What are Electronic Logging Devices?
The new FMCSA ruling requires commercial trucks to use electronic logging devices, (ELDs), to track, manage and share records of duty status data. These devices integrate with the vehicle's electronic control module using a standard J-bus connection and often coordinate with a vehicle’s GPS tracking system.
ELDs must meet the agency's rules for compliance, which are listed on the FMCSA website. Technical specifications help ensure standardization across companies and platforms. The devices have to generate a standard data display that is easy to transfer, so law enforcement and safety officials can easily check the log and ensure the driver is driving safely.
In order to be compliant, ELDs must be able to track the driver and vehicle in real time, automatically logging time and location, date, vehicle miles and driver ID information. A compliant device also needs a system that allows driver-carrier communication. However, in order to avoid harassment, the driver-carrier communication feature must be able to be muted when the driver is taking a break to sleep.
The ELD Mandate — The Clock is Ticking
After much debate, the ELD mandate was finally approved in December 2015, and it says that all trucks model year 2001 and higher, must have ELDs installed by December 2017 or the fleet and driver will face penalties. The final ruling gave truckers two years to become compliant with the new requirements, providing drivers and fleets with enough time to research their options, purchase ELDs and install them into their trucks.
While two years may seem like a long time, fleets need to be proactive to ensure that their drivers and trucks are properly equipped before December 2017. Currently, the penalties for non-compliance are not yet known, but can your company really afford any unnecessary fines or other penalties? Taking measures now to make your fleet compliant will ensure you are ready when the ruling goes into effect in 2017. Track Your Truck has a number of options that will help you become compliant without a significant change in your operating expenses.
ELDs Improve Fleet Operations
Even though you have two years to become compliant, you may want to consider making the switch from paper logs to ELDs sooner because of the benefits ELDs offer your fleet. In addition to improving compliance, ELDs help enhance fleet operations and lessen the load on your fleet drivers. With an ELD, fleet mangers can benefit from better:
- Driver availability — Dispatchers can more easily see which drivers are going to be available based on Hours of Service, helping to keep loads moving instead of waiting while drivers at off duty for mandatory rest periods.
- Record keeping — Gone are the days of endless piles of paperwork. Now all data is tracked and recorded in an easy-to-access digital format, and it is recorded automatically without relying on the driver to handle the records.
- Safety checks — If safety officials stop your drivers, the electronic log is easy to transfer and read, which means compliant drivers will be back on the road more quickly.
- Accuracy and accountability — Paper logs are far too simple to falsify, which can cause serious problems for your fleet, but ELDs will record accurate data helping you keep drivers accountable.
Drivers also notice benefits after fleets make the switch to electronic logs. Some benefits directly to drivers include:
- Storage — Electronic logs take no room in the cab of the truck and therefore do not create a storage problem in an already cramped space.
- Save time — Keeping log books requires a significant amount of time, especially if a book audit occurs, and electronic logs eliminate these needs.
- Fast data retrieval — Hours of service information is retrievable via a wireless network in minutes and can be transmitted to drivers if they are stopped without delay.
- User-friendly — With the right ELD, your driver will be able to easily and even automatically record hours of service.
In a competitive marketplace, anything that makes your fleet and its drivers operate more efficiently is a benefit, and ELDs do just that.
Track Your Truck Makes ELD Compliance Easy
If you need to make the switch to ELDs to ensure compliance with the new ELD mandate, trust Track Your Truck to help. We offer ELDs that integrate seamlessly with our fleet tracking programming. This means you can continue to benefit from our exceptional fleet tracking and easy-to-use interface while also remaining compliant to the new mandate.
Like other Track Your Truck products, our ELD systems are designed for ease of use. They come tested, activated and ready to install into your truck and integrate into your existing tracking system, so you can start enjoying the benefits of electronic logging in minutes. A simple touch-screen interface and wireless communication makes these devices simple to learn and operate once installed and, as with all of our products, you will receive our industry-leading customer support.
As your fleet becomes compliant, you want a company assisting you that is dedicated to strong customer service. Track Your Truck has decades of experience in the fleet tracking industry, and that experience has allowed us to create systems that are cost effective for your fleet, containing all of the features you need for streamlined operations and compliance, and none of the features that drive up costs without benefit. If you are ready to make the switch, contact Track Your Truck today to discuss your fleet’s needs and the products we offer that can help.