The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is allowing carriers that have deployed electronic logging devices from J.J. Keller & Associates to temporarily revert to paper driver logs until Feb. 28 as the technology supplier works to resolve technical issues with its ELDs.
The wireless data transfer processes used by J.J. Keller’s ELDs have not been working properly, but the company expects to have the problem fixed before the extension expires, Chief Operating Officer Rustin Keller told Transport Topics.
“We’re confident we’ll get this resolved in the next few weeks,” he said in an interview Feb. 14.
The J.J. Keller Mobile ELD offers two data transfer methods — web services and e-mail — to transmit drivers’ hours-of-service information from the ELD to law enforcement during inspections.
The company issued a software update on Feb. 12 to fix the web services transfer process, and plans to release another update in the near future that will correct the problem with the e-mail transfer method, Keller said.
The fixes will be available through over-the-air software updates, he said. “Customers don’t have to do anything with their hardware. They’ll simply have to update the app.”
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The temporary FMCSA extension applies to carriers using J.J. Keller’s ELD software designed to meet the technical requirements of the federal electronic logging mandate, which went into effect Dec. 18.
The mandate requires most longhaul carriers to install ELDs in their trucks to record drivers’ hours of service instead of paper logbooks.
The technical problem does not exist for carriers using J.J. Keller’s older e-log software, which is categorized as an automatic onboard recording device, or AOBRD.
“We have a large install base still running on the AOBRD, and it does not affect them,” Keller said.
The ELD mandate includes a grandfather clause that allows early adopters of AOBRD e-log software to continue using it in lieu of ELDs until December 2019.
J.J. Keller already has reached out to customers affected by the technical problem.
“We’ve contacted every single customer that has the ELD version running or has transitioned to ELD, and sent them the waiver personally,” Keller said. “And we’re going to call them all back in a couple weeks and confirm that everything is running properly, and encourage them to get the latest the app downloaded. We’re trying to be proactive and communicate to our customers often.”
Keller said FMCSA offered the temporary extension after the company informed the agency of the problem.
“They worked with us and ultimately decided to give our customers a waiver until it’s resolved,” he said.
During this time, carriers that have implemented J.J. Keller’s ELD have the option of using paper logbooks, or they can continue using the ELD, but may need to use the screens of their mobile devices to display a grid graph of drivers’ HOS data to show enforcement during inspections.
If customers decide to use paper logs during the extension, they should carry a copy of the FMCSA waiver in each vehicle, and the driver must be prepared to provide it to enforcement upon request.