As we wait for the official release of Roadcheck 2018 inspection and violation data, one has to wonder if it will be the same as last year? This has been the case for many years. Every year, the violation data from Roadcheck highlights the same violations when it comes to hours of service – general form and manner, log not current, violating one of the driving limits, no log when required, and falsified logs are always on the list. The only issue year-to-year seems to be which one will be where on the driver violation list.
Drop in Quantity of Hours of Service Violations
However, we expect that the “norm” is likely to change this year. As this was the first Roadcheck in which the majority of drivers that have to complete a log had to be using an electronic log (either an AOBRD or an ELD), we are likely to see a shift in the data related to hours of service, both in terms of the violations written and the number of violations.
And the change could be significant if the recent data released by FMCSA is any indication. According to FMCSA, the number of roadside violations related to the hours-of-service limits is dropping. This should cause these particular violations to drop lower on the list of violations usually written during Roadcheck 2018. Log not current and some other recordkeeping-related violations should drop as well if the recently-released industry data is any indication. If you are curious about violation trends, you can see the industry roadside inspection data at FMCSA’s A and I website at www.ai.fmcsa.dot.gov.
New ELD Violations Rise to the Top
Additionally, we expect there will be new violations on the list. These violations will be related to:
- Drivers not having the correct type of log
- Drivers not being able to forward their log files directly to officers when using an ELD
- Drivers being written up for their ELD not being registered with FMCSA
- Drivers not having the correct documentation in the cab with them (user’s manual, blank logs, etc.)
While it is likely that there were fewer hours-of-service related violations written during Roadcheck 2018, even money says that the top 10 driver violations will still include several hours-of-service related violations.
Potential Carrier Impact
So, what does this mean to a carrier? The data will again confirm that as a company you cannot stop auditing logs. You still need to catch and counsel drivers that are cheating and drivers that are making mistakes. But performing audits are going to have to be done differently. And it means that you cannot stop training your drivers when it comes to hours-of-service. Drivers need to know the limits and how to use their devices (rather than how and when to draw lines to “make it all fit”).
It also means that while you should see a decline in violations after you switch to electronic logs, you are still going to see hours-of-service violations unless you work hard at auditing, counselling, and training.
Make some time to read our newest whitepaper, 7 Log Audits You Should Be Doing. In this whitepaper, you will find step-by-step audits that will help you catch common driver errors and potential falsification to keep you on top of your Hours of Service program.