There’s been talk these past months about ELD outages in the trucking industry and drivers having to revert to paper logs while their ELD provider resolved the technical issues surrounding the failure.
Some of these failures had to do with Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and the handling of dates, which as it happens, has caused no outages for ISAAC’s solution. If you’re technically inclined and curious about how date handling can cause problems for an ELD system, read the following paragraph, and if not, skipping over it and reading the rest of this post will still leave you with what you need to know.
So, technically intrigued, are you? Without taking too deep of a plunge, here is a GPS date handling intricacy that can give rise to some issues in ELD systems. GPS systems work with a week counter that increases by 1 each week until it reaches a maximum value of 1024. This happens every 19.7 years when you do the math. After 1024 weeks, this counter resets to a value of 0, and if the ELD system does not take this into account, “thinking” that the current week’s date is of 19.7 years ago instead of today, problems could arise for any processing that uses that date. When it comes to ISAAC’s solution, this has not been an issue because no dates from the GPS system are used in our processing. We rely on a dedicated server for establishing time and date, to ensure the information is always accurate.
Regardless of the technical reasons for an ELD outage and the risk of having drivers revert to paper logs, no one—drivers, dispatchers, fleet managers, and ELD solution providers included—wants to see this sort of thing happen. Because once drivers start to use electronic logs, they don’t want to go back. Moreover, regulations always apply and must be complied to no matter what. This is why the FMCSA regulations require diagnostics and malfunctions detection mechanisms that instruct the driver to report problems, some of which may lead to using a paper log until the issue is investigated and resolved.
In the end, it is good practice and necessary for systems to include backup measures as part of their planning. What technology providers also need to pay attention to, is being able to provide the fastest possible service in the event of an issue. At ISAAC, we understand that ELD systems are mission-critical for our clients. This is why we spare no efforts and adopt the best methods to avoid downtimes altogether.