Are you still skeptical about the fleet-wide installation of ELDs? Or, do you find the enforcement of the ELD mandate to be a hastened one? Regardless, the ELD mandate is here to stay and the only way long-haul truckers and fleet managers can continue to thrive is by accepting this directive, at the earliest.
But then, a majority of us aren’t quite accommodative towards imposed decrees. This is the reason why ELD installation should not be viewed as a rigorous move but as productivity-enhancing action. Also, as a fleet-wide ELD setup is expected to be a cost-intensive affair, truckers, companies, and independent drivers need to understand the comprehensive rationale behind the communiqué.
Also, ELD directives vary with states, and therefore, it is advisable to concentrate on a bigger picture and get hold of all-inclusive Electronic Logging Devices that can offer a lot more than ROD maintenance and HoS logging.
Plus, with ELD standards in California being slightly different than some of the other states that operate as per the existing federal laws, it is necessary to have an Electronic Logging Device that offers a complete suite of productive features and not the standard HoS guidelines and logging facilities.
11 ELD Benefits That You Don’t Know of
Considering each of the mentioned aspects, we would now enlist 11 underrated perks of using electronic logging devices for your commercial vehicles or the entire fleet in general.
Lesser Manual Paperwork
In addition to maintaining compliance, ELDs can readily minimize the overall administrative burden by putting power in the hands of the remote fleet manager. As an ELD connects to the OBD port, it automatically logs in the hours of service, pertaining to a given driver. Plus, these records are subtly stored in online databases for the quickest possible retrievals.
Did you even know that ELDs can help keep the entire fleet in the pink of health by succinctly monitoring and displaying engine conditions? Yes, you read that right as upon connecting to the diagnostic port, the concerned ELD has direct access to the fault codes of the vehicle, if any. This way, every issue, maintenance requirement, and anomaly can be observed with accuracy, as detailed reports or real-time intimations.
This feature allows you to strategize several precautionary measures, which if implemented in time can amplify the productivity and efficiency of the vehicles.
Minimal Fuel Wastage
If setting up an ELD network seems to be financially worrisome, this point will certainly put most doubts to rest. Once the ELD connects itself to the dashboard, it can monitor and track the idle time synonymous with a particular driver. Therefore, as a fleet manager, it becomes easier to identify instances of drivers idling around, and necessitated rectifications can therefore help save an insanely high amount of money that would otherwise be lost to fuel wastage.
Therefore, as a fleet manager, it becomes easier to identify instances of drivers idling around, and necessitated rectifications can therefore help save an insanely high amount of money that would otherwise be lost to fuel wastage.
Improved Route Management
ELDs make sure that fleet managers are always privy to the location of their fleet. However, for this functionality to have large-scale effects, the concerned electronic logging device needs to have GPS functionality.
Once the GPS tracking feature for the concerned ELD is activated, the fleet managers can trace the router taken by the driver. Depending on the type of tracker the company decides to invest in, the updates can either be in real-time or as constantly changing breadcrumbs.
Also, drivers and fleet managers can plan out the shortest long-haul routes for the subsequent deliveries, which in turn can save a lot of fuel and cut down the fleet operational costs. Finally, improved route management effectively streamlines operations whilst making the drivers and assists even more productive in the long and medium run.
Bad Behavior, Identified
Electronic Logging Devices can effectively identify and track shoddy driving behavior, which is common for select long-haul drivers to project. Starting from accelerating excessively to hard cornering the vehicles, bad driving can cause accidents, property damage, and whatnot.
With ELD connected to the dashboard, a fleet manager can very well keep a track of the driving behavior. In case the concerned trucker has bad driving tendencies and habits, the data stored in the ELD database can help managers train them better.
Once high-risk drivers are identified, organizations can replace them with safer alternatives on longer and more complex routes, which in turn minimize the risk of accidents. Plus, the driving data is useful enough when it comes to appraising drivers or putting the worst-performing ones through rigorous training.
