5 Things to Do Today to Be More Geotab ELD Compliant Forever
Keeping up with ELD compliance can be a challenge, but not all of it has to be all that complicated. Below are five steps you can take today to help ensure your fleet is compliant.
OBLIGATORY LEGAL STUFF: The following are suggestions to help get you compliant but do not guarantee compliance. For legal questions about compliance contact your local DOT office.
1. Use the ELD Settings Validator to Check Compliance
What the ELD Settings Validator Is For
The ELD Settings Validator helps you to see which of your vehicles and drivers are missing information required for compliance. To access the ELD Settings Validator, go to Administration > Systems > ELD Settings Validator. (If you don’t have this option, you can download the Validator from the Geotab Marketplace.
(If you prefer a visual version of this step, check out our 3.65-minute YouTube video on installing and using the ELD Settings Validator. ← This links externally to Fleet Nav’s YouTube channel.)
Checking your Drivers for Compliance
The first tab in the ELD Settings Validator is your “Users” information that will show you if any drivers have compliance issues.
Any users that show up in this list are:
1) set up as drivers, and
2) missing information.
To add information, click the button to the far right of a user’s name. This will open a new window inside your user’s profile page to make the required edits. Fill in the missing information on this page and click . Now you can go back to the ELD Settings Validator and click . You’ll see that the driver is no longer on the list if you’ve filled in all the information that he needs.
(Need a refresher on adding data for HOS drivers? Check out our two-minute video on YouTube on Setting Up HOS Drivers.)
Checking your Vehicles for Compliance
The next tab is “Vehicles” and works exactly the same way as the “Users” tab.
Pro Tip: The “License Plate” field will register as incomplete until you have entered both the vehicle’s license plate *and* the license plate state.
(I’ve made a 48-second video on Setting Up Vehicles for HOS here. Note: this links externally to our Fleet Nav YouTube channel.)
Looking Up Local and Regional DOT Offices
The final tab in the ELD Settings Validator is a directory of regional FMCSA service centers and state field offices. If you ever have any legal questions, these are the places you’ll want to reach out to.
If You Have a Large Fleet with Lots of Missing Information
There are buttons at the top of the ELD Settings Validator that will download .csv lists of your users or drivers. You can use these instead of the Validator’s default view as an additional tool to cross-reference which users or drivers are still missing information.
2. Keep Required In-Cab Documents Handy
There are three required in-cab documents that you need to have in case you get pulled over for an inspection. You can access these documents to download and print from our ELD Resources page.
If you do not want to print these pages, you can install the ELD Info add-in from the Geotab Marketplace and have your drivers download electronic copies of the documents to their phones or tablets. This is permitted via the FMCSA’s ruling that electronic copies of required in-cab documents are acceptable.
NOTE: If you decide to let your drivers keep the electronic copies of these documents only, you will need to make sure that they 1) have them downloaded for offline viewing in case they are inspected somewhere outside of cellular coverage, and 2) know how to retrieve these documents (ideally: quickly) during an inspection. This not only helps inspections to go more smoothly, it can help your drivers avoid needless citations.
3. Ensure All Unassigned Logs are Assigned or Accounted For
All unassigned logs must be accounted for. You can do this in two different ways:
1) Assign the logs to a driver, or
2) Annotate them to explain why they were unassigned.
Locating Unassigned Logs
All unassigned logs can be retrieved just like drivers’ logs, but instead of choosing a specific driver you’ll click “Unidentified driver” under Activity > HOS… > Duty Status Logs. Click “Apply Changes” and all of your unassigned logs will show up on this page. Logs that have not yet been accounted for will show up in pink, while logs that have already been annotated will show up in white.
Assigning Unassigned Logs to a Driver
To assign logs to a driver, click the box on your logs page and choose the “Select individual” option. You will now see little check boxes to the right of the logs. (Drive and ON logs will always be selected in pairs. This isn’t a mistake, it is a system requirement.) Check the logs you want to assign to another driver and then select the “Edit Selected HOS Logs” button at the top of the screen.
If you don’t see this button right away, you may see it as a gear or cog symbol if you have a smaller screen. From this new edit page, find the “Driver” option and toggle to the “Replace With” option. Select the driver you want to move the logs to, add an annotation, and click the “Save” button.
These logs will now be moved over to the assigned driver and should not show up on the Unidentified driver logs anymore.
Annotating Unassigned Logs
Annotating unassigned logs works exactly the same way as adding a driver; the only difference is you simply add the annotation and skip the step where you specify another driver.
These logs will still show up in the Unidentified driver logs, but will now be white instead of pink to indicate that you have accounted for them.
4. Have Drivers Trained to Know What to Expect in Inspections
Probably the most important thing for a driver to know for an inspection is that he is running an ELD and not an AOBRD. There are explanations of the differences between ELDs and AOBRDs all over the internet, but the real part that actually matters here is that he knows he has an ELD in his truck. This helps the inspecting officer know how to proceed with an inspection.
If your driver is running an ELD, the next main thing he’ll need to know is where his in-cab documents are. These documents are required, and the quicker he can retrieve these for an officer the better it will look on him. Take a look at the section from earlier in this article where we discussed these in-cab documents at length.
Knowing he has an ELD and where his documents are should help your driver tremendously; however, it is going to be really important that he actually knows how to transfer his logs during an inspection. All he needs to do is:
- Go to the “Inspection” button on the Geotab Drive app’s homepage,
- Fill in the officer’s code (if one is provided),
- Select email or web services as his transfer method, or
- Generate a compliance print (if outside of cellular range during inspection).
For more information on how this works, check out our quick video on How to Transfer Logs During an Inspection on our YouTube channel.
If you’re brand-new to this system and want to ensure that your drivers are getting the most out of their ELD solution, check out our free Geotab Drive for Drivers video course. This course is self-paced, mobile-friendly, and will get your drivers up-to-speed on using the Geotab Drive app in approximately 30 – 40 minutes. (Note: We host these videos on an external site, so the sign-up link will be on our Thinkific page.)
5. Connect with Us to Stay Informed
If any significant changes are coming to the Hours of Service rules or your MyGeotab platform, you can bet we’ll be taking action early to ensure that we understand these changes. We send out a monthly newsletter where we highlight important changes coming to the HOS rules or any of Geotab’s regular products that we support. We run this through a mailing list that you can add yourself to here: Fleet Nav newsletter sign-up form (this is an external link to our mailing-list platform).
As we’ve mentioned a few times in this blog, we also regularly upload new videos to our YouTube channel. Each of these videos is designed to be informative and as short as possible so you can learn what you need and move along with your other tasks. You can also leave comments for us if you have any questions on the topics discussed in each video. Consider subscribing to keep up-to-date on the latest Geotab information.