On December 18, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) ruling that all truck drivers must use electronic logging devices (ELD) will go into effect. After this date, these drivers will need to electronically record their compliance with Hours of Service (HOS) requirements.
As drivers and companies switch from paper to electronic logs, new benefits are emerging. While these benefits vary depending on each company and different business needs, some opportunities remain the same. We’ve included these benefits below.
Driver Productivity & Safety
With the use of ELDs, the FMCSA anticipates a drop in crashes and fatalities with truck involvement. As these devices track each driver’s hours behind the wheel, fewer drivers will be allowed to drive when fatigued or over-worked. This will help protect drivers from deadly mistakes and poor decisions on the road.
ELDs will also help companies track driver productivity and make adjustments to improve each driver’s performance. Wasteful actions and time-consuming routes can be eliminated or replaced with more helpful techniques.
Business Practices & Fleet Management
With the data collected through ELDs, companies can track and manage their fleets more efficiently. With the real-time information collected by these devices, fleet managers can find the best routes, travel hours, and behaviors for optimal business practices. Additional benefits provided by ELDs include:
- Vehicle maintenance monitoring
- Route tracking
- Email and internet use through wifi connectivity
- Fuel usage and mileage reporting
- Cargo temperature tracking
- Driver monitoring, including video recording through rear-view or dash cameras
- HoS reporting and compliance monitoring
Many companies question the value of ELDs when compared to the cost of installing these devices in every fleet vehicle. According to recent research, however, companies have saved thousands of dollars by using ELDs. These savings come with the switch from paper to digital records, fuel and mileage tracking, improved safety, and a decrease in fines for non-compliance with HoS requirements. Your savings will depend on the size of your fleet and cost of the ELDs you choose, but many companies have experienced savings within the first year of use.
As the trucking industry develops, new changes are sure to develop in the future. Be sure to keep an eye out for these developments in the coming years.