Qualcomm's, And  ELD's 

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What Is The Qualcomm (Omnitracs)?

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in "E L D" (Electronic Logging Device) & "GPS" (Global Positioning Systems) capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Each company can set up their Qualcomm (Omnitracs) to monitor the truck based on their own specifications. Most are set to monitor:

 

  (Location, Idle time, Speed , Miles per gallon, Engine over speed, Cruise control, and more)

The following are all things you will be using your Omnitracs or other ELD to do:

  • Record your pre-trip inspection

  • See and manage load assignments

  • Manage sleeper berth time

  • View and send messages with your dispatcher in an email inbox/outbox format

  • View your auto-programmed loads and fuel stops; you can also edit this and add stops manually for things like scales, restrooms, restaurants, and hotels.

  • See your governed speed limit

  • Manage multiple drivers, with one at a time showing as "active" (the driver whose HOS , sleeper berth , etc. will be referred to)

See the FMCSA’s list of approved and registered ELDs.

To get even more specific, probably the most common Omnitracs models that trucks use right now are the (newer) Omnitracs IVD and (slightly older, multiple) MCPs. Just know that while you’ll likely hear other truckers referring to it as the Qualcomm at some point,"Omnitracs" is what you’ll see on the box when it’s installed in your truck.

Here’s a review with information about some of the newer Omnitracs devices.

 

Some background on both the past and future of Omnitracs

Omnitracs vs Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRD)

Before ELDs, there were AOBRDs, Automatic On-Board Recording Devices, to record truck drivers’ Hours of Service. There are still some of these floating around today, but due to the federal e-log mandate, part of the law called MAP-21, all of these must be replaced by ELDs by December 16, 2019 (or else). The Omnitracs is a compliant ELD, and the majority of trucks are already outfitted with one.

A good overview on differences between

ELDs and AOBRDs by the FMCSA

What's an "E L D" Electronic Logging Device.

An ELD is an Electronic Logging Device. It is DOT-certified electronic hardware that connects to the vehicle's engine to record the hours of a truck driver's day, including drive time, sleeper berth , off duty, and on duty not driving. It includes a screen for the driver so they can monitor their current status as well as the ability to print hour logs when required by DOT inspectors.

Hours of service regulations have undergone several changes over time, but currently in the United States, truckers can drive up to:

How do ELDs work?

ELDs automatically record:

  • DateTimeLocation within a one-mile radiusEngine hoursVehicle miles

  • Identification information for the driver, authenticated user, vehicle, and motor carrier.

 

This is the information that they are required to capture, though they may have capability to record more for the carrier’s use. Each action is logged, from the pre-trip to post-trip, sleeper berth time, loading and unloading, fueling, off-duty time, and even adverse driving conditions. The ELD switches automatically into driving mode when the vehicle is moving faster than 5 mph, and if the vehicle is not moving for more than five minutes, the driver is prompted by the ELD to confirm driving status. If not manually responded to within one minute, it will switch to off-duty status. Edits and annotations can be entered for situations such as when a driver forgets to update the e-log’s status or makes a mistake. ELDs use GPS technology and are wired into the truck’s engine and computer, and can be installed by a mechanic who can install a car stereo.

 

Who is required to use ELDs?

All drivers who are required to keep RODS (records of duty status) logs, which is all truck drivers operating in interstate commerce at a gross vehicle or combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more and passenger transport, are required to use ELDs. This exempts those who use the Short Haul exemption with time cards, agricultural/farm trucks operating entirely within a 150-mile radius, and vehicles with an engine model year older than the year 2000.Consequences for violating E-log rules range from stiff fines and penalties for the carrier or individual, to being curbed or placed out of service and losing hours.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about ELDs

  • How long must a motor carrier retain ELD record of duty status (RODS) data?

    For six months, a motor carrier must keep both the ELD RODS data, and a back-up copy of that data on a separate device. The carrier must ensure that these records are stored securely to protect driver privacy.

  • What electronically transferred data from ELDs will be retained by the FMCSA and other authorized safety officials?

    FMCSA will not retain any ELD data unless there is a violation.

