4 game-changing benefits of ELDs

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As the full compliance deadline for the electronic logging device (ELD) rule grows closer, there’s no cutting corners. After December 16, 2019, all drivers and carriers subject to the rule must use self-certified ELDs that are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Some fleet managers and truck drivers may still be struggling to curb their old ways of manually logging Hours of Service (HOS) or are inching to the implementation finish line. Change, however challenging, is inevitable.

There are four key ways that fleet managers can turn the new ELD mandate into a positive experience for their business and their drivers. What does it really mean to operate a safe and compliant fleet? When an ELD solution like the LogBook platform 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 recent 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’s doing all he can to deliver the load on time while keeping an eye on HOS rules. He 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. In addition to managing driving hours and routes, this technology can also help prevent DOT violations. These devices are known to positively impact driver behavior. Drivers using eLogs reduced their crash rate by 11.7% and lowered their preventable crash rate by 5.1%.1

2nd benefit of ELDs: Increased automation and efficiency

The main goal of any 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. More than half (56%) of surveyed LogBook customers were able to track improvement against key productivity goals by more than 10%.2  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, ELD saves 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.

Find the right solution for your business with our free Fleet Management Buyer’s Guide.

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 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:  Reducing costs

Where can fleet managers start to see cost savings once they’ve implemented 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 year3. 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 annually4.

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 or speeding event means that fleet owners can coach drivers and address it in near real-time, resulting in less expenses all around. 

How to embrace the benefits of ELD

Many businesses have seen benefits from implementing an ELD solution that goes beyond the requirements of the upcoming mandate deadline. Get the most out of your solution to help keep your drivers safe and your business running smoothly.

Find the right solution for your business with our free Fleet Management Buyer’s Guide.

1 https://ntl.bts.gov/lib/51000/51800/51846/13-059-Evaluating_the_Potential_Safety_Benefits_of_Electronic_HOS--Full_Report.pdf

4 https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2014/03/28/2014-05827/electronic-logging-devices-and-hours-of-service-supporting-documents

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