Tips for Roadside Inspections

Roadside Inspection Card.

First published by J.J. Keller.

During a Roadside Inspection, many situations may arise in which officers have questions. Below are some scenarios and some talking points drivers can use in these situations. Above this article is a button for the Roadside Inspection Card which contains information on how to perform data transfers or use the display method for a roadside within the application.  This card is an in-cab requirement and should be with the driver at all times in the vehicle.

Missing Data in the Officer’s View of the Logs

Politely ask the officer to check the display in the roadside mode of the Encompass® ELD application to verify the data is actually missing. The data may be missing from the transferred data due to power down/power up timing compared to the entry time, but visible in the display (the missing data is in the device, it just wasn’t bundled with the data sent to e-rods due to the power down/power up timing).

  • Note: If the data is not in the transferred data and is also not in the display, it is missing and it is a violation.

Missing VIN

Politely mention to the officer that VIN is only required if the device is able to access it on the vehicle’s database (since it is not appearing in the ELD records, it was not available).

Missing Engine Hours/Miles

Politely point out to the officer that these entries are not required if the duty change took place away from the vehicle or the duty change took place when the vehicle was powered down.

Politely ask the officer to check the display as there are times it does not come through to the transferred data due to the power down/power up timing.

Location Does Not Match GIS Formatting

Politely point out that drivers are allowed to manually enter locations if the device cannot automatically determine the location.

The Officer is Unable to Receive Data

Determine if there is cellular/data connectivity.  If not, point this out to the officer and attempt to establish connectivity.

Politely ask the officer if he/she has connectivity and to verify that e-rods is functioning.

Politely ask the officer to check the display method in the roadside mode to verify all required data is present and to determine any missing data may have stopped e-rods from allowing the transfer to take place.

The Officer is Talking About Placing the Driver Out-of-Service Due to the Data Not Transferring

Politely point out to the officer that under the North American Out-of-Service Criteria, the only time a driver is to be put out of service due to the data not transferring is if the driver ALSO cannot provide the display to the officer. As long as the driver can present the display in the roadside mode, the officer should not place the driver out of service if a transfer is not successful.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Communicating through a facemask

Communicating through a face mask, McCraren Compliance

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Wearing a facemask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 can present obstacles to communication, “an important and complex transaction that depends on visual and, often, auditory cues,” says Debara L. Tucci, director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

When facial coverings are worn, facial features are obscured, while speech perception and conveyed emotion are disrupted. Facial coverings also filter speech, making sounds less clear, Tucci said, adding, “When it is harder to understand speech – whether because of cloth face coverings, distance or other factors – research suggests that we have fewer cognitive resources to process information deeply. As a result, communication suffers, and feelings of stress and isolation may increase.”

NIDCD offers the following tips to improve communication when wearing a facial covering:
Be aware. Is the person you’re communicating with having trouble understanding you? Ask and adapt if needed.
Be patient. Facial coverings block visual cues and muffle sounds that help us understand speech, which can make interactions frustrating.
Be mindful. Consider how physical distancing might affect your communication. As distance increases, sound levels decrease and visual cues are more difficult to see.
Be loud and clear. Speak up, but don’t shout. Focus on speaking clearly. Consider wearing a clear facial covering, if possible. If you’re having trouble understanding, ask the person you’re talking with to speak louder. If you lip-read, ask those you interact with regularly to wear a clear facial covering.
Turn down the background volume. Background noise can make conversation especially hard. Move to a quieter spot or turn down the sound, when possible.
Communicate another way. Use a smartphone talk-to-text app or writing tools (e.g., paper/pen, whiteboard) to communicate.
Confirm your statement is clear. Ask if your message has been understood.
Bring a friend or be a friend. If it’s essential that you comprehend important spoken details – during a discussion with a health care provider, for example – consider bringing a friend or family member with you.

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

10 tips for starting a workplace safety and health program


Photo: PeopleImages/iStockphoto

Does your workplace lack a safety and health program? If you’re looking to create one, OSHA offers 10 tips to get you going.

  1. Make safety and health a core value. Ensure workers know that having them go home safely each night is the way you do business. Let them know their health is a top concern, and make it clear that any hazards will be taken seriously and addressed.
  2. Show workers your organization cares about their safety by making safety part of daily interactions with employees.
  3. Create a well-communicated, simple reporting system workers can use to report injuries, illnesses or incidents, such as near misses. Workers need to know that they won’t be retaliated against, so include an option to make the process anonymous.
  4. Educate workers on identifying and controlling potential hazards.
  5. Regularly conduct inspections with workers, and ask them to help identify issues that concern them regarding safety.
  6. Make workers part of the safety process by asking them for hazard control ideas. “Provide them time during work hours, if necessary, to research solutions,” OSHA advises.
  7. Have workers choose, implement and evaluate hazard control solutions.
  8. Determine foreseeable emergency situations that may arise, and have a plan in place on how to handle them. Display procedure signs in visible areas of the workplace.
  9. Before making significant changes, consult with employees about potential safety and health issues.
  10. Always aim for improvement. “Set aside a regular time to discuss safety and health issues, with the goal of identifying ways to improve the program,” OSHA recommends.