ELDs provide a host of valuable benefits to both carriers and drivers. They record driver service hours, sleeper berth time, driving status and idling, and other vehicle activities.
They also speed up roadside inspections by providing accurate and trustworthy HOS data. They also eliminate paperwork, which saves companies and drivers a lot of hassle.
ELDs help to ensure that drivers are adequately rested, which improves safety for all on the road. Fatigued drivers are more prone to accidents and other dangerous incidents.
Using an ELD for trucking also eliminates human record-keeping errors, which can result in HoS violations. Fleet managers can see if drivers are about to violate their HOS limits and take action to prevent them.
The most advanced telematics solutions can go beyond compliance and offer more benefits, such as route planning, engine idling monitoring, vehicle fault-code detection, automated IFTA calculations, and more. These features increase fleet profitability and allow fleets to explore growth opportunities. They also save thousands of dollars in administrative costs and reduce audit risk.
The trucking industry is a storied business with long, established roots and many drivers who have been there for decades. Some feel that ELDs are the equivalent of big brother looming over their daily operations. However, despite this fear, ELDs make the job safer and more efficient.
Fleet managers can use GPS tracking data to record miles for IFTA filings and quicker payment processing accurately. It eliminates manual calculation and the potential for error.
Additionally, LEDs can be configured to alert drivers and fleet managers if they have accidentally violated HOS rules. It eliminates the ability to game the system and make more money by running dangerously long hauls or falsifying paperwork. Combined with other features like fuel savings, route planning, and vehicle maintenance, fleets with ELDs can improve driver safety and reduce fatigued driving.
In addition to allowing drivers to spend more time off duty, ELDs make dispatching and routing easier. For example, the best ELD solutions offer GPS tracking that allows fleet managers to see where vehicles are in real time. It lets them plan the shortest routes, saving fuel, time, and money.
However, some drivers argue that switching from pen and paper to an ELD is like swapping their free life for one constantly monitored by big brother. It makes them reluctant to switch to the new technology and may even result in them quitting trucking altogether.
While these fears are valid, it’s important to remember that the ELD mandate is designed to improve safety and make fleets more profitable. Despite the initial upfront cost and subscription fees, ELDs can save you money in the long run.
ELDs also save fleet managers money on fuel and other operational costs. For example, engine malfunction reports prompt drivers and dispatchers to make minor repairs before they become costly problems, while the ability to monitor driver idle time helps reduce excessive idling, which can waste thousands of dollars in fuel costs.
Additionally, ELDs eliminate the need for manual paper logs that can get disorganized and lost. It allows drivers to spend more time on the road and reduces tedious paperwork, directly lowering operational costs and increasing profitability. Information gathered from ELDs makes it easier for dispatchers and planners to identify opportunities for backhauls and route trucks more efficiently. These productivity improvements positively affect the bottom line and can help attract top-performing truckers.
ELD devices also help drivers avoid costly HOS violations. They’ll alert drivers when nearing their hours-of-service limits, allowing them to stop driving well before breaking the rules. It reduces the number of form-and-manner violations, the most significant cause of out-of-service orders.
Drivers also save money on paper logs and other clerical tasks that must be completed manually. It translates into a better quality of life on the road as truckers spend less time filling out paperwork and more time earning money.
Most importantly, truck drivers will have more money to pay their bills. It makes switching to ELDs more than worthwhile for truckers and their families. Some services offer free hardware and only charge monthly fees, while others have a small upfront cost for devices and a low monthly fee for service.