Tom Bray - Industry Consultant - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
February 15 , 2019
REDUCE UNASSIGNED EVENTS
Encompass® SmartAssign® Technology reduces the burden of manually assigning drive time with built-in artificial intelligence (AI) that will saves you time and improves compliance.
Unassigned driving events 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, or associated with, the device and vehicle. Without exception, every fleet will have unassigned driving events that need to be resolved to remain compliant. The key is knowing how to find and correct them in your ELD system.
According to section 395.32 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations:
Ignoring unassigned time, hiding itelsewhere in the system, or deleting it is not an option.
One reason FMCSA has included special requirements in the regulations for unassigned driving is that it is one of the most common methods drivers use to drive longer than the hours-of-service limits allow, essentially, to falsify their logs. Common falsification methods include:
All of these activities create unassigned driving time and are considered “false logs.”
To prevent unassigned driving time, a carrier should provide login credentials to any employee who might move a vehicle. Employees use these credentials any time they move a vehicle that is equipped with an ELD or AOBRD, no matter the distance.
As a carrier, you are responsible for finding and correcting unassigned driving time. To avoid potential non-compliance with hours-of-service regulations and reduce the chance of an audit, it is in your best interest to address these events early and often. Some solutions, like the J. J. Keller® Encompass® system, include reporting to simplify this process. If your ELD provider’s reporting methods make it difficult to locate unassigned driving events in your system, or require an onerous process for resolving these events, your company could be at risk.Familiarize yourself with the regulations, make sure your drivers and staff understand their involvement in the process, and determine if your ELD provider offers the technology and support you need to stay compliant.
Carriers should train drivers on:
Carriers need to assign someone to review unassigned drive time daily. These events can accumulate if unchecked for any length of time, quickly becoming unmanageable.
The longer you go before correcting these, 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.
Not all unassigned driving events are caused by drivers attempting to falsify. They can be honest mistakes or simply instances of the device losing cell reception. No matter what the reason, make sure someone talks directly to the driver(s) involved and conducts timely training whenever an unassigned driving event comes into the back office.
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.
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