  • If a driver is stopped for a roadside inspection after April 1, 2018 and does not have a required ELD or “grandfathered” AOBRD installed and in use in the vehicle being operated, what will happen?  The inspector will cite the driver for failing to have the proper record of duty status, and will place the driver out of service (OOS) for 10 hours (8 hours for a passenger carrier), in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. At the end of the OOS period, the driver is allowed to complete the current trip to its final destination using paper logs. If the driver is stopped again prior to the final destination, the driver must provide the safety official a copy of the inspection report and evidence (e.g., bill of lading) proving he/she is continuing the original trip. After reaching the final destination, if the driver is dispatched without obtaining a compliant ELD, he/she will again be subject to the OOS procedures. However, a driver may return with an empty CMV to his/her principle place of business or home terminal , as indicated on the roadside inspection report. Violations count against the carrier’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) scores.

  • Are Canada- and Mexico-domiciled drivers required to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) when they are operating in the United States?

    Yes. Canada- and Mexico-domiciled drivers must comply with the Federal hours of service rules while operating in the United States. This includes using ELDs compliant with 49 CFR Part 395, unless they qualify for one of the exceptions. A driver operating in multiple jurisdictions will be able to annotate the driver’s record of duty status on the ELD with information on periods of operation outside the United States.

  • What is the difference between an “edit” and an “annotation”?

    An edit is a change to an electronic logging device (ELD) record that does not overwrite the original record, while an annotation is a note related to a record, update, or edit that a driver or authorized support personnel may input to the ELD. Section 49 CFR 395.30(c)(2) requires that all edits, whether made by a driver or the motor carrier, be annotated to document the reason for the change. For example, an edit showing time being switched from “off duty” to “on-duty not driving” could be annotated by the carrier to note, “Driver logged training time incorrectly as off duty.” This edit and annotation would then be sent to the driver for approval.

  • Who can edit an electronic logging device (ELD) record?

    Both the driver and authorized carrier staff can make limited edits to an ELD record to correct mistakes or add missing information. All edits must include a note (annotation) to explain the reason for the edit. In addition, the driver must confirm (certify) that any carrier edit is accurate, and resubmit the records. If the driver chooses not to re-certify RODs, this is also reflected in the ELD record. The ELD must keep the original, unedited record, along with the edits. Example: a carrier edits a record to switch a period of time from “off-duty” to “on-duty not driving”, with a note that explains “Driver logged training time incorrectly as off-duty”. The edit and annotation are sent to the driver to verify. The edit is not accepted until the driver confirms it and resubmits the RODS.

  • Who can edit an electronic logging device (ELD) record?

    Both the driver and authorized carrier staff can make limited edits to an ELD record to correct mistakes or add missing information. All edits must include a note (annotation) to explain the reason for the edit. In addition, the driver must confirm (certify) that any carrier edit is accurate, and resubmit the records. If the driver chooses not to re-certify RODs, this is also reflected in the ELD record. The ELD must keep the original, unedited record, along with the edits. Example: a carrier edits a record to switch a period of time from “off-duty” to “on-duty not driving”, with a note that explains “Driver logged training time incorrectly as off-duty”. The edit and annotation are sent to the driver to verify. The edit is not accepted until the driver confirms it and resubmits the RODS.

  • What are the display requirements for team drivers using the same electronic logging device (ELD) on their commercial motor vehicle (CMV)?

    In the event of team drivers, the ELD must display the data for both co-drivers who are logged into the system.

  • Will the vehicle location information identify street addresses?

    No. Vehicle location information is not sufficiently precise to identify street addresses. For each change in duty status, the ELD must convert automatically captured vehicle position in latitude/longitude coordinates into geo-location information that indicates the approximate distance and direction to an identifiable location corresponding to the name of a nearby city, town, or village, with a State abbreviation.

  • What must a driver do if there is an electronic logging device (ELD) malfunction?

    If an ELD malfunctions, a driver must:

    (1)Note the malfunction of the ELD and provide written notice of the malfunction to the motor carrier within 24 hours; (2) Reconstruct the record of duty status (RODS) for the current 24-hour period and the previous 7 consecutive days, and record the records of duty status on graph-grid paper logs that comply with 49 CFR 395.8, unless the driver already has the records or retrieves them from the ELD; and (3) Continue to manually prepare RODS in accordance with 49 CFR 395.8 until the ELD is serviced and back in compliance. The recording of the driver’s hours of service on a paper log cannot continue for more than 8 days after the malfunction; a driver that continues to record his or her hours of service on a paper log beyond 8 days risk being placed out of service.

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