Lately, there have been a lot of changes in the commercial trucking industry with regards to the tracking of drivers and the use of electronic logging devices to do so. While the new laws that will soon go into effect are aimed mostly at commercial transport companies and big rig drivers, there are some vacuum truck companies that must note these changes as well. Any businesses using vacuum trucks for sale in larger scale operations, such as for wastewater and oilfield use, will need to adhere to these new rules and add ELDs to their trucks, just like other trucking businesses.
ELDs Become Mandatory Soon
Beginning in December of 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) will require that all commercial trucks, barring those which are exempt, have electronic logging devices to track truck use and driver hours. This gives companies a little over a year to choose the right devices, install them in their vehicles, and train employees on their use.
Choosing the Right ELD
The FMCSA has provided a list of devices that can be purchased by trucking companies to comply with the new law changes, leaving the choice up to each individual company. It is important to point out that the FMCSA has stated that they have not specifically tested any units, so it is up to the trucking companies themselves to ensure that any ELDs they purchase are compliant with the new logging rules. This means that trucking companies, including those larger companies that use vacuum trucks, need to understand exactly what the logging laws say and determine whether the ELDs they choose to buy can function in the ways that will be acceptable to the FMCSA.
The new logging rules also require companies to retain various supporting reports generated from these devices within specific timeframes as a means of reducing the possibility of falsifying documentation. Dispatch and on-duty driving records, payroll, settlement sheets, driver information and a number of other reports must be generated from ELDs in a timely manner and stored by companies for at least six months; further emphasizing the importance of using a device that can track and report the necessary information.
Who Is Exempt?
The new e-logging laws apply to all commercial trucks, which does include some companies that purchase and use vacuum trucks, unless the trucks fit any of these three specific exemptions: #1 drivers on timecards who drive less than a 100-mile radius from a home base; #2 drive-away and tow-away operations that deliver new or used trucks to dealers and customers; and #3 trucks made before 1999 that do not have the electronic systems available to support the use of ELDs. In all of these cases, while the use of ELDs may be exempt, this does not change any current requirements for keeping manual records.
While many companies who operate fleets of vacuum trucks may not fall under the new rules requiring the use of ELDs, there are some larger businesses that might. Businesses that regularly purchase vacuum trucks for sale must determine their specific driver and truck logging requirements and not assume this is only for commercial carrier companies. The fact is that some vacuum truck companies will fall under the new FMCSA e-logging requirements and will require ELDs by December of 2017. So be aware and be prepared!