The ELD mandate deadline is fast approaching. While a lot of fleets have successfully installed FMCSA-registered ELDs ahead of the deadline, there are still some fleets without a compliant solution.

The ELD implementation process might look daunting and complex. But it really isn’t.

In this blog post, we share some tips on how any fleet can get ready for the upcoming ELD mandate.

Start your ELD research now

If you want to buy DOT-certified, feature-rich, and compliant ELDs, start your research now. Finding a good and reliable ELD provider takes time. Testing out multiple ELD products, evaluating their prices, and comparing different features will require time and effort. You can’t do that too close to the deadline.

Some industry experts are starting to worry about carriers who have yet to install ELDs.

Collin Mooney, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, says,

At this point in time there’s no grace period. Everyone’s known this was coming for quite a while. And if drivers choose to ignore the situation or refuse to buy the required equipment, that’s their choice.”

If you are looking for an ELD solution and need some guidance, consider the following tips to kick-off your ELD research process.

1. FMCSA-registered ELDs

The first tip is to only look for ELD solutions that are FMCSA-registered.

Although all ELD manufacturers claim that they have a fully compliant solution, it is not always true.

If an ELD isn’t listed on the FMCSA’s list of certified ELDs, it won’t make you compliant. In other words, you can buy and install ELDs and still remain non-compliant after the ELD mandate deadline if you buy a non-certified ELD.

2. ELD price

The cost of compliance is another important factor to consider.

While most ELD vendors charge a monthly fee for providing their services, there are some who also have additional hardware and installation charges. Screen the ELD manufacturers accordingly and look out for those additional charges.

3. Fleet management features

ELDs are much more than just a compliance tool. Good ELDs are packed with powerful fleet management features that help streamline operations, reduce administrative burden, minimize expenses, and maximize profits.

When you are looking to buy an ELD solution, make sure it has those necessary features, such as IFTA calculation, idle-time tracking, vehicle diagnostics, driver scorecards, driver and vehicle alerts, etc.

4. Support and customer service

ELDs are a new technology. And commercial drivers and fleet managers are still learning more about them. If you have any technical problems or malfunctions, you will need a great support system to assist you.

Otherwise, you would have to put your operations on hold or become noncompliant.

That’s why it is important to only deal with ELD vendors that have a great 24×7 support system. A partner who answers your questions right away.

Driver education and training sessions

Based on the comments made on trucking forums, some drivers are upset about the implementation of the ELD mandate. These truckers might still be carrying a negative mindset towards the ELD mandate because no one told them the various driver-related benefits of ELDs.

Some of the benefits that ELDs can offer to drivers include the prevention of driver fatigue, the prevention of driver harassment, fewer Hours of Service violations and penalties, and increased road safety.

Getting your drivers onboard is a major step towards a successful ELD transition process. This is why you will need to clear any confusions or misconceptions your drivers may have by educating them and arranging driver training sessions. The more they learn about electronic logging devices, the more they open up to the idea of ELD transition.

The training can also include segments where drivers are taught how to use ELDs and what their rights are. Drivers who are new to ELDs also need ample amount of time to learn how to properly operate the device.

This transition and learning period for drivers to get used to ELDs is one of the main reasons why carriers should obtain the devices well ahead of the deadline.

Let your drivers test different ELDs and elog apps

With so many ELD vendors available, it can be confusing to pick one ELD solution over the rest. So, the best way to move forward is to request different ELD demos and free elog mobile apps.

By testing different products, you and your team can identify which product seems best for your company. Make sure to include drivers in this process. Because, ultimately, it is them who will be using the device every day.

It’s also worth noting that the simple gesture of involving your drivers in the ELD selection process will help improve your driver retention rates. And it will also open them to the idea of ELD transition a bit more.

Considering how the country is currently experiencing a shortage in drivers, it pays to keep your drivers happy and with you.

What’s next?

Finding ELD manufacturers, educating your team about the mandate, and testing out your prospective ELDs can take a lot of time.

With only four months left before the ELD rule takes effect, there’s no better day than today to start your transition to ELDs. If you are still looking for an FMCSA-registered ELD solution, try Motive. Over 1 million registered drivers and 90,000 carriers rely on Motive for their compliance and fleet management needs.