Using ELDs allows drivers to save time by automating the logging process. Instead of spending time jotting down manual entries, they can log their HOS status and GPS location in real time.
Fleet managers can also identify lousy driving behaviors like excess acceleration and hard braking, which helps reduce accidents and liabilities. This enables them to train better and boost driver retention rates.
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Fleet managers can use ELDs to accurately track driver time, ensuring they comply with hours of service rules. This cuts out the ability to fudge log books and saves trucking companies a lot of money in fines.
The devices also identify bad driving habits, such as hard cornering and excessive acceleration. Fleet managers can then coach or penalize drivers accordingly. This eliminates safety risks and accidents while improving overall productivity.
Furthermore, within the context of ELD in trucking, these devices offer vehicle diagnostic reports, minimizing downtime by detecting fault codes and precisely determining the problem’s location. This capability enables fleets to avoid expensive repairs and optimize asset utilization.
The technology also eliminates the need for paper documents, reducing administrative costs and saving on fuel by eliminating idling time. This is important because idle time can cost trucking companies up to $24 per hour, according to research by ATRI. The devices also help reduce detention time, costing the industry as much as $3 billion annually.
Aside from saving time and money on paper and faxing, ELDs also help reduce trucking companies’ risk of expensive federal audits. Additionally, advanced ELDs can go far beyond federal compliance, logging driver vehicle inspection reports and offering insights into driving behavior. This can help fleet managers identify drivers with destructive driving tendencies and habits and put them through rigorous training to minimize accidents.
ELDs make it easier for drivers to maintain records of duty status (RODS) because they can easily keep track of their hours of service with the touch of a button. This makes meeting RODS standards easy and avoids fines for fatigued driving.
Another benefit of using an ELD is that it can improve safety for both drivers and passengers. Tired drivers are more likely to cause accidents, so using ELDs is an effective way to increase driver safety and avoid fatalities on the road. This is why many drivers are happy to switch from traditional paper logs.
Although some trucking companies refuse to adopt ELD technology, they’ll quickly find themselves in trouble with the FMCSA. They’ll also miss out on the vast benefits this emerging technology offers.
For example, a fleet with ELDs can automate the calculation of IFTA reports, saving hundreds of workforce hours and thousands of dollars. This allows them to cut down on idling time and reduce fuel consumption, thus boosting profitability.
In addition, an ELD gives drivers audio and visual notifications about their breaks and when they are close to exhausting their driving hours, allowing them to plan and avoid breaking the law. This improves accountability.
In the event of an accident, ELDs can also provide a clear record of a driver’s past driving behavior, including speeding and hard braking habits. This helps companies defend against claims of negligence. If a claimant sees the carrier has a safe driving history, the company is more likely to be forgiven in court.
In addition to improved compliance and safety, a well-rounded ELD solution can help improve efficiency and reduce fleet costs. With features like vehicle diagnostics that detect engine fault codes, real-time tracking that optimizes route planning, and load optimization tools that save on fuel and maintenance, the benefits of an ELD go far beyond a driver’s hours of service.
A robust ELD can also eliminate the need for operations personnel to review hundreds of logs and ensure drivers comply. Instead, the system flags days out of compliance and gives operators a better opportunity to review them and address any issues before they lead to fines or even accidents.
Aside from the safety and productivity benefits, ELDs can also significantly reduce risk for trucking companies in the case of a lawsuit. When an accident occurs, the data provided by ELDs can be used to prove that a driver wasn’t driving fatigued and that the company was not negligent in hiring them.