ELDs are a hot topic in trucking, especially since the new mandate took effect. Many drivers and companies are concerned about switching to this new technology.
An ELD is an electronic hardware system that records on-duty and off-duty statuses for a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). It also transmits data electronically, which allows for real-time monitoring.
Getting used to using ELDs will take some time. However, it will pay off if you commit to the switch. Finding a system designed with the trucking industry in mind is best and offers step-by-step guidance throughout your workflow. This will help make the transition easier for you. It would help if you also considered signing up for a remote support system, which will be helpful in any problems.
Compared to paper logs, electronic logging devices are more cost-effective to run for smaller fleets. Moreover, they are more accurate and easier to use, which reduces the risk of violating federal regulations on hours-of-service compliance.
The right FMCSA-approved ELD solution can save your fleet money by lowering fuel costs and improving safety. Look for an all-inclusive platform with no extra charges. Please request a free trial today to a company and see how our simple yet powerful system can improve your fleet operations.
ELDs have to meet FMCSA technical specifications. They must automatically switch to driving mode when the vehicle moves up to a pre-set speed threshold, record drive time accurately, and be easily editable by drivers. They must also record who made each edit and make that history available to DOT inspectors.
Additionally, ELDs help truckers identify habits that cost them money, like excessive idling or hard braking. This allows them to improve their driving techniques and save on fuel, maintenance costs, and shipping times.
Most ELD solutions consist of a device that connects to the engine of a commercial vehicle and an in-cab touchscreen that lets drivers view and annotate information. They then transmit data continually to fleet managers in the back office and on a one-off basis during roadside inspections. Depending on the solution, they may use cellular service or Bluetooth to send data between the device and the app. Some manufacturers have their devices independently verified to give truckers and fleets more confidence in the accuracy of their records.
ELD solutions reduce paperwork, making it easier to comply with the federal hours of service (HOS) rules and speed up roadside inspections. They also help trucking companies boost CSA scores through automated driver management, saving money on administrative costs.
ELDs connect to a vehicle’s engine diagnostic port and automatically transfer data about drive time, vehicle location, fuel consumption, and other information. They can also transmit this data to DOT inspectors during roadside inspections.
The most well-known use of ELDs is to record HOS and satisfy the FMCSA’s ELD mandate. However, they also provide other valuable information that helps with fleet management. Less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers, passenger transit, food and beverage, local government, and other fleets that use ELDs often find they can leverage the real-time location data they receive to improve efficiency, safety, and sustainability.
Electronic logging devices are secure, unlike paper logs, which can be lost or destroyed. They also allow managers to access data remotely, which can help improve efficiency and reduce fuel costs. Additionally, they can be used to monitor fleet performance and optimize routes. This makes them a valuable tool for small businesses that want to stay competitive in the trucking industry.
ELDs can be standalone telematics devices or software applications that run on laptops, smartphones, or tablets. They connect to the truck’s engine and record vehicle movement, miles driven, and on-duty/off-duty status (RODS). They display simple graphics similar to paper logbooks and can send the data in a standardized format via USB, Bluetooth, wireless web services, or email. ELDs must also be FMCSA-certified and meet product specifications outlined in the ELD mandate.
Using an electronic logging device takes some time to get used to, but once drivers find their groove, they will likely never go back to using a paper log. For fleets that have yet to switch, Samsara offers a free trial of our all-in-one ELD system, including features for improving productivity and safety while staying compliant.