It’s time to start preparing your drivers for the inevitable FMCSA ELD mandate, and the changes that come with it
The responsibility for adjusting to life with ELDs and eLogs lies in the business owner’s, fleet manager’s, and driver’s hands. Smoothly transitioning to using ELDs in your fleet requires cooperation, patience, and a bit of learning on the part of everyone in your fleet. Understanding this first will guarantee a much easier transition to electronic logging for your drivers.
It’s time for some learning, on everyone’s part.
We recommend that fleet managers start their learning with the basics first, such as:
- Who is exempt from the FMCSA ELD mandate
- How to become compliant under the FMCSA ELD mandate
- The features every ELD is required to have
- The differences between ELD providers
After learning the basics, the next step would be learning about the ELD technology itself, and how they work with the drivers’ CMVs. The more you know about how the ELD (and eLogs app) works, the better you’ll be able to train your drivers on how to operate them.
Clear communication is key.
Focus on answering any and all questions your drivers may have about ELDs and electronic logging is important when implementing such a big, fleet-wide change.
Once you receive questions from your drivers, we advise that you create an FAQ that you can continually update every time you receive a new question from a driver. This way, you can provide your drivers with a centralized FAQ that answers most of their questions about ELDs.
Lateral communication, rather than vertical, will benefit your fleet – the entire fleet will be learning how to operate with ELDs, so communication from the top-down and back is necessary for ensuring organization-wide clarity on ELDs. Upper management, fleet managers, and drivers all need to be on the same page if/when issues surrounding ELDs arise so that understanding of and response time to said issues will be at an optimal level.
Focus on the positives.
For better or worse, the FMCSA ELD mandate is being carried out, and non-exempt carriers must become compliant by December 18, 2017. It’s important to first come to terms with this reality before proceeding to engage in conversation about ELDs with your drivers.
So, focus on the positive aspects that ELDs bring to your drivers; you can even seek out which drivers are the most open to/effective at using ELDs and ask for their help with getting the rest of your drivers on board with ELDs.
The benefits ELDs bring to drivers include:
- A nearly completely electronic logging experience, the pain of keeping paper logs will be a thing of the past
- Precise HOS tracking and GPS tracking greatly reduces the number of back-and-forth check-up phone calls between drivers and their managers
- Driver protection against harassment from managers over their eLogs
- Faster and easier DOT inspections with ELDs’ ability to electronically transfer eLogs
Manage the process of change closely.
Proper management needs to have effective planning for pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment phases for ELDs. If you don’t have a plan for these 3 phases for each of the organizational levels in your fleet, make one now.
It’s important to keep everyone in your fleet aware of when you plan on implementing ELDs, aid in the actual implementation as much as possible, and then follow up with your drivers after the process is complete and they have been operating with ELDs for a while.
Clear and thorough ELD training, open communication between managers and drivers, and following up on driver feedback are your best bets when it comes to streamlining the implementation of ELDs into your fleet.
To sum this article up, it’s better for everyone in your organization/fleet to become accustomed to using ELDs as soon as possible, and as effectively as possible. To do this, proper management and training are imperative. Get a leg up on your competition and find an ELD provider sooner rather than later to start reaping the benefits of ELDs and eLogs as quickly as possible.