce highway accidents according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Requiring CMV drivers to have up-to-date medical certificates is based on various reports, such as National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) crash investigations, which indicates that improper medical certification of CMV drivers with serious disqualifying medical conditions has directly contributed to fatal and injury crashes.

A school bus and truck collision in New Jersey illustrates the importance of certified medical examiners, according to the NTSB. The school bus driver involved in the crash received his medical certification in January 2012, before medical examiners were required to have training. The FMCSA had no regulatory authority over the examining doctor, there were no federal training or certification programs to ensure that examiners were familiar with the regulations, and there was no national registry of examiners. However, examiners were expected to exercise good medical judgment and carefully evaluate each person on whom they performed a physical examination (Herner, Smedvy, and Ysander 1966).

According to the investigation, in this case, the medical examiner, a chiropractor, never saw the school bus driver before and did not obtain medical records or consults from the driver’s primary care and specialist doctors. The extent to which the medical examiner verbally discussed the driver’s chronic low back pain and diagnosis of alcoholism (and alcohol abuse), which are underlying potentially disqualifying conditions, is not known. Moreover, it is unknown to what extent he discussed the prescription medications he was aware of, even though he wrote on the commercial driver’s license (CDL) form that they do not interfere with driving. Therefore, the NTSB concludes that the CDL medical examiner did not thoroughly evaluate the school bus driver for medical conditions that could have disqualified him from receiving a CDL. The NTSB also concludes that based on the school bus driver’s combination of medical conditions and use of multiple prescription medications, it is likely that he would not have been medically certified to drive a school bus if he had fully disclosed his medical history on the CDL medical certification.
While it’s impossible to know what a driver’s habits are on a daily basis, it’s crucial to put measures in place to ensure the safety of vehicles and passengers on roadways, as illustrated by the New Jersey crash.

Along with required medical examinations by now-certified medical examiners, as well as the newly passed Hours of Service legislation, there are other measures companies themselves can institute to ensure driver safety. GPS tracking has long been a popular tool to maintain watch of driver behavior — which would have been impossible pre-technology. Now, for pennies a day, fleet-based companies, or any business who uses drivers to deliver services or goods, can monitor a host of behaviors.

What can I monitor?

  • Driver speeds
  • Idling
  • Fast braking
  • Travel outside of authorized areas
  • Rapid acceleration

Each of these behaviors can be set up to alert managers and office personnel so that a driver can be notified that they are breaking a rule and must modify their behavior before an accident or other liability happens. Moreover, weekly or monthly reports can be created to get a snapshot of driver activity, to compare behavior from month-to-month or to compare drivers with each other.

Have any questions on how Actsoft can help you?

Call (888) 732-6638 or Receive a Live Webinar