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Is Your Fleet Compliant with the ELD Mandate? ELD Compliant Fleet Tracking Solutions

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An ELD (electronic logging device) is an incredibly useful piece of technology for any business that utilizes a fleet of vehicles or drivers. Now that the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) ELD mandate is in effect, you may be wondering if you need ELDs for your vehicles. If you or your drivers used a paper log to manage Record of Duty Status, then it is probably time to look into having an electronic logging device installed in your company vehicle or vehicles.

What is the ELD Mandate?

The ELD mandate (sometimes referred to as the ELD Final Rule) is a government regulation that states the operator or operators of commercial motor vehicles that achieve certain qualifications are required to use electronic logging devices. These logging devices are meant to record both driver activity and vehicle operation data in order to ensure absolute safety and the best possible performance from employees and company vehicles alike. The driver information collected mainly pertains to hours of service (HOS), as many companies, counties, and states have specific requirements or restrictions when it comes to the hours a driver can work in a given period (such as 24 hours, one week, etc.). The current ELD mandate requires that paper logs and older recorders be replaced with the automated ELD technology. As of December 2017, companies that met the necessary qualifications that would require following the mandate are expected to be compliant.

Who Does ELD Effect?

The ELD mandate applies to commercial driving businesses that are required to keep a log of service hours. This includes interstate commercial vehicle drivers that are required to log record of duty status, vehicles carrying hazmat loads, and vehicles over 10,001 pounds, to name a few. However, there are some that are exempt from the mandate, such as “drive away, tow away” operators, non-CDL drivers operating within a 150 air-mile radius, and vehicles that were manufactured before the model year 2000. More specifics of the mandate can be found here.

ELD Compliance Solutions

The most common type of ELD solution used today is a traditional on-board computer, sometimes referred to as an OBC. Typically, they are installed in the cab of a truck and display HOS data to the driver such as the number of hours driven and remaining for the day, as well as all on-duty hours recorded. This information is often able to be wirelessly transmitted to a home base, where dispatchers and managers are able to review the data. Traditional on-board computers do not rely on a driver’s cell phone or any mobile device to work, are highly tamper proof, and offer ease of use unparalleled by other ELD options.

There are also mobile on-board computers, which are quickly moving up and growing in the industry of ELD solutions. And it makes sense, especially because it allows a company to utilize their existing fleet’s smartphones or other mobile devices to achieve similar capabilities in comparison to traditional OBCs, at a fraction of the cost. Mobile OBCs are often ideal for smaller or upstart companies looking to compete with more established businesses that don’t have quite the same amount of capital to spare. In addition to cost, mobile OBCs are easy to install and do not require tethering to the dashboard, lending themselves to additional productivity.

Keep in mind that, as a requirement for a certified ELD, any OBC must be connected to the vehicles engine. So if you choose a MOBILE OBC, remember that a smartphone or tablet won’t be the only thing you need for an ELD solution.

Benefits of ELD Compliance

In addition to ensuring your compliance with the mandate, ELD solutions bring a wide variety of benefits to your business. ELDs eliminate a large amount of physical paperwork. Time spent filling out paper logs and reports is no longer necessary, since the ELD does it automatically. This frees up more time for driving and other work duties, while also minimizing the amount of possible errors in clerical work. They also allow for more efficient and safer work environments; since ELDs provide an overall picture of how drivers are working, managers are able to monitor their performance and vehicle conditions better. Worries of tired drivers going over hours are a thing of the past when the proper ELD solution is in place. When a manager or employee has a complete idea of what they’re working with, the conditions of all the equipment, and past performance data, everything runs more safely and smoothly.

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