In 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) introduced the ELD mandate in the United States, and ever since, the trucking industry has been getting ready.
Essentially, the mandate is a rule that requires an electronic logging device to be used instead of the current paper-based ones by the year 2019. Comparable orders will likely be introduced in Canada in the coming years.
Of course, this is not the time to stress out or panic. You still have a few years to ensure your organization is compliant. But this is a great time to begin the process of preparing. When 2019 rolls around, your business will be up to standard and protected. Not sure where to start? Here are a few tips to get you on the right track.
When it comes to electronic logging devices, there are quite a few options to choose from. At this stage, the most important priority is simply to do your research and take a look at the various solutions out there. You’ll want to consider a number of determining factors, including pricing and available features.
Most importantly, if you are located in the United States, you need to ensure that the ELD you choose meets or exceeds the minimum performance requirements outlined by the FMCSA. For example, ELDs must collect data every hour, offer integral synchronization, capture and document location details, and feature a graph grid display. The full list can be found in FMCSA documents in the Government Publishing Office, but make sure you are briefed before you buy. You can also check with a product representative to ensure they are fully compliant.
While you’ll need to implement ELDs eventually, it’s helpful to understand how they benefit you. Sure, they can be costly, but they also deliver a wealth of advantages. They can improve operational efficiency, streamline IFTA reporting, and boost employee productivity by eliminating time-consuming paperwork. Some solutions even offer built-in auditing capabilities for documents, minimizing errors.
Higher-end systems are more expensive, but include advanced features such as the ability to pinpoint actions that consume excess fuel. As a result, you can identify and rectify these patterns with your drivers and save on fuel. You can also analyze the fuel efficiency of driver’s route choices. In addition, it has been shown that using ELDs leads to reduced frequency of Hours of Service violations in the United States.
Implementing your Electronic Logging Device requires advanced planning and the creation of a detailed timeline. Before you invest, take the time to work with your team to create a point-by-point execution proposal. Utilize project management techniques such as scheduling milestones, prioritizing goals, aiming for a specific close date, and holding update meetings along the way. Finally, make sure your staff is well trained, preferably in the preliminary stages of the transition. Drivers, mechanics, administrators, and management should all be deeply familiar with the program. Remember, it’s not the ELD that will improve efficiency on its own. Its success depends on your staff.
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