FMCSA Vehicle Classificiations
CSThere are 13 vehicle classifications identified by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) which is a department of the Department of Transporation (DOT). Understanding the classification of your fleet will help you remain compliant. Some vehicles may operate in a gray area, such as axles that can be lifted, which makes compliance even more challenging. Hazardous material introduces 9 additional classifications which requires compliance (download here).
As a small or medium fleet operator, it may be difficult to understand the regulations and keep up with changes. The regulation for ELD still are not defined which is why the largest companies in the GPS tracking and ELD space are not listed as being compliant on the FMCSA website. The companies that are listed are literally self registered as compliant yet have done so before FMCSA has defined the final rule set. It is misleading to allow GPS tracking and ELD companies to self register without FMCSA oversight or regulation.
What is clear is the deadlines, the first being 12/18/2017. On 12/18 all vehicles subject to FMCSA regulations must be AOBRD compliant. Being one day late will mean a fleet operator must then be ELD compliant prior to 12/16/2019. By being AOBRD compliant fleets have longer to be ELD compliant that those that do not meet the 12/17/18 deadline. The rule set for AOBRD and ELD compliance is rather significant which will lead to ELD compliance being more expensive.
Fleet operators are much better off implementing an AOBRD system that has the flexibility to be ELD compliant in almost any configuration required by the regulation. So what are a few features to look for in an AOBRD solution that will likely be ELD compliant?
- Equipment. Equipment is far less flexible and much more expensive to update than software (client install or web application). If the FMCSA regulation dictates new features a device does not have today, it will result in a new investment to get compliant come 12/16/2019. Being ABORD compliant gives fleet managers the maximum time to spend on a single platform before potentially having to update equipment. In small fleets this may be a big deal but in enterprise fleets with over 1,000 vehicles this is a very large and expensive project.
- Application. There are two choices for the application. A true application is a service you run on a device like your smart phone. It is updated routinely as development takes place. This gives you the maximum flexibility and assurance that compliance is possible without having to install a software update. An application that is installed on a device, like a Garmin unit, means that Garmin must be connected to a computer and an update installed. This means touching each device every time updates and new features are released.
If you are in starting to think about investigating being AOBRD or ELD compliant contact Fleetistics to discuss your plan, timeline and budget. With ELD being an add-on to a very robust GPS tracking and telematics platform, getting your ROI well in advance of deploying ELD is possible.