As a fleet manager or an independent trucker, you already have a lot on your plate in terms of timely deliveries, load management, DoT compliance, probable citations, and more. Amid these issues, an accident or two can certainly hit your businesses the hardest. Not just that, even inadvertent damage to property can attract lawsuits and eventually increase your liabilities.
However, trucks with ELDs installed can strengthen the case of innocent truckers by offering credibility, actionable data, and proper pieces of evidence. In case the ELD doesn’t log hard cornering, abrupt braking, or any bad driving behavior, the driver isn’t at blame and the company has maximum chances of winning a lawsuit.
Simplified IFTA Calculations
Inter and intrastate fleets need to file their IFTA reports by the end of each quarter. However, in absence of an automating resource, manual IFTA filing can quickly turn cumbersome and error-prone. Plus, the insanely high volume of paperwork requires fleets to allocate several resources to the IFTA filing, thereby increasing costs but not the chances of human errors.
As ELDs keep storing data incrementally, deploying ELDs for IFTA calculations is advisable and it even cuts down on exorbitant filing costs where a massive volume of manual resources are hired. Not just that, letting the ELD manage IFTA calculations also eliminates the risks of inconsistencies. Therefore, if someday the fleet books are audited, managers hardly have to worry about the risks and penalties.
Affordable Insurance Premiums
Indeed, higher insurance premiums are usually levied from vehicles that are accident-prone or do not have the requisite tracking facilities. However, fleets that have ELDs installed get sizable discounts on the insurance premiums as they entail increased fleet safety.
Also, fleet ELDs that are fortified with GPS tracking, Geofencing, and other traits are better equipped when it comes to mitigating the risks of hijacks, pillages, and thefts, which in turn allows the insurance companies to be at ease while offering the lowest possible insurance rates. Hence, one can say that fleet ELDs with GPS tracking will help you get good insurance premiums.
CSA Score Improvement
Every fleet is distinguished by businesses based on the CSA scores, with higher being better. However, ELDs can help fleets improve their CSA scores by assisting drivers to stay on point with the working hours and driving behavior. Even if there is a California-based fleet to work with, ELDs can be quite a handful as ELD standards in California are different from the rest of the states, courtesy of the 12-hour driving HoS within the 16-hour duty window.
These variances can be managed effectively by a reliable electronic logging device that can adapt itself according to the changing rules and driver habits. Plus, the electronic interface cuts out manner and form violations, log defilements, and falsified recordkeeping, which also add to the CSA score of the concerned fleet.
As per reports released by FMCSA, ELDs on commercial vehicles are expected to save over 26 lives and even prevent close to 562 injuries, each year. This reiterates the fact that fleets that have ELDs installed as way safer as compared to the non-ELD ones.
But then, you might be wondering how a logging device with restricted capabilities adds to the safety quotient of the fleets. The answer lies in the details as most ELDs come loaded with route management systems, fault-code generation, GPS tracking, and the ability of the fleet to identify bad driving habits.
Once these details are made handy and accessible, preventing accidents, thefts, and loss of property becomes gradually possible.
Be it the reduced paperwork or minimal workforce engagement for handling IFTA filing, ELDs can lower the resource involvement by automating most tasks. With the operational costs reduced, it becomes easier for the fleet managers to break even and even make profits quicker than expected.
Not just that, ELDs can also help reduce the overhead costs by helping managers locate better routes, lessen the idling time, manage and maintain vehicles better with fault-code diagnostics, and even increase the driver retention rate courtesy of a better management setup. Each of these aspects helps to increase the margin and hence, the profits.
Individuals, drivers, and fleet managers who only consider ELD implementation as a way around the mandate need to read through this post with the utmost attention. While having an ELD network can readily empower your fleet and make it more compliant, it also allows you to achieve other benefits, including escalated products, newer business opportunities, increased productivity, streamlined operations, and much, much more.
But then, as a fleet manager or an independent trucker, it is your responsibility to procure devices with advanced telematics, to make the most of the enlisted benefit. If you are a fleet manager or an Owner-Operator you can check out this list of Best ELD devices for upscaling your businesses and earn some profits.