Fleet owners are subject to a number of fleet management laws and regulations, and a lack of knowledge in these areas could threaten your business by falling out of compliance. Implementing a vehicle tracking system can help you abide by the many fleet management laws and avoid penalty fees.
The DOT’s Electronic Logging Device Rule
An electronic logging device (ELD) is an automated system that records driving time, records a driver’s hours of service and syncs with a commercial vehicle’s engine to monitor activity. To outline specific ELD requirements, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a final rule for electronic logging devices in early 2016. This rule requires use of ELDs by most drivers currently required to file Record of Duty Status with very few exemptions. This rule sets specific performance and design standards for ELDs in addition to hours of service documentation and REQUIRES fleets to become compliant by Dec. 18, 2017 — two years after the rule was initially published.
To help with implementation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is certifying ELDs, which means a FMCSA-certified system will ensure your fleet is fully compliant with the new standards set by the ELD rule. Certification will indicate your fleet is following the new guidelines and will help streamline the documentation process. Certification is designed to be as simple and straightforward as possible, requiring only information that should be readily available or obtainable — like name and model number of a product, the software it rusn, operating manuals and more.
GPS Tracking for Hazardous and Dangerous Materials
The Department of Transportation also requires GPS tracking for shipments that include hazardous or dangerous materials in response to security concerns. After the Sept. 11 attacks, the government became more focused on potential vulnerabilities, which meant an increased focus on trucking-related border crossings, food shipments, and the transport of hazardous materials. Your vehicle management policy and procedure should include GPS tracking if any of your drivers transport hazardous materials.
Your fleet management operating procedures should also include prevention and reporting of hazardous material spills. The FMCSA (in partnership with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) provides guidelines on when to report hazardous material spills and to whom they should be reported. These guidelines also include incident-report templates and an emergency response guidebook.
Getting to Compliance
Fleet management policies and procedures can be tricky, especially when you are in the midst of trying to develop more business and meet the needs of your existing customers. At Fleet Trax, we offer products and services that make compliance simple so you can stay on top of changes in regulations.
If you have concerns about staying compliant and keeping your business moving forward, we can answer any questions you may have and show you the tools you need to make sure your business is adhering to fleet management laws and regulations.
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