Come December 18th, 2017, as a result of the ELD mandate, all commercial motor carriers and truck drivers will be required to implement a certified ELD that meets the FMCSA requirements. So, what does that mean, exactly
ELDs are electronic logging devices that record drivers’ Record of Duty Status (RODS) in relation to their Hours Of Service (HOS). For fleets unequipped with such devices, they’ll have until December to put them into action, while fleets that have already adopted an AOBR platform will have until December 2019 to make sure they’re up to the published ELD mandate’s standards and specifications.
Here are some things you might expect, as a result of such actions.
It’ll Take Time To Get It Right
Adapting to a new electronic logging system (say goodbye to tedious, inefficient paper logs) can take time and effort, as it’s important to make sure you’re finding a system that’s a good fit for your fleet. Doing some research to find an expert provider of ELD services will pay off in the long-run, as you’ll be better equipped to train employees on how to use a simple and accessible system and guarantee a streamlined transition.
Take the time to inquire about products and vendor capabilities to ensure you’re in good hands. Working with a vendor who understands the operations and the different devices to choose from will help you select the right provider and ELD products for your particular fleet. For instance, does it matter if the system is Android, iOS, or Microsoft? Are other software components necessary, in addition to telematics? Do temperature, vibration, shock, water, and other modalities factor in? These are just a few points to consider.
It Boosts Efficiency
Who wouldn’t want that, right? One of the many benefits of the ELD mandate is that it’ll make the drivers’ lives easier, so they can focus on one task at hand: Driving (not logging). As implementation of the mandate immediately cuts down on paperwork and time spent logging, it lets drivers and dispatchers work on communicating better with one another and staying on top of whereabouts, in an effort to stay more organized when on the road.
It Prevents Ambiguity Of Unassigned Mileage
Let’s say a technician needs to borrow a truck for a road test, or some piece of equipment needs to be moved around the lot—that added mileage will now be accounted for, thanks to ELD services.
As a result of the ELD mandate, exempt drivers can track their mileage within separate categories, so the subsequent driver and the folks in the back office won’t be confused as to who is responsible for those additional hours. Depending on how many conditions this applies to, you might want to include two-to-four differing, exempt categories.
It Gives Drivers More Flexibility & Control
A huge change from the new ELD guidelines is that drivers will gain more flexibility and control over their logging hours and edits, thereby preventing any potential for driver harassment.
Here’s how it works: Drivers can edit their logs, meaning they can either reject or accept an admin’s insertion. Until the driver responds, the logging edit will remain pending, meaning fleeting companies can no longer interfere with the accuracy of their drivers’ logging reports. Letting drivers be responsible for their own logging reports puts the power back in the right hands.
There Are Smartphone & Tablet Based System Opportunities
For a lower-cost plan, many ELD providers allow the option to connect a tablet or smartphone device, as supplied by the driver. The mobile device will work in tandem with a “black box” device to wirelessly sync information from the truck’s electronic control module.
By using these mobile devices (which are simple to use), it provides greater flexibility for the driver and can help increase system efficiency through camera features. However, there is a drawback to be wary of: if the phone’s battery dies or the device gets lost or damaged, it could cause logging complications. So, perhaps an in-cab camera and computer system would be more durable and reliable.
For more information on ELD’s and Fleet Management solutions, contact us here.