By now, everyone except grandfathered Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) owners must be compliant with the ELD or elog mandate. Therefore, most drivers have been using elogs for a year or more. Making edits on the AOBRD is the same. But how do you add information or make edits to mistakes made on the elog and stay within the FMCSA’s intent and pass those roadside inspections? Follow these simple steps to avoid problems.
Everyone is subject to roadside inspections while transporting cargo. And, no one wants a Form and Manner violation at the “chicken coop.”
Form & Manner Violations Top Elog Errors
Hours of Service (HOS) violations are a common problem for truckers and other CMV drivers. Fleet managers often struggle with truckers who have HOS violations. The CSA points and other penalties, including traffic tickets and fines, add up and lead to interventions by the FMCSA.
The most common HOS violation is the Form and Manner violation. Although the Form and Manner violation is typically only one CSA point, multiple or repeated offenses add “time” weights to the severity points assessed for each violation, and inspectors can find several at a roadside inspection.
In California, the CHP administers the weigh stations, fondly called chicken coops. Most are not looking to get truckers terminated from their employment, but that’s just what can happen if the driver does not pay close attention to detail when updating their elog. The most common cause of Form and Manner violations is not updating the elog after every change of duty status, known as a Record of Duty Status (RODS).
Before starting a trip, part of the daily checks must include updating the elog. Everyday items that are not updated include:
- Carrier Name
- Carrier main office address
- Vehicle number
- The date
- Shipping document numbers
- Driver & co-driver name, if any
- Miles driven since the last RODS
- Driver’s signature
Although most of these do not change, some do, and those are the ones that usually get overlooked. Likewise, an elog that is not updated gets assessed five CSA severity points, and each incorrect item can get one point each. Avoiding these errors and updating your log is an easy way to avert CSA point assessments, fines, and other penalties.
According to the FMCSA, drivers and carrier staff (if approved by the driver) can make minor changes to the elog. All edits to add information or correct mistakes must include a note to explain why the change was needed. Say the driver used the CMV while off-duty to go to a restaurant to eat and forgot to make the RODS change. While updating the required Form and Manner information he or she realizes their mistake.
The driver can then go into the “View Log” module on the ELD and select “View Logs” again. To start editing, select the pencil icon on the far right. Another log will come up as an overlay. At the bottom, you will see two boxes: “Fill from Start” and “Fill to End”. Below that you can see six statuses with a circle next to those: Off Duty, Sleeper Berth, Driving, On Duty, Personal Conveyance, and Yard Move.
For this example, say you went to dinner from 8 pm to 10 pm, you would then choose “Fill from Start”, choose 8 pm, and “Fill to End”, choose 10 pm. You will then see 2 hours as the duration listed directly below. When you click “Personal Conveyance”, you will see the duty status change. Click complete, and your edit is updated.
Now the screen will change, and another overlay will come up. That screen says “Location and Comment”; you must still enter a note of explanation. Note the diner location and add the note: personal conveyance to Denny’s for dinner, or wherever you went to eat.
It’s also important for the driver and carrier/fleet staff to communicate when an error gets found after the elog gets turned in to HQ. Staff can radio or call the driver and set up a time to make the edit, but the driver must sign all edits if they agree with the change.
Watch this video:
This video is a Switchboard ELD. Many Elog devices are being used, but the premise is the same. This video is not meant in any way as an endorsement of Switch or any of its products. They just had the most concise video on the subject.
Be careful to only make changes that actually occurred, as falsifying an Elog is a seven severity point violation and will likely lead to an Out-of-Service (OOS) Order, fines, and civil penalties. If that happens, ask a traffic ticket attorney for legal advice.
Consult with the Traffic Law Professionals at Bigger & Harman
Although for most, using the elog is a simple task; for others it can get complicated. Some make it more difficult than it has to be by waiting to fill out information at the end of the trip or forget to fill it out at all. When you get ticketed for an HOS violation or any traffic ticket in Lamont in Kern County, call Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We practice traffic law in Central Valley, traffic courts in Bakersfield, Delano, Mojave, Barstow, Fresno, Porterville, Visalia, and others, as well as courts in Owens Valley in Mono and Inyo County. We are traffic ticket lawyers who regularly assist CDL holders with permit violations, speeding tickets, overweight trucks, hazardous material violations (most of which are misdemeanors), and other problems that can lead to substantial fines, NOTS & CSA points, and often in this high turnover industry, job termination.
Call Us for a free phone consultation, or send an email, firstname.lastname@example.org. We will reply as soon as we return to the office.
The 2018CA Commercial Driver Handbook .pdf
The FMCSA article, Who Can Edit Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Record?
The ELDmandatefacts.com article, 6 Common HOS Violations (and How to Fix Them)
The embedded YouTube video by Switch.