Photo credit: CCJ
Shipping fleets across the country are preparing for the implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. Issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), this mandate regulates how drivers log their record of duty status while transporting shipments. Here are four important things to know about the mandate and how it may affect your fleet.
- What is the ELD mandate?
The ELD mandate is designed to bring Hours of Service (HOS) requirements up to date. This will be accomplished by using electronic logging devices, connected to truck engines, to log the driver’s record of duty status automatically. What’s the cutoff on compliance? Soon! ELDs must be installed on all fleet trucks by December 18, 2017. However, members of Congress are currently pushing for a 90-day deadline extension. Fleets that have already taken the initiative to install ELDs must be in compliance with all mandate regulations by 2019.
- What is an ELD and how does it work?
ELDs are logging devices that synchronize with truck engines. They are used to gather and store driving data, which is automatically added to an e-log. Using an ELD eliminates paperwork errors and guesswork. Data captured by an ELD typically includes driver speed, hours of service, frequency of hard braking, and details on vehicle idle time. Many ELDs allow fleet managers to read and review e-logs at any time.
- Are There Certain ELDs That Must Be Used?
There is no hard or fast rule regarding the type of equipment you must install to track your driver’s hours of service. However, for an ELD to be compliant, the equipment has to have a hardwired connection to the truck’s engine and it must meet all FMSCA requirements. The goal is to install devices that will allow both fleet managers and drivers to use tablets, smartphones, and other handheld devices to see and share information.
- What are the benefits of using ELDs?
An ELD lessens the amount of paperwork that drivers and fleet managers have to deal with during and after every trip. ELDs also help dispatchers, as they provide real-time driver status data. With this information, dispatchers can change shipment loads, reconfigure routes, and shift delivery times as needed to streamline operations. Certain ELDs even provide real-time route information, which gives drivers the benefit of avoiding delays caused by traffic or construction.
The ELD mandate is bringing trucking into modern times by requiring transportation companies to use technology to streamline fleet management. Drivers and fleet managers alike will enjoy the benefits of using ELDs – such as increased safety, improved communications, and less busy work and room for human error. Have questions? Check out the FMCSA ELD mandate FAQ page.