The FMCSA ELD mandate applies to most commercial motor vehicle drivers. As per this new ELD rule, after December 2017 most CMVs should have electronic logging devices (ELDs). The FMCSA estimates that the ELD mandate will influence over 3.5 million truck drivers.

However, there are a few categories of vehicles and drivers who are exempt from this ELD mandate.

For instance, vehicles with pre-2000 engines do not need to have ELDs. Apart from that, towaway drivers, drivers who do not have to maintain RODS, and drivers who maintain RODS for no more than 8 days in a 30-day cycle are also exempt.

For more details on the different types of drivers and vehicles that are exempt, read ‘Is your fleet exempt from the ELD rule?

Should you use ELDs If you are exempt?

Despite the exemptions, however, many fleets are choosing electronic logging devices because of the various benefits ELDs offer. In this post, we list 5 reasons why you should consider using ELDs even if you are exempt.

1. HOS compliance

Hours of service compliance is one of the biggest concerns for most fleets and truck drivers. Electronic logging devices make HOS compliance a breeze.

According to an FMCSA study, automated electronic logs can reduce HOS violations by as much as 50% and decrease a motor carrier’s overall crash rate by 10%. It leads to fewer accidents and HOS violations, which always help fleets in the long run.

Apart from that, automated logs also make drivers more efficient and productive as they do not have to do tedious paperwork anymore. They also do not have to worry about tracking the number of hours they have been driving and the number of remaining hours, as electronic logs automatically calculate it for them.

With electronic logs, drivers also get real-time hours-of-service violation alerts. It effectively takes HOS violations out of the equation.

2. Economic benefits

Electronic logging devices may seem like an additional burden on the wallet, but they have several economic benefits for trucking companies.

For instance, ELDs identify bad driving behaviors. According to an estimate, for a truck that consumes $70,000 of fuel per year, approximately $5,600 is spent on idling. You can save that money with ELDs.

Also, fewer HOS violations reduce the number of penalties and fines. Additionally, they also improve CSA scores that lead to more and better business opportunities.

3. Better management

You can use electronic logging devices for better management even if you are exempt. There are several ways ELDs improve how you manage your fleet. For instance:

  • Less paperwork means a minimum number of errors
  • Better route planning leads to efficiency and productivity
  • Easier and better distribution of workload for maximum profits
  • Real-time GPS tracking to locate drivers
  • Analyzing drivers’ performances, violations, and DVIRs, which result in better managerial decisions.

4. Simplified IFTA calculation

Calculating IFTA reports is by far the most tedious and error-prone work for fleets. It requires carefully reviewing trip sheets from last quarter to calculate exactly how far each vehicle traveled in each jurisdiction.

Some electronic logging devices (ELDs) can simplify and automate the IFTA calculation process. Simplified IFTA calculation is one of the primary reasons why so many fleets prefer having ELDs despite exemptions.

5. Improving CSA scores

Improving CSA scores is always an important objective for trucking companies. ELDs help fleets achieve that goal.

“Form & Manner” and “Outdated Logs” violations make up approximately 25% of overall roadside violations. And although ‘Form & Manner’ violations carry 1 CSA point, an outdated log violation carries 5 points.

These are easily avoidable violations, but they can have a big negative impact on overall CSA scores. Electronic logging devices simply make these violations go away altogether, as ELDs automatically record all the data.

What’s next?

The FMCSA ELD mandate does not apply to all CMVs and drivers. However, even if you are exempt, there are significant advantages — beyond just ELD compliance — to adopting electronic logging devices for your fleet. The cost of ELDs far outweighs the benefits.

Request a free demo of the Motive ELD to learn about more benefits.