It is no surprise that the introduction of a new technology or law would fetch a list of rumours as it becomes the talk of the town. In case of the ELD mandate circulated by the FMCSA in the year 2017, there have been rumours in plenty that have tried to simply frighten business firms creating a lot of misconceptions about the same. These rumours have successfully managed to rake questions and cause objection towards making ELDs a compulsion. However, as this is only a result of fallacy, it is indeed important to understand and differentiate myths from facts when it comes recognizing the benefits of switching to ELD.
Myths and Facts about ELD
Here’s a list of myths that ELD have gathered over the years and alongside are facts that burst these myths.
Myth 1: ELD aren’t cost efficient. They are in fact very expensive.
Fact: In the earlier days, an electronic logging device cost was about $2500 per device. An ELD now costs you only $75 per device.
Myth 2: You don’t really need the ELD device if you have a smart phone or a tablet.
Fact: Your ELD has to be “integrally synchronized” with the truck’s engine to comply. A smartphone or tablet alone cannot meet this requirement nor can they track travelled miles on their own. Besides, you also require a device that meets all the requirements on the FMCSA checklist. Hence installing the device is very important.
Myth 3: ELD will suck out business from the owners and operators. This was a frequent query that emerged with the FMCSA when they mandated the use of ELD in 2017. This particular fear stemmed from insecurities like loss of driving hours and high cost ELD.
Fact: ELD have been a big success across Europe for over a decade now. Also, truck drivers that have adapted to the new ELD system now find it more convenient than ever before and refuse to budge from using the device. A random survey also stated that drivers got more road time after installation of ELD.
Myth 4: Any violation of hours of service would be communicated to law enforcement by default through the device.
Fact: An ELD does not automatically send reports of violation to law enforcement agencies or inspectors. It is solely a replacement to paperwork and old logging practices.
Myth 5: There’s a constant watch over you through your ELD.
Fact: Your location is traceable only to the authorized employees at your workplace. In case your vehicle is being used for any personal interest, it can be viewed with the clarity of over an 8 mile radius. The device doesn’t barge into your privacy. However, it just makes your logging time and tracking more accurate.
Myth 6: Your ELD can bring your truck to a standstill shutting it down if you exceed hours of service.
Fact: An ELD has no control over the engine of your vehicle other than for tracking and sensing wheel motion. It can only record engine data. It cannot excise any control over it. Hence, it cannot decide when to stop your vehicle in any way other than a vocal alert.
Myth 7: Installation of an ELD will bring no change or improvement in driver or vehicle safety.
Fact: “Evaluating the Potential Safety Benefits of Electronic Hours of Service Recorders Final Report,” was recently released by the FMCSA. This was a report from the Centre for Truck and Bus Safety of Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The report exclaimed that an ELD installed vehicle has lower total crash rate (11.7% reduction) and also a lower preventable crash rate (5.1% reduction) than trucks unequipped with the device. On the other hand, the ELD intermediates remaining hours of service to the driver resulting in smarter dispatching decisions, thus marking a safer drive for them.
Myth 8: Once you’ve installed ELD you do not need any more documents for compliance.
Fact: A driver must possess a document of how to use the ELD; a sheet of data transfer method supported by the ELD and step-by-step instructions to produce and transfer the driver’s records to enforcement;
A sheet of instruction that declares the ELD malfunctioning reporting requirements and recorded procedures during ELD malfunctions; and an 8 day supply of blank hours of service graph-grid logs to be used in case of ELD malfunction.
Myth 9: The profit margin is cut down drastically with an ELD installation.
Fact: An ELD installation is indeed an investment from which benefits are reaped year after year. It works to improve fuel efficiency by recognizing like idling, speeding, and hard braking. It also eliminates harsh consequences that could be very expensive by avoiding vehicle damage. As the device also tracks hours of service, both the driver and business at large can be quick to decide tasks attainable during spare time rather than having idle time wasted.
Myth 10: ELD isn’t for small fleets. Most people are under a wrong notion that only large fleets need to switch to ELD and that the mandate only applies to them.
Fact: However big or small a fleet you possess, the ELDs mandate does not disfavour you. As long as you file a record duty status, you need to transition to ELDs immediately.
Myth 11: An ELD would demand the driver’s interaction when on the road. This was a claim made by a few people who were unhappy with the ELD mandate of course.
Fact: you do not have to interact with the ELD while on the road. The device automatically senses when the wheels of the truck are in motion and when at rest. Hence updates are made accordingly without any interaction with the driver. There are vocal alerts given to the driver as well which confirms the balance hours of service left with him. In this way, drivers have ample time at hand to safely park before exhausting their service hours.
ELDs are time and money saving. They, in fact, help smoothen out the function of a fleet thus making the fleet more efficient and hassle free. For any assistance or additional information on ELD installation, you could visit us at www.matrackinc.com