3 benefits for getting your fleets ELD compliant now

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Carriers and drivers are required to be ELD compliant no later than December, 2017

On December, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) completed its final version of the Electric Logging Device Rule and issued ELD Mandate ruling (see federal register).  The new rule expects to affect 3 million vehicles and relevant stakeholders such as fleet service providers, fleet operators and truck drivers.

What is ELD?  According to FMCSA, an ELD, or Electronic Logging Device, “synchronizes with a vehicle engine to automatically record driving time, for easier, more accurate hours of service (HOS) recording.” In short, the ELD Rule requires drivers and carriers to transit current process of records of duty status (RODS) to an automated and active electronic tracking system to simplify the logging on process and eliminate frauds.

The FMCSA estimates the annual adoption and installation cost including equipment, inspection and driver training will be $975 million for the entire industry. Industry professionals worry that the ELD Mandate requires a huge amount of capital investment on the operating system, which will hurt the profitability of fleet operators and individual truck drivers. However, it does bring up long-term benefits while reducing the operational risks going forward.

Although there’s still 18 months until the deadline (11/18/2017), getting your fleets ELD compliant will bring immediate benefits:

Regulation

The first and foremost benefit is to align with government regulation. According to FMCSA, the following carriers and drivers will be required to install ELD compliance system:

  • Trucks weighing > 10,000 lbs involved in interstate commerce
  • Buses designed to transport 16+ people, or 9 people with direct payment to drivers
  • Vehicles used to haul hazardous materials in a quantity that requires a placard

And below is the deadline for the transition:

  • Carriers and drivers who are using paper logs or logging software must transition to ELDs no later than December 18, 2017.
  • Carriers and drivers who use AOBRDS prior to the compliance date must transition to ELDs no later than December 16, 2019.

You can find more details of the timeline in this Implementation Phase Compliance Table.

Last minute changes always increase business risks, so why not convert to ELD now?

Driving Safety

Safety should be always the priority for both drivers and passengers. The driving force behind the regulation is to improve fleet and truck driver safety. FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro once said, “By implementing Electronic Logging Devices, we will advance our mission to increase safety and prevent fatigued drivers from getting behind the wheel.” According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, road accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers results in 20 fatalities and 434 injuries each year. By implementing the ELD Mandate, road accident mitigation could lead to the annual safety benefit of $394.8 million.

Simplify the operation process

The ELD Mandate also makes things easier. According to FMCSA, ELDs hugely simplify the complicated old ROD’s process:

  • ELDs make it easier, simpler, and quicker to keep driver logs.
  • ELDs limit mistakes and reduce form and manner errors.
  • ELDs provide information to drivers and motor carriers so that drivers can better manage fatigue and schedule issues.
  • ELDs correctly record location and accurate information to easily track duty status.
  • ELDs are good management tools and office assets to improve productivity and enhance compliance.
  • With ELDs there is less paperwork and driver logs are orderly, clear, and accurate.

Check with your suppliers to see if they provide ELD compliant HOS services. For more information, you can also check the ELD Checklist for Carriers and ELD Checklist for Drivers.