As part of its ongoing effort to save lives and prevent injuries, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) introduced an electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. Now, five years after the mandate’s implementation, we have the ability to report the full benefits and features of ELDs for trucks.
An ELD that complies with the mandate will record the date, time, location, engine hours, miles driven, identification information, engine power and vehicle motion status, as well as driver duty status. All this data is logged automatically at least every 60 minutes.
Benefits of installing an ELD in your trucks
An ELD is a hardware device that connects to a vehicle’s engine electronic control module (ECM) and pairs with a display to help keep drivers on track and compliant. This can also improve safety, help reduce insurance premiums, and cut overall fleet costs. We’ll talk in more detail about each of the benefits of ELDs for trucks next.
Simplify fleet compliance
An ELD for trucks automatically tracks a driver’s driving time and keeps the record of duty status (RODS). With the ELD monitoring the driver’s driving time and hours-of-service (HOS) compliance, it’s much easier to have accurate records and ensure efficient communication of the data fleet managers need for compliance reporting.
Reviewing five years of data, researchers at the Supply Chain Management Research Center at the University of Arkansas (U of A) concluded the ELD mandate “significantly improved driver compliance with reporting hours of service.” Small carriers and independent owner-operators, in particular, benefited from moving away from paper based reporting. According to TruckingInfo’s coverage of the U of A study, “Pre-ELDs, the vast majority of hours-of-service citations were for ‘form and manner’ violations; those have virtually disappeared.”
With the elimination of paperwork in favor of digital data, you can simplify communication between drivers and fleet managers. This can also reduce administrative burdens, which frees up your drivers and the people in the back office for other important work.
An ELD integration with your fleet management software can also improve other operation areas. For example, you can automate IFTA fuel tax reporting to improve efficiency while also reducing risks of human error tracking the distance a vehicle travels in each IFTA jurisdiction every day. Or, having the ELD require drivers to examine unidentified trips and either claim them or indicate that they aren’t attributable to them can facilitate reporting as well.
Reduce fleet costs
Electronic logging for trucks supports more efficient routing. This helps fleets save on fuel costs. For example, an idle-time tracker feature can help with fuel management while reducing your fleet’s environmental impact. At the same time, saving time on dispatch means you can optimize routes to get the most from the trucks you have on the road.
You can also simplify and automate vehicle maintenance with the ELD connection to the ECM in each truck. This can help you avoid costly downtime by performing preventative maintenance to keep your fleet vehicles in service longer.
ELDs for trucks in your fleet can also help improve Compliance, Safety, and Accountability scores, which can bring insurance savings. Some insurance companies provide cost-saving plans and offer increased benefits for fleets using ELDs.
Inspections are a necessary part of truck driving, but drivers want them to be over and done with as quickly as possible. With an ELD installed in their trucks, drivers can efficiently present standardized data to safety officials when requested.
It’s easy to pull up a graph grid of driving duty status and detailed daily log information either on a screen display or for a printout with Motive’s ELD.
Features to look for in an ELD for trucks
Most importantly, you want to look for a certified ELD. Providers on the FMCSA’s list self- certify that their devices comply with required technical specifications. For example, Motive’s ELD devices are registered with the FMCSA and certified in Canada, ensuring compliance across North America.
The best ELD for trucks integrates easily with fleet management software to help improve operations and streamline communication between drivers and dispatchers. Motive’s ELD system works with our Driver App to make it easier for drivers to complete logs and inspection reports, avoid HOS violations, and smooth roadside inspections.
ELDs use real-time GPS tracking, which can help fleet managers track and monitor drivers on the road. This cuts the need for check-in calls and helps managers keep customers apprised of real-time ETAs. The data from the route and location history can also help to optimize future routing.
The Motive ELD solution integrates with Motive’s AI Dashcam to improve overall fleet safety. Offering the ability to monitor critical events, this fleet safety solution can help you to exonerate drivers and reduce insurance costs. You can also protect drivers with our fast, accurate dashcam detecting unsafe driving behaviors and alerting drivers in real time. Then, after the route is complete, drivers can receive automated, behavior-specific coaching in the Driver App.
Motive also provides a holistic view into fleet safety via DRIVE risk scores tracking individual drivers and the company overall. Benchmarked against Motive’s network of 550,000+ vehicles, the DRIVE risk score provides an objective measure of driver risk.
When an ELD for trucks is required
Compliant electronic logging devices have been required since December 18, 2017 in the U.S. This federal government regulation requires commercial motor vehicle operators to use compliant ELDs.
ELD compliance is mandatory for commercial driving operators that keep RODS, including
- Vehicles that weigh more than 10,001 pounds
- Vehicles containing placarded hazmat loads
- Vehicles that carry more than eight or fifteen passengers (depending on the vehicle class)
- Interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers that are required to keep records of duty status
ELD exemptions per the FMCSA
An ELD for trucks is not required for any of the following:
- Vehicles with pre-2000 engine models (regardless of their VIN)
- Tow-away drivers
- Drivers who aren’t required to maintain a record of duty status (RODS)
- Drivers who maintain RODS for no more than 8 days in a 30-day period
The FMCSA also does not currently require ELD devices of insect and livestock transporters,
Try Motive’s ELD for trucks
Motive’s electronic logging device solution was developed for drivers. Supported by real people, 24/7, our easy to use ELD is trusted by over 120,000 companies for their regulatory, compliance, and fleet management needs. Get started with the Motive ELD for the trucks in your fleet today.