Some truckers were apprehensive about installing ELDs because of the misinformation and myths surrounding the topic. One such misinformation is that electronic logging devices would shut down trucks automatically if drivers are past their hours of service limits.
That’s not the case.
It is also worth highlighting that according to the standards set by the FMCSA, remotely shutting a vehicle is not of the essential features.
ELDs are designed to monitor vehicles and to enforce the drivers to follow their hours-of-service limits and record violations if they don’t — not to shut down vehicles.
Dangers of shutting down vehicles remotely
Remotely shutting down vehicles can pose a serious threat to drivers’ (and other motorists’) safety.
Not only that, but should road crashes occur due to remote vehicle shutdowns, the shipper’s cargo will arrive late, the carrier (and the driver) will incur liabilities, and the vehicle might be put on hold for repairs due to severe damage — all of which do not benefit carriers, drivers, motorists, and any other industry stakeholder.
When vehicles are shut down remotely, the likelihood of truck drivers experiencing parking problems also increases. Imagine drivers running out of driving hours and their vehicles getting shut down automatically even before they arrive at their home or office locations.
How about drivers who run out of hours while still stuck in traffic? If their vehicles are shut down automatically, the incapacitated vehicle could cause serious problems to drivers and motorists.
The primary purpose of ELDs
From a high-level perspective, ELDs are designed to increase road safety by helping truck drivers monitor their driving hours, so they stay within their HOS limits — ultimately keeping them from getting into accidents because of fatigue or drowsiness.
Because of this, ELDs are equipped with features that would track a driver’s driving hours automatically, so they can receive clear notifications if an hours-of-service violation is approaching.
Many feature-rich ELDs allow drivers to customize how and when they should receive the notification for upcoming HOS violations. For instance, the Motive ELD solution allows drivers to specify when to receive HOS alerts. There are five options available:
- 15 minutes before a violation
- 30 minutes before a violation
- 45 minutes before a violation
- 1 hour before a violation
Depending on which option the driver chooses, they will get a notification when they’re close to running out of driving hours.
More benefits from ELDs
ELDs don’t just get a bad rep because of misconceptions, but their various incredibly useful features are also somewhat neglected and downplayed.
Contrary to what others think, there are more benefits to be had from ELDs aside from road safety and regulatory compliance.
These are some of the other benefits of ELDs:
- Increase in productivity
- Reduction in administrative burden
- Minimizing fuel wastage
- Better CSA scores
- Better insurance premiums
- Faster IFTA (and easier) fuel tax reporting
The ELD mandate was implemented on December 18, 2017. Drivers have been using electronic logging devices for quite a while now. And while many misconceptions like these are no longer an issue, there are still some who believe that ELDs invade their privacy and are capable of doing something inappropriate — like remotely shutting down their vehicles.
As we just discussed, that’s definitely not the case.
Full enforcement of the ELD mandate has begun. So if you are without an ELD, give Motive a try.