Guides / A Deep Dive into Hours-of-Service Rules / Hours-of-service apps and tracking software.

Hours-of-service apps and tracking software.

The main goal of the FMCSA’s ELD mandate ​​is to create a safe environment for commercial drivers, reduce driver fatigue, enforce HOS rules, and minimize road accidents. Part of enforcing HOS rules means that HOS duty statuses are automatically recorded by an ELD system. An element of many BYOD ELD systems is an hours-of-service app for tracking and viewing HOS information. 

10 benefits of using hours-of-service apps and software

Beyond tracking and viewing HOS information, users of hours-of-service apps, or electronic logbooks, can enjoy many other benefits. These include: 

1. Easy-to-use interface

Many hours-of-service apps have interfaces similar to other apps drivers might use on their smartphones. Familiarity can help you make fewer errors and reduce stress. Test out different driver apps to verify that the interface is intuitive and enjoyable for you to use. 

2. Intuitive hours-of-service clock

Hours-of-service apps have intuitive HOS clocks that allow users to see precisely how much time is left in their shift and current cycle. This functionality is hugely beneficial and can help you plan trips accordingly since you’ll know exactly how much time you have to work with. As an example of how this functionality works, the Motive Driver App shows four clocks that automatically calculate:

  • The time left until you need to take the 30-minute break
  • The time left until your driving limit is reached
  • The time left until your shift ends
  • The time left in your 60- or 70-hour cycle

3. 24/7 customer support

Before choosing an hours-of-service app or software, make sure it has excellent customer support. By selecting a driver app from a company with good customer support, you’ll be assured that any issues you might have with your app will always be quickly addressed and resolved. 

4. Data at your fingertips

Your hours-of-service app allows you to access your duty status information anytime, from anywhere. By having your HOS data with you at all times, you’ll always have efficiency and convenience on the road. 

5. Put your mind at ease

Many drivers like the added peace of mind a backup application record of their HOS provides. The better hours-of-service apps allow you to easily store, view, and manage your HOS data. 

6. Easy installation

Most smartphone users are accustomed to the process of downloading, installing, and using apps. The process of downloading and installing an hours-of-service app is in many ways no different than what we’re already used to, so many users have no trouble getting started with their driver apps. 

7. Cost-effectiveness

Many if not most hours-of-service apps, or electronic logbooks, are free to download and use, though it’s worth noting that they must be paired with an approved ELD system to be FMCSA compliant. Electronic logbooks can’t be used as a compliance solution on their own. 

8. Reduced audit risk

See all of your drivers’ risk profiles when you combine built-in CSA Insights with the DRIVE risk score. You can coach drivers who display higher risk behaviors, which helps avoid penalties, CSA score increases, and costly litigation.

9. Increased productivity:

Work with efficiency using AI-powered unidentified trip matching, a fast log editing workflow, automatic yard move assignment, and more.

10. ELD compliance

The most significant benefit to hours-of-service apps is they help you stay compliant since they’re built to be paired with an ELD system that meets FMCSA’s regulatory requirements. Hours-of-service apps help drivers complete daily tasks much faster and more efficiently. Drivers everywhere use hours-of-service apps, or electronic logbooks, to reduce violations and eliminate worry by ensuring they stay compliant. 

Motive’s top-rated ELD compliance solution is built to help drivers complete compliance tasks faster. Multi-driver teams can manage their hours of service from a single logging device, streamlining operations and making for an easy experience for drivers. 

Staying FMCSA compliant is also easy with Motive’s solution. Our ELD is built according to regulatory requirements, and our Bluetooth and USB connections allow you to remain compliant from anywhere. Motive’s compliance management suite helps managers reduce HOS violations and time spent on compliance tasks by up to 50%.

Motive’s suite of solutions includes HOS clocks and proactive alerts in our Driver App. For added convenience, you can manage IFTA, DVIR, and HOS in one compliance solution. Get the Driver App for Apple, or Android.

Tracking software and HOS rules

When vehicle fleets are equipped with HOS tracking software and duty status tracking is automated, efficiency is increased and errors from manual tracking are eliminated.

Let’s start with a brief overview of HOS rules.

HOS rules overview

HOS rules are federal safety regulations set by the FMCSA that address the maximum amount of time commercial drivers can work in the United States.

These HOS rules are a fairly complex set of safety-related requirements that dictate: 

  • How long a driver is allowed to drive during a single shift
  • The amount of time a driver can drive during the week
  • When a driver must take a rest break during a work shift
  • How much time off a driver must have between shifts

What is HOS tracking software?

HOS tracking software refers to an online system that allows you to compile and audit your records of duty status (RODS). HOS tracking software eliminates things like old or missing driver logs, errors from paper logs, and driving over your daily allotted time. 

How does HOS tracking software work?

HOS tracking software works by connecting to and compiling data from ELD systems. Once the HOS data is automatically collected by the ELD system, it’s then integrated into the HOS tracking software, which is used by drivers and companies in the form of mobile applications such as electronic logbooks, or desktop software.

Here are a few key features and qualities of good hours-of-service software:

  • HOS alerts. Timely alerts notify drivers of upcoming HOS violations.
  • Instant messaging. The capability let the back office know of any problems, where the driver is headed, and any other details on the fly.
  • Reliability. Ensure ELD compliance with a reliable solution. 
  • Intuitive interface. An interface focused on ease of use. 

Benefits of HOS tracking software for commercial drivers

A huge benefit of hours-of-service software is that it helps users stay compliant with the FMCSA ELD mandate. HOS tracking software typically integrates and pulls data from an ELD system, so commercial drivers have the benefit of knowing that the hours-of-service software they use is helping them track duty status automatically and stay compliant.

With fewer HOS violations, time saved managing logs, and faster roadside inspections, HOS tracking software provides both time and money savings.

See how Motive can help with HOS tracking and compliance

Request a demo to see how Motive can help with your fleet’s specific compliance needs.