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Why You Need to Move to ELD Now!

By Wayne Candy

Exciting times ahead for the transportation industry! We are closing in fast on the pending ELD (Electronic Logging Device) mandate in the United States. Shortly thereafter we will have our own Canadian ELD rule as well so it would be well advised for those that currently use paper log books to seek professional guidance now to ensure you are in full compliance when the deadline hits. Since the use of ELD’s will be mandatory for commercial vehicle operators it is a good time to look at complementary services such as integrating pretrip inspection reports and fuel usage tracking to take full advantage of the ELD platform. The average transition time to ELD is 12 – 18 Months!
As we move into the world of telematics we are becoming aware of the endless possibilities that are available to commercial vehicle operators. We can find efficiencies and improve employee wellness with custom add-ons. The ELD mandate opens the door to explore many possible opportunities that allow you to grow your business and eliminate administrative tasks that slow you down. It just makes good business sense to make the move to ELD’s now.
So what does an ELD do? They provide much of the same information as a paper log. ELD’s record the driver’s duty status and also must record the date, time, location (using latitude/longitude coordinates), engine hours, vehicle miles, driver identification, authenticated user, vehicle identification, and the motor carrier. The device takes care of all the required functions so the driver doesn’t have to worry about completing paperwork. Once drivers become used to using an ELD they will wonder why they have not switched sooner.When we are told to do something it can sometimes be difficult to understand why and that is no different with the ELD mandate. However once we start to use these devices we will realize the true benefits. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) suggests that the net benefit of using ELD’s in the United States will be $1 Billion annually. And that doesn’t include the savings of those that choose to add on custom solutions and accessories such as fuel management or safety related apps.
One benefit of technology taking over some of the tasks that a driver traditionally has done is the elimination of human error. In 2015 the FMCSA recorded 463,403 log book violations. Unfortunately most were ‘form and matter’ violations meaning that they could have been prevented. A driver forgets to change their duty status or doesn’t sign their log and then they are stopped for inspection. These are common errors that are reflected on a carrier record. ELD’s make for simplified compliance.
Let’s face it…trucking is a highly regulated industry. Regardless of what industry you serve, if you operate commercial vehicles on a highway you are subject to the same stringent safety regulations as everyone else. Commercial vehicle operators are exposed to roadside inspections and facility audits, and fortunately options are available to help operators comply with legal requirements. We all want contact with enforcement agencies to go as smoothly as possible and inspectors appreciate the ability to perform their function with ease. Often paperwork isn’t available roadside or files are missing during a compliance audit. With the proper telematics system and support an operator should always have successful contact with law enforcement. Violations and out-of-service defects cost money.
To conclude, the benefits of a professional telematics system coupled with a delivery partner that provides both tech support and compliance experience greatly outweigh any costs associated with the system. Finding efficiencies, preventing violations, improving employee experience, and reducing liability are all possible with ELD’s. While ELD’s will be mandated for some they really do help anyone that has a fleet of vehicles regardless of the size.
It’s time for ELD’s and it’s time to “Mobilizz!”

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