Electronic logging devices may not have been welcome with open arms by truckers and trucking companies, but as of December 18, 2017, eligible commercial vehicles were required to have ELDs on board or be judged to be noncompliant with the law. Of course, avoiding fines and other penalties by becoming compliant is one of the biggest advantages of using ELDs, there are other benefits that you may overlooking. Here are some of the additional advantages of using ELDs for drivers and commercial transportation business owners alike.

Less Paperwork

Paper logs of driving Hours of Service may be familiar, but that doesn’t make them efficient. Because an ELD will log your hours of work and vehicle movements for you, you won’t have to complete any paper records or deal with storing those records for the future. Everything will be held on the device itself, which means far less paperwork for fleet managers and drivers. Most people are surprised at the amount of time they save when they can take that paperwork burden off their schedules.

Save on Fuel Costs

ELDs give business owners a great deal of insight into what is happening with their drivers on the road. With this information, you can track one of the biggest wastes of fuel: Idling. ELDs will let you see when a driver is idling more than other drivers and using an excessive amount of fuel, so you can take steps to address the issue.

Identifying Driver Behavior Issues

Being able to see how drivers are doing their jobs will also help you spot behavioral issues that could be putting your team and business at risk. Using ELDs, you can see patterns of speeding, hard cornering, and hard braking. This lets you retrain drivers who need additional support and remove chronic problem drivers from your team.

Do you need help becoming compliant with ELD regulations and auditing your ELD records? HDS Safety Services can help to alleviate your administrative burden and ensure you are always on the right side of DOT guidelines. For more information about ELD auditing in Tucson, call (520) 622-0419.

In the workplace, having a comprehensive safety and compliance program is not just required by federal law—it is also good for business. A strong program will help to keep your team safe, prevent delays for your customers caused by compliance issues, and reduce the risk that your company will run afoul of federal and state safety regulations. This is especially true if your business is subject to DOT guidelines. Here is a closer look at the pieces of a comprehensive safety and compliance program that will protect your business and meet DOT regulations.

Training and Qualifications

All of your employees should receive appropriate training for their roles based on your specific company needs and any DOT requirements for their positions. This includes training in maintenance, inspections, and hours and service rules. It is also important for your company to have a system for vetting the qualifications of applicants and managing those qualifications for all employees, to ensure that the qualifications are legitimate and up to date.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

A rigorous drug and alcohol testing program is essential for any business involved in transportation, and most other industries can benefit from this kind of testing program as well. Your drug and alcohol program should include pre-employment screenings, random testing for employees, and reasonable suspicion testing protocols.

Auditing

Auditing is an important part of ensuring that you and your employees remain compliant with DOT regulations and your internal standards. This includes electronic logging device auditing as well as general auditing of your practices and the effectiveness of your safety and compliance initiatives.

HDS Safety Service can administer a safety and compliance program for your company, so you can focus on the logistics of running your business. Talk to one of our compliance experts in Tucson about your company’s needs by calling (520) 622-0419.

The electronic logging device rule, also known as the ELD Mandate, is one of the biggest changes ever to hit the trucking industry. The deadline to comply was December 2017, which means that trucking companies and independent drivers who are not using ELDs risk facing costly fines. Is your business adhering to the ELD Mandate? Here is what you need to know about compliance.

What is the ELD Mandate?

The ELD Mandate is simply a change to the way that Hours of Service (HOS) and Records of Duty Status (RODS) are collected. Under the ELD Mandate, truckers must use an electronic logging device—ELD—to record their hours, rather than paper records. Companies had until December 2017 to add certified ELDs for recording HOS in their vehicles. For companies that already had automatic on-broad recording devices, or AOBRDs, but whose AOBRDs may not comply with the new guidelines for certified ELDs have until December 2019 to make the upgrades. It’s important to note that the ELD Mandate doesn’t change the number of hours that drivers are permitted to operate. It simply introduced a new way of tracking them.

Why should my business use ELDs?

Obviously, companies have to use ELDs to be in compliance with DOT regulations, but there are more reasons to embrace this technology. Paper logs are inconvenient for drivers and dispatchers to use and slow down loads. With ELDs, dispatchers can schedule loads more precisely and efficiently, and drivers don’t have to waste time filing lengthy paperwork. ELDs also make the roads safer by flagging operators who aren’t following HOS guidelines.

