Tom Bray - Industry Consultant - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
October 19 , 2018
Unassigned driving events, referred to in the regulations as non-authenticated or unauthenticated logs, occur any time a vehicle equipped with an automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) or electronic logging device (ELD) is moved without a driver being logged into the device.
Carriers need to assign someone to review the unassigned driver account daily. This is important because these events can accumulate if unchecked for any length of time, quickly becoming unmanageable. Once drivers find out that you are not catching them when they drive without being logged in, the number of unassigned driving events that are actually false logs will increase significantly.
The longer you go before correcting a driver who is making a mistake, the more unassigned driving events the driver will create. And if you are audited, the unassigned driving events in the Unassigned Driver account will be the focus of the investigator. If you are not managing these events correctly, the investigator will be able to assign the time or determine that it is false driving. His/her next question will be, “Why are you not doing this?”
Not all unassigned driving events are caused by drivers attempting to falsify. They can be honest mistakes. No matter what the reason, make sure someone talks directly to the driver(s) involved whenever an unassigned driving event comes into the back office. Drivers who know you are paying attention will be deterred from falsifying logs. Plus, talking to the drivers involved also gives you a chance to do timely training with the driver in the case of honest mistakes.
As a carrier, if you consistently address unassigned driving events, drivers will become increasingly disciplined about logging in and out correctly, accepting unassigned driving events when they are presented to them, not attempting to falsify by driving when logged out, etc. The net result is a downward trend in the number of unassigned driving events you have to deal with in the back office.
The most important question is whether you are able to manage unassigned driving time. Consider these three evaluations of your daily process:
If you can answer “yes”, then you are managing unassigned drive time. If your answer is “no,” unassigned log events are managing you. Take time to evaluate the causes of unassigned driving time in your fleet and start addressing the problem.
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