HomeResourcesBlog4 Game-changing benefits of ELDs
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4 Game-changing benefits of ELDs

By Verizon Connect October 7, 2020
Transition to ELDs

In December 2019, compliance for using electronic logging devices (ELD) came into full effect. Now, all drivers and carriers subject to the rule must use self-certified ELDs that are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), as opposed to automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs). But although the rules have been in place for some time now, some fleet managers and truck drivers may still be struggling to curb their old ways of manually logging Hours of Service (HOS) or not fully understand the impact these telematics devices can have on their operations.

What does it really mean to operate a safe and compliant fleet? When the right ELD solution is in place, fleet managers can realize four winning benefits of electronic logging devices. Let’s take a closer look at each.

1st benefit of ELDs: Improved safety and compliance

When faced with a looming delivery deadline for a high-priority customer, truckers can be tempted to compromise their safety. In fact, according to a study conducted by Verizon Connect and Wakefield Research, the rate of severe crashes in densely populated areas is increasing faster for lighter commercial trucks (27%) than heavy-duty trucks (16%). An overwhelming majority of American drivers (81%) say they have witnessed a commercial vehicle being driven dangerously on the road.

Let’s say a truck driver is hauling fragile freight cross-country. Knowing the customer and job are high priority, he or she is doing everything possible to deliver the load on time while keeping an eye on HOS rules. The driver may miss out on sleep and avoid taking breaks to power through, seeing “Welcome to [insert state name]” signs flash by in a blur. But, just up ahead may be a tricky portion of the road known for speed traps and even a few fender benders.

The driver’s situation may be all too familiar, but an ELD solution like LogBook manages HOS hours for drivers by combining required vehicle data with driver status from the mobile application. Drivers simply log into the mobile app on their smartphone or tablet and start driving while their hours are managed automatically. By letting ELD systems do the heavy lifting, drivers are spared from potentially hazardous situations while helping to prevent Department of Transportation (DOT) violations.

2nd benefit of ELDs: Increased automation and efficiency

The main goal of any trucking company who relies on drivers and commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to haul freight is to get drivers out of the yard with the right loads, on time and headed to the correct destination. With all the planning that needs to be done for each day—routes, driving-hour calculations, customer expectations and ensuring Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) ELD compliance—the manual paperwork can make a huge dent to daily efficiency. 

ELD automates previously manual, labor-intensive processes and eliminates much of the guesswork that caused costly delays. Instead of sifting through stacks of paper logs (which run the risk of being incomplete, lost or never submitted), fleet managers can readily access electronic HOS logs stored in the cloud. This makes it easier to see the number of hours left per driver and if they are on-duty or off-duty, to be able to assign deliveries fairly.

Finally, ELDs save time on reporting. With LogBook, fleet operators can quickly run actionable reports on driver logs, HOS violations, vehicle inspections (DVIR) and unassigned miles. This leads to more informed business decisions that can be a huge plus for building a great reputation.

3rd benefit of ELDs: Greater productivity and revenue

With an ELD solution such as LogBook, companies can see how much drive time their truck drivers have left in their day. This allows them to assign drivers with a few hours left to closer jobs and assign drivers with a full driving day to jobs with farther driving distances. By planning a driver’s day more efficiently, more customers can be serviced within allotted driving times and deliveries planned accordingly. 

While drivers are on the road, fleet managers can also use LogBook to see where the money is going. Monitoring avoidable expenses like HOS violations, unnecessary vehicle maintenance and downtime, and safety-related fines helps companies to enforce best practices by encouraging drivers to operate safely and adding the potential for enhanced daily productivity. 

4th benefit of ELDs: Reduced costs

Where can fleet managers see cost savings for an ELD solution? To start, by eliminating paper logbooks, including Record of Duty Status (RODS), the right ELD solution can help save an estimated $705 per driver per year. Each year, drivers fill out an average of 240 RODS. An ELD solution has been shown to reduce the amount of time drivers spend logging their HOS by 4.5 minutes per RODS, which is about 19 hours annually.1

Paperwork is just one example where costs can be saved using an ELD solution, but the technology has far broader potential to generate improvements around fleet-related spend. Helping to reduce preventable accidents, speeding fines, HOS violations and maintenance costs leads to expenses that can be reduced when monitoring fleet safety with an ELD solution—keeping money in the bank where it belongs.

The technology can also help companies realize a reduction in accidents, liability claims and insurance costs as a result of increased safe driving habits and behaviors. Knowing about a harsh driving,speeding event means that fleet owners can coach drivers and address it in near real-time, resulting in fewer expenses all around. 

How to embrace the benefits of ELD

It's important to remember that change is difficult for everyone, even when the change itself is positive. Employees are often sensitive to talk of change, and rumors can run rampant through the company grapevine. And while the ELD mandate actually places specific restrictions on what information can be tracked, there can be a number of misunderstandings about what ELDs are and what they monitor.

While you may not want to read all 126 pages of the ELD final rule, it’s important to have a grasp of the basics. Take the time to communicate openly and explain exactly what an ELD is and what it isn’t.

Some topics worth covering include:

  • How the technology works:Help demystify how hours are recorded, stored and transferred
  • Driver rights:Including what is required during a roadside inspection and perceived harassment
  • Plan B:What to do when the device breaks down or service is disrupted
  • How the information is used:Including reporting of violations and length of storage (the FMCSA requires ELD data to be stored for a minimum of six months)
  • General Q&A:Invite the team to share their own questions

Keep the tone of your communication inclusive and make your employees feel a part of the process. ELDs are mandated by the FMCSA and require the whole business (including managers, drivers and back office) to adapt to a new way of doing things, so it’s not just truck drivers who have to be trained and kept in the loop. In addition, give back to your drivers in a more tangible way to encourage them throughout the transition. Cash incentives, employee perks or recognition can all make a driver’s job more rewarding, and change their opinion of ELDs.

ELD implementation is not just about a mandate—it comes with tangible business benefits if rolled out correctly. Find out how Verizon Connect can assist you with ELD deployment to help keep your fleet compliant.  


Verizon Connect

Verizon Connect Staff represents a team of professionals passionate about everything telematics. Get to hear about the latest trends, product features and industry best practices from the desk of Verizon Connect Staff.

Tags: ELD & Compliance

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