In addition to complying with regulations, ELDs offer plenty of benefits to drivers, fleet managers, and carriers.
According to the DOT, drivers spend an estimated 20 hours per year filling out manual logs to provide carriers. With ELDs, drivers can save about 15 minutes per day by reducing paperwork, decreasing effort and cost for both drivers and fleet managers.
Automate IFTA reports
The Internal Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) simplifies the fuel reports for carriers operating in more than one jurisdiction. These reports are completed at the end of each quarter and are a hefty load of paperwork.
With the right ELD solution, drivers are given the opportunity to automate the IFTA calculation process, save time, and reduce operational costs and administrative burdens.
Motive’s IFTA fuel tax reporting feature, for example, automatically calculates the travel distance and fuel purchase by jurisdiction. This feature not only increases productivity and accuracy but also reduces the possibility of errors.
Track vehicles in real time
ELDs use GPS tracking to enable fleet managers to track and monitor drivers on the road with ease. That means that fleet managers no longer have to call drivers for check-ins, as they have real-time visibility into their drivers’ locations. As a result, managers can inform customers about the driver’s exact location and ETA, and drivers can continue driving safely sans distractions.
Some ELDs also record historical breadcrumb trails and locations, which helps fleet managers and drivers plan the most efficient routes.
With real-time vehicle tracking, ELDs help fleets simplify fleet management, increase dispatch efficiency, and streamline communication.
Monitor vehicle condition and health
With ELDs, you can improve vehicle safety across the fleet with various features, such as customizable vehicle inspection reports, custom inspection forms, real-time alerts, and vehicle inspection history. With a proactive approach to vehicle maintenance, drivers can also increase vehicle uptime and minimize repair costs.
Increase fuel efficiency
Despite the cost of fuel, fleets can save a substantial amount of money by optimizing operations and minimizing fuel waste.
Certain ELDs allow fleet managers to track idle time for each driver, which plays a crucial role in reducing fuel waste and expenses.
For example, the vehicle utilization feature — part of Motive’s AI-driven Fuel Hub solution — automatically records the idle time, idle fuel, driving time, and driving fuel of each vehicle. Gaining visibility into this information allows fleet managers to identify drivers who idle for too long, too often. By increasing efficiency and maximizing utilization rate, you can make a significant impact on the company’s bottom line.
Identify high-risk driving behavior
ELDs collect data that can help track risky driver behavior, like hard braking, sharp cornering and excessive acceleration. This information is nearly impossible to collect without ELD, and helps determine at-risk drivers and liabilities over time. Drivers can identify even more risky behavior, including close-following cell phone usage, by using additional tools like Motive’s AI Dashcam.
Also, use this data to determine and reward your best drivers. Recognition helps improve drivers’ motivation and driver retention rates.
Improve driver and vehicle safety
The FMCSA estimates that ELDs will help save 26 lives and avoid 1,844 vehicle accidents annually. That’s an overall 11.7% lower crash rate compared to vehicles without the in-cab hardware.
With rich features, an ELD solution can help prevent accidents via real-time vehicle tracking, fault-code monitoring, better route management, reduced driver fatigue, and improved driver behavior.
Improve CSA scores
Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) is a government program ensuring reliability and safety. CSA scores are based on crash reports, roadside inspections, investigation reports, and regulation details. The name of the game is to maintain low CSA scores, as high scores can result in more compliance checks, increased insurance rates, and fewer clients.
With the right ELD, you can track drivers’ behavior and ensure they comply with regulations and practice safe driving. Additionally, ELDs can help minimize Hours of Service (HOS) violations, and falsification of logs resulting in poorer CSA scores.
To improve CSA scores, think about solutions like Motive’s CSA Insights functionality. CSA insights will give you a complete picture of your drivers’ risk profiles so you can proactively coach high-risk drivers to avoid penalties, CSA score increases, and costly litigation.
Lower insurance premiums
Because it has been proven that ELDs increase fleet safety, insurance companies offer much better rates than what they do to fleets without ELDs.
Additionally, since ELDs are also packed with GPS tracking features, which lowers the risk of a stolen or hijacked vehicle. For this reason, insurance companies feel at ease when it comes to offering lower insurance rates.
ELDs help streamline and optimize fleet management, ultimately increasing profitability.
The FMCSA’s reports showed that paperwork savings per driver annually include:
- Driver filling out record of duty status (RODS): $487
- Driver submitting RODS: $56
- Clerk filing RODS: $120
- Elimination of paper driver logbooks: $42
That’s a savings of about $705 with the help of ELDs minimizing paperwork.
Additionally, companies can save more on operational costs with ELDs by:
- Minimizing idling and fuel wastage
- Reducing administrative burden
- Being compliant and avoiding violations and fines
- Increasing efficiency and productivity