Are ELDs costly to adopt?

There is a range of styles of ELDs in a range of prices. In some cases, companies use tablets and smartphones instead of ELD devices. The most critical factor to keep in mind is that ELDs must be hardwired to the engine.

Let HDS Safety Services help your business navigate your requirements under the ELD Mandate and make sure your fleet is in compliance. Talk to an ELD auditing expert in Tucson today by calling (520) 622-0419.

 

September 12, 2018

Tolleson, AZ – Today, the Arizona Trucking Association (ATA) announced HDS Safety Services as its newest Endorsed Partner.

“Everything a trucking company does emphasizes safety and as an industry we are always looking to improve safety,” said ATA President and CEO Tony Bradley. “Because safety is so important, it is vital to have great partners to help with not only safety but safety compliance. That’s why ATA is proud to announce HDS Safety Services as an Endorsed Partner.”

HDS Companies have had a long-standingrelationship with the Arizona Trucking Association and we expect this new partnership to benefit theAssociation and its members.

HDS Safety Services will offer a variety of safety services including:

  •  -Compliance Auditing Services
  •  -Compliance Consulting
  •  -Safety Training
  •  -Driver Qualifications
  •  -Electronic Logging Device Auditing

“HDS Safety Services is honored to be selected as an endorsed partner for the ATA,” said HDS Founder Doug Prall. “We believe that HDS Safety Services will help ATA members reduce carrier burden and allow them to focus on the other aspects of their business.”

To find out more about HDS Safety Services, please visit their website www.hdssafetyservices.com or call 877-206-1282. Be sure to let them know you are an ATA member.

About HDS:
In 1969, George Prall founded the Driver Dispatch Corporation to help companies find drivers who fit their specific needs. In 1985, George’s son, Doug Prall, founded Highway Distribution Services (HDS), which took over the service of helping carriers find drivers that fit their specific needs. Today, our company consists of over 200 drivers, four truck driving schools, a DOT regulations consulting division and a truck load carrier with over 150 trucks.

About ATA:
The Arizona Trucking Association is a non-profit trade association that serves as the primary voice of the trucking industry in Arizona.

Drug and alcohol testing plays an important role in many industries. If you have a drug and alcohol testing program that you use for employees, then it’s a good idea to learn about some of the common signs of addiction. Everyone is different, but there are some common signs that might help you determine if someone at work is addicted to drugs or alcohol:

Neglecting Responsibilities

When people become addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can be more and more difficult for them to maintain their regular routines. They might be more concerned with finding ways to use their drug of choice than getting to work on time or they might use the money they set aside for groceries to buy drugs or alcohol instead.

Changing Appearance

Addiction can take over a person’s life, making it difficult for them to keep up with daily habits such as taking care of themselves and putting effort into their appearance. Using drugs or alcohol can also have physical effects on a person’s body, including extreme weight loss or gain, bloodshot eyes, sick-looking skin, and an overall tired appearance.

Inconsistent Job Performance

Everyone has good days and bad days at work, but completely inconsistent job performance can be a sign of something more serious. If one of your employees goes back and forth from being super productive to being incredibly unproductive, then he might be struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

Negative Interactions

There is no rule that all coworkers must be friends, but it is expected that they interact peacefully and get along well during the workday. If one of your employees is struggling with addiction, then they might start having negative interactions more frequently with their coworkers. Other employees might start complaining about having arguments and bad interactions with the employee who might be addicted to drugs or alcohol.

If you’re looking for the right drug and alcohol testing program for your employees, contact HDS Safety Services today. Our testing services are great for businesses that are subject to DOT regulations. Call us at (520) 622-0419 for more information.

 

If you and your employees stay committed to workplace safety, then your safety audit should go smoothly. Your auditing professionals will need a few items from you in order to complete the audit, and then they’ll report back to you with their findings. At this point, you can decide if you need to make some changes. Here’s what to expect during your upcoming safety audit.

Items to Be Reviewed

Paperwork might not be your favorite part of the job, but excellent record keeping can make your safety audit a breeze. You will need to furnish your safety audit experts documents like accident files, time records, and insurance details. You should also tell your DOT safety audit team about your company’s drug and alcohol program and any hazmat regulations that might be in place.

Reporting of Findings

The purpose of a safety audit is to provide business owners with pertinent safety information about their company. When the professionals have had a chance to look over all of the documents and items that you’ve given them, they will report back to you and give you an idea of just how safe your work environment is. You can then use this information to think about how you could make your team safer and in compliance with federal regulations.

Implementation of New Policies

If your workplace is already impressively safe, then you’ll just need to keep doing what you’re doing. If workplace safety could be better, then consider the information your safety auditors have given you. Then translate this information into new policies that will help to keep your team and community safe.

Is your business in need of a safety audit in the near future? Contact HDS Safety Services or take a look at our website. It’s our job to help you keep your employees safe and healthy, and a safety audit is just one of the services we offer. Give our offices a call at (520) 622-0419 to find out what to expect.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed changes to its Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). These changes will allow the states to reflect the results of adjudicated citations related to roadside inspection violation data collected in MCMIS.

Individuals must submit certified documentation of adjudication results through a Request for Data Review (RDR) in FMCSA’s DataQs system to initiate this process. MCMIS is being modified to accept adjudication results showing that a citation was dismissed or resulted in a finding of not guilty; resulted in a conviction of a different or lesser charge; or, resulted in conviction of the original charge. The adjudication results will impact the use of roadside inspection violation data in other FMCSA data systems. These changes are intended to improve roadside inspection data quality.

Inspection data
State and local law enforcement officials routinely conduct roadside inspections documenting violations of laws or regulations that are compatible with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs). These law enforcement officials, at their discretion, may issue citations for the violations recorded on the roadside inspection report.

States are responsible for entering roadside inspection and violation data into SafetyNet, a database management system that allows entry, access, analysis, and reporting of data from driver/vehicle inspections, crashes, investigations, assignments, and complaints. SafetyNet provides data to MCMIS that interfaces with several databases, including:

The Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) system;
Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP); and
Safety Measurement System (SMS) for the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.
SafetyNet and MCMIS have always contained records of inspections and reportable crashes.

DataQs process
Pursuant to 49 CFR 350.201(s), one condition for participation in the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) is that a state establish a program to ensure that accurate and timely motor carrier safety data are collected and reported and that the state participates in a national motor carrier safety data correction system prescribed by FMCSA. DataQs is that national motor carrier data correction system.

DataQs is an online system that provides an electronic means for drivers, motor carriers, and members of the public to submit concerns about the accuracy of crash, inspection, and violation data in FMCSA data systems. When a request for an RDR is filed, the DataQs system automatically forwards the request to the appropriate federal or state office for processing and resolution (https://dataqs.fmcsa.dot.gov/).

The data system and policy changes will allow drivers, motor carriers, and members of the public to file an RDR in FMCSA’s DataQs system and to seek acknowledgement of the adjudication in the inspection record. The change in the state data systems will parallel corresponding changes to FMCSA data systems. A citation that has been resolved through a judicial or administrative process, regardless of outcome, is considered to be adjudicated.

FMCSA believes these changes will:

provide a uniform and orderly process to incorporate recording adjudicated citations through DataQs under the state’s MCSAP Commercial Vehicle Safety Plans and budgets;
provide an effective process to ensure system effectiveness and data quality; and
reduce the cost of applying and implementing these changes across the agency and the states.
FMCSA is requiring that MCSAP grantees follow this policy of recording adjudication results as a condition of their grant funding under 49 CFR 350.201.

New data field
Previously, SafetyNet and MCMIS recorded inspection and violation data from the initial inspection report only and did not contain a data field that would allow the state to append the result of an adjudicated citation to the appropriate violation on the inspection report. With these changes, SafetyNet and MCMIS will be modified to provide a field that may be populated with the adjudication result of a citation associated with the related inspection report. The adjudication result will impact the use of the related violations in SMS and PSP.

Implementation
FMCSA’s State Programs Division will issue direction to the MCSAP agencies explaining the expectations and responsibilities related to the adjudicated citation process. This policy will apply to inspections occurring on or after August 23, 2014, and will be included in the next version of the DataQs manual.

FMCSA will conduct training for DataQs analysts through DataQs email blasts, training bulletins, and webinars. The webinars and other training will be provided to DataQs analysts before the policy is implemented to improve the consistency of implementation. The agency will also be providing training to its own staff. In addition, information will be available on the agency’s website and on the DataQs website.