The FMCSA ELD mandate doesn’t apply to every CMV on the road.
However, even if you don’t need them, you should consider investing in ELDs for a few reasons outlined below.
The Near-Elimination of Paper Logs and HOS Violations
Drivers no longer have to worry about tracking hours on a paper graph (unless their ELD happens to break).
Time is no longer wasted on these paper processes, so drivers can either choose to be even more productive or take a much-deserved break with the saved time.
HOS compliance is easier than ever with the help of ELDs, thanks to features such as visual and auditory alerts on a driver’s device when approaching an HOS violation threshold.
These alerts are also forwarded in real-time to the fleet manager so that if need be, they can step in and remind the driver that they are nearing a threshold.
Fleet managers can even view HOS violations and current real-time duty statuses with features such as an elog dashboard, no more endless phone tag required.
The Automation of Processes
Electronic logging devices’ core feature besides digitizing paper logs is their automated tracking of several vehicle metrics.
These metrics can be used to make various improvements to the efficiency of your operations.
Metrics such as hard braking events, excessive acceleration, hard cornering, speeding, and excessive idling are all tracked and logged by ELDs.
This information can then be used in driver profiles to improve the safety of your fleet, and by extension, your CSA score!
Roadside inspections are also now a breeze thanks to ELDs – just simply hand over your device with your elogs app running to the DOT officer.
By rectifying the bad driving behaviors listed above, fleets can not only improve their safety, but save a ton of money as well through fuel savings and fewer necessary maintenances.
Money is also saved that could have been potentially lost due to said behaviors causing crashes.
One last way improving driving behavior saves money is through the improved CSA scores mentioned above, which lead to better insurance premiums for fleets.
Since ELDs have the power to drastically reduce HOS violations, savings are found yet again through the lesser number of penalties and fines that would have otherwise occurred without the alerting function of the devices.
These are just a few of the general ways ELDs can save you money, you can read more about the other ways in-depth here.
Preparing For The Future
An important thing for those of you who are exempt from the ELD mandate to consider is the fact that your competitors that are being forced to implement electronic logging devices will in fact come out ahead of you in at most 2 years.
That’s the maximum amount of time it takes for the cost of ELDs to be made back.
However, it is more likely that those investing in ELDs for their fleet will see a return on investment in just a year’s time.
This is assuming that people actually use the devices to their fullest potential.
The gains from ELDs in the forms of improved safety and efficiency are too significant to pass up.
It’s important to also note here that not all ELDs are created equal.
Investing in a full-featured ELD that is part of a larger fleet management platform will put you way ahead of competitors who skimp out and just buy a cheap ELD from a no-name vendor.
We’ve already covered the various reasons why it’s a bad idea to buy cheap ELDs, so if you want to know them, give that article a read.
Lastly, choosing the right ELD provider can easily make or break your experience with ELDs.
Choose a provider with a proven track record in the U.S. transportation industry.
Better yet, choose a provided that has a dedicated U.S. support team that is willing to even provide on-location training to your drivers.
Investing in ELDs is investing in the future success of your fleet.
So it’s important to take the time to research and learn which ELD provider is best for the scale of your business operations.
Speaking of future, next week’s article will cover the future of the U.S. trucking industry, starting with ELDs and beyond. Keep your eyes peeled for it!