ELDs are hardware that enables commercial drivers to keep accurate Hours of Service records. They can also help with vehicle inspections and driver verification reports (DVIRs).
The ELD mandate has dramatically increased HOS compliance across the industry. They are nearly impossible to tamper with, making logging HOS very easy for enforcement officers.
ELDs can help you save time by automatically recording a vehicle’s location, engine hours, speed, and miles driven. Fleet managers can use this information to increase efficiency, boost productivity, and reduce fuel costs. Truck drivers and trucking companies who use an ELD can also benefit from the transparency these devices provide regarding compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. While in the past, many trucking companies and drivers cheated on HOS rules by adjusting or falsifying paper logs, an ELD can’t be tampered with or altered.
When choosing an ELD device for your fleet, selecting an FMCSA-compliant provider that offers a wide range of features that suit your specific needs is essential. Be sure to ask a prospective vendor how long they’ve been in business, whether their products are self-certified, and the process for obtaining a certificate of compliance. Additionally, consider the types of data you want to receive from your device and whether you need a solution for IFTA reporting or driver vehicle inspection e-reports.
Since ELDs automate hours of service reporting, they eliminate many administrative duties that would otherwise be required to manage compliance. This means less time spent on preparing for FMCSA audits and more time focusing on logistics and optimizing truck schedules.
ELDs also reduce paperwork for fleets by making it easier to identify areas of improvement and savings. For example, data from ELDs can help to identify issues like excessive idling and harsh driving events. Fleets can then create incentive programs to encourage drivers to reduce these behaviors, which can improve fuel efficiency and increase vehicle uptime.
ELDs offer a variety of other essential benefits beyond HOS reporting, making them a key component of many comprehensive fleet management systems. Many trucking, passenger transit, food and beverage, local government, construction, and other transportation fleets find them invaluable.
Reduced Risk of Audits
ELDs automatically record engine data and GPS location information to track driving time, which helps drivers comply with Hours of Service rules. Fleet managers can use these devices to easily complete roadside checks and ensure their vehicles are always compliant. This eliminates a significant risk factor for trucking companies, as ELDs are tamper-proof and cannot be manipulated by drivers. As a result, this simplifies compliance and reduces the risk of citations and fines for commercial drivers. In addition, the ELD mandate allows fleets to monitor vehicle idle times, reducing unnecessary fuel consumption and lowering operating costs. This also improves driver safety by ensuring the vehicle is in safe condition for each trip. Many small and independent owner-operators have been happy with their ELD solution, finding short-term increases in productivity, fewer human errors, less paperwork, and lower operational costs. In the long term, these solutions can also increase revenue through improved load visibility, planning, and dispatching.
Fleet managers who choose the right DOT-approved ELD provider can boost operational efficiency, optimize routes, and simplify compliance. An ELD system automatically records and monitors engine hours, location, miles driven, and more to streamline HOS compliance. Additionally, it automates tasks like IFTA calculations and provides fleet managers with real-time information about their vehicles. This reduces driver downtime and increases vehicle utilization. It also improves safety by preventing drowsy driving-related accidents, promoting road safety, and lowering preventable accident rates.
When choosing an ELD, look for a simple and intuitive system requiring minimal training time. Avoid expensive add-on fees, and make sure the device is FMCSA-approved and doesn’t require a subscription or data